These products are the best things to buy in bulk to get the most bang for your buck. Plus, tips to make sure you don’t waste any money!
I looked back and forth down the aisle. What I was about to do wasn’t exactly the most graceful thing ever…and I wasn’t anxious to have an audience.
Quickly, I tried to pick up 10 five pound bags of flour.
Ok, they were wrapped together in plastic, so it’s not like I was juggling a bunch of different bags.
I managed to balance the bags on the bottom of the cart with only one slightly amused witness.
Why would someone buy so much flour at once?
Well it was at a bargain price. And besides, I knew that buying flour in bulk was a great buy for our family.
Here’s how you can figure out which things you should be buying in bulk for your family.
What Should You Buy In Bulk?
Is Buying In Bulk Cheaper?
The answer to this is a complicated yes! And no!
Any smart shopper knows that a deal isn’t a deal just because the store says it is. It’s also not a deal just because it comes in a bigger box.
Always compare your unit prices. Sometimes that’s a simple as using a calculator to find out how much an ounce of each item is.
Other times, consider how your family uses it. Yeah, the bigger containers of yogurt might be cheaper. But if you know your kids will eat half a cup and throw the rest of it away, it actually might be cheaper to buy the smaller containers.
If you’ve been curious about the savings you can find at membership clubs, now is the perfect time to try Sam’s Club.
What Are the Best Foods to Buy In Bulk?
There are a few ways you can get meat in bulk.
If you have the money to invest, buying a side of beef or half a hog from a local farmer can be an affordable way to get healthy meat.
Then you can save what you would have spent on meat for the next bulk purchase.
Don’t have a deep freezer? Consider buying one if you have the space. We found a killer deal on Craigslist! A brand new freezer for a third of the price of going to a store. (All because the owner suddenly had to move.)
Get more ideas for buying meat in bulk.
Oh, Sam’s has boneless skinless frozen chicken breasts in a big bag for $1.70 per pound all the time!
Beans and Rice
Next up, it’s the Dave Ramsey special! Why not buy your beans and rice in bulk to save even more??
I keep rice in the freezer to keep it from going bad. But you can also store rice and dried beans in food grade 5 gallon buckets.
Whether you like a side of mac and cheese with your meals or love having spaghetti ready for a quick supper idea, keeping pasta on hand is always handy!
I love to stock up when I find it on sale for 49 cents per pound. It’s an easy crowd pleaser!
Got a Keurig? K-Cups are almost always cheaper in bulk! My Hubby loves this deal on Amazon.
Personally, I prefer to refill my own K-Cups. To each their own!
In the summertime, my kids love to cool off with a popsicle. I like to keep them on hand, because you never know when someone will get sick.
How often have your kids been unable to keep anything down? But a popsicle will nearly always work.
For storage, the best option is to grab sacks of popsicles that you can freeze later. As you run out of frozen popsicles, add a new bag!
Now, I almost didn’t add this one. Do you already know why?
If your family is like mine, snacks disappear the minute you bring them through the door!
On the other hand, having snacks that you can grab on the way out the door is the best way to avoid spending far more money on convenience foods.
Here’s a trick that works for us…grab one of these toolboxes and use a lock to save back some snacks for later.
OR stock up on snacks your family likes…not something they love. Some good options might include nuts, granola bars, and bags of popcorn. Get a whole list of snacks for trips here.
Great for breakfast, making treats like easy oatmeal breakfast bars, or any number of delicious recipes! Why not keep these on hand?
Buy in bulk from your local grocery store, a membership like Sam’s Club, or go through a bulk foods supplier if you have a large order. A friend of mine recommends Country Life Natural Foods.
Flour and Baking Supplies
Aaahh, those flour bags.
You can buy flour in the same way I talked about earlier.
My favorite time of year to stock up on all baking supplies is November and early December. That’s when stores will have these items at the lowest price.
Yeah, that’s a tough time of year to come up with extra money for buying in bulk. But if you prepare ahead of time, you can be ready with a little extra money in an envelope!
Sometimes you can still find packs of butter for $2.50. In fact, my Sam’s has it at that price regularly.
I always grab extra and freeze it.
Spices can be tricky, because if you buy a large container it could lose flavor before you use it all.
Look on the bottom shelf at your grocery store for a larger container (that isn’t too large!) and only buy the spices you use the most. For us, that’s cinnamon and onion flakes.
