Buying in bulk has its proven benefits. In the long-run, this is the best way to save money on necessary essentials.
Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- Con: Membership Fees
To shop at Costco, or any other bulk store like BJ’s, you do need to be a member. Every year, you must renew your membership and pay the fee. Membership fees can be raised, so you should be mindful of that initial out of pocket cost. To figure out if you are benefiting from the membership despite the annual fee, do some math. Before you have to renew your membership, figure out how many times you shopped there. Then, tally up your total savings. If you saved enough to at least break even, the membership is worth the fee.
2- Con: Storage Space
When you shop at Costco, you are quickly going to see that merchandise is not sold in single serve quantities. Everything is sold in big packs. This means that you need to ensure you have enough storage space available. Therefore, consider taking inventory before you head over to your nearest store. Next, figure out where you are going to store everything. If you have a pantry closet, outstanding. The garage is also another convenient storage spot. There are other ways to get creative without overdoing it like installing a new closet.
3- Con: Budget
As you explore the aisles of a bulk store, you are going to see merchandise that is not on your list. The temptation to buy outside of your budget and list is real. It is easy to get carried away. At that point, you need to decide if you can afford it. You also need to decide if you want to go over your budget. The most tempting section is what is known as the front and center aisles. This is where the seasonal items are usually displayed.
4- Pros: You Save and Get More
Bulk stores like Costco can sell merchandise at exclusive and discounted prices because they earn their profit off volume. The savings is great for large families and small businesses. You save because you buy more. The experts at coupons.com offer several tips on how to save money at Costco like:
Go for end of season sales
Become a label expert
Buy gift cards
Check your inbox
They found that “it’s wise to wait for end-of-season sales to find the best deals at Costco. Stores do offer Black Friday deals, but it’s even smarter to wait until after the holidays altogether. They typically make massive price cuts after January 1.”
Purchasing gift cards at a bulk store like Costco is also a smart move. The face value may say $100. For that $100 card, you may only pay $80. Shoppers can also take advantage of email offers. Simply ensure that you are signed up to receive them. Next, keep an eye out for those emails.
5- Pros: Fewer Shopping Trips
The ultimate convenience of shopping in bulk is fewer shopping trips. It may seem odd to purchase 100 rolls of toilet paper in one trip. In the long-run, though, those 100 rolls could last several months. If you only need to make shopping trips for fresh items, thereafter, that is pretty convenient. Less shopping trips means less wear and tear on your vehicle. Although you can also purchase gas at Costco, less trips means less gas purchases.
There are several pros and cons of buying in bulk. Most people will find that it is a convenient way to purchase every day essentials at a discount.