I’ve talked about Sam’s Club quite a bit and how much I love shopping there to get bulk items. People say that buying in bulk is SO much cheaper, and so they buy EVERYTHING in huge amounts in an attempt to save money. But the question I pose to you is, is that the best way to go? Is buying in bulk really better for you and your family? Let’s ask ourselves two questions to find the answer.
Is it actually going to be cheaper to buy this in bulk?
Let’s take a look at this peanut butter, both at Wal Mart and Sam’s Club.
The great thing about most grocery stores is that they show the price-per-ounce right on the shelf tag! As you can see, the 28 ounce jar of peanut butter at Wal Mart is $3.98, or 14.2 cents per ounce.
At Sam’s Club, you get a 2-pack of 40-ounce jars of peanut butter for $9.28, or only 11.6 cents per ounce. You end up paying a lot more up front, but you save more money in the long run.
Do this with everything you buy. Just because you can buy something in bulk doesn’t mean it’s a great deal! One example is the boxes of canned vegetables at Sam’s Club.
The website is very helpful and tells us that each can ends up being $.75 each! However, I know that I can get green beans at Aldi for $.49 a can, so in this situation, buying in bulk is NOT better. If you do research ahead of time, you’ll be able to save a ton of money! Now that you’re able to distinguish the great deals from the not-so-great ones, the next question is…
Will you use all of this before it goes bad?
It doesn’t matter if you got the best deal ever on those strawberries; if you don’t eat them all before they go bad, you’ve just wasted the money you saved. I once did this with a 5-pound bag of shredded cheese. We kept the entire thing in the fridge and about half of it went bad before we got around to using it up. Now I realize that we should have separated the cheese into 1-pound bags and froze them, and so we do that even today! Speaking of freezing, in the case of fresh produce, go ahead and buy tons of cheap produce and freeze them! If strawberries are marked down to next to nothing and you like using them in smoothies, buy them out and freeze them. They stay good in the freezer for at least a couple months. That’s what I do with bananas!
There are things like peanut butter and canned vegetables that stay good for a very long time, so it’d be okay to buy them in bulk even if you know you won’t use them all in a short amount of time. But be careful buying things like baking items: Flour, sugar, etc., unless you can separate them into smaller containers and store them safely. I’m scared of bugs getting into my food so I just buy the small packages!
Knowing these two things, I say that buying in bulk CAN be better if you know the right information! And if you’re looking into getting a Sam’s Club membership, I highly recommend it; it’s worth the price!
Is there anything you always/never buy in bulk? Share in the comments!