5 For Friday: What Do You Buy in Bulk?

Happppppppppy Friday y’all! Before you go out and spend a lot of money this weekend stocking up, I thought we’d talk a little about bulk purchases today and see if any of you have some sexy pointers you want to share. Along w/ other random info about your bulky life ;)

Here is this month’s 5 For Friday. If they bore you, skip to #5:

  1. What do you buy in bulk?
  2. What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk?
  3. What was the most you ever spent on it?
  4. Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?)
  5. On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest?

Haha… couldn’t think of any other questions there ;) I’ll answer these first, and then it’s your turn.

  1. Stuff I buy in bulk: Clothes, diapers, fish tank filters, and stocks? Does that count? :) We really don’t buy much of anything in bulk now that I think about it…
  2. Favorite bulk purchases: Clothes! When I see something I like that’s also on sale, I’ll snatch them all up in one sitting knowing it’ll be a good 6 months+ ’till I go clothes shopping again – if that. So when I find something awesome I try and get as much as I can while the fire’s hot!
  3. Most I ever spent: Probably around the $500 mark when I was getting my first “real” job and found out I couldn’t wear baggy jeans and sneakers anymore ;) I believe I picked up a cheap suit in there too, along with a handful of collared shirts and polo-like short sleeves. Thankfully that was the most I ever had to dress up at one of my jobs – I’m not so good at stuff like that.
  4. Bulk buying tip: Hmmm… Kinda hard for me to answer since we really don’t buy that much in bulk right now, but I will say that there are certain days of the week where stores will add up new sales. Particularly with thrift stores :) So if you’re ever in the market to buy a ton of bulks or cds or even clothes for that matter, make sure to call your favorite shop and ask what the current deals are for the week. If you hit it right you can walk away with 50% off or even $5.00 a bag full! Pretty huge savings for just a tiny bit of planning.
  5. Seacrest Hot Meter: 11 on the scale! D’uh.

Alright, your turn :) Tell us all your bulking secrets and how awesome you are at it! It won’t take a lot to beat me at the moment, but as soon as we pop out more kids I’m sure we’ll be bulking it up with the best of them. So share and be sexy!

PS: Want to learn more about your fellow readers? Check out the past few 5 For Fridays we’ve done:

How Much Do You Spend on Your Hobbies?
Tattoo For You?
The High/Low Game!

[Photo by Caro Wallis]

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  1. My Financial Independence Journey April 5, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    I tend to avoid buying in bulk. I live alone in a small place, so I don’t really have the room to store bulk items and I’ve had a number of them go bad before I’m able to use them all up.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Ahhhh good point about storing stuff – hadn’t even thought about that!

    2. Elvin Peria April 6, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      Same here. Living in a household of two, we are not usually buying things on bulk except for clothes. We buy clothes two to four times a year in thrift shops so that we can really have huge discounts on bulk purchases.

  2. Moneysavingmomma April 5, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    We swore against ever getting a Costco membership because there were only two of us. Once we added a third, we still didn’t want one. But my in-laws added us to their account, so we figured we might as well use it. This is the only time I typically buy in bulk, unless I see a killer deal elsewhere

    1.What do you buy in bulk?
    Toilet paper, diapers (if we can find great deals, we buy two boxes at a time), wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes (we seem to always have guests that need them), dish soap (since baby came, we seem to be doing dishes ALL The time and always running out), trash bags (same reason as dish soap)
    2.What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk?
    I like to buy school supplies when they are really cheap. When I worked at the local supermarket in college, they used to sell supplies for really cheap once school supply frenzy season passed. I started by buying one pack of pencils just to have in case, but my manager would buy the store out. She said her friend is a teacher and most students parents couldnt afford basic school supplies. So once I heard, I asked a few teacher friends of mine and they had the same experience, so I started doing the same whenever I saw supplies on sale.
    3.What was the most you ever spent on it?
    $300+ at a costco trip, but I think that was when I first moved out of my parents house and they took me there to stock up.
    4.Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?)
    No secret tip or favorite store. I just keep my eyes peeled for deals.
    5.On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest?
    Eh….. 1

    1. Retire By 40 April 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      I don’t like Costco either. We don’t have the storage space for all that stuff. I guess the only things we buy in bulk are TP and diapers. One box is enough for us though.

