However, one problem that may prevent you from going the bulk route is storage – if you can’t use that much of something in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll need to find a way to safely store it. Otherwise, you end up wasting it and defeating the purpose of shopping in bulk. There’s nothing more aggravating than throwing away food. You just threw away the money you saved.
Another possible problem with bulk shopping is membership fees. How can you be sure you’re going to offset the cost of the fees with the savings? Especially if you are new to bulk shopping. You don’t know how much you will use the membership yet. Then there’s the time – do you have time to go to one of these huge bulk stores and then repackage things?
Whether you have some of these problems facing you or not, there are ways to take advantage of bulk shopping by sharing the list and splitting the cost.
<strong>1. Share Membership Fees</strong>
If you have a group of friends or coworkers who are interested, you can split the bulk warehouse membership fees. Depending on the warehouse rules, this may mean that only one person officially has a membership, and only that person can do the shopping; but others pitch in to cover the fees and then give their shopping lists to the official member.
It may also mean that you can get a group rate and everyone has a membership; it just depends on the warehouse rules. In addition, if your office does not offer a group rate, see if your human resources manager would consider it.
If you are not sure if you will use a membership, find a friend and tag along on one of their trips. You can have them purchase items for you and test out how well it will work for you.
<strong>2. Share the Shopping List</strong>
Only one or two people need to do the shopping for the group. To make things fair and offset the costs of fuel and car mileage, the “shopper” should be allowed to pay a smaller portion of the membership fee. Or you can rotate shoppers. Once a month (or however often you need to make a bulk shopping run), all the members get together and make a master shopping list. Then they all pay the shopper for their goods, either before or after the trip to the store.
<strong>3. Share the Items</strong>
Splitting large quantities is another great way to save money, whether you’re a member of a warehouse or just know someone who is. You simply pay for your portion, and it’s likely to be a lot less money. This also solves the storage problem – you can get the bulk rate without having to be responsible for storing all the merchandise.
With a little creative thought and a frugal approach, you and your friends can save a great deal by buying in bulk and splitting the cost.