How to Buy in Bulk the Right Way
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) You know you can save money when you buy in bulk. However, you just don't go through 20 pounds of oranges in a month. Or maybe you have other concerns about the bulk buying market. We're here to help you navigate it, with help from experts that include a childless couple and a married mother of seven. The lesson is clear: no matter who you are, you can get killer discounts and save beaucoup bucks by buying in bulk.
Buying in Bulk for Two
Kevin Gallegos is the Vice President of Phoenix Operations with the Freedom Financial Network. He's also an enthusiastic bulk shopper. "It's just me and my wife buying in bulk and we still find opportunities to save," he says.
One way to save a lot when you're just two and want access to bulk prices? Make a bulk buying club. That way you can even get bulk prices on items that perish quickly, like chicken. "Go with friends and family, get some Ziplock bags and divvy it up," he says, adding that he recommends using a vacuum seal system to preserve items in the freezer. "Cut everything up into meal-sized bags, vacuum seal them and throw them in the freezer," he says. Vacuum sealing eliminates the air that robs food of its freshness when frozen.
Gallegos's rule of thumb? Anything that you're going to use up in a year or less should be bought in bulk. "Even something like Roundup has a shelf life," he says.
Further, Gallegos points out that bulk buying opportunities don't begin and end with the big warehouse and wholesale clubs. "Regular groceries stores often have bulk purchase prices," he says. They don't advertise them, but they're happy to cop to them if you ask.
The big piece of advice Gallegos offers? Go in with a budget and bring cash, leaving your credit and debit cards at home. As a bulk shopping enthusiast, he knows how easy it is to get sucked in by all the big discounts. Limiting your supply of money is a great way to make sure that you don't get too crazy for savings.
Buying in Bulk for More Than a Few
Ellie Kay bills herself as "America's Family Financial Expert." She's a mother of seven from Palmdale, California who can tell the other side of buying in bulk: getting a lot of stuff for a lot of people.
"There are certain things that a family needs," she says. "That's never going to change." This includes things like dish soap, laundry detergent and toilet paper. Unlike the Roundup mentioned above, these are also things that are never going to go bad.
Yet What about things that do go bad? Even Kay's nacho-crazed family of nine didn't go through a three-pound bag of tortillas quickly enough to stop them from going stale. That's when she decided to team up with another mom and split the cost. Any waste or spoilage is either a sign that you shouldn't be buying the item in bulk or that you need to find someone to split the cost with you.