Monday, July 9, 2012

Buy in Bulk without Waste

Everybody loves to save money; it is human nature to want the best deal.  We like to know that we have what we need without always running to the store so it makes sense that Sam’s and Costco would be popular.  I love them too.  I buy business supplies and items for home.  The key to using this kind of shopping effectively is the system you use at home to store the items.  You have to store it, know what you have, use it in a timely manner and not waste it.

Store it.  I always encourage my clients to keep unopened items together in a pantry or garage for non food items.  The garage is a great place for bulk paper products, cat litter, garbage bags and much more.  It makes it easy to unload the car and find what you need when you need it.  Try a shelving unit with 4 or 5 shelves to hold items.

Know what you have.  This is probably one of the most important parts to this system.  If you don’t know what you have you aren’t likely to use it or you will buy more than you need.  It is not unusual to de-clutter a pantry, bathroom or other space and find many multiples of items that are used daily, many get thrown out because they have expired or are too damaged to use.

Use it.  I love to challenge myself to use all of something before I buy new.  My personal rule is “one open - one in reserve.”  I don’t buy new until I open the reserve.  This is a great way to save money at the store and reduce impulse buying.  It also ensures that nothing is going to waste because there aren’t old items going bad while newer items are used.   The pantry is a great place for this challenge.  Periodically challenge yourself to only make things with items that are already in the house and buy only what you need to use up ingredients on hand.

Don’t waste it.  It can take a bit of self discipline to resist the temptation to buy when you already have what you need.  It also takes conscious decisions to really evaluate what you need and when you need it.  Knowing what you have, how much and how quickly you use an item to decide if you really need to buy more.   A family of 5 most certainly needs more bars of soap on hand than someone who lives alone.  I also always remind clients that buying in bulk only works if you can use all of something before it goes bad.  I almost never buy food in bulk because I can't use it fast enough.  

Happy bulk shopping, just don't over buy and waste.  If you need help creating a system for buying and using bulk items, give me a call.  (740) 334-1928

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