It’s true, buying product in bulk can sometimes save you money. I say sometimes because buying 10-pound tub of yogurt for our small family may be cheaper on purely a cost comparison basis, but not being able to eat it all before the expiry date sort of negates the original savings.
Bulk buying also poses some storage issues, which we don’t have, storage that is. I’m still trying to get rid of the piles of ‘things’ that seem to be everywhere in our home. I don’t have the room to store a skid of cereal, even if it is the kids’ favourite.
That doesn’t mean small families with limited storage can’t take advantage of cost savings available when buying in bulk. Smaller items like toothpaste, vitamins, or shampoo don’t take a lot of space in our hall cupboard so when these items go on sale, I’m inclined to stock-up. It may cost me more on my first purchase to buy 10 tubes of toothpaste for a $1.99 each, but it’s cheaper than 1 tube of toothpaste at $5.49, over 10 weeks.
So on a recent trip to our local drugstore I noticed toothpaste on sale. It wasn’t the brand we usually use but it was a reputable brand so I grabbed a handful. I was so proud of my recent purchase I even bragged to my husband when he got home.
‘”I just saved us almost ten-dollars in toothpaste and we don’t have to worry about running out for a few months.”
Adjusting to less household income won’t be as hard as I thought if I just keep shopping like this. As I fantasized about cutting our grocery bills in half with my eagle sales eye, I noticed my husband didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm.
“What the hell is this? This isn’t the toothpaste I use?”
I explained that it was on sale and that we have used this toothpaste in the past. I mentioned how we have to cut back in spending and this was an easy way to start.
“I’m not using it. I don’t care how much it was, I want my usual toothpaste.”
Remember my earlier example of bulking buying and how unused product, no matter how good the price, negates any savings? So now I had 10 tubes of toothpaste my husband said he wouldn’t use. Not very thrifty. I ended up buying the original brand my husband likes but with it came some new household rules. Only my husband could use this toothpaste. The kids and I would use the sale toothpaste. It is toothpaste after all; I wasn’t going to let it go to waste,. This means the sale toothpaste is being used and since only my husband is using the other brand it should last longer too.
It seems this toothpaste experience has taught me two things about trying to rein in our family spending:
- – It’s not going to be as easy as I thought. This is just small purchase; imagine the reaction I’m going to get when I start looking at bigger expenditures.
- – People are passionate about their brands; I get that. I’m not a big generic or store brand purchaser most times but I guess just buying another brand can also have the some negative reaction with some people.
How do you deal with brand loyalty issues while trying to balance expenditures and cost savings?
Author: Karen Antsow