      1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        I don’t even think there’s a Costco around us? Haven’t been to one in ages, though I’m sure that’ll change once kiddos start popping out more :)

  3. Jennifer April 5, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    1. We buy flour, sugar, dog food, tp, spinach, and yeast in bulk. I love baking and fly through ingredients. And if you juice or even cook with spinach you know it always takes more than you think it will!
    2. Probably dog food, so much easier to just buy one bag a month
    3. We spend $25 a month on dog food for two dogs, one 21 lb wire fix terrier, and one 72 lb lab-pit.
    4. One tip on bulk…use cloth diapers to avoid costly diaper purchases. For our growing lad, we just bought one 36 pack of size 2 disposables in case of new babysitters or short lasting diaper rashes. That should get us a few months for emergencies. Otherwise, we use cloth diapers…most of which were gifted to us so our initial investment was not too bad. We love them and no matter what you use, disposable or cloth, you still can’t avoid #2 so the gross factor doesn’t bother us. So our tip is don’t buy disposables.
    5. Seacrest is an 11 on a CUTE factor, but a 3 on sexy.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      haha nice… I’ll agree he’s more cute than sexy too ;)

  4. Slackerjo April 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Very unsexy answers
    I live in a 1 bedroom so there is little room for storing bulk items. I have a small space above my kitchen cupboards and a shelf in the bathroom. That’s pretty much it.
    1. Toilet paper. 6 months at a time. 1 year supply of dish soap, non spray cooking spray, hair dye and washer fluid.
    2. Not having to buy toilet paper for 6 months.
    3. Maybe $200.
    4. I do not buy food in bulk because (for me) I find it is just another of a billion temptations we face every day that encourage over eating. I just buy 2 weeks worth of groceries, cook 14 meals and freeze them. In my non scientific casual observations, I have noticed those who struggle with obesity seem to have a well stocked pantry. Too much tempation if you have a lot of food laying around. Let’s just add a few more ribs and an extra potato…

    5.Ryan Seacrest is okay. He’s no Ryan Gosling.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      6 months worth???? Wow that’s a lot of TP! Interesting observation about full pantries = overweightness too. You’re a smarty :)

  5. John S @ Frugal Rules April 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    We don’t buy a whole lot in bulk, but here we go:

    1. Diapers, Toilet Paper, Cat Food, Baby wipes, did I say diapers already?! ;)
    2. We don’t have a real favorite, just when we can save more money. We love to use Costco coupons to be able to buy more.
    3. I’d say in the $150-200 range…that’s a lot of diapers!
    4. No real tip or favorite store, we just watch for deals and keep an eye on the per unit cost
    5. Uh…can I go negative?!

  6. Jacob@CashCowCouple April 5, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    1) Household necessities or really cheap items that resell well.
    2) HDMI cables for real cheap.
    3) $200 on clothes.
    4) Don’t buy in bulk for most goods. Often bulk buying goes to waste or results in spending far too much. It’s much better to buy most necessities at the cheapest possible price as needed (like food).
    5) That little lovable man…

  7. IndianaAnna April 5, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I buy several things in bulk from both Sams Club and Amazon Subscribe & Save on a regular basis. I’ve also gotten bulk boneless chicken breasts from Zaycon, bulk laundry soap from a school fundraiser, big boxes of citrus fruit and peaches from H & S Citrus Direct, and local fruits from farms in our area. We are a family of four with two boys and two cats.

    1. Disposable nighttime bedwetting pants, toilet paper, cat litter, Keurig K-cups, fresh fruit, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent pods, shampoo, toothpaste, dried cherries, cinnamon chips, boneless chicken breasts.

