Does anyone else feel like they need to gear up and get their “game face” on before heading to the grocery store? I used to shop at 3 different stores EVERY WEEK to get the best prices and deals on items on my grocery list. It was exhausting.
Now, my weekly shopping routine looks a little different.
I no longer take 4 hours driving around town to three different stores for my groceries. But I’ve still managed to keep my grocery bill under $75 each week for my husband and I. This includes all groceries, not just food.
First, I’ve become a little more flexible with the items I need each week on my list. If the store doesn’t have what I’m looking for, I’ll improvise instead of driving across town to another bargain grocery store. Second, I started buying items in bulk which saved me time AND money in the long run. Less things to buy each week = less time spent in the store shopping. And buying in bulk almost always reduces the cost of each item in the bundle.
So if you’re interested in saving time and money on your weekly grocery outing, keep reading.
15 Items You Should ALWAYS Buy in Bulk to Save Money
Paper Towels –
My husband and I go through paper towels almost a little too fast. I’m considering switching to all cloth towels in the kitchen for wiping up messes and messy hands, but then that translates into more loads of laundry. So we’ll see. I’m not 100% sold on using only cloth towels, and until I am I’ll continue buying my jumbo packs of paper towels.
Toilet Paper –
You gotta use it, there’s no way around that one. So why not buy it in bulk to save money? I shove as many rolls as I can in our bathroom cabinets and the rest go into the hall closet. Stock up when you see a great deal on not only the price but also how many rolls you get and how many square feet are in each roll. Obviously, you want more square feet for your buck and thick rather than thin is always a plus!
Two of my friends have access to professional beauty supply stores. When there’s a great deal on high quality shampoo in the massive jugs, I’ll have them buy them for me and pay them back. A gallon size jug of a high-end brand (Pureology, Redkin) conditioner and a shampoo last me a full year, and I have very long hair. I end up spending less on high quality shampoo and conditioner in one year than I would on drugstore brands.
I always buy batteries at Costco in the huge packs. We use batteries for all kinds of things and they are expensive. It definitely saves us money in the long run stocking up on a big package of batteries and using them throughout the year.
Kodiak Pancake Mix –
This one is not for everyone but if you love a good protein pancake to start your day like I do, then Costco is the place to get your Kodiak pancake mix. We buy the huge box of mix when it’s on sale and it comes with 3 large size bags in the box. At individual grocery stores, the box is tiiiiiny and still costs around $10. That’s how much we can get it on sale for at Costco for over triple the amount.
Kodiak Pancake Lovers Read This: if you DO use Kodiak protein pancake mix and are interested in delicious protein pancake recipes (I’m always switching up my pancake recipes and creating new flavors with the mix as my base), let me know in the comments below and I’ll share my recipes in a post! My favorite as of late is a pumpkin pie flavored protein pancake made from the pancake mix, egg whites, pure pumpkin, pumpkin pie seasoning, a dash of dark chocolate chips, and a few chopped walnuts to top. It’s delicious.
I love a good bowl of oatmeal topped with chopped nuts and fresh blueberries. I even add some protein powder and almond milk once in awhile to make it a higher protein breakfast if that’s what I’m in the mood for. Oats are cheap to begin with but they are even cheaper if you buy a huge bag of them from the bulk section. Because they are a staple in my house for breakfast and for healthy recipes I bake, it makes sense for me to buy them in bulk.
Pasta doesn’t go bad (at least it never has for me) so it’s a great staple to stock up on in bulk and save for many recipes to come.
Pasta Sauce –
Same as above. Anything that comes in a jar and has a long shelf life is a great idea to buy in bulk because it will cost you less per oz. than buying in smaller quantities. Plus, it’ll be one less thing you have to buy at the store weekly.
