With the price of groceries once again on the rise, we’re all looking for ways to save money on our food bill. The big warehouse stores and the coupon sites are always telling you to stock up when you find a great deal. But is bulk buying food a good idea? That depends.
Bulk buying food is a BAD idea:
- When you can’t finish the food you buy before it goes bad. Wasted food is wasted money.
- When you are spending more than you can afford just for the sake of stocking up. (Duh.)
- When you are bulk buying foods that aren’t particularly good for you, like candy or unhealthy snacks. Don’t sacrifice your health just for the savings.
- When you’ve never tried the product before. It’s no fun having to suffer through a large quantity of something you don’t like, or worse yet, tossing it and wasting money!
- When you don’t have the space or means to store your bulk food purchase properly. I don’t know anyone who wants bugs in their 50 pound bag of flour.
- When you haven’t done the math to determine whether it is a good deal. Just because it’s a big package, doesn’t mean it is a big savings.
Bulk buying food is a GOOD idea:
- When you have done the math and found it to be a good savings. Make sure you calculate the unit price to determine if making a bulk purchase is a cost savings. Sometimes you can save more money by buying smaller packages using coupons than you can by buying the largest package possible.
- When you have a large family or you’re hosting a big gathering and know that you will use up the items before they go bad. You’ll save a lot of time by bulk buying food.
- When you can afford to stock up. You’re not saving money if you’re spending beyond your means.
- When you have plenty of room to safely store your bulk purchase. Make sure to have plenty of airtight containers and cool, dry spaces to store your food purchases.
- When you are stocking up on foods you like and know you will eat. Food you enjoy is food you won’t waste.
- When it saves you trips to the store. This is an especially good idea if you make a lot of impulse purchases every time you go to the store. Less trips can mean greater savings, and you’ll save time, too. It’s also a savings on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle if you live a distance from your store.
The bottom line on bulk buying food
Bulk buying food can be a great way to stretch your grocery budget. Just make sure you are following the guidelines I’ve laid out here and you’re doing it for the right reasons. Anything else would be a waste.
Now it’s your turn: Do you bulk buy food? Why or why not?
About Christina Brown
Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.