I was reading The Millionaire Mind, where the author discusses about the many habits and the mindset of the rich (i.e. Millionaires). One of the many habits that struck me was buying things in bulk. I remember Mark Cuban saying something along the same lines in one news video when asked about how to counter the inflation, and how to invest if you don’t really have big savings. This is a simple yet most underrated idea. Remember, most powerful ideas do not have to be complex. They’re simple and when practised over a period of time returns you with exponential gains.
Personal finance when practised on household items can not only save you a lot of money for those items, but can also save a lot of time and dollars spent towards gas (or cab) as you do not have to make frequent grocery or convenience store runs. Monies spent on our day to day items and as such the household items is the most underrated topic. People talk about high savings, high income levels, additional revenue sources, but often forget the spending on our household items. It is something that anyone and everyone can pay more attention to, and find ways to spend efficiently.
As someone who likes structure and discipline, I became more interested in knowing what exactly can you buy in bulk, and if there are any rules. After thinking this through, following are my guidelines before you buy items on bulk:
- Only buy items that you currently use. There is no point in buying something simply because it is on sale, if you aren’t going to be using it in future.
- While buying items in bulk, pay close attention to cost per item in terms of the grams/kilo grams or millilitres/Liters. This cost per item would essentially tell you the discounted price that you are buying it at. If you want to take it a step further, you can use coupons, or discount receipts on a purchase within a given date, etc.
- Unless you’re buying it for a specific event, avoid buying perishable food items as they are likely to turn bad before you get around consuming them.
- Try not to overdo it. Having a budget is essential but when making a bulk purchase you should have a realistic expectation of how long would it take for you to consume a certain item. This becomes an important factor as having too many items would not only use storage place but there is a chance you might end up not using the item at all, as out of sight is simply out of mind.
- Where to shop: In Canada, Costco, Wholesale Club, and Bulk Barn (for drier foods) offer good-discounted prices. Keep an eye out on Walmart, and other big stores when there is a storewide sale.
- When to buy: Special occasions – Canada Day, Christmas holidays, and Thanksgiving are few days that offer a good sale.
- Now, the following are some of the items that can be bought in bulk:
- Toilet items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, garbage bags, soap, shampoo
- Kitchen items: Garbage Bags, dish soap, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, paper plates and bowls
- Drugs: Advil, Tylenol, Multivitamins
- Stationary items like paper, pens, highlighters, pencils, etc.
- Batteries (although you can get around this one by buying rechargeable batteries).
- Light bulbs
- Laundry detergent
- Diapers (if you have kids)
Overall, if you haven’t read The Millionaire Mind, I would strongly suggest you to buy it. It not only explains the mindset that the rich have, but also how they reach certain decisions in their day to day lives. I find any aspect that touches the financial element is covered in this book. For those, that think being rich is a virtue that is passed down from one generation to the other, would find a strong argument contesting against their claim.
If you are interested in reading about other such financial books, please click here.