Money Mondays: Savings Tips for Buying in Bulk

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Buying in bulk is certainly a way to save money on groceries, prepping items and other supplies but there is also the possibility of overspending.  Through trial and error, I’ve learned a thing or two when trying to buy in bulk to save money.

Here are a few bulk buying tips:

Membership clubs

Before spending that $60 or so to join Sam’s or Costco, consider how much you will be shopping at those stores on a yearly basis.  If the store is a distance away from your home, also consider the gas you will be spending to get there.

How much room do you have?

You’ll also need to consider your storage space, and well as your refrigerator/freezer space.  If you don’t have to room, you will end up with a lot of waste.

Split with someone

Another way you can shop in bulk cost-effectively is by splitting the items with family or friends while splitting the cost.

Cost per unit

Ultimately, the best way to compare prices is by looking at the cost per unit.  It is usually included in the price stickers on the shelf.  I have been very surprised to find out that certain products are actually cheaper when buying the smaller package.

Buy only items you really like

I always advise my readers to buy only prepping items that they actually use;  I’d say the same thing applies to bulk buying.  You may be tempted to buy an alternate, especially if the price is much lower. I’ve had a few regrets from buying a different brand in bulk, only to find out it did not have the same taste or quality as my favorite brand.

Buying bulk online

Before buying bulk items online, be sure to check shipping costs.  The cost of shipping the heavy item may take away all the savings you thought you had.

Repackage the items right away

As soon as you get home from your shopping trip, repackage everything for long term storage, or split the packages in usable quantities.  When I buy meat from Costco, I immediately repackage the pieces into smaller packages before freezing.  Otherwise you will have a week’s worth of ground beef or steaks when you only needed a couple of pieces for dinner.

I’ve had a 15 lb back of pinto beans sitting in the pantry for months which I neglected to repackage, only to find that the beans had already gotten too dry and hard to cook.  If you repackage bulk items in a Food Saver or mylar bags and oxygen absorbers right away, they will last for years in storage.  This means you’ll need to buy the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers before you buy your bulk items.

Get organized

Keep track of your supplies and store them in a way that you can keep track of which ones are the oldest.  Use the oldest items first, and plan on restocking before you completely run out.

Don’t get into debt

Avoid using credit cards to buy your bulk items, as the interest charges will eat up any savings you may have gotten.  Use cash or debit cards, otherwise, hold off until you have more funds.

In conclusion…

Buying in bulk takes some money and planning, but if you keep good track of your supplies, your budget will reap the benefits of bulk buying.

About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.



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  1. when you break the items down for storage. I would think it would be a good idea to try and make kits up so that you have items in the buckets to make complete meals. Like salt, pepper and splices and bouillon in with rice and beans. That way you have a ready kit to use if needed. You will need to know that all the items will last about the same amount of time. Storing pasta it would be good to have some jars of pasta mix in the bucket too. This is something I need to start doing as well.

    1. Hi Oldguy, Packaging the items to make complete meals in buckets is a great idea. I need to do that myself! Thanks for the comment.

      1. I am adding some cans of condensed cheese soup to my storage containers of pasta. This way I can have easy to make mac and cheese.

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