The short answer to this question is yes and no! Buying in bulk can save money if the products are those which you use on a regular basis. If you shop the big box stores, such as BJ’s Wholesale, Sam’s Club or Costco, your bill can add up rather quickly for just a handful of items. If, however, they are items you always use, it can be well worth the initial cost to save on the individual price in the long run.
Then, there’s the annual membership fee. Most of the bigger box chains offer an introductory fee for the first year to get people to join. So, if you’re thinking about buying a membership, it’s a good idea to go to the store or check their website and look at products you normally buy elsewhere. For example, if you can get a 20 pack of paper towels at the box store for $25 that breaks down to $1.25 per roll. If you’re paying $2.99 a roll at your local supermarket, it’s well worth the savings, if you actually get in the habit of using your membership. If you buy the membership and end up using it once or twice during the year, that will considerably alter any cost savings you would receive.
Another feature on the plus side of the bigger box stores is they frequently have additional coupons on many of the products they carry. If you buy that 20 pack of paper towels at $25 and they’re offering a $3 coupon, each roll would actually cost $1.10, adding up to more savings. You can check the pricing on many items you normally buy elsewhere and do the math to see if it’s a bargain or not.
Boxed is an online only bulk retailer which came on the scene not too long ago. Their prices and selection are comparable to the brick and mortar bulk retailers and there is no membership fee. The catch is, they offer free shipping on first orders only. After that they charge for shipping, which could add up to more than paying an annual membership fee at one of the other bulk retailers.
If you’re considering joining a bulk store membership, be sure to check all of the details of their membership fees and product lines to make certain its the right fit for your needs. Check the products you often buy and compare not just the pricing, but the quantities to ensure it’s something that will be of value to your shopping budget. There are many pros to buying in bulk, but the cons can include not needing the bulk quantity for various items, or not having enough storage room for the larger quantities.
Ann is a professional writer who brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.