10 Things You Should Buy in Bulk

Office Supplies
The federal government has started purchasing its office supplies in bulk and estimates it could save $200 million a year. moodboard/Thinkstock

Even the United States federal government has taken advantage of bulk shopping to improve its bottom line. In the summer of 2010, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget announced a program to buy pens, paper and other office supplies in bulk for the entire U.S. government, instead of agency by agency. Then OMB Director Peter Orzag projected that buying the supplies in bulk could save $200 million on office supplies per year [source: Orzag].

Buying office supplies in bulk at warehouse clubs or stocking up at discount office supply chains like Staples, can result in some big savings. For example, a quick price comparison showed that standard Bic pens at Staples and Costco cost about 50 percent less per pen than comparable pens at regular department stores [source: Staples, Target]. Similarly, recordable CDs bought in bulk from Staples during a sale are often priced around a third of the price at other stores [source: Staples, Target]. Costco's CDs sell for about half of the list prices of its competitors [source: Costco].