We answer the big questions on bulk buying with the help of experts and our Facebook friends.
1 EASY DOES IT
If you’re a newcomer to bulk buying, start small and stock up on items you know and like. If a brand you don’t usually buy is on sale, buy one and try it first. Items with a long shelf life, such as rice and pasta are great to bulk buy. Be mindful of buying treats in bulk; more in the pantry may mean you eat more, making it costly for both the wallet and the waistline!
2 BIGGER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER
To maximise a bulk buy, be aware of the cost per unit. Unit prices let you compare products between brands and sizes, by comparing like for like. It may sound simple, but it’s often overlooked, especially if a bulk item looks like a bargain.
3 FREEZE THE FRESH
Whether it’s batch cooking or freezing, when it comes to fresh food, have a plan. While meat is an obvious choice to buy in bulk and freeze, don’t rule out fruit and vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, corn and beans freeze well as do berries and oranges.
4 WHERE TO SHOP
Supermarkets aren’t the only place to buy in bulk. Greengrocers, bakeries and farmers’ markets often offer discounts at different times of the day. Bulk-buying warehouse clubs such as Costco are also becoming increasingly popular. Although there is an annual membership fee and storage to consider (where do you put it all?), savings can definitely outweigh the initial cost.
5 MORE THE MERRIER
Team up with friends or neighbours to split up bulk-buy purchases, or consider joining a bulk food or vegie box co-op. Co-ops purchase from wholesalers, such as fruit and vegie markets, so members pay less (see our expert advice, below). If there isn’t a co-op in your area, why not start one of your own?