Stocking up is one of those topics that is on the tip of many a person’s tongue right now. It’s really no wonder with inflation sky rocketing and a war going on.
Bulk buying or squirreling away a few extra items a week/ month isn’t just a great way to save money. For some it is a safety net in case they fall on hard or are too unwell to get to a shop.
**Disclaimer!!** I am not encouraging anyone to spend beyond their means or to hoard food. Also this blog post is not to encourage anyone to panic buy.
Should people stock up?
Look at it this way frugal living and bulk buying generally go hand in hand, and for good reason. Getting the best quality products you can afford at the best price possible is a no-brainer. Getting enough to last until they go on sale again or until they are due to expire just makes sense.
That said you don’t want to be left with a whole load of food or household supplies that are only fit for the bin because you over bought. That’s, simply put, not very clever.
What can be stocked up on?
There is no sense in stocking up on food or goods that don’t have a long shelf life. The essence of frugal living is to spend money wisely and not fritter it away foolishly.
Think of non-perishable foods that you know for certain will be eaten. Below is a list of products that can be stored for a relatively long period of time and should you wish to stock up on are stored easily.
- Tinned foods such as tuna, peas, beans and tomatoes
- Dried goods such as pasta, rice, and flour
- Herbs and spices
- Jam, marmalade and preserves
- Toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel and soap
- Toilet paper, bleach and household cleaners
- Sugar and honey
- Breakfast cereal and porridge
- Washing detergent and dish soap
- Nappies and wipes
- Tin foil
- Dilutable juices
- Sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise and
- Freezer friendly foods such as cheese, bread and meat
- Gravy and curry powder
- Passata, tomato puree and pasta sauce
- Tea and coffee
Please be careful to store bleach and household cleaners as directed by the manufacturer.
Downsides to stocking up
Like everything in life there are pros and cons to bulk buying. The pros of stocking up are obvious enough. You get the products you need at the best price, if you are unwell you can avoid the shops while you recover and reduces fuel consumption by avoiding going to shops every day. What are the cons though?
- It’s not always affordable. It costs money to bulk buy and not everyone has the means to do it. Items such as shampoo and rice oftentimes are priced better per unit in larger quantities. However not everyone can afford to spend €10 on shampoo in one go.
- Wasteful if not used prior to expiry.
- Storage space can be difficult to organise. Again not everyone has the space to make bulk buying an option.
- Temptation to over-buy. It can be hard to walk away from a great deal even if you don’t need it. Self discipline is needed.
How to stock up
Keep an eye on the items you are buying regularly. Take note of the price you are currently paying and pay close attention to the items in your home that you can’t be without.
Armed with this knowledge you will be able to make informed decisions as to which special offers are actually of value to you.
One of the simplest ways to stock up is to look at the price per unit. Sometimes you will get more for the same money by going with a bigger packet or two smaller packets.
Another option is when you are doing your regular grocery shopping pick up an extra item or two. You don’t need to go wild and buy huge amounts in one go. Build your pantry/ freezer up slowly.
Take advantage of buy one get one free and half price offers if they are items you know will get used.
Consider setting up a sinking fund for bulk buying. Buying industrial or catering sized packets, such as chicken breasts, and decanting into more manageable containers can save a lot of money. In the case of the chicken you would be splitting the packet up into meal sized portions and maybe freezing them.
As always know your budget and stick to it. Shop wisely and never shop on an empty stomach!
Etiquette of bulk buying
Be considerate, buy what you need but don’t empty the shelves.
If an item is on offer it is ok to buy what you can afford but remember others would like the opportunity to take advantage of the offer.
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