Is Bulk Buying a Benefit?
One of the first considerations is whether you will be paying membership to a bulk-goods store or plan. BJ's Wholesale Club is one example. Yearly membership costs vary across the different stores and clubs. The important point is to factor in this cost when calculating your savings. You need to determine if you will be using the store/club enough to generate enough savings over the membership cost. Otherwise you will not be getting your money's worth.
Another consideration is the size of your family. Large families will get the most savings from buying in bulk. Singles and small families may not really save enough to make it worth their time.
Of course, this depends on buying and usage habits as well. One family may use a lot of a certain brand of pasta. They know when they buy the bulk version that they will eat it all. Another family may get sick and tired of the same pasta and end up throwing out the excess. This really didn't benefit them since they wasted money throwing out the food.
You will need to determine if you can fully use a bulk package of a product. Most likely to make a membership truly worthwhile you will need to have several types of products that you use frequently. Products that can keep such, as paper towels, are good choices for bulk-buying.
Fresh meat or vegetables are more likely to be wasted when bought in bulk. Are you really going to eat three heads of lettuce before it rots? Do you have a freezer? You could buy meat in bulk and freeze it.
Two final considerations are storage and affordability. Storing bulk items requires much more storage space. Do you have appropriate storage? Someplace dry and clean. Those living in small apartments will find bulk storage a real challenge.
Affordability refers to whether your budget can handle purchasing larger quantities at one time. You may need the money for other important expenses instead of bulk items. Spending money on a large package of paper towels will not benefit you if you need that money for other basics like milk or eggs. You may need the money for backup savings for unexpected emergencies as well. Having that savings could mean the difference between paying cash versus incurring credit card debt.
Bulk buying does save money. The price per item will be lower when purchased in larger quantities. Not everyone benefits from buying in bulk though. Just give some thought as to whether your household will benefit.
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