Whenever we think about buying food or any other item in bulk, an underground bunker flashes through our mind and we drop all our plans because of the space constraints. There are more factors involved just than the space requirements. But some simple and easy to follow guidelines can help you to achieve the best savings and lower risk for spoilage:
Purchase daily use items in bulk: Never buy an item in bulk which you have never tried personally or are not familiar with. Always buy those items which you are sure of to consume in a reasonable period of time (before the expiration). Basically buy anything or everything which you use on daily basis such as paper towel, soaps, detergent, oils, honey, rice, coffee, tea, dried fruits and so on. You may find products which are offered at very cheap prices when buying in bulk, but if you don’t really use them, just forget them. Follow a simple approach- when in doubt leave it out!
Buy perishable goods only when used immediately: We normally do not prefer to buy perishable items in bulk unless we have some plans to throw a party or are expecting guests. But if this is not the case, use all the items in a day or two either preparing the meals and freezing or by preserving. If you are not using a significant amount of the item, you are not saving much- as simple as that. If you still buy perishable items in bulk, set out a plan- how you are going to use those fresh tomatoes before they go bad? For e.g. use some in preparing the dinner/ meals to freeze and make a puree of the left over tomatoes and preserving carefully. Without a plan, buying in bulk can lead to wasting, not saving money and food. Make it work by planning ahead.
Wait for the right opportunity: Be aware about the discounts and offers on the products you normally use and could buy in bulk, read the brochures. With careful planning, you will save when buying them in bulk.
Ensure adequate storage space: The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while buying in bulk is to ensure adequate storage space. If you do not plan in advance and you do not have enough room to stash those goods then you are seriously in trouble. You need to master the art of storing within limited space. Think about using unique spaces like under the bed or in the hallway closet, allocate one of the kitchen cupboards as your “Bulk Cupboard” and store all your items there but make sure they have been managed in an easy to grab-and-go position. If you have a pantry, the problem is almost solved but you still need to carefully organise. Containers should be easy to reach and away from any harm/loss.
Keep track of non-perishables: When you start buying in bulk and get used to it, you normally know where you keep all the refills and purchases and how much is left. Keep track of all those remaining items and when you know you are just left with one or two items out of your bulk stash of a particular item- It’s time to make a move. Look out for the bargains, offers and discounts on that item.
Go slow-don’t break your bank: Whenever we start anything for the first time, we overdo it out of curiosity or craziness. It’s the same when people get into bulk-buying for the first time, they tend to bulk-buy everything out of excitement and luring offers. Always focus on the household budget and how your bulk buying will factor in. Make sure you have enough cash available and you are not going against your monthly budget.
Go Dutch and share the happiness: Sharing the costs and extra effort of buying in bulk can lighten the load considerably – not only financially but space wise too. Mention to your friends or family what you’d like to do and discuss if they’d like to join in.
Bulk buying is not a trend. It’s the choice of a smart buyer.