Spending

4 places besides Costco where you can save money buying household essentials in bulk

Twenty/20

When it comes to certain products, buying in bulk can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is mainly because "buying larger quantities typically means a better price per unit," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. Take toilet paper, for example. A 50-pack may have a higher price tag than a 4-pack, but the price per roll (or unit price), will often be less.

While warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's can offer good deals, there are plenty of other places to shop when you want to save money. As a bonus, many of these retailers don't require a membership.

Here are four expert-recommended places to buy in bulk that aren't a warehouse club:

1. Webstaurant

Webstaurant is geared toward supplying restaurants, but many products that are needed at eateries are also useful in the house. For example, you can find cleaning supplies, paper towels, and cooking oils, all in bulk. Say you need baking soda. At Target, you can buy baking soda for 79 cents per pound. At Webstaurant, it is 60 cents per pound.

It's also a really smart place to shop for wedding and other party supplies, says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at Offers.com: "You'll save a lot over the cost of buying, say, 30 table runners or table-number holders at a regular store."

2. Cleanitsupply.com

The wholesaling site sells janitorial, restaurant, and office supplies. This includes everything from laundry detergent and duct tape to printer ink and batteries.

"You can buy large amounts of household cleansers in concentrated form and dilute them yourself," McGrath says. For example, Dawn Manual Pot & Pan Detergent Concentrate costs 14 cents per ounce at Cleanitsupply.com. Because it's a concentrate, you are meant to dilute it with water, and that extends the number of uses you can get out of it.

At Costco, a nonconcentrated Dawn dish soap formula is also 14 cents per ounce — but because you aren't meant to dilute it, it will only last a third as long as the concentrate from Cleanitsupply.com.

You can buy large amounts of household cleansers in concentrated form and dilute them yourself.
Kristin McGrath
shopping expert at Offers.com

3. Amazon Prime

If you're an Amazon Prime member, it can be smart to use the Subscribe and Save function. This sets up automatic recurring deliveries for item you choose. You'll get 5% off your first order — and if your Subscribe and Save delivery includes five or more items, that discount can jump to 15%-20%.

For example, 360 rolls of Angel Soft toilet paper at a 5% discount costs $26. But, as part of a recurring Subscribe and Save order with five or more items, you can get the same amount of rolls for as little as $23.

4. Petco

If your dog requires a special brand of food, Woroch suggest buying from Petco instead one of the warehouse clubs. "Though you may get a little more in a bag from Costco, you won't necessarily have access to the same brands as you'd find a pet store, limiting your options," she says.

She also suggests signing up for a Petco membership card, which gives you $5 off every $100 spent. If you combine that with the discount you get when your favorite dog food is on sale, the savings can be significant. There's also a repeat delivery feature that offers 30% of your first order, free shipping, and access to exclusive savings.

No matter where you're shopping or what you're buying, if you check the price per unit and price compare, you can be sure you're getting a great deal.

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