    2. My two favorite things to buy in bulk are the k-cups (YUM coffee!) and fresh fruit. Whenever a fruit we like is in season and at a good price, I buy it in large quantities to eat, bake with, squeeze for juice, and make jam.

    3. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $200 at one time.

    4. I get the toilet paper, bedwetting pants, and dishwasher pods from Amazon Subscribe and Save. You can get a really good price if you watch for a deal and it is so nice just to have the stuff arrive at your house.

    5. Probably a 1?

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      I’m LOVING your name, IndianaAnna! That is hotness :)

  8. @pfinMario April 5, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    I’ll start with a definition. Buying in “bulk” means buying quantities larger than I could use in a month’s time to get some discount.

    I buy anything I can in bulk provided that:

    – I save a significant enough amount to make the storage costs worth it
    – It’s not “bad” for me (For example, even before I quit drinking to save money, I’d never buy alcohol in big quantities because it would tempt me to drink more… this acts like something of a self-instituted Pigovian tax)
    – I’m fairly certain I could use it all up before it goes bad, so it has a long shelf life
    – Irrespective of the prior requirement, I’ll use it up in a year

    The last requirement is because of the time value of money. Sure, there’s not much opportunity cost to folks who have lots of savings sitting around a half a percent, but any money that I have tied up in ten years worth of shoelaces is money I’m not sending to my 7.9% student loan debt.

    I have some things that I get a big enough discount for buying in bulk and try to get a few months’ worth, but when I see something go even cheaper than normal I’ll get as much as six months’ worth. On one single type of thing, I don’t believe I’ve ever spent more than $100. My tip is to buy in bulk online where you’ll find bigger bulk quantities offered and where shipping at that size is usually free; If someone else wants to lug a 5-gallon tub of mayonnaise around for me, I’ll let them.

    Just peeking over my shoulder, in practice, I do:

    – Cereal (I used to do milk before I started making it at home)
    – Tofu and lentils (I had previously frozen meat, but this is cheaper and lasts longer)
    – Canned vegetables as well as canned tomatoes and corn (Because fruit, grain)
    – Dish, hand, and bath soap
    – Floss and toothpaste
    – Paper towels and toilet paper

    Ryan Seacrest, while not lacking talent, seems to be that rare celebrity who’s famous for being handsome, so even as a straight male, I’d objectively have to say around a 9.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Wow you put a lot of thought into this, haha…. well done :) Sucky that your debt’s at 7.9%, but I imagine that’s fairly common for student loan debt?

  9. Jeremy @ My Financial Road April 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    My parents added me to the collegiate plan at Sam’s and my list of bulk items is as follow in order of importance to me:
    Gummie snacks
    Tortillas (we love taco night)
    Paper towels ( I HATE running out)
    Toilet Paper (ESPECIALLY THIS!)
    Raisin Bran Crunch
    Milk (I’m talking like 4 gallons a week for a 2 person household)
    Hand soap

    I think that about covers it all. There are some things that are good with the deal like the deodorant, I’m sure I’m barely paying less than normal but knowing I got a 5pk of it at once means I’m set for the year most likely so BOOYAH!

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      BOOYAH on the Gummies!!!

    2. Sandi April 8, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      I swear, this is my husbands list! I have to remind him that Costco has other things that we need too!

  10. Cecillia Barr April 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I’m a college student so any way I can save money I’m all for it! My roommates and I have a Costco membership so we tend to go there once or twice a month for the items we buy in bulk and then Publix or another grocery store for weekly groceries.

