Ask most people for a common way to save money on groceries and household goods, and they may come back with this answer: Buy in bulk. While it can be an amazingly simple way to potentially save some bucks, it can also be a buying trap. Here are the 4 misconceptions we typically attribute to bulk buying, and the truth for each.
Myth #1: Buying a larger package usually means that the cost per unit (ounce, pound, etc) is lower.
Truth: It's one of the many reasons people rush to buy bulk, but it isn’t always so. Just because a bottle of vitamins has 3 times the number of pills in it, it won’t automatically mean that each of them are cheaper than if you had bought the small bottle. Even when the price per unit is clearly marked on store signage or the store shelf, you may need to do some careful sleuthing to determine if it’s a good deal. (Sometimes the best prices per unit happen with the smallest packages!)
Myth #2: Bulk-buying clubs can only be shopped in-store.
Truth: Most, if not all, major warehouse clubs can be shopped online (although fresh produce and groceries may not be available via online ordering). This, combined with the addition of several web-only items and the perk of free shipping for some larger items (like furniture, exercise equipment, and power tools), makes it an attractive way to buy your wares without ever leaving your home. Costco , BJ’s and Sam Clubs are just to name a few on-line retailers.
Myth #3: Bulk-buying clubs don’t allow non-members to shop with a friend who is a member.
Truth: Representatives from major buying clubs have themselves proven this to be untrue, with statements that bringing a friend is “allowed.” In fact, most warehouse stores want you to bring a friend in at least once to sample the experience of shopping these kinds of stores. Yes, they’re hoping that the allure will lead your friend to buy their own membership (and sometimes this makes sense), but if you are content to shop in tandem with a relative or buddy, don’t feel like you’re breaking the law. After all, it’s twice the sales for the store!
Myth #4: You can’t find good bulk buys outside of a warehouse club.
Truth: Remember our good friend, Target? They are just one of the many national retail outlets gearing up to offer our warehouse bulk stores some friendly competition. With special aisles dedicated to providing a bulk-buying experience to everyday shoppers, they have much to offer. Examples include 3-packs of boxed cereal, enormous boxes of diapers, and light bulbs by the 20’s! In addition to being competitively priced to bulk clubs, you can save big time by using manufacturer’s coupons (something the big box stores usually won’t let you do) and snagging items on clearance.