Buying in bulk is a great way to save money and keep your finances in check, but it can be difficult to determine when it’s appropriate to buy in bulk. Company’s often trick you into thinking that you are getting a better deal when you buy their product in bulk.

The first thing to do when deciding if it’s more appropriate to buy in bulk is the figure out if the product in bulk is a better deal than the same product that is sold in a smaller quantity. To do this, use the “Best Deal” formula. This formula compares price per ounce or unit price between the two products. The product that has the lowest price per ounce or price per unit is the best deal.

If the price per ounce or unit isn’t listed, take the total price of the item and divide it by the quantity of the item. The result will give you the price per ounce or price per unit. To find the quantity of the item, look on the package.

Once you’ve determined which product is the better deal, you should then think about the shelf-life of the product. It doesn’t make sense to buy an item in bulk if it has a short shelf-life. Items with shorter shelf-lives usually go bad faster, wasting your money. You want to give yourself a chance to use the product you purchased in bulk. The most appropriate things to buy in bulk are non-perishable items such as tampons and toilet paper, items you can freeze, canned foods, and packaged foods such as rice.

Other examples of foods that have long shelf lives are: medicines and vitamins, soaps and toiletries, bread,cheese, chicken stock, olive oil, lunch meat, yogurt, pesto in a jar, pork roast, chicken, spices, napkins, plastic bags, frozen fruit, frozen pizza, pickles, canned chicken, canned salmon, garbage bags, soda, bottled water, pasta, sauces in a jar, butter, shortening, and many more. Make sure to use your imagination and get creative when buying in bulk. Also remember not to sacrifice quality just to get the better deal. It’s a waste of money to buy something if you have to replace it later, or don’t enjoy it.

Foods that are not appropriate to buy in bulk are foods that go bad fast and those that are too expensive in bulk, such as certain cuts of meat like New York Strip Steak. Examples of foods with short shelf-lives are: eggs, milk, vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs, cakes, pies, and cookies. If you can’t use up a product before it goes bad, it’s probably not an appropriate item to buy in bulk.

Buying one of something when you only need one does save you money too, and saves space in your cupboards. When you buy in bulk, you also need to be aware of the storage space that’s available in your home.

As long as you stick to these simple rules, buying in bulk can be very rewarding experience.