Every so often, I get a little carried away with my sale shopping, especially bulk purchases in my Amazon Subscribe & Save account. Most of the time, I’m pretty sensible about quantities, but sometimes that “too good to be true” sale makes me buy more than I normally would.
While bulk purchases can be a great way to save on products that you frequently use, it’s easy to overdo it. Not only will you end up with a cluttered pantry, but you could end up spending more than necessary.
How to Make Bulk Purchases Work to Your Advantage
Here are some tips to help avoid making unnecessary bulk purchases. You can use a lot of these tips before making high-dollar purchases, too!
Wait before you buy
Using a service like Amazon’s Subscribe & Save helps me plan my purchases. I can add items to my monthly subscription and then edit the items that I’ll actually receive a couple of days before my order ships. If I’m getting a huge order that month and don’t want my delivery man to hate me, I’ll save some items for another month or decide if I actually need a bulk subscription of spaghetti noodles.
Plan out your purchases
Make a shopping list and stick to it. My local grocery store often runs sales that require shoppers to buy 10 items to save $5. When I make my grocery list, I write the item, sale price, and the quantity that I want to buy (and could reasonably use). Read more about how to make an effective grocery list to save you time and money.
This is useful for two reasons:
One, if the store doesn’t have enough of the item that I want, I know to buy more of another item to ensure that I’m still getting the sale price.
Keep a running inventory of your pantry and compare this to the item on sale. If you already have four boxes of pasta, do you really need another 20? Do you even have room in your pantry to store 20 boxes of pasta?
Share your bulk purchases with others
I split a lot of my bulk purchases with my family members. Before I place my Subscribe & Save orders, I ask family members if there’s anything that they need. We often end up splitting a case of toilet paper, coffee, and other items that are cheaper to buy in bulk but are annoying to store in large quantities. Even so, be reasonable. I couldn’t possibly use ten boxes of spaghetti noodles, which brings me to my next point.
If you don’t have a voice of reason, find one
Before I make some of my random Amazon purchases that I know or suspect that I won’t actually use, I talk to my mom or my husband. My mom reminds me that I would have to eat spaghetti for the rest of my life if I bought 20 boxes. My thoughtful husband reminds me that the UPS man already hates us, and what are we going to do with the cardboard delivery boxes anyway?
Bulk purchases can save you money – if you buy the right things with the right mentality. If you’re trying to save money on your groceries, another great idea is to check out Grocery University. It’s completely changed the way I think about coupons and saving money on groceries.