As we said, it all comes down to what you're going to use -- and what you have room to store. That 16-roll pack of paper towels isn't a good deal if you don't have anywhere to put it. Pay a little more for a three-pack that'll actually fit in your pantry.
Frozen foods are another area where would-be bulk buyers can get more than they bargained for. You'll squander your savings pretty quickly on a gigantic bag of frozen chicken that won't fit in your freezer. Remember, a good deal isn't a truly good deal unless you actually use the things you buy.
- Bulk is Green. "Bulk Food Facts." (Nov. 7, 2011) http://www.bulkisgreen.org/bulk-food-facts_5070_ct.aspx
- Christiansen, Emma. "Which Foods to Buy in Bulk." The Kitchn. Oct. 2, 2008. (Nov. 7, 2011) http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/conscientious-cook/conscientious-cook-which-foods-to-buy-in-bulk-064937
- Grant, Kelli B. "The Best and Worst Warehouse Club Deals." Smart Money. Sept. 17, 2008. (Nov. 11, 2011) http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/family-money/warehouse-club-shopping-guide/
- Heller, Laura. "What Not to Buy in Bulk." Forbes. June 15, 2011. (Nov. 7, 2011) http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauraheller/2011/06/15/what-not-to-buy-in-bulk/
- Jacobs, Ashley. "10 Things You Should Always Buy in Bulk." U.S. News & World Report. June 20, 2011. (Nov. 7, 2011) http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2011/06/20/11-things-you-should-always-buy-in-bulk
- Mint. "Best Foods to Buy in Bulk." Aug. 24, 2011. (Nov. 7, 2011) http://www.mint.com/blog/saving/best-foods-to-buy-in-bulk-082011/
- Theriault, Mischa. "Bulk Buying 101." Wise Bread. Oct. 14, 2007. (Nov. 7, 2011) http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-101
Dollar stores — where most items cost just a buck — always seem to make money. HowStuffWorks finds out how they do it.