Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be Careful How You Bulk Up

Buying in bulk can be a great way to save $. However there are some things you should consider before "bulking up".

1. Brown Rice. Brown rice may be better for you to eat than white rice but it has a much shorter shelf life because it contains more oil. Tip: Store it in a refrigerator if you plan to keep it for long periods of time.

2. Candy. Bulk buying can easily turn into bulk eating so be careful. Consider this: "If I go to my local store and buy 2 candy bars for $1 a piece, I spend $2 and they will last a week. I buy a box of 24 candy bars for $12, they still will be gone in a week. Even though the unit price is less, I end up spending more." Not to mention eating more.

3. Paper Towels. Buying paper towels in bulk is a great idea - they are not perishable and cost less in bulk. So...? What's the big deal? Consider how much space you have in your home before buying large quantities of paper towels. They may be cheaper but do you really want them as end tables in the living room?

4. Toilet Paper. Yes, toilet paper is a necessity. According to one of my friends, they can be substituted for paper towels. Ew! Yuck! Again, toilet paper is non-perishable and cheaper in bulk but before you start cha-cha-chaing, consider space.

5. Nuts. Unless you are a squirrel... Nuts usually expire within one to two months due to their high fat content. If you do buy them in bulk remember that roasted nuts last longer than raw ones and shelled nuts last the longest. Light, heat and moisture affect the quality and have the tendency to absorb smells so store them in the fridge or the freezer (Unless your fridge and freezer also smell. In that case you may want to consider moving outside to live with the squirrels.)

6. Condiments. Unless you are throwing the barbeque of the century, avoid buying condiments in bulk. Condiments only last 6 months to a year and it takes much longer to go through that huge jar mayo, ketchup or mustard than you think.

7. Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements. If you don't mind drinking the same flavor protein shake for the rest of the year, they go ahead and buy that big bottle. Variety is the spice of life - remember that 3 months into the same old vanilla flavor. As for vitamins, make sure your body tolerates them before making a huge investment into them. Try out a smaller bottle for awhile and then take the plunge into those gummy vitamins.

8. Diapers. Believe me, they go fast! But consider where your child is in their growth before purchasing that 465 case of diapers. You may get to diaper #222 and your child has a growth spurt overnight leaving you with 243 size 2 diapers.

9. Bleach. Bleach has a shelf life of 6 months and according to The Scripps Research Institute "each year you keep the bleach around, it loses 20% of its effectiveness."

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