Once my husband and I moved into our first home, we wanted to put together a grocery shopping plan that would be the most economical for us. We just paid for a wedding and furniture to fill our house, so we quickly shifted our priority to saving as much money as possible.
We considered memberships to warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, where you pay an annual rate to use the facility. But, we realized that route might not be the best for us. Right now, it’s just my husband and I, plus a cat. To really reap the benefits of a warehouse store we would need to use the perishable items in a more timely manner. The last thing we would want to do is have 40 pounds of produce and not use it all before it spoils.
Besides, the warehouse stores are further away than our military commissary, so in the long run, it wouldn’t be cost effective. We would pay for a membership to drive a little further and we would still need to shop at a grocery store for perishable items. We were looking for a streamlined one-stop shop approach.
That’s when we calculated that our military commissary is the best place for our grocery needs and that we would do our bulk buying at the commissary too.
If we purchase the largest size available in-store, that would last us a good amount of time. Also, we would actually be saving money in the long term. Who doesn’t like saving money?
We bought everything that we would need to start out all at once including all our toiletries, cleaning supplies (trash bags, all-purpose cleaner, etc.), spice selection, a week’s worth of food and more. That first bill cost us a couple hundred dollars. Since our first time huge purchase, the average weekly commissary bill is around $20. Yes, that’s right, just about $20 per a week.
As a result, we run out of different items at different times and we refill our supply when it’s needed. Everything is spread out and for the most part our commissary bill stays the same each time.
To me, that’s a pretty good deal. I’m sure there are even ways to bring the cost down and if you feel like splurging sometimes for a filet mignon instead of a sirloin steak that would affect the average too.
Bulk buying has always been a way to save money over time. Brands bundle more than one item of their products together for little savings here and there. Let’s say one bottle of contacts solution costs $8. The double pack may costs $13 If you are an avid contacts user and use 1 bottle a month over a year span you’ll save $18. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you have the habit of doing that with all your needed items you’ll see some awesome savings.
Here are 2 examples to show how bulk buying can save money over the long term based on actual figures from my military commissary.
Cats eat an average of 10 pounds of dry cat food per a month.
$3.99 for a 3.15 lb. bag = $1.27 per lb. and $152.40/year
$11.99 for a 15 lb. bag = $0.80 per lb. and $96.00/year
$56.40 in savings a year for cat food.
In my house, we use on average 32 regular rolls of toilet paper per a month.
$12.99 for 64 regular rolls = $0.20 and $76.80/year
$2.92 for 8 regular rolls = $0.37 and $142.08/year
$65.28 in savings a year for toilet paper.
And of course, the savings continue for every other item you bulk buy! Plus you never pay an annual membership fee to shop at the commissary.