31 Common Household Items You Should Buy in Bulk and Save MoneySaving Money
We may receive a commission if you sign up or purchase through links on this page. Here's more information.
One of the most important steps to frugal living is to buy in bulk and save money.
Buying in bulk can help you make more impactful purchasing decisions and keep more of your money in your bank account.
As you learn to shop more conscientiously and save money, you’ll find that buying in bulk is both rewarding and fun.
Not to mention you won’t always worry that you’ll run out of something.
Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common household items you can and should buy in bulk and save money.
Table of Contents
What Do You Need to Get Started?
You don’t need a giant space for your hoard. You also don’t need a binder full of coupons.
But, you can build rewards or get extra cash back from apps like Shopkick (use promo code MDR for a $5 bonus).
With Shopkick (use promo code MDR for a $5 bonus), you can get points for buying online and in store, but also for simply walking into stores or scanning items.
To find out more about how Shopkick (use promo code MDR for a $5 bonus) works and how much you can earn with it, check out our Shopkick review (use promo code MDR for a $5 bonus).
Start Slow and Use the Space at Your Disposal
You can start building up your bulk-purchased items with what little pantry, closet, or under the bed space that you have right now.
The beauty of buying in bulk is that you can slowly build up everything you need on a regular basis without causing too much disruption to your regular household shopping.
If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck like most of America, you might have trouble paying for one big bulk shopping trip.
Eventually, bulk shopping may replace your multiple shopping trips that you would spread out over two or three paychecks.
Be careful when you start out because you can spend hundreds of dollars in one Costco shopping trip. Remember that there are things you should and should not buy in bulk.
Start a Rotation
When you buy in bulk and save money, you need to start by making frugal shopping decisions. Also, you should only purchase what you need at the time.
When you are buying what you need right now in bulk, you’ll slowly build up a stockpile of common household items.
If you don’t trust yourself to overcome impulses while shopping, you should consider the option to buy in bulk online, as it is typically cheaper.
There are many buy in bulk websites that offer great deals and cheap shipping.
Make a Shopping List for Bulk Buying
Buy in bulk and save with a hyper-focused shopping list.
When you start your shopping list, you should consider what you can get away without purchasing for a week or two as you begin to build up your bulk shopping habits.
When making your shopping list, you should focus on the things that you worry about running out of all the time.
If you’re picking up the shampoo bottle and weighing out how many washes are left, or trying to figure out how many more tiny dots you can get out of your toothpaste roll, it’s time to buy in bulk.
Bulk shopping online might be the way for you to start as you can find a wider range of offers and save more money, all from comfort of your home.
Concerned about Buying in Bulk?
Everyone has some concerns about bulk buying wholesale items. The big concern that people have is that they’ll want something different later.
In the long run, the savings and new frugal habits you’ll develop will pay off and have a much better feeling than some variety in your toothpaste!
Another common concern is that people believe that buying in bulk is a hoax.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Does buying in bulk save money?” Well, you’re not alone.
Many people actively argue that wholesale stores such as Costco are roping in customers to pay more than they would normally.
But, when you break down the raw facts of it, you’ll never get close to wholesale prices unless you’re buying in bulk.
The system works if you are smart about how you manage your purchases and time.
Toiletries to Buy in Bulk
Toiletries are one of the best items to buy in bulk. These items don’t have expiration dates and can easily fit into a closet, cupboard, or even slide under the bed.
The thing to keep in mind with toiletries is that you will always end up using these items. Be sure that even though you’re buying in bulk, you can buy what you want.
People generally associate the idea of saving money with having to give up everything you enjoy.
That’s just a myth! You can still choose the whitening toothpaste or the good razors.
Buying the items that you already prefer in bulk will still save you money.
Toothpaste is something that everyone should use twice a day. With a bit of semi-complicated math, a tube of toothpaste should last one person just about 4 months.
That means that you only need 3 tubes of toothpaste a year. For one person. If you have another person or multiple people in your home, that number drastically drops, and that’s how there is always a toothpaste tube on the brink of going empty next to the sink.
The fact is that you can never have too much toothpaste because you’re going to use it eventually.
Just like toothpaste, you should replace your toothbrush every three months.
Now, it’s easy to calculate how many toothbrushes you and your family will go through in a year.
But buying toothbrushes in bulk is useful for other things as well.
Many lifehackers use toothbrushes for cleaning, hair styling, and of course, daily hygiene. Having a few extra toothbrushes in your bathroom drawer can also come in handy when you have an unprepared or unexpected guest.
Outside of “No-Shave-November,” you probably use a razor a few times a week. Razors are something you must replace regularly.
An overused, rusty or dirty razor can lead to disastrous infections and destroy your skin.
