I’m not a fan of buying allthethings in bulk, but I do have a few items I buy monthly/bi-monthly at the local warehouse club. I’m talking about places like Sam’s, BJ’s, Costco, etc. When my father passed away a couple of years ago, my mother added me to her membership for free. I knew we wouldn’t shop there regularly, but a monthly trip for specific items has definitely saved us money in the long run.
Toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, and school snacks are our main bulk purchases. We can use the store coupons with manufacturer coupons for extra savings, which is awesome for the Huggies diapers and wipes. The toilet paper and paper towels, we just buy the store brand; cheapest and decent quality.
Then there are the school snacks. My school-age kid needs snacks for lunch and a healthy snack for snack time. Other than fruits and veggies, we’ve gone with Veggie Straws and Goldfish crackers.
The warehouse club sells both of those items in bulk – either one giant box full, or multipacks. Most people jump for the multipack options for lunches, but I found it wasn’t cost effective. For example:
- Goldfish 58oz Box – $8.99
- Goldfish 30ct Multipacks – $10.99 ($0.37 per bag)
- Veggie Straws 20oz Bag – $4.99
- Veggie Straws 30ct Multipack – $11.99 ($0.40 per bag)
Significant price differences in my opinion. I bought the cheapest bulk packages of each snack item and picked up a box of snack bags at Wal-Mart: $2.62 for 200 bags. When I get home I dump them into a bowl and start bagging. The box of Goldfish includes three large bags inside the box.
I use a measuring cup (1/2c.) and start filling bags, then place them in the snack box in our pantry. The kids have free access to these items – healthy snacks – so I keep it filled. It’s also handy for grab-and-go moments when I need to throw snacks in the diaper bag before leaving the house.
The bag of Veggie Straws and box of Goldfish can last us up to two months. I am able to create 18 snack bags per Goldfish bag – so 54 snack bags per box – which is $0.17 per bag. The Veggie Straws made 28 bags, making it $0.18 per bag. Add in $0.02 for the cost of the snack bags, and I’m still saving.
But I had coupons! $1.50 off Veggie Straws and $2.00 off Goldfish. Final total comes to $0.15 Goldfish and $0.14 Veggie Straw snack bags. Total OOP $10.48 for nearly two months worth of school snacks (anytime snacks really.) Not bad!
We just bought a chest freezer, and plan to bulk purchase meats soon. Most likely using Zaycon, not a warehouse club. Hopefully this helps with our crappy fridge causing frozen meats to rot too soon! The chest freezer was only $100! More on that later.
Anyone else buy in bulk? Anything else I should look out for? I’m trying to tame our food spending, especially with summer quickly approaching. Kids will be home full time and lots of friends and family coming and going (and eating!)