Thursday, May 6, 2010

10 Things to buy in bulk

10 Things to buy in Bulk to save money
Some of this information was taken from an article at 10 Things to Buy in Bulk
1. Cooking oil
If you do a lot of frying, it definitely makes sense to buy cooking oil at a warehouse store.
Buying big at a typical grocery store means getting the 1-gallon (128-ounce) size of Mazola corn oil for $11.99. That works out to 9.4 cents per ounce, which is about 77% more than you'll pay per ounce if you opt for the 2.5-gallon (320-ounce) container of Mazola at Costco. It sells for $16.99, or about 5.3 cents per ounce. You save 4.1 cents per ounce.
If the money you save inspires you to eat more fried food, though, it may turn out to be no bargain for your health.
The most inexpensive place I have found cooking oil is the food coop.  You have to bring your own container and measure it out and weight it for the price. I have bought olive oil and peanut oil that way.  I use mostly olive oil in my home as I don’t fry too much.  I do have some other oils for stir frying though like peanut, sechesuian  and canola.

2. Toothbrushes
The American Dental Association says your toothbrush won't work as well if it's old and worn. Keeping new ones on hand is affordable if you buy them in bulk.
An Oral B CrossAction Pro-Health toothbrush will run you $4.49 at a Rite Aid Pharmacy, where you can also get a two-pack for $7.99 (about $4 each).
But Sam's Club sells a six-pack of the same toothbrushes for $13.88, or about $2.30 each. That's a savings of $2.19 (or just under 50%) off the drugstore price for an individual brush, which should give you something to smile about.
Coupon seem to be the best way for me to buy and store toothbrushes.  I can usually get them no more than $1 each that way.  I love to save the old ones for cleaning.  Ok Mom, so I don’t use them much but I do use them.  Sometimes I use them for crafting too.
3. Cereal
Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, so you don't want to economize by skipping it. But that doesn't mean you can't save some money by buying your cereal in bulk, especially if the brand is a tried-and-tested family favorite.

Why pay $5.59 for a 25.25-ounce box of Honey Nut Cheerios at a typical grocery store when you can get a 49-ounce box for $6.67 at Sam's Club? You'll save 8.5 cents per ounce, or 39%. And the cereal in the club-size box comes in two bags rather than one to prevent it from getting stale. Keeping it from getting soggy in the milk is up to you.
Of course, bulk buying can backfire. For an argument against buying cereal in bulk, check out "15 things not to buy in bulk."
I rarely buy cereal as I like oatmeal so much.  When I buy it I always use coupons.  Did you know you can substitute milk with juice for the liquid with cereal and it tastes good.  I like cranberry or apple juice.  Sometimes I use juices I have canned myself like blackberry watered down a bit.  Yummy!
4. Antiseptic wipes
Nobody wants their home to be a breeding ground for germs, and antiseptic wipes offer a convenient way to fight bacteria by swabbing kitchen counters and bathroom surfaces.
If you take cleanliness to Adrian Monk-like extremes, though, you'll want to get a volume discount. At a Walgreens drugstore you can expect to pay $5.79 for an 80-count tub, which works out to 7.2 cents per wipe.
Costco recently offered three 110-count tubs of Lysol disinfecting wipes for $12.59 -- about 3.8 cents each. That's a savings of 3.4 cents per wipe.
I don’t use many wipes as I clean with vinegar and bleach.  I prefer to use old rags or towels and wash them.  Seems so wasteful to me.
Centrum Silver multivitamins promise to give people older than 50 the nutrients they need to protect their hearts, bones and vision. But to protect their bank accounts, they'll want to get the best possible deal, and that means buying at a warehouse club.
Centrum Silver costs $20.49 for a 220-count bottle at a Walgreens drugstore, which is a pretty good deal at 9.3 cents per vitamin pill.
At Sam's Club, a 270-count bottle costs $18.22, which works out to 6.7 cents per pill. That is a savings of 2.6 cents (about 28%) each, which should make those vitamins easier to swallow.
For an argument against buying vitamins in bulk, check out "15 things not to buy in bulk."
I buy my vitamins from Swanson’s an online catalog company unless they have the same thing at Costco.  I wait for Swanson’s to have a discount offer and then do my ordering.  I have always been satisfied.  I buy vitamin D and homeopathics from them.
6. Soup
Many people believe buying organic food is better for the planet and for their health, but few would argue it's easier on their wallets.
Stocking up can help. A single 14-ounce can of Amy's organic minestrone or lentil soup will cost you $3.29 at a typical grocery store.
But Costco recently offered an eight-pack of 14-ounce cans (four minestrone and four lentil) for $11.99. You'd save about $1.79, or 54%, on each can. Suddenly eating organic seems more palatable.
I make my own soups and can them up or freeze them.  I put in them ingredients that I know where they came from and do not add any preservatives.  I think I am getting a better product and can control how much sodium is in them.  If I have it home canned I have the same convenience as the store bought stuff.

