Tips for Budgeting – The Bulk Buy Approach

Food shopping is something most of us do at least once a week and if you’re anything like me, you have your staple items that you consume on a daily basis. Now this one is mainly applicable to items that have a shelf life of at least a month (because it would be crazy to bulk buy perishibles like yogurt to horde in advance). For this to work, you simly track down the items you go through in large amounts. For me personally, I like to drink almond milk but at $2.70 for a 1L carton, that adds up pretty quickly. I go through about two of these a week, so over the course of any given month I’m drinking about 8 litres. 8 x $2.70 is $21.60 which over the course of a year, adds up quite quickely.

Now I’ve seen this product drop to literally half price and it does so on average, once a month for about a week. Should I do my weekly shop as per usual and I bought my 2 x 1L carton, I’d save $2.70 for that month assuming the special occurs during one of those weeks. Alternatively, if I purchased all 8 cartons in one trip while on special, I’d save $10.80 for that month lowering the amount I spend on almond milk for that month by 43%. If I were to repeat this every month for a year, that’s almost $130 that I save just by timing when I buy the foods I eat every day.

Buying 2 x 1L Almond Milk Cartons a weekBuying 8 x 1L Almond Milk Cartons on Special
Special Week: 2 x $1.35 = $2.70Special Week: 8 x $1.35 = $10.80
Week 2: 2 x $2.70 = $5.40Week 2: = $0
Week 3: 2 x $2.70 = $5.40Week 3 = $0
Week 4: 2 x $2.70 = $5.40Week 4 = $0
4 Week Total = $18.904 Week Total = $10.80
Monthly Amount Paid Based on Normal Price: 87.5%Monthly Amount Paid Based on Normal Price: 50%
Monthly Discount: 12.5%Monthly Discount: 50%

You can apply this to a plethora of items; your coffee, cleaning products, tissues, toilet paper, toothbrushes, tuna, muesli bars, cereal etc., and in doing so, you can save hundreds if not thousands a year just by timing your purchases. This isn’t to encourage you buying things you don’t need because you see them discounted, but if it’s an item you go through routinely and you have the money to bulk buy at the time, you can save a lot in the long run by using this approach.

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