Instead, buy razors in bulk because as long as they are in a cool, dry place, they are good. Additionally, razors are one of the things that people often let fall by the wayside when they’re short on cash.
Living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t mean that you can’t feel good too.
But all it takes is one bad month for you to be behind when it comes to shaving. Instead, buy in bulk and save yourself the hassle.
4. Toilet Paper
Everyone uses toilet paper. At the top of the cheap things to buy in bulk list, toilet paper is indisputably a great deal.
When you break it down by the roll, you can pay as much as $1.31, while in bulk that price quickly drops down to $0.43 per roll.
The thing to watch out for with bulk toilet paper is that not every “bulk order” is a deal.
Too often companies will take advantage of people trying to shop smarter and increase the price of some brands packaged in bulk.
5. Women’s Hygiene Products
Okay, maybe this doesn’t apply to everyone, but everyone knows someone who could benefit from buying women’s hygiene products in bulk.
Pads, tampons, and panty liners are all single-use items.
There’s no hope for staying ahead of your needs unless you buy in bulk because you’re probably rushing out to buy these once every month or two.
Stop worrying about whether you’re prepared or not, and keep a hefty haul under your bathroom sink.
These small items are easy to spread out too so that they’re not taking up so much space.
Throw a few in your purse, and some in the glove compartment in your car. With secret stashes everywhere, you’ll always have what you need on hand.
6. Soap and Body Wash
Soap is vital for basic hygiene, and it doesn’t matter whether you prefer bar soap or body wash because both are available in bulk.
7. Shampoo and Conditioner
Is there anything worse than grabbing the shampoo bottle only to realize that it’s empty? No, there isn’t.
Don’t let your shampoo and conditioner ever run low. Purchase bigger bottles or your favorite brand in bulk.
When you’re ready to start buying in bulk to save money, you should start with deodorant.
It’s one of the best items you can buy in bulk because most people don’t ever buy deodorant until their stick or spray is almost empty.
9. Bath Sponges and Puffs
Bath sponges or puffs aren’t necessary, and not everyone uses them.
Usually, people don’t use them because they’re 2 or 3 dollars a piece and after a few weeks, they start to smell gross.
You can afford bath sponges though if they’re less than a dollar a piece. If you buy them in bulk, you’ll always have a replacement handy.
Cleaning Supplies to Buy in Bulk Online Cheap
From general cleaning supplies like sponges, or specific purchases such as dish soap, these items don’t expire and are always good to have around.
When you are looking to start bulk shopping online, you can save some money by getting all of your cleaning supplies in bulk.
10. Laundry Detergent
The odds are in your favor for being able to find a detergent and scent that you like in a bulk sales unit.
11. Dish Soap
Dawn, Cascade, and a ton of knock-off brands offer dish soap in 56-oz or even gallon-sized jugs.
Take advantage because usually, these high-quality brands offer their bulk sizes at only a few dollars more than what you would pay for a “household size” unit.
12. Trash Bags
How often do you take your kitchen trash out?
Buying one bulk box of trash bags will likely last you through the rest of the year or for at least the next 6 to 8 months.
There is nothing worse than realizing you’re out of trash bags!
13. Baby Wipes
Yes, it’s a baby product, and if you don’t have a baby, you might be wondering what this item is doing on the cleaning supplies list.
There are many uses for baby wipes, including cleaning.
Baby wipes are cheaper than surface wipes, and they work better. Typically, they stay moist for a long time and come in easy to stack packages.
Go for baby wipes as your new cheap surface wipe and purchase them in bulk!
Vinegar is the age-old cure-all for any mess. It drives out odors, clears up hard water spots and can even decalcify a kettle.
The versatility of vinegar makes it a useful part of your cleaning arsenal, and it can eliminate the need for many other brand names (AKA expensive) cleaners that you keep around the house.
Not to mention that unlike many “natural” cleaners that are only good for six months, vinegar has an indefinite shelf life so it’s an ideal candidate for a bulk purchase.
15. Sponges or Similar Cleaning Supplies
We’ve mentioned the huge items already, but if you genuinely commit to living a more money-conscious lifestyle, you’ll want to take this a step further.
General cleaning supplies vary from person to person based on preferences. You may use scouring pads instead of sponges.
The thing is you can find these items in bulk with a little bit of searching.
General cleaning supplies are great items for bulk shopping online because you’re not limited to choosing between the options available at the store.
You can choose any sponges you prefer to use and then bulk up for a year!
Groceries and Food Storage Supplies
People might seem a little crazy when they’re walking out of a wholesale food warehouse with 6 heads of lettuce and enough muffins to feed an army for months at a time.
There are a few food items that you can buy in bulk even if you live alone without worrying about waste.
Buy in bulk while still staying caffeinated year round. Buying coffee in bulk is easy because you can freeze ground coffee and coffee beans to preserve their freshness.