    1. What I buy in bulk: Ground beef (we’ll get about 6 pounds of it and split it up into 6 1-pound portions- into ziploc baggies and stored in the freezer to last longer), Chicken breast or chicken tenderloins (split up into sections already with easy tear pouches), toilet paper & paper towels (usually lasts us quite a while), water bottles, Kraft cheese, Hot Pockets & Velveeta (what college kid doesn’t love Hot Pockets and Velveeta?) and cereal (aka breakfast, lunch & dinner some days)
    2. Favorite “bulk” item: I might have to go with the Velveeta :-$ #1, it’s super quick and easy to make, #2, I like to get creative and mix tuna in it with some Sriracha, or even some ground beef for hamburger mac n cheese! and #3, it’s delicious.
    3. $$: The most I’ve paid for Velveeta in bulk? I want to say, maybe 20 or 30$. That’s 2 or 3 boxes and like 10-15 different meals! (Although I’m not sure how many days in a row I can eat it :-X )
    4. Tip: Don’t buy everything in bulk. I like to get groceries that I know we’ll need for more than just one meal and that can last if it sits in our pantry or refrigerator for more than a week. I usually buy my vegetables and fruits at your regular grocery store (sometimes I’ll buy oranges from Costco) because they tend to be more fresh and you can’t keep those items sitting around for long.
    5. I agree with Jennifer! Especially because he broke up with Julianne Hough– what was he thinking???

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      He broke up with Julianne Hough??? What a moron!! Last I saw him he was taking her out on some fancy pants Valentine’s trip! Jeez…

      Also – you were MUCH better than I in college – I hit up the dining hall for all my meals for the entire 4 years, I never learned to cook :(

  11. SB April 5, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    1. I buy toilet paper, deodorant, laundry detergent, Q-tips, Listerine, Floss, Lotion, and I’m looking to add a few more things to this list!
    2. Probably floss, as weird as it seems, I always hated that when I bought them one at a time I would always forget to pick up a new package when I was out.
    3. Not really sure about this one.
    4. I’m OBSESSED with Amazon’s subscribe and save. I’m trying to automate all of my boring purchases that I tend to forget about when I’m at the store. This way I don’t have to worry and they just show up at my doorstop. Some of the things I’m subscribed to are in bulk and some aren’t, but if you subscribe to 5 items to be delivered in the same month you save 15% off of already pretty low prices (if you don’t hit the 5 items, you still save 5% off ticket price). My trick is to have like 2-3 smaller purchases like shampoo along with more expensive bulk purchases like toilet paper or laundry detergent to get me to the 5 items every month.
    5. 0 – I think he’s kinda slimy.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      I need to do Amazon subscription for MY floss too! I order them in packs every handful of months, but I’d love for them to just show up on my doorstep too :) Not sure why I haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet? Maybe cuz I’m never sure when I’ll run out and don’t want crazy stockpiles?

  12. Kristen April 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    1 – I buy toilet paper, paper towels, fresh fruit in season straight from the orchard or berry farm (I <3 canning!), & beef from the farm a couple miles down the road.

    2 – my favorite, by far, is the fruit & of that, probably plums, peaches & apples. There's nothing quite like opening a jar of fruit in January that you know you canned a day or two after it was picked on a nearby mom & pop farm.

    3 – probably the 1/4 of a cow was the most expensive. I think it was $150 for 100 lbs. But an average of $1.50 per lb. for a wide variety of cuts (including T-bones & Ribeyes) of locally grown grass fed beef is an amazing deal!

    4 – the secret is to live & rural America and make sure you know lots of people so you can get the "friends & family" rate :) and then, of course, be sure to spread the wealth by sharing some of your treasures (like apple dumplings or homemade salsa fresh from the garden) with those who give you the good deals. :)

    5 – maybe a 4 on a good day. Sorry, Ryan.

    1. Kristen April 5, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      #4 – “live in” not “live &”

      1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        (I’m moving there ASAP!! :))

  13. Jacob Erickson April 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    1. We buy a lot of our processed/canned foods in bulk from Sam’s Club. This includes yogurt, applesauce, cereal, frozen foods, meat etc.

    2. My favorite item is the meat because it ends up being a pretty good deal when you buy 4-5 pounds at a time.

    3. We’ve spent upwards of $300 in one Sam’s Club trip, but normally it’s around $100-$150 mark for about a month’s worth of food.

    4. I don’t really have any secret tips besides Sam’s Club offers a premium membership which is normally pretty cheap and saves you money on the already awesome bulk prices.

