Does buying in bulk really save a lot of money?

Buy more now and save more later.

Sounds like a good idea, which is why Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale are so popular these days.

Millions of American shoppers like Tracy Reese like to buy in bulk, as a way to fight inflation which is currently running close to 10% a year.

She says she compares stores and ends up saving money these days by shopping at Sam’s Club.

“I buy things like water, paper towels, toilet paper, things like that, and it’s a lot cheaper here,” Reece said,

Brittany Downing is a mother of five children. She says she saves a lot of money on cereal, with a family that can get through a box in a single day.

“I can get two bags of cereal here at Sam’s for about six dollars and a box (at the grocery store) in a family size is probably $6,” she said.

Why Buying in Bulk Doesn’t Always Make Sense

But sometimes buying in bulk can actually be a waste of money, according to marketing expert Kelly Goldsmith of Vanderbilt University.

“That space it takes up in your house is effectively costing you money because you can’t put anything else in it,” she explained. “So think carefully, and do you actually have the space to accommodate 48 rolls of toilet paper or is it going to be in the corner and really piss you off all the time?”

Toilet paper is one thing. But what about perishables? Goldsmith worries that trash can eat up all your savings, especially if you don’t have a large family.

“If you look at things like meat and cheese, those are items where you can really save money by buying in bulk,” Goldsmith said. “But if half ends up in the trash, you don’t save any money at all.”

If you’re buying perishables, you’ll probably need a larger freezer or refrigerator, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

But don’t let that scare you off, because there are so many things you could buy that just need a little storage space.

Woman’s Day magazine says some of the best things to buy in bulk are:

  • Detergent
  • Toilet paper
  • Layers
  • Battery
  • Garbage bag
  • Bulbs
  • Rice

You’ll notice that almost all of these items can last for several years once you buy them, so you don’t worry about having to throw them away after a month or two.

Kelly Goldsmith says that when it comes down to shopping, the internet can be your best friend. You can find out if this pack of 24 paper towels is really a bargain.

“Do that website comparison. It’s super easy these days and that way you make sure you get the best deal for you.”

This way you don’t waste your money.

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