Buy in bulk websites are a great place to scope out the good deals on great tasting coffee, so you don’t have to compromise on roast or flavor.
As long as you’re cooking with milk or baking, you can use frozen milk without it affecting the taste of your food. Drinking frozen milk does taste a little different though.
You can freeze milk in gallon bags so that they lay flat on top of each other in the freezer and take up less space!
Cheese is expensive. But when you buy cheese in bulk, the price drops substantially.
You can freeze cheese for months! Invest in the good Ziploc bags to prevent freezer burn.
19. Olive Oil
Olive oil is generally better for you than canola or vegetable oil, but so many people go for the cheap stuff at the grocery store.
Olive oil does have a shelf life, typically lasting from 18 to 24 months once you open the bottle.
20. Aluminum Foil
Extend the life of your bakeware, improve the quality of your frozen items, and use it for leftovers too. Aluminum foil has a variety of uses.
Buy in bulk websites are a great place to find outstanding deals on aluminum foil.
Use it to wrap your bulk items such as cheese before putting them in the freezer to help deter freezer burn.
21. Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags have come up a few different times on our list here, and it’s because they are so useful.
The idea of buying in bulk is to not only have more of the items that you use all the time but to also utilize these items in place of other, more expensive or space consuming, items to clear up your house and your mind.
Ziploc bags are great for freezing items, organizing small items, keeping draws uncluttered and for packing up snacks.
Buy Ziploc bags because the high-quality material is worth the extra fractions of a penny per bag!
22. Baking Products: Baking Soda, Flour and Sugar
For something that is cheap, useful, and that will improve your day-to-day life, buy bulk baking products.
Baking soda, flour, and sugar can significantly impact your grocery bill as you bake or cook more at home.
These ingredients are almost always cheap, but grocery stores love to hike up the price because they know most customers only use a cup or two a month.
Buy in bulk websites make it easy to stock up on these pantry staples for cheap!
23. Pet Food
Your pet needs to eat too, and when it comes to groceries for our furry friends, we usually apologize and toss them some leftovers when we realize that we’ve let their kibble run empty again.
Buy pet food in bulk because they will definitely use it, and it’s better for them to have one brand and one flavor rather than a changing diet.
Giving in Bulk
The season for giving may only come once a year, but you probably have anniversaries, birthdays, retirement celebrations, and other parties all year long.
Take advantage of buying these two items in bulk to take on any celebration:
24. Gift Cards
Things you can buy in bulk go way beyond toilet paper or even dog food.
Although you won’t save too much when it comes to buying gift cards in bulk directly from the merchant, it can save you time and gas money.
Additionally, you can use reputable gift card exchange websites to get many gift cards at once at a discount!
During and just after the Christmas season are the best times to get bulk wrapping paper and tape.
Whenever you buy items in bulk that may have a print or “theme” to them, opt for solid colors.
Believe it or not, but a fun bright green or simple white wrapping paper will fit most occasions.
Things you can buy in bulk can include tape, tissue paper, and even ribbon!
Things You’ll Always Need
You know the odds and ends around the house that you only think about when you need it at that very moment?
These are the things that you should buy in bulk anyway because you will always need them!
26. Light Bulbs
Buying light bulbs in single or double packs is a blatant waste of money.
Never buy light bulbs in packages smaller than 16 or, if you can find them, in packs of 24!
27. Cotton Pads
Whether you use cotton pads for makeup removal, gentle cleaning, or for basic first aid, a bag or two of them is always useful to have around.
Really, nothing says prepared like buying condoms in bulk.
Bulk buying wholesale is meant to save you money, and condoms can save you much more than a few dollars at a time.
The common complaint with batteries is that they’re expensive and eventually will become obsolete.
Well, we’re a long way off from batteries becoming obsolete so you should buy in bulk now.
The best items to buy in bulk include products like batteries that are not used all the time and can be expensive. You’ll save money buying in bulk,
30. Socks and Underwear
Do you have that one pair of underwear that is just heaven? How about those socks that are comfy, warm and never let you down?
Well, what if you knew that you had about 20 pairs of each of those things, wouldn’t that make you happy? Smart spending is about making outstanding purchasing decisions.
Buy your socks and underwear in bulk when you know that you’ve found a product you love.
Many adults forget when getting their own place that stuff happens, and people get a scratch here or there.
Don’t realize that you don’t have any Band-Aids when someone has cut themselves in the kitchen.
Buy in Bulk and Save: Share Your Suggestions
These are some of the items you can safely buy in bulk and save money doing it, in the long-run.
Have we missed anything?
Share in a comment the items that you buy in bulk and help our community shop smarter!
Want to learn more about how to save money? Check out these resources:
Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.