Why I Don’t Buy In Bulk

   

I consider myself a bit of a foodie. I don’t eat a lot, but I like to eat a variety of things and stay balanced. Don’t’ this confused with me being in shape, because trust me a do have a long way to go. When my family goes grocery shopping, we don’t buy in bulk – dare I say not following the norm, swimming against the current, and so on. Yes I know there are many publications out there that suggest if you buy in bulk you’ll save. But you’ll be selling your internal satisfaction and desire to try other foods because you’ve bought a 3 pound bag of almonds and are starting to feel a little nutty yourself.

 

You Won’t Necessarily Save

Of course the main reason why people buy in bulk is to save. But this isn’t always true. If you buy in bulk, but haven’t used the item(s) before the expiration date, you’ve really lost the savings. Per Money Crashers (What to Avoid in Bulk) some items that are not suggested to buy in bulk are nuts, olive oil, eggs, and bleach. Similar items are also mentioned by Clark Howard on clark.com and Readers Digest. Your body is a temple and you want freshness, quality, and variety, right? Right!

Don’t Get Much Variety

Lately, I’ve been having a smoothie obsession. About 2-3 nights per week, I’ll have a smoothie for dinner. When I first started a few weeks back, I ran out of bananas. So I went to my local grocery store and saw that I could get bananas for 48 cents per pound for like 8 bananas wrapped up in a bunch or .58 for single bananas. My plan didn’t include having a smoothie every day nor did I want to eat a banana every day. After two days, I’d get tired of it and wouldn’t enjoy it. So I just bought 2 bananas for the week for $1.16.  Apart from bananas I have a whole list of other ingredients that includes bases, fruits, vegetables I can use for my smoothies, check it out (click to expand):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of all these ingredients, buying in bulk may not make the most sense.

There’s Soooo Many Options To Try

Options….one word….CEREAL! I’m sure you’ve seen in many grocery stores, the variety of cereals take up almost one whole side of an entire aisle. I usually never buy the same cereal back to back. It’s boring and well YOLO, lol. I’ve bought a value size cereal before, which I wouldn’t really say is bulk but the box is still bigger than normal and after eating it for a week, there was still plenty left and I was tired of it. I suppose it makes more sense if you have a larger family, but it’s just three of us for now. At my local Walmart or Weis, I can find deals for two boxes for about $5, which is cheap in my area.

 

Off-Topic, but kinda related – Use a List

Many publications will also say to use a list when you go grocery shopping. Before I thought, hey if I see something I like for a good price, I want it. But after many years of grocery shopping I pretty much know what I like and don’t like. As a result, we have a pad with a magnet on our fridge and update it with items we need throughout the week (milk, eggs, waffle sticks, raspberries, cereal, etc.) to go on the weekend or on a Monday night. This has truly been wonderful and has really saved us some money. We stick with the list, spend less time at the grocery store and still, if we come across something we want to try, we’ll buy it. But we’ll limit that to one or 2 items so we still consider ourselves to be free. I reckon we’ve slashed about 25% of our grocery bill per month using this list method. It’s strategic, focused, targeted, and a bunch of other cool synonyms.

 

If you have a large family, then yes core items such as bread, milk, orange juice, and eggs may make more sense to buy in bulk. But just double check that unit price per item or how much quantity (ounces, pounds, etc.) you are actually receiving for the each dollar spent to see if it’s worth it. Who knows you may be surprised. What are your thoughts about buying in bulk?

Simple Money Man (SMM)

6 Comments

  1. This is very true. There are several articles I’ve seen that compare the prices at a bulk store like Costco to other stores and in many cases, the bulk store is more expensive. We have a set few items that we buy from Costco that are good deals. For the most part, we buy our groceries in regular size. Plus, our kitchen is nowhere near big enough to store all the bulk items you see people buying with an overflowing cart at Costco.

    • We used to buy diapers for my son when he was a baby from BJs because it made sense for us to buy those in bulk. Now we just go there if we are hosting an event for a very large number of people. Grocery stores, I’ve noticed don’t really have much bulk so to speak, rather more so value size and multi-pack items which work out well for us.

  2. At this point since it’s just me, my wife and son it doesn’t make sense to buy in bulk. If we ever expanded our family we’d probably think about buying a costco membership to get bulk items. But until then it probably doesn’t make much financial sense.

    • Absolutely. I’ve heard some single people who go to Costco and think why in the world? But they’ve explained they are on a special diet and usually eat the same thing every day so they buy those 2-3 items in bulk. That’s probably one of the very few reasons only I suppose to go there if you are single or have a small family.

  3. Love the part about grocery lists. It’s so true that using a list at the grocery store saves you money. My husband is the worst with this. If he goes to the store alone he always come homes with things we didn’t need, either because they looked interesting or he just wanted to try them. All those add on purchases add up after a while! We actually started using Peapod, which is Stop & Shops grocery delivery service. We found that by ordering online we saved even more money than by making a list and going to the store because we could easy search the sales items.

    Along the lines of ordering online, a few of our friends have starting using Boxed, which is an online wholesaler with a similar business model as Costco and BJs. The benefit is, no membership fees and shipping is quick, from the people we talked to they received their orders within 2 days.

    • I want to try one of those. We buy major groceries from Walmart since there is a Super Walmart 5 minutes away and it has the best overall prices. However, the delivery service is not offered in our area at this time. But I feel like we’ll end up going sometimes too, cause my son likes to check out the toys section, lol.

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