Buying & Keeping Your Bulk Buys what a clever way to store all that mayo I KNEW I had to have!(photo and copy – Martha Stewart Living, November 2004)
It seems like a busy person’s dream. One trip to a warehouse club — a store where products are available in bulk to anyone with a membership card — yields months’ worth of food and household supplies. But there can be drawbacks. Basic annual fees average about $40, and not every item is a bargain, so comparison shopping is a must. Then there’s the question of storage. Do you have room for two dozen rolls of paper towels? Here are tips for getting good deals, as well as for stashing your purchases — all you need to be a savvy and satisfied bulk buyer.Know Your Needs.
Bulk items are only worth buying if you can use them before they expire. Consider shopping with a friend and splitting perishables such as meat and dairy products.
Pay Attention to Prices
Warehouse price labels usually contain the purchase price as well as a unit price (for a product that may contain multiple items packaged together), which tells you how much you pay for a standard quantity (per ounce of oil, hundred-count aspirin, and so on). Both numbers might be prominently displayed; read the tag carefully so you aren’t surprised at the register. For products you buy often, make a note of the unit price; you can compare it with prices at other stores in order to find the best deals.
Don’t Buy on Impulse
Whether it’s a jumbo container of your favorite snack or a rack of discounted DVDs, temptation can be found at every turn in warehouse clubs. You should always know what you’re looking for before going in. Take stock of what you need in advance, make a list, and stick to it.