Will You Ever Use 20 Rolls Of Paper Towels? What To Buy And Not Buy In Bulk

Buying in bulk might seem like a great idea, if you have the time and storage needed to deal such large quantities. But with more retailers offering coupons, in-store promotions and customer loyalty programs is buying in bulk really a good deal? And what items are even good in bulk?

Parade recently listed the top five items to buy in bulk. While the author makes some good points, we just don’t agree on some.

First of all, meat. Buying meat in bulk can be a huge saver, although a bit gross. I always cringed when my mom would bring home a huge tube of ground chuck. She would spend close to an hour dismembering the package and scooping out portions to be frozen.

That’s an hour of time she will never get back. Sure she saved 30 cents a pound, but she lost three shelves in the freezer that could have been used to hold popsicles. Not to mention you pretty much have to invest in a food saver or you’re going to have freezer burn all over that raw meat.

Moving on to paper products.

A 20-roll package of paper towels seems like a fabulous deal when you figure each roll costs about 70 cents. But where are you going to put them in your tiny one bedroom apartment? Do you stuff them under the bed with your reams of bulk printer paper that was such a good deal two years ago? How about strategically placing them throughout the kitchen cabinets? The paper might not expire but it’s taking up a lot of your living space and you’ll eventually start giving them out to your friends as party gifts.

Now something like toilet paper, I can get behind buying that in bulk. It’s always in demand. However, Forbes says that’s just not a good deal in bulk. Why? Because grocery stores or your local CVS probably have a better deal than what you’re paying for the 30 pack at Costco.

So while bulk buying seems like a great idea, especially if you have the space and time to make sure your actually getting a good deal, sometimes it’s just not worth it. Oh and don’t even get us started on the fuzzy math some companies use to promote bulk items.

Here are the top 5 things to buy in bulk, as described by Parade: paper towels, meat, diapers, coffee and bottled water.

Here are a few things you shouldn’t buy in bulk: nuts, toilet paper, pop (or soda – whichever you prefer), brown rice, chips and cooking oil.

Do you have a favorite item to buy in bulk or an item you bought in bulk that was totally not worth it? Let us know at tips@consumerist.com. Be sure to use “BULK BUYING” in the subject line.

The 5 Best Items to Buy in Bulk [Parade]