7.  Herbs and Seasoning
I always buy them in bulk or grow them myself.  I can’t bear to buy a bottle for $7 when I know I can reuse my own bottle and save $3-4 or more!  In the past I would order things in pound packages from Frontier Herbs but I always ended up with way too much.  It is a good thing if you can share with a group of friends or a large family.  I now go to either the bulk grocery department (I watch to see how often the stuff rotates by walking by the aisle and keeping an eye on things), food coop (best prices) or the restaurant supply store or Costco.  I save my old expensive containers and prefer to store goods in glass.  Date your goods and if they are getting old make up a batch of something and use them up.
I like to grow my own basil, parsley, tarragon, sage, oregano, rosemary and buy dill,bay leaves, peppers, paprika, hot pepper sauce and garlic.  I just don’t seem to be able to grow enough of the later ones.  I also buy bullion in large containers and add it to lots of things for seasoning.  Not very natural but it tastes good in rice, soups and gravy.

8.  Toilet Paper.
Need I say more?  I have not resorted to leaves, corn cobs or towels….yet.  I hope to never see anyone I know personally coming out of a convenience store with one roll of toilet paper.  What are those people thinking?

9.  Rice and Flour
Both of these items I purchase in bulk.  I buy rice in either 25 or 50 pound bags from the oriental food store or the food coop.  I buy flour at the restaurant supply store.  They are stored in plastic tubs and I have #10 jars in my pantry which I refill from the tubs or buckets.  I have never had a problem with bugs and for the heck of it I do have some bay leaves thrown in.

10.  Vanilla
Vanilla can be purchased much less expensively at the food coop and it is a very good variety.  My favorite is a bottle brought back to me from Mexico.  It is almost gone and I am not looking forward to using the last dribble of it.  I prefer the real stuff and try to stay away from artificial additives and flavorings.  I made vanilla once from some beans and vodka but it was expensive.  Tasted really good though in coffee!!!


Createology said...

Great suggestions and information. The best vanilla we ever bought was in St. Lucia at an outdoor market. Not even hermetically sealed but oh so fresh and delicious!

Becky said...

I hadn't thought of toothbrushes before but of course, that's something you'll always need, will always need to replace regularly and don't take up much space either.

It definitely pays to buy in bulk sometimes though. I've got a card with our local cash and carry for business purposes but I do get to do a bit of personal shopping there too. It's mostly pet food, as I've three four-legged friends with healthy appetites but I also stock up on toilet paper and kitchen roll. It's not always a good idea because of the storage space but I just stick them in the loft 'til I need them.

You say about buying rice in bulk but I've read that brown rice has a much shorter shelf life than white rice, have you found that at all?

Anonymous said...

I think there are some items to only make sense to buy in bulk. I happen to love Kashi Cereal. I was getting tired of every week picking up 12oz boxes of it seeing as how I consume at least 6oz every morning. The local retailers don't sell the flavor I like so I used and got 14 21.5oz boxes.
Looks like Cereal won't be on my shopping list for a while!