    5. I’ll go with a 7.

  14. Melanie April 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    *Stuff I buy in bulk* TP, Dog Food, Laundry Soap, Toothpaste, Deoderant, Vitamins, Shampoo… I guess I could just say ‘most household and toiletries’… huh. That was easy. Oh, and vegetables. We buy vegetables in bulk at Costco but are looking into Farm Shares and the Market On the Move.

    *Favorite bulk purchases* Anything I get at Costco with a coupon. We pay attention to their flyers and plan accordingly… even if we don’t need it RIGHT away but it’s something that we know we’ll go through AND it’s an “easy money” week.

    *Most I ever spent* I’m mildly ashamed to admit that the first time I went to Costco, when my husband and I first got married (it was THE THING to do), we spent $200… on Oreos, Cheetos, and Ritz Crackers. Seriously, that’s all I remember in that haul. It was ridiculous!

    *Bulk buying tip* Pay attention to the sale ads, use coupons, and if you’re a Costco or Sam’s Club shopper, check out their “Clearance Rack”. They always have a corner tucked away with items they can’t sell at full price – display monitors, opened packages, a pack of 5 sets of socks for 50% off because it was supposed to be 6.

    And I guess I’ll third Jennifer’s rating… he needs to grow a few inches for my personal taste… both up and out. Wow… I feel really vulnerable right now.

    1. superbien April 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      “I’m mildly ashamed to admit that the first time I went to Costco, when my husband and I first got married (it was THE THING to do), we spent $200”

      Out of curiosity, was Costco the thing to do, or marriage? :) I’ll admit I’m kinda hoping for marriage because it tickles my funny bone. “Yeah we got married – I know, crazy, right? I don’t know, we were young and impetuous and it was what all the cool kids were doing, so we said what the heck, let’s get married… And then go to Costco.” :)

      1. Melanie April 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        Actually, that IS sort of what happened. Be tickeld! :) We were standing in line at T-Mobile and decided to leave to drive to Vegas (we live in Arizona). Got married the next day by the first Elvis impersonator we could find. Mind you, we were engaged and planning a wedding in a year, but he looked at me and said “Let’s get married tomorrow… we need something good to happen.” How could I resiste THAT? Just passed 8 years and two kids. :)

        For some reason, Costco seemed like the “grown up” thing to do… for Oreos.

        1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:11 PM

          HAHAHHAHAHHAA best comment of the day – You, young lady, are AWESOME. (And your husband too – you can tell him that)

  15. superbien April 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I have been longing for a Costco or Sams Club membership (after seeing the *deliciousness* of the stuff my siblings get, including awesome produce), but neither is nearby, only BJ’s (which is not up to snuff in my neck of the woods, plus the name is just really awkward).

    Then yesterday I went shopping at the local Indian grocery, and am thinking that may be a way better solution for groceries than bulk, minus things like toilet paper. A string of 5 garlic bulbs was $0.89 (Giant: $3.50), a big bunch of cilantro $0.89 (Giant: $1.50), a giant thing of ginger, maybe 4 oz for $0.99 (Giant: $6), organic canned tomatoes $1.50 (Giant: $2.30). It was pretty awesome. I had no idea that an ethnic grocery store could so solidly whop a grocery store on prices! Safeway would have been even more in comparison.

    Sorry, threadjack from bulk to ethnic grocery store? :)

    1. Melanie April 5, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      If you’re an Amazon Prime fan, I have a friend who only buys his toiletries and household items from Amazon… checks out deals, free shipping, lazyness-level achieved (in a completely non-judgemental way) plus bulk-bonus points! :)

    2. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Good to know! We haven’t hit up an ethnic-specific store in forever… The last time I did a lot of that was when I lived in Korea ;)

  16. Sarah Fowler April 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    1. Quite a bit! Toilet paper, paper towels, frozen fruit for smoothies, Greek yogurt, water bottles, olive oil, Dijon mustard, eggs, nuts, chicken, pork, ground beef, steak, some herbs and spices, some produce if we plan to eat it quickly enough (pineapple, potatoes, strawberries).