It’s always great to have cereal on hand! It’s breakfast. It’s dinner on a night when you just can’t do one.more.thing. It’s a snack on the go (pour some into a bowl or small baggie).
Many times, the big bag of cereal at the grocery store is a best buy. But not always. So always do the math!
(I prefer to spend less than 15 cents per ounce on cereal. YMMV)
I suspect my family goes through more cheese than most families do. I stock up on it whenever I find it under $2 per bag. Our freezer always has plenty of bags!
Sam’s has huge bags at a good price. I would probably divvy them out into smaller freezer bags if we didn’t go through it so quickly.
Cheap and easy, we love potatoes at plenty of our meals.
I never had much luck keeping bulk potatoes on hand until I learned this trick:
Grab a huge cardboard diaper box (or whatever you have). Sort through all your potatoes and only put them in the box if they are blemish free.
Then, store you box in a dark, cool place with plenty of air circulation. My pantry has been fine.
I’m talking things like tomato sauce, rotel, soups, veggies, fruits, beans, ketchup and other condiments.
If grabbing a bottle of water on your way out the door saves you from stopping for a drink while you run errands, it’s worth it.
Another reason to consider bulking up on water is unforeseen emergencies. Having a few gallons of water on hand could be invaluable in bad circumstances.
Bottles of water at Sam’s Club are less than 3 bucks for 40 bottles!
If you like sparkling water, you can get that for super cheap at Sam’s as well. I buy La Croix for my husband and get 24 cans for less than $8. You won’t find that deal very often!
What Should Parents Buy In Bulk?
I don’t know why, but they always disappear.
Buy these in the summer! The kids will run out of pencils by December, but the price will be triple what it was during back to school shopping.
Diapers and Wipes
This is another one that takes a bit of balancing. If you stock up too much, baby will go through a sudden growth spurt before you can use all the diapers you have.
In my experience, my children never wore newborn diapers (most of them were 9 lbs or larger). They only wore sizes 1 and 2 for a short time. But once they reached size 3, they stayed that size for a bit longer.
Wipes, on the other hand, you can never have too many! Just store them someplace that won’t cause them to dry out.
Everything takes them, they always die at inconvenient times.
School Lunch Supplies
Grab and go lunch items are always in demand on busy mornings. This could be anything from individual wrapped items to sandwich bags to good working water bottles.
What Else Is Good to Have On Hand?
And make sure you have the proper sizes for the fixtures in your home.
Anything you go through in a month or two should have a couple of back ups at the ready. Oftentimes you can get cleaners cheaper in multi packs.
Laundry and Dish Soap
Always have a back up waiting on the shelf. Laundry is hard enough to keep up with as it is. Running out of detergent is just not an option!
Even cheaper is to make your own in bulk! For instance, here’s a recipe for DIY Dishwasher Detergent.
Honestly, who wants to run out of trash bags??
I’m a big fan of using rags whenever possible. We have plenty of old socks in our home! But sometimes a job calls for a paper towel.
It’s nearly always cheaper to buy these in bulk. And you’ll be glad you have them when a child spills an entire jug of milk down the walls and all over your hardwood floor. (True story.)
Here’s another thing that always seems to run out at 9:00 at night after a long, busy day. Isn’t it great to know you have a backup waiting in the garage?
Again, the germs come in to your home out of nowhere, and that’s no time to be leaving the house for medicine. Keep your favorite tried and true meds on hand at all times. For asthmatics and other chronic illnesses, that’s even more important!
Ask your doctor for extra prescriptions and fill them as your insurance allows.
A lot of vitamins we take regularly (such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and elderberry) are a good deal at Sam’s Club. So is alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
When you run out of shampoo or soap, it always feels better to grab another one off the shelf rather than making a run to the store.
Watch for a good sale or buy the bigger size of your favorites. And keep plenty on the shelves, so you add it to your grocery list when you open the last bottle, not after you run out!
Did you think I’d forgotten?? Toilet paper is the first thing people think about when you discuss buying in bulk.
I’m sure 2020 has taught all of us to keep a little extra TP on hand!
The nice thing about toilet paper is that you can slide the extra rolls under a bed or on a shelf pretty easily. Just make sure you like the brand before you buy a ton of it!
When you buy in bulk, make sure you shop smart.
Sometimes buying in bulk might feel a little embarrassing. But you won’t mind that at all when you see the savings on groceries…and when you can make fewer trips to the store.
What’s the best thing to buy in bulk?