Do you like to save money? Of course you do, especially if you live in one of the most expensive cities in the USA. No matter how much you may have, it always feels good to “win” – to buy something on sale, to get a good deal, or better yet, a BOGO: Buy One, Get One.
Here are 10 things you should always buy in bulk to save money:
1.) Toilet Paper
You never want to run out of toilet paper, so if you have the storage space, why not buy in bulk? It’s non-perishable, something you’re guaranteed to always need and much cheaper if you buy in bulk than single rolls! According to U.S. News & World Report, you can save 50% or more buying toilet paper in bulk than in single rolls!
2.) Paper Towels
Paper towels are another household essential that will never perish and you’ll never regret having too many of. Unless you’re embracing the tiny home trend and legitimately can’t fit 16 spare rolls of paper towels in your home, we recommend buying in bulk to save money.
3.) Laundry Detergent
Running out of laundry detergent is right up there with running out of toilet paper – especially if you have kids! Just like TP, you’ll always need laundry detergent and it will never perish. So why not stock up?
You can get 200 oz of Tide’s Original HE Detergent from Costco for $24.19. That’s less than $0.18 per load of laundry!
Alternatively, if you don’t buy in bulk, you’ll pay $11 for 50 oz of the same product from Amazon, which equates to 32 loads of laundry, at $2.80 per load of laundry.
4.) Hand Soap
Everyone needs at least two bottles of hand soap: one for the kitchen, and one for the bathroom. If you have more than one bathroom, you’ll need even more. Handsoap can get expensive, but there’s a trick to minimizing costs and saving money: buy refill bottles.
One, 12 oz bottle of Mrs. Myers hand soap from Bed Bath and Beyond is $3.99. We recommend buying one bottle, and then heading over to Boxed.com and buying the refill bottle – one, 33 oz bottle is just $6.99!
Want to save even more money? Skip the 12 oz branded bottle altogether and buy one that you’ll never have to toss.
No, you can’t put meat on a shelf and leave for a few months, but you can freeze it! thekitchn.com recently compared meat prices from Costco with those from Walmart, and when it came to ground beef, Costco was the clear winner:
“Costco’s organic ground beef is about a dollar cheaper than Walmart’s. If you opt for Costco, you’ll have to buy four pounds of it, but thankfully it comes in 1.3-pound packages so you can just toss them in the freezer. Walmart’s 3-pound rolls of 80 percent lean ground beef are $3.58 per pound, but Costco is still cheaper at $3.49 per pound.”
Costco’s Kirkland Signature Organic Ground Beef is just $19.99 for four pounds ($5 per pound), while Walmart’s Marketside Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef is $5.98 per pound. Moving away from discount retailers and looking at regular grocery stores like Kroger, you’ll find even better deals by buying in bulk! Kroger’s Simple Truth organic grass-fed beef goes for $6.99 per pound.
6.) Wine and Beer
If you like wine, chances are you go through a few bottles a week. While you may feel a bit like a lush buying wine by the case, you should! Many wine stores offer 20% off when you buy by the case, with some allowing you to mix and match, meaning you can buy 6 bottles of your favorite Cabernet, 3 of your favorite Chardonnay, now that Rosé season is finally upon us, 3 bottles of your favorite Rosé.
The laws vary by state, but if you live in a state that allows wine delivery, you can save even more by ordering in bulk from e-tailers such as wine.com which not only offers great deals on wine but additional discounts such as 20% off your first purchase of $100 or more.
If you’re not taking vitamins (particularly a daily vitamin), you should, as most Americans aren’t getting enough vitamins out of their daily meals. Vitamins can get expensive, which is one of the reasons they’re better to buy in bulk!
Pharmacies such as CVS regularly offer vitamin BOGOs, or “buy one, get one 50% off,” so be on the lookout for deals like that. If you really want a good deal though, check out the warehouse stores. Vitamins are usually cheaper at Costco than pharmacies or drug stores, especially when Costco offers coupons, as it routinely does. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Daily Multi cost just $14.99 for 500 vitamins – that’s $0.03 a tablet! In contrast, CVS’s Nature Made Multi Complete Tablets cost $11.99 for 130 tablets, equating to nearly $0.11 a tablet.
8.) Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoo is another necessity you can’t live without. While you can find deals depending on the brand you buy, many of us tend to gravitate towards the expensive salon brands, which can be quite expensive…
A “regular” 10 oz bottle of Redkin costs $10.56 on Amazon, or approximately $1 per ounce. If you buy the larger, 33.8 oz bottle, it costs $26.11, or $0.80 an ounce.
Want an even better deal to save money? Check out Ulta.com, the beauty supplier known for offering amazing deals on high-end shampoos. Currently, they have a “buy 2, get one free” offer on Redken. If you purchase 2, 33.8 ounce bottles of Redken for $34.50 each, you’ll get one free! That equates to 101.4 ounces of shampoo for just $0.68 an ounce!
For women, tampons are never something to be without and can get expensive. Just like toilet paper and paper towels, it’s something you’ll almost-always need (that is if you’re not pregnant and if you’re of a certain age). So why not buy in bulk and save money?
If you like to cook and bake, chances are you go through a lot of butter. It’s an American staple! Just think about it: some baked goods can require a minimum of one stick of butter. And just think how much you go through during the holidays…
If you find yourself running out of butter, consider stocking up to save money. According to Oprah.com, “You can get 4 pounds of unsalted butter at Costco for $10.49, which comes outto $2.62 a pound; while a supermarket charges about $4.99 for a pound.”
Nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich with healthy fats and protein while being generally cheaper than animal products, making them a great addition to a healthy and frugal diet. That’s right! Just adding these powerhouses to your diet can save you a lot of money, but there are ways to lower the cost of these nutritious foods as well!
Dried pasta are great pantry fillers, because they last so long and take up relatively little space. Dried pasta will last up to two years in a sealed container. That long shelf life makes them ideal for bulk buying.
You can save a lot of money buying pasta in large containers at warehouse clubs, or by filling your own containers from bulk storage bins at health food stores. For example, whole wheat pasta bought in bulk costs 20 percent less. Try to add some variety so that you can have different types of pasta throughout the year or two that they’ll last.
Most rice varieties will last indefinitely in storage. Healthful brown rice is rich in oils that can spoil, but it still lasts about six months in the pantry. That’s not very long for some items on our list, but even brown rice has a huge variety of uses and is easier to use up in short order. Plus brown and wild rice varieties are good sources of fiber, protein, vitamin B6 and magnesium, which are all great reasons to eat more of it.
You can buy meal-sized quantities of instant rice for $2-$4 per box in grocery stores, which gets you about 6 ounces plus seasoning. Or you can buy rice in bulk at grocery or warehouse stores for less than $1 per pound — the national average price is 67 cents according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
14.) School and Office Supplies
Back-to-school shopping can put quite a dent in your wallet—save yourself the cash (and the headache) of stocking up on folders, pencils, and notebooks annually by buying them in bulk and saving the excess supplies for next year. You can never have too many backup pens on hand, after all!
Markups on cereal, especially name-brand cereal, tend to be pretty high. So warehouse club savings of close to 50 percent for bulk sizes can be hard to pass up. And most of the warehouse clubs carry double-sized boxes of brand-name cereals. Supermarkets also offer regular sales on certain brands, so that can be a good time to stock up.
Be sure that you’re not sinking money into a brand or flavor that you’ll be tired of quickly, or buying so much that the same kind gets tiresome. That can be especially important if you have children whose tastes might change from week to week.
Want to learn more ways to save money? Click “Next Story” for tips on saving money on produce!