    2. Probably meat. It’s just a much better deal!

    3. In one trip I don’t think we’ve ever spent over $120 or so, and that’s rare; it’s usually more like $40-$50 a month.

    4. Costco! It’s amazing how much we save. They also have a great dairy section so we get a FANTASTIC price on high-quality aged cheddar, imported Parmesan, and goat cheese.

  17. stephanie April 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    @superbien, there are a gazillion or so ethnic stores where i live and YES! ABSO-FLIPPING-LUTELY they offer awesome deals. Especially once you get to know the people who own the shops…around here if you don’t show up for a week or 2, the next time you do go, they’re happy to see you’re still amongst the living. i’m so glad you found a shop that meets your needs (and i love the blogsteal-funny and sexy!)

    i’m a costco girlie for kittie’s food, pumpkin flax granola (gotta have at least 3lbs of it at work, along with a 1/2 gallon of milk), vanilla-flavored creamer for my coffee in the gallon size, amy’s organic lentil soup, and a couple dairy items. and salmon when it’s looking yummy-fresh, and chicken breast.

    i’ve spent $300 easily buying shoes in bulk. when they go on sale at Nordstrom or Macy’s, and i get 30% for buying in bulk 3pair or more =an additional 30% off), plus the prices are already cut 50-65%, i’m all over that! fab shoes at awesome prices.

    i’m not a ryan s fan, and i find him 0 sexy. and i won’t apologize! that being said, there are those who find him 10+++++, so i’m sure it all equals out in the end.

    love this blog jmoney. and – i haven’t had a chance to weigh in lately-way to go on the net worth increase! you are my hero! and i STILL think it was very brave to move that $20k plus…even though it was such a smart move i would have trembled even considering it!

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Thanks Steph! (I’m now calling you Steph, btw – hope that’s cool :)). I do my best to keep things entertaining here so I’m glad it’s working. Even though I’ll have to tell my boy Seacrest what you said the next time we hang out ;)

  18. Sandy April 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    It’s just the hubby and me so we don’t buy very much in bulk. Mostly just paper goods like TP and paper towels. We’ll do laundry detergent and other misc. household goods if we get some good coupons. We did get a chest freezer last year, so I guess we also tend to get lots of meat when it’s on sale.

  19. Donna Freedman April 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    1.What do you buy in bulk?
    When I joined households with my sweetie it meant access to his Costco membership (although he tends to do most of the shopping). Things we buy in bulk are mostly paper products, dried beans, flour and rice.

    2. What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk?
    Toilet paper — you never have to make that 11 p.m. trip to the store. Also: Flour, because with 50 pounds of it in the basement I feel we can outlast ice storms or the zombie apocalypse.

    3. What was the most you ever spent on it?
    I don’t know how much the flour costs because my sweetheart does most of the Costco runs. I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper than the supermarket.

    4. Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?)
    In Seattle I went to a restaurant supply store (no membership fee required). Amazing prices and you don’t always have to buy 50 pounds’ worth. For example, I bought a 5-pound bag of lentils for something like 28 cents a pound — they cook quickly, are full of protein and last forever (see “zombie apocalypse,” above).

    5. On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest?

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Don’t lie – you know you have posters of him in your bedroom!! :)

      (good to know about restaurant supply stores btw, never thought of that!)

  20. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter April 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    1.What do you buy in bulk? Meat, paper towels, toilet paper, and cereal mostly.
    2.What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk? Meat – I love steaks.
    3.What was the most you ever spent on it? $150 at once…we bought one of those huge boxes of frozen beef cuts off of a refrigerated truck.
    4.Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?) When you see the cut you like at an OMG price, buy lots and vacuum seal what you won’t eat in the next few days.
    5.On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest? 3…my 11 would be Matt Bomer.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Had to Google that guy – I’d second your 11 too ;) Now gonna go ask my wife what she thinks!