I like to buy bulk toothpaste when it goes on sale or I buy the packages of 5 boxes at Costco. I just recently bought Sensodyne toothpaste in bulk which is more expensive than other brands of toothpaste but I got it for a great deal! And I have very sensitive teeth because of a VERY stupid mistake I made in college once… Ask me about it in the comments below and I’ll share what happened 😉 So Sensodyne toothpaste it is now 🙂
Not only do I love saving money on toothbrushes, but I also love having extras on hand in case guests spend the night and forget their own. I also keep one in my purse because you never know when you’ll want to brush your teeth on the go 🙂
Canned Goods –
This one is a no brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning. Depending on how much pantry/storage space you have, STOCK UP when there is a fantastic deal on any type of canned goods that you know you’ll get good use out of. However, DON’T go buying canned goods just because it’s a great deal but you rarely use that food item as a staple in your house. Trust me, you’ll end up throwing half your supply out when you room out of storage room and still haven’t used all your cans you bought 6 years ago.
Frozen Items –
This one depends on the type of frozen items you’re buying. I’m notorious for buying frozen vegetables and then tossing them out 6 months later when they are pushed to the very back of my freezer and freezer burned to the point of no return. Nobody wants that for dinner…
If you know you’ll eat your veggies before they turn into ice crystals, go for the bulk bags of frozen veggies. I also like to buy meat in bulk and freeze it, as well as bread and frozen fruit.
I just recently discovered buying tampons in bulk and it has made me hate the fact that I have to spend my hard earned money on tampons just a smidge less. I like to buy my tampons in bulk at Costco but I’ve heard Amazon also has great deals on tampons in bulk. Shop around to find the best deal!
I’m an avid coffee drinker. I hate going a day without it, but I always make my coffee from home to save money. To save even more money on my morning (and afternoon) cup of joe, I buy coffee beans in bulk, freeze them, and take out only the amount I need for the week. Then I freshly grind the beans each morning.
Snack Food –
Grocery outlet is my go-to for snack food on a budget. I find my favorite healthy (er) brands their ALL. THE. TIME. for a fraction of the price that I would find them at normal grocery stores.
For example, I buy Pop Chips, healthy brands of popcorn, Food Should Taste Great multigrain tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, Sabra hummus, Justin’s almond butter snack packs, Lara bars, Quest bars, Almonds, Kashi bars,, and more for 50% off of more than they would cost at a normal grocery store. There’s nothing I love more than a great bargain.
So with that said, whenever I find one of my favorite snack foods for a major steal at Grocery Outlet, I stock up.
And There You Have it… 15 Items to ALWAYS Buy in Bulk To Save Money
If you have additional items you personally buy in bulk at the store that I didn’t mention above, feel free to share them in the comments below! I love getting new ideas of how to save money and where to shop the best deals. Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss out on more posts like this one to maximize your savings.
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Save Money with My Favorite FREE Apps and Resources:
Ibotta is my favorite cash back app that I use on my phone to earn cash back whenever I go shopping.
It includes my favorite stores, like Amazon, Target, Costco, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. All you have to do is add items from your recent shopping trip on the app, scan your receipt, and earn instant cash back!
Ebates is my favorite whenever I’m online shopping because I earn cash back from online purchases.
For example, if Ebates is offering 10% cash back for shopping at Target and my order total is $100, I’ll get $10 cash back. Amazing right?!
The easiest way to use Ebates is by downloading their cash back button (after you sign up for free with Ebates and earn your first $10 just for using my link.) Simply click the Ebates cash back button that will pop up on the store website, make your purchase, and Ebates will deposit your cash back into your Ebates account! It would be crazy NOT to use it and earn money back on all your online shopping.
MyPoints is my favorite way to earn Amazon gift cards and AMC movie theater gift cards in my spare time while watching a show or movie. MyPoints is an online rewards program that gives you points for taking surveys, reading e-mails, shopping, doing web searches, and more.
Once you earn a certain amount of points, you can redeem them for a gift card of your choice to over 75 merchants. They also offer free access to coupons to hundreds of different merchants daily.
I’ve already earned 3 $25 AMC gift cards and a $50 Amazon gift card just by using MyPoints while watching Netflix. Sign up and start earning free gift cards here.