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Financial Experts Reveal the 10 Items That Are Truly Worth Buying in Bulk

Kells McPhillips

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I’ve been working my way through the same Costco-sized box of Q-tips since 2010. (True story!) The bulk-buying movement has saved many people a large chunk of their annual salary. But the experts at The Financial Gym—a budget-planning service in New York City—warn against buying every last staple in the largest quantity possible. We could all stand to be a little bit pickier about our Costco, Sam’s Club, and Amazon shopping lists.

“When deciding to buy in bulk, you should always compare apples to apples or unit cost to unit cost,” says Shannon McLay, CEO and founder of The Financial Gym. Every store includes the unit price of each item, but they won’t always be measured the same way. For example, one store may price per quart while another may price per pound. Thus, sigh, scoring a deal isn’t as straightforward as it seems. But with a little help from Google’s conversion tools, you can hack the system and save on your TP.

The second thing to consider, according to McLay, is whether or not your tribe will be able to eat bulk, perishable items before they expire. “Many families aren’t not going to go through perishable items quickly, and if you end up throwing things out, you didn’t save money buying in bulk. Also, you don’t want to waste money bulking up on items that will stay in your pantry until they collect dust. So typically non-perishables like diapers and paper products make sense,” she tells me.

So which ones are worth it? Here’s what the savvy minds at The Financial Gym have to say.

Experts name the top 10 items to buy in bulk to get the most bang for your buck

1. Household paper goods, like tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper
2. Diapers
3. Soap
4. Shampoo and conditioner
5. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
6. Trash bags
7. Dry pantry items.
8. Alcohol
9. Dog food
10. Gift cards

Here’s how to avoid overspending at the grocery store, and the 10 healthy cookbooks that will shake up your dinner menu this fall

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