      1. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter April 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        I bet she drooled just a little. He’s a hottie. :-) Cool fact, he actually graduated from the high school down the street from where we live now. :-)

  21. Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce April 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I find it useful to be very realistic about what you’re going to USE in bulk after you buy it – no one wants to be saddled with a lot of stuff that they have to use when they don’t want to! (e.g. food stuffs)

  22. Jacob @ iHeartBudgets April 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    What do you buy in bulk? Clothes, toilet paper, PEANUT BUTTER!
    What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk? Toilet paper. Just like knowing we won’t run out for 6 months at a time
    What was the most you ever spent on it? Probably $40 at Costco
    Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?) Garage sales for kid’s clothes. My wife got 26 clothing items for $25, all name brands. That, and the Thrift Shop! HOLLA!
    On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest? 8-ish

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      I’m glad you’re secure in your manhood :)

  23. Another Sarah April 5, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I love/hate Costco! Love it in small cities without crowds, hate it everywhere else. The lines and crowds, my gosh, they kill me.

    What do I buy in bulk? Diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, pancake mix, 5 lb bags of pretzels, that sort of thing. I have 3 kids and we can easily go through 10 lbs of oranges and 8 pounds of apples in a week, so I will buy those there as well.

    My favorite thing to buy at Costco are those awesome Philippino dried mangoes.

    I have never busted $200 at Costco or Sams, and usually don’t go over $75.

    My bulk buying tip is more of an eating tip: eat all your soft produce (berries, bananas, etc) the first week. Follow with your hard produce (apples, carrots), and finally delve into the frozen/canned goods at the end of your shopping cycle.

    Also, divide and freeze when buying bulk. Many people freeze and thaw milk and bread with success, but be wary of buying large cans of food that will need to be stored once opened. I will buy a 96 ounce can of peaches and seal them in an airtight container in the fridge because I know my 3 kids will finish it off in a couple of days. But I won’t buy the same size can of baked beans, because we’d never ever finish them. So know your tastes and what you can realistically eat.

    Also. I’m currently in love with The Grocery Outlet, though you have to be wary of the expiration dates on food. I just moved out West and this is the first time I’ve seen them. Anyone else?

    Woo! That was a dissertation. Happy shopping everyone!

    1. Mel April 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      I tried the Grocery Outlet in Arizona once, but as you said, expiration dates. I found a few snacky type stuff, but otherwise, I think my mild-elitist attitude got the best of me.

      1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Never heard of but I’m liking the sound of it!

  24. Mike Carlson April 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    1. I usually buy toiletries and other hygiene stuffs in bulk. Not so much with food because hubby is so picky and wants fresh ones most of the time.
    2. Favorite thing to buy are chocolates and other sweet treats.
    3. I paid a few hundred dollars in one single meal in a restaurant. We really love to eat out.
    4. It is better to learn how to cook and cook meals at home instead
    5. He is one gorgeous man.

    1. J. Money April 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      That must have been one bad ass dinner!! And where you proposed to your wife!!! Haha…

  25. Shafi April 5, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    I buy big boxes of cereal and frozen food. You can keep them longer.

  26. Sharleen Davis April 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I buy everything in bulk, but that’s because I have to, I live in a remote area of Australia, I have just come back from a shopping trip, 20 hours round trip in a car where I brought $4000.00 worth of bulk purchases, I know that sounds like a lot but most stuff I got on sale so I think over the long run I save money. I attract a lot of attention when I go shopping because I usually buy out the store (for example I needed dog food so I found it cheap and brought every can the store had ($300.00) worth). But I don’t do impulse purchases, I keep an inventory so nothing goes out of date and I keep everything organised so I know what I have and what I need.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      woahhhhh 20 hours roundtrip???? that is wild! I wonder if you could hire someone to go out and do it for you if you needed to save time? :) very interesting situation indeed though – amazing how different some of our lives are… Thank goodness you have internet at your house all those hours away too so you can read blogs like this! haha…. love it.

  27. Jose April 6, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    We buy toilet paper, cereal and junk food in bulk. We have three young men in their late teens, early twenties who eat like ravenous animals!

