Any shopping expert will tell you that one of the easiest ways to save money is to buy goods in bulk. However, there are exceptions. USA Today recently released a list of five common household items and foods that you shouldn’t buy in bulk if saving money is your goal.
Put down your membership card from Sam’s Club (WMT) or Costco (COST) and step away from the soda aisle. According to USA Today, buying your soda in bulk there is more expensive than heading to your local grocery. This is because there are almost always coupons or specials on soda at everyday grocery stores. Stack your coupons with store specials, and you’re in for big savings. Contrarily, bulk stores don’t accept manufacturers’ coupons.
Ketchup, mayo, dressing, mustard and other condiments shouldn’t be purchased in bulk because the contents of those big containers are likely to expire before your family uses them up. You may pay less per ounce when you buy your favorite sandwich toppings in commercial-size jars, but it’s money lost when half of it goes off, and ends up in the trash. Think about frequency of use and factor in expiration dates when purchasing all products.
3. Brown Rice
Time also factors into buying brown rice. You might be surprised to learn that it has a relatively short shelf life of six months. So, unless you have a large family that consumes a lot of brown rice, you’re better off buying smaller packages. White rice, on the other hand, has a shelf life of up to 30 years, so if you have space in your pantry for one of those giant sacks of basmati, go for it.
Another product that you might not expect to go south is bleach, but it begins degrading after six months. The majority of households don’t go through bleach fast enough to warrant bulk purchases.
5. Health and Beauty Products
Chances are you’re not buying blush or lip liner in bulk. However, health and beauty products such as deodorant, sunscreen, mascara and liquid foundations typically have a shelf life of just one year before they start to go bad. For that reason, it’s best to stick to the single purchase method or, at most, a buy-one, get-one deal. Anything more than that and you have a high risk of tossing out expensive products.