Buying in Bulk

The pros and cons of buying in bulk

Buying items in bulk is like many things in life — there are positives and negatives to it. The obvious pro? You can save cash. Sometimes a lot. The obvious con? You end up spending more money on items you don’t need. Again, sometimes a lot. But that’s just the headline. Let’s dig into what you need to know to make the decision about when a bulk buy is good and when to pass.

Pros to Buying in Bulk

  • You usually save some cash when buying in bulk because it’s cheaper per unit. These savings can add up, as long as you use an item often enough. Think home goods products, like toilet paper.
  • You have the items on hand. No one likes having to run out to the grocery store for a single item, especially if you use it often. If you buy in bulk, you save trips and the associated possible impulse buys.
  • You can meal prep easier. If you are a frequent meal prepper, chances are buying in bulk makes that process easier. As we mentioned, everything you use often is already on hand, all you have to do is pack it up.
  • You’ll be stocked for emergencies. Should you ever need supplies to deal with an emergency, like a hurricane, buying in bulk ensures you’ll be prepared.
  • Cons to Buying in Bulk

  • The upfront cost. If you buy in bulk, you face a bigger upfront cost. As US News reports, if you spend $50 to save $20 on household cleaners, that’s still $50 upfront instead of smaller payments spread out over time. That may make budgeting tougher.
  • You can waste items. If you buy four gallons of milk to save some cash, you could end up wasting it if one of the gallons sits way past its expiration date.
  • You likely need to pay a fee. If you’re buying in bulk, you likely belong to a warehouse club like Costco. That means you’re also paying a yearly fee, which might not be worth it unless you save enough on your purchases to cover the fee — and more.
  • Chris O'Shea

    Chris O'Shea