The other day King Soopers was running one of those 10 for $10 specials. They had half-gallons of milk and 200-ct boxes of Kleenex at that price. We needed both those items so I thought I’d grab a few. But when I got there the sign on the Kleenex said if you buy 15 boxes, you get an extra $5 off your total order. So I bought 15 boxes of Kleenex and 6 half-gallons of milk, and the total bill was only $16 plus tax. The Kleenex look beautiful on our closet shelf and I’m happy in the knowledge we can handle all the snot winter can throw at us. The milk is quietly taking up space in the freezer, just waiting to be thawed and poured over oatmeal.
There are two main advantages to buying in bulk. First, you can often get a discount on the purchase price. In this case, the store was using milk and Kleenex just to get me in the door, hoping I’d buy a lot of other things while I was there. Because I didn’t buy a lot of other things, I walked out of the store with some great deals. But even without specials like this, buying in bulk is usually cheaper because of the economies of large lots.
The other advantage of buying in bulk is, obviously, that you end up with a whole bunch of the stuff on your shelf at home. If you plan this carefully, it’s possible to have so many different things stocked up that you’ll only have to run to the store once a month! Imagine being able to skip your weekly shopping trip this week. I bet there are lots of other things you could do with that time. Imagine being snowed in for a week and not having to worry about food.
So save up a little money, wait for the right sale, then go crazy and get all you can (or a least enough to last until the next sale).
This article originally appeared in the September 12, 2007, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.