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11 items to always buy in bulk

Posted at 11:33 AM, Sep 08, 2017

You don't need to belong to a warehouse club or shell out for pricey memberships to benefit from buying in bulk. These are eleven of our favorite bulk buys. Our list isn't even close to exhaustive, of course. It's really just the tip of the iceberg. The unspoken truth of shopping is that nearly everything is cheaper when you buy multiples, leveraging economies of scale to save—but just because you can buy in bulk doesn't always mean that you should. So before we get into our list, let's review a few bulk buying tips to keep you from wasting your money.

Tips For Buying In Bulk

  1. Live and die by "price-per-unit."
  2. Stick to nonperishables.
  3. Be realistic about what you actually use.
  4. Know exactly how much storage space you've got before you buy.
  5. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, leverage online delivery services like Amazon Pantry.
  6. Meet free shipping thresholds with goods you know you'll use.
  7. Don't forget about coupons!

bulk shopping photo

Best Things To Buy In Bulk

1. Diapers

We're betting that even the most well-stocked diaper stash is depleted faster than expected, so you might as well stock up and reap some long-run savings, right? At Amazon, a pack of 18 Luvs Ultra Leakguards Diapers costs $0.94 per diaper, but a box of 140 diapers is $0.16. Total Savings: 84 percent

2. Toilet Paper And Paper Towels

I've started buying my toilet paper online because it's just awkward to carry a 12-pack of double rolls home from the grocery store, but there's also a clear savings benefit since going online also unlocks bulk buying benefits I can't get at my local Mariano's. For example, ordering a 4-roll package of Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper Double Rolls runs $1.14 per roll, while the same product costs $0.47 per roll in packages of 36. Total Savings: 59 percent

3. Toothbrushes And Tooth Paste

Toothbrushes can be pricey when bought one at a time. A single Colgate 360 Sensitive Pro-Relief Slim Toothbrush sells for $6.17. On the other hand, the same style bought as three 2-packs (6 toothbrushes altogether) works out to $18.50, or $3.08 per toothbrush. Total Savings: 50 percent

4. Coffee And Coffee Supplies

Is there really such a thing as too much coffee? While the brew itself can go stale, it does keep well in the freezer, and k-cups have a pretty long shelf life, too. And don't forget about coffee filters! At Amazon, San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser coffee pods are $0.67 per pod when bought as a box of 24, but drop to $0.36 per pod for a box of 120. Total Savings: 46 percentgrocery store coffee photo

5. Soap And Shampoo

Hygiene products in general don't often have expiration dates, or if they do they're so far out into the future that you don't really need to worry about it. This is particularly true for external cleansers like soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. We found this 16.9 oz. bottle of Cucina Coriander and Olive Tree Hand Wash for $1.06/oz., but the 33.8 oz. refill runs just $0.59/oz. Our advice: buy a stylish hand soap dispenser and stick to buying larger refill quantities. Total Savings: 44 percent

6. School And Office Supplies

Not surprisingly, school and office essentials like pencils, sticky notes, and printer paper are all cheaper in bulk. Take these small black binder clips, for example. A 12-pack of Staples Binder Clips will cost you $0.12 per clip, but sizing up to the box of 144 binder clips brings the cost per clip down to just $0.07 each. Total Savings: 42 percet

7. Trash Bags

These Do It Best Tall Kitchen Trash Bags at cost $0.34/bag when you buy a 40-ct. box, but only $0.23 when you size up to the 100-ct. box. Plus, Jet gives additional discounts when you buy multiples - the price per bag drops to $0.21 when you buy ten 100-ct. boxes. Total Savings: 32 percent

8. Bottled Water

Yeah, yeah, we know there are plenty of arguments against bottled water as an unnecessary expense, not to mention a potential environmental disaster when they're not recycled, but the reality is that there are still plenty of communities where it's a better alternative than what comes from the tap and buying bottled water in bulk turns up some legitimately great savings benefits. This example is pretty extreme, but rather cool: a pallet of 1,872 bottles of Pure Life Purified Water at breaks down to a cost of $0.21 per bottle, while a 24-count package runs $0.29 per bottle. Total Savings: 28 percentbottled water photo

9. Dishwasher And Laundry Detergent

I'm a big fan of the convenience of dishwasher pod, as much for the lack of mess as for the easy precision of 1 pack = 1 load. At Walmart, a 14-count bag of Cascade Complete Fresh Scent Actionpacs costs $0.28 per load, while the 78-count versionbrings it down to $0.21 per load. Total Savings: 25 percent

10. Canned And Dried Foods

Any non-perishable foods that have a long shelf life are great bulk items. Think rice, dried beans, dry pasta, oatmeal, cereal, and nuts. At Walmart, a 5 lb. bag of Great Value Jasmine Rice costs $0.88 per pound, while a 20 lb. bag of the same brandruns just $0.69 per pound – and has an incredible shelf life. Total Savings: 22 percent

11. Food Storage Supplies

I don't know about you, but I can never have enough aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer bags. They'll never go bad, and the savings can add up. 75 sq. ft. of Reynolds Wrap Heavy Strength Aluminum Foil costs $0.05 per foot, but a 250 sq. ft. box of the same brand is just $0.04 per foot. That penny may not seem like much of a different, but it's a 20 percent price difference overall. Total Savings: 20 percentWritten by Rebecca Lehmann for Brad's Deals.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.