Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Buying in Bulk

I think most people these days are well aware of the benefits to the hip pocket of buying in bulk.
If you are lucky there will be a store selling bulk goods not to far from home.
However if you are like me and the nearest bulk store is a 100 km round trip then you need to be smart about your bulk purchasing otherwise any savings gained could easily be lost in the cost of travel.  In addition there are other things that should be considered before buying any item in bulk.

Things to consider:

Is this an item you use a lot of it?
Will you use it all before the expiry date?
Can you store it?
Does the cost of travel to buy the item outweigh any savings gained?

There are also a number of things you can do to ensure that any savings gained from buying in bulk are not lost.

Can you divide the bulk purchase between more than one person?  This allows you to take advantage of the savings while still purchasing items with a limited shelf life.
Can you use the trip to complete a number of jobs so that you are not just making the trip for the few bulk items you might be buying?
Can you car poole and share the cost of the trip?

It is important to do your research.  Is the price actually cheaper than what you normally pay?  Is it cheaper than when the item is on sale locally?  Ask at your local store if they would offer the item to you at a cheaper price if you purchased a bulk amount?

And finally find out from your local stores what items they sell in bulk or are able to sell you in bulk.  Sometimes stores may not carry bulk amounts of every item they are able to get in bulk as there is not a large demand for it.  But by asking the question you may find they are able to order you what you want when they place their next order.
It is also wise to find out what products all of your local stores sell as I recently discovered. 

In researching what bulk items could be purchased locally I discovered that I could purchase Bi Carb Soda and Epsom Salts in bulk from more than one of the hardware stores.  Both items are things we use around the house and garden and have a substantial shelf life. 
I was able to get both at the cost of $1.00 kg if purchased in 25kg bags.  Now that sounds like a lot, but I have been working towards getting rid of as many chemical cleaners as possible from the house and using the good old Bi Carb and Vinegar combo instead, and we go through a lot of bicarb so this works out as a substantial savings for us.

Bulk Bi Carb

What do you/are you able to buy in bulk?
Is there somewhere that you found offering things in bulk that you never would have thought of?
What tips do you have for buying in bulk?


  1. Hi Fiona! We buy our rice and flour in bulk and store it in their bags inside horse feed bins (the horses don´t know about horse feed, let alone bins to hold the feed!)

    These bins are then stored inside a shipping container so are extra vermin proof.

  2. Hi Fiona..this is a great post...people just don't realise the huge savings...not to mention the savings on extra trips to the store for more....when you stockpile these amounts it sure saves money.....I started with 5kg tubs first for a few chemicals for soap making sure does pay to do your homework before hand....
    Is your 25kg Bi-carb an industrial the grains are larger than say the woolies version....I find the Woolies version is heaps finer, but my larger grains are good for a scrubber on pots....but not so good if I want it too disolve I blitz some occasionally.
    great post...
    here is my post on finding bulk chemicals.

  3. Daffodil - I sure sounds like you have your flour and rice well protected. What size quantities do you buy in?
    Nellymary - The Bicarb is just like you get from the supermarket. I will check out your post.


I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Thanks for taking the time to comment