Quiz: Buy in Bulk or Not?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The idea of walking into a warehouse club store and making away like a bandit with pallets of great merchandise at bargain basement prices is tempting for anyone looking to shop frugally. But what types of products give you the most value, and which are better left sitting on the warehouse floor?

Buy it in bulk or not: condoms

Larger packages are much more affordable per-condom than buying them two or three at a time. You can find deals everywhere from warehouse clubs to Web sites like Amazon.com.

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Buy it in bulk or not: white rice

White rice can last up to a year if you keep it in a sealed container in your pantry, and prices for bulk quantities are comparatively very low.

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Buy it in bulk or not: brown rice

While the germ layer still attached to brown rice makes it a more healthy option, you don't want to purchase too much at a time. The germ, which is high in oil, makes brown rice go rancid twice as quickly as its white alter ego.

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Buy it in bulk or not: dried beans

Dried beans last about a year, and they can cost as much as 32 percent less when you buy them in large packages or from the bulk food bins at health food stores.

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Buy it in bulk or not: bread

Even if it's the kind that is full of preservatives, bread doesn't last long enough to make bulk purchases worthwhile.

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Buy it in bulk or not: toilet paper

Supermarket sales and warehouse club deals can save you as much as 50 percent compared to suggested retail prices. Just make sure you have somewhere you can stock your six month supply of TP.

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Buy it in bulk or not: bleach

Food isn't the only thing with a limited shelf life. Bleach will start to lose its cleaning power after about six months. So stick with the regular-sized container.

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Buy it in bulk or not: vitamins

Do a little math to make sure that you have enough time to use all of your bulk vitamins before the typical four year expiration date is up, and you can save money on super-sized supplements.

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Buy it in bulk or not: cereal

Whether you go for the giant-sized boxes at the warehouse clubs, or stock up on normal sizes when the supermarket has a sale, buying bulk cereal at a discount can add up to great savings.

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Buy it in bulk or not: candy

You can usually find plenty of good deals on candy and other high fat snack foods at warehouse clubs. But experts say that having those extra treats on hand will only encourage overeating.

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Buy it in bulk or not: nuts

The high fat content of nuts means that they will go rancid surprisingly quickly, in about four months if you buy them without shells, and six months if they still have shells. So you should only buy as many as you can eat in the short-term.

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Buy it in bulk or not: alcohol

On top of attractive deals for name-brand beer, wine and liquor, stores in many states are forbidden by law from restricting alcohol sales to members only. So you can take advantage of the deals at the big warehouse chains without shelling out for the membership fee.

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Buy it in bulk or not: dried pasta

Dried pasta is a perfect pantry filler, because it lasts up to two years from the time you buy it. Plus, the already cheap product is even cheaper if you buy it in bulk quantities.

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Buy it in bulk or not: pens

Even the federal government has saved money by buying office supplies like pens and paper in bulk. Both warehouse clubs and office supply stores like Staples can offer big savings on large quantities.

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Buy it in bulk or not: recordable CDs

Larger spools of 100 discs are usually sold at deep discounts compared to smaller sizes. Warehouse clubs offer good everyday prices, and sales at office supply stores often have even more impressive deals.

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Buy it in bulk or not: toothbrushes

Dentists say you should switch out your toothbrush every three months. So why not save money on bulk prices of about $2 per brush in the process of keeping up your oral hygiene?

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Buy it in bulk or not: black pepper

As long as you buy whole peppercorns, you can keep large amounts in your pantry for up to three years. But ground pepper only lasts about six months, so plan on grinding your own if you want to stock up.

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Buy it in bulk or not: spices

Ground spices start to lose their potency six months from the time of purchase. Even if you cook large quantities of food, you probably won't use more than what comes in the smaller packages.

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Buy it in bulk or not: cooking oil

Once you open it, a container of cooking oil will only last one to three months. So, unless you plan to fry up huge quantities of food in the near future, buy oil in moderation.

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Buy it in bulk or not: diapers

Babies go through diapers so quickly that, unless you go way overboard, you will probably be able to use up a bulk supply purchased at a discount. Just wait until the little one has just moved onto a new size to stock up, so you don't end up with leftovers.

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