When you send your kids off to school, you want to send them with the best possible tools for learning, whether it be the best brand of wax crayons, or the absolute best lunch box. But, as parents, we know that all those items add up and can very quickly become too expensive. That’s why we love shopping in bulk. Read on for our best tips for shopping for amazing food and supplies- in bulk!
Buying in Bulk
1. Never buy an item in bulk that your kids haven’t tried before:
This one may go without saying, but browsing your local Sam’s Club for new and exciting lunch time treats isn’t the best idea. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with 86 granola bars that your kiddos hate. This goes for non-perishable items too. If you haven’t bought it and love it, don’t test the waters buying it in bulk. 250 trash bags may look like an amazing deal, but it could be a complete waste of money if you discover that they immediately rip.
2. Split up the purchases with friends:
You may not need 20 plums, or 12 heads of romaine lettuce. Unless you plan to go home and use those perishable items, or can them, within the next week, consider splitting the bounty with a friend. That way, you both are reaping the benefit of the lower priced item, but you’re not stuck eating nothing but tomatoes for the next week.
3. Always be aware of the price per unit (ppu):
The point of buying in bulk is making sure that the cost per unit is as low as possible, and then turning around and buying a bunch in bulk, insuring that low price per unit. Cost per unit requires you to figure out how many units you would actually be buying and then take the total cost of the purchase and divide it by the number of units.
The ultimate goal of ensuring the best deal when buying in bulk is to aim to keep the ppu around 50% less than what you would spend at the regular grocery store.
- 1 bulk pack of granola bars has 48 units (bars) in it and costs $9.99. 48 / 9.99 = 0.208. So each bar costs 21 cents.
- That same brand of granola bar at your local grocery store has 6 bars in it, and is $2.99. ppu: 0.498
This is a good deal!
4. Always look for coupons or incentives
The absolute best time to buy in bulk is when you have coupons you can utilize, because it helps lower your ppu. If your local bulk food store doesn’t have store coupons, make sure to look for manufacturer coupons. Many times, they can be stacked on certain double-coupon days, or (even better!) will be on sale already and then you can also apply a coupon to it. Make sure to call your local bulk food store ahead of time to verify their coupon policy. Manufacturer coupons, however, are not store specific and can typically be used at any retail location that supplies that specific item.
Utilize the Box Tops for Education™ Program! Participating schools are eligible to receive donations from General Mills™ through Box Tops. All you have to do is shop the participating products at your local Sam’s Club, and your school of choice will be able to redeem 10 cents for each box top collected. Over 80,000 k-8 schools across the United States participate in Box Tops for Education™, and schools can use box tops as cash to buy whatever they need. Box Tops for Education™ has contributed over $525 million to participating schools since the launch of the program in 1996.
From one mom to another:
We wanted to showcase our specific trip to Sam’s Club, and were on the special lookout for items that also had Box Tops for Education™ on them. We were able to choose some amazing products for our kid’s lunch boxes, saved a bunch of money, and gave back to their school. That’s a win in our book! Finding participating items that had Box Tops for Education™ was very easy to locate as well, so we were able to head over to Sam’s Club and didn’t have to spend tons of time wandering the aisles searching. Here are three of the items that we choose as great, Daily Mom recommended, products for kid’s lunches:
- Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut
- Nature Valley Protein
- Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits
What is on your shopping list for back to school lunches?
Be sure to check out this post on Couponing 101!
This is a sponsored conversation written by us on behalf of General Mills® . The opinions and text are all ours.