10 things you should always buy in bulk

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Savvy buyers know that one of the best ways to tell if something is a good deal is to look at the unit price. That is, see how much an item costs per ounce, leaf, or pill.

The best unit prices often come from bulk purchase. You also don’t need to belong to a warehouse club to buy in bulk. Look for family sizes in your supermarket or stock up when you see a good sale.

It doesn’t make sense to buy everything in bulk, but the following items can – and should – be purchased in bulk for maximum savings and convenience.

1. Non-perishable foods

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Refrigerated foods have a short shelf life, but some non-perishable foods can last for years or even decades. These include canned foods, certain grains and dried beans, among others that we detail in “11 foods that can be stored for years”.

However, although items like rice and flour have a long shelf life, they must be stored properly to prevent insects or other pests from getting into their packaging. If you have room in a large freezer, putting some uncooked grains in will do.

2. Cleaning products

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The cleaning products will expire – eventually. But with most types of cleaners, you have about a year to two before they start to lose their effectiveness. This means buying them in bulk shouldn’t be a problem as long as you clean them regularly.

An exception is bleach. You shouldn’t buy bulk bleach because it has a shelf life of only around six months, as we note in “10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach.”

3. Melting ice

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Those who live in northern climates can safely stock up on melting ice or rock salt for the winter months. Correct be sure to store it in a way that prevents moisture and sunlight from entering the packaging.

Buying melted ice in bulk has the advantage of never having to go to the store after a storm and find it sold out.

4. Prescription drugs

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As they say, your mileage may vary here. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to get a 90-day supply of medication either from your local pharmacy or through a mail order service. The quota for these top-ups may be lower than it would be for three 30-day top-ups.

Even if you don’t have insurance, or if you choose to pay the non-insurance price instead of your co-pay, you can get a 90-day supply of many generic drugs for less money than three supplies of. 30 days in some pharmacies. For example, at Walmart, a 90-day supply of some generic drugs costs $ 10, whether or not you have insurance, while a 30-day supply costs $ 4.

5. Bulbs

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Modern LED and fluorescent bulbs can last for years, and that gives you plenty of time to find good deals on replacements. When you do, go ahead and buy some extras.

6. Cat litter

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If you have cats, you know kitty litter can get expensive. Buying the largest size possible can help lower your overall cost. This never go wrong, and you can store it indefinitely in a dry place.

7. Medicines for fleas and ticks for pets

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Speaking of pets, check the prices of their flea and tick medication. Packages with six or 12 month protection are often less expensive, per dose, than those with three months or one month.

8. Toiletries

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Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap can usually be stored unopened for years without affecting the contents. Even after opening the packages, skin care products can be good for up to two years.

In other words, buy the big bottle or refuel at a sale without worrying about losing your money.

9. Storage and garbage bags

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You can safely buy storage bags and garbage bags in large quantities. They won’t spoil, and larger packages usually have a lower unit price.

10. Paper products

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As we saw at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, having an extra supply of toilet paper isn’t a bad idea. With towels and paper towels, toilet paper will never go bad, assuming you store it in a dry place.

So buy the jumbo pack the next time you go to the store and avoid that feeling of panic the next time the shelves are cleared of this essential product.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation for clicking on links in our stories.

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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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