Tagged: Buying in bulk

Saving a tree or two…?

After my February plastic trash challenge, I got inspired and started to look more closely at everything else I toss.

Now that I have some sort of control over my plastic trash, and gotten into a good routine of using the plastic recycle bag, I have found that most of my other trash is paper (advertising/junk mail) and food scraps.

Let’s talk about the junk mail. I tend to look through all the advertising from grocery stores, as I try to save a little when possible. I bulk up on some of my everyday products, when there is a good sale. All these adverts ends up in the paper recycle bin, so the paper is recycled, but I would have loved not contributing so much to paper waste.

I discussed this with a friend of mine that I do a bit of grocery shopping with, and we decided that, since I am the one who pays attention to when there are good deals to be had, he would be the one to put the “No junk” sticker on his mailbox. This way we can at least reduce one household of paper! And hopefully over time, I can figure out what advertising I “need” and see if I can find it online instead, to ultimate reduce two households!

But for now, the sticker is on his mailbox, there is one less household filled with paper junk and he think this is the best idea we (I’ve) have had since… ever!

I know it’s not much in the big picture of things, but a bit here, and a bit there… ads up eventually 😉

Buying in bulk – when is it a good idea!

Happy Valentines everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂

Remember I mentioned in “Buying necessities – how am I doing”, that I had bought some extras of items that was on sale. It made me think about, buying in bulk. And when does it make sense.

I think buying in bulk can be a good idea for certain items. It also can save some money during a year, if one goes about it right.

I believe there are a few rules one need to follow for this to make sense.

Free storage space
You need to have room for the item you are stocking up on. And I’m not talking about cramming stuff into the house, but a dedicated space, so that it don’t clutter up you space. We are on a declutter journey remember 🙂  I have a smallish house, so I have a specific place set aside.

Buy what you use
You should only buy items you actually use and need. None of this; well it’s cheap, I might need it sometime or I used to use this and I might start using it again. You should only buy items you use on a regular basis.

Pick your number
Don’t buy more than you can use within a certain time frame – pick your number of items or months for when it’s should be eaten up. As an example, I love Heinz baked beans, and they are really expensive in Norway, but sometimes they will sell for 1/3 of the regular price, and I jump on it. But I’ll never buy more than about 8-10 off them. The reason for this is that I don’t have a lot of space to store them, and I know if I buy to many I might not get them eaten before they expire.

Should save you money
Buying the items should save you some money. Either because they are on sale, or they are cheaper in bigger packs. If it cost the same as any other day, there is no reason to use precious space in your house, when you can buy it any time.

Long shelf time
It should be items that have a long shelf time so they will keep. Always check the dates on the items, don’t assume they have a long shelf life. Some items might not last as long as you think, an example of this is brown rice, certain spices, creams and make-up.

Now that we have got some “rules” out of the way.

What kind of items could this work for?

Dry goods  – bags of soups, sauces, flour, sugar, beans, rice…
Canned goods – tomatoes, peas, purée, tuna, corn, ham…
Goods in glass/plastic containers – jams, honey, oils…
Boxed goods – cereals, pastas..
Spices – NB! check dates, some spices have a surprisingly short shelf life
Sodas – check dates though, not all sodas will keep forever
Alcohol – for those of us that enjoys a glass of wine now and then 😉
Toiletries – toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, creams, make-up (NB! some beauty products have shorter shelf life, check!)
Toothbrush – huh? Did you know you should swap every 3 month? Most people wait until it falls apart…
“Tissues”  – toilet paper, paper towels, diaper, feminine items, Kleenex…
Vitamins – check dates, not all last as long as you would think
Detergents – for dishwasher/laundry, and other cleaning products
Office/school supplies – paper, pens, tape, glue, wrapping paper…

Fresh goods for freezing – In addition to long shelf life items, I would add fresh goods if you can freeze them. Make sure you don’t get more than you will eat in a short time, to avoid having to toss food, because it got to old.

Personally I stock up a few items in pretty much all the categories mentioned above. And I only stock up when they are on sale, mostly because I don’t have the space to buy the bigger “bulk” versions they have in the stores here (I just don’t have storage space for 98 toilet rolls 😉 and stuff)

I’m sure there are several more items and groups of items that you can think off, this was just a short list from me.

What do you stock up on? Please share you good ideas in comments below.