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Should I Buy in Bulk?

We hear it all the time: “Buy in bulk and save big!”  Is it really true though?  The answer may surprise you.

While bulk shopping can and does save some people a ton of cash, the fact is that there are a lot of deceptions out there as well and you could end up spending more on a bulk purchase than you would on smaller sizes! 

The most important thing to remember when you are shopping for the best price is one question: what is the cost per unit?

I know that sounds like it could get complicated and annoying but the truth is that many stores have already done the calculating for you if you know where to look.  Let’s take a look at this shelf tag:


The price will normally appear in large bold numbers, where you see the word EACH, and that’s the only thing that most of us look for.  Look carefully though at the very top line of the tag and you will see UNIT PRICE PER OZ.  That’s how you find the best savings overall, because a total price may seem lower than it actually is per ounce.  The same rule applies regardless of the unit of measurement, and all you have to do is compare the per unit price at the top of the tag.  Simple, right?

If you happen to be at a store where these calculations aren’t made for you, chances are that you have a calculator handy (most cell phones have them these days), and figuring the cost per unit is a simple matter of dividing the total price by the number of units.  For example:

A bag of potato chips costs $2.00 for 13 ounces.  Divide $2.00 by 13 and you are paying $.15 per ounce.

Many times I have started to make a bulk purchase only to find out that the easier to store smaller packages cost less, so be on your toes and you will be able to spot a deal in no time.

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