    1. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      They’re all growing! :)

  28. Elena April 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    A lot of times food items you buy in bulk expire before you use them all up. I never buy clothes in bulk since I don’t want to own 5 shirts of the same color and style. The only people I would suggest buying stuff in bulk are families with many children or people living in remote areas.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I just pick up different colors of the same clothes I like and/or all other types of clothes too. Just usually in one big sitting or shopping trip vs spread out over the months :)

  29. Sarah April 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    We buy most things in bulk, even though there’s only two of us. Sure, you run the risk of letting perishables go to waste… but I actually think we do a pretty good job of planning meals around leftovers and freezing/canning whatever we won’t use right away.

    That said, we’re also very fortunate that Wegmans offers an extensive line of store-brand food items (in bulk) that almost always beat the member warehouse prices. We do have a BJ’s membership but I mostly use it for gas, cat food, and toiletries.

  30. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    oh man, I haven’t been to Wegmans forever – I hear that place is awesome! don’t have one around us at the moment, but maybe the next place we’re moving to will :)

  31. K April 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    I love this one! I am obsessed with Costco. I think that they are a great place to shop, they give their employees at least $17/hr plus benefits. And the CEO only gets $350,000 because he believes in putting money into Costco and the employees.

    What do you buy in bulk? everything! Toliet paper, paper towel, meat (cut and freeze them into smaller portions), cleaning supplies
    What’s your *favorite* thing you get in bulk? meat LOL
    What was the most you ever spent on it? $125 but that lasted us months!
    Tell us one secret or tip you use to get awesome deals (or maybe it’s a favorite store?) compare prices
    On a scale from 1-10, how sexy is Ryan Seacrest? 5.. he’s too short

    1. J. Money April 9, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Wow – $17/hr PLUS benefits is great! I had no idea… I know Home Depot is supposed to be pretty awesome with that too, but hadn’t heard Costco before – good for them :)

  32. Mary Anne @ BillGuard April 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    To answer your questions:

    1. Stuff I buy in bulk: Not too much, because storage is a problem. There’s limited space in my home, so loading up on too many bulk items creates clutter. That said, I’ll grab a few extra bottles of hummus or salsa if they’re on sale.

    2. Favorite bulk purchases: The ones that don’t take up too much space — like toothbrushes. :-)

    3. Most I ever spent: Hmmm, great question. I’m not sure. Maybe $100?

    4. Bulk buying tip: Okay, I realize that I keep talking about “space” again and again, but it really is an issue. I used to buy a lot more in bulk, but then I’d feel stressed out about my jam-packed freezer, the rolls of paper towels on my living room floor, etc. And bulk-buying should not be a source of stress! So I’d say my biggest tip is to be realistic about the amount of storage space in your home.

    5. Seacrest Hot Meter: Uhhh ….. what?

    1. J. Money April 9, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Space IS pretty important – it’s a good concern to raise :)

  33. Lori April 9, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    We have 6 in our family, and we resisted Costco for years, but there are some great deals there, and convenience, when you have a big group or you hate shopping often – and the price is right. I find that I get a better deal at the grocery store on toilet paper than I do at Costco, so I choose what to buy at each place (and believe me, 28 years later you don’t want your mother-in-law still bringing up the time you ran out of TP during one of her visits!). Working full-time makes it a challenge to shop (and plan – planning is what saves me money). I always thought I wouldn’t have time to pick and choose where I shopped or to buy in bulk, once I went back to work, but I found that because I’m working I really need to choose wisely. Now that I’m working I can find us needing something at the store every day if my husband and I don’t plan ahead. You can get so tired from the day at work that you don’t realize how much money you are spending with each “quick” stop. I say close your eyes to the scary box-store crowds or discount outlets (Amelia’s) but take a list and you can save some moola!

  34. J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Haha amen to that. Planning is def. key in both saving money AND stress! Just not that easy all the time unfortunately… glad you’ve been doing well with it since your job though – that’s great :)


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