Before buying groceries in bulk, read this first


Posted at Jul 19 2014 02:46 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2016 06:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Buying groceries in bulk may seem like a good strategy to save money, but does it always work?

According to financial adviser Salve Duplito, bulk buying is not for everyone and may even lead to wastage instead of savings.

Duplito said that for starters, the tropical weather in the Philippines makes some food items spoil fast, thus making bulk buying a futile exercise.

“Brown rice looks like it can last until the apocalypse, but the truth is it contains more oil and goes rancid faster than white rice. The same goes with nuts, flours, spices and cooking oil,” she said on ANC’s “On The Money.”

“Buy one, take one” promos can also work at a disadvantage if it is not consumed before the expiration date.

When it comes to produce, buy only what you need, Duplito said.

Another factor to consider when bulk buying is the storage space in homes, which Duplito said “is a luxury that average families cannot afford.”

Buying in bulk may lead to 20 to 30 percent in savings, but if not consumed properly, these items normally end up in the trash.

“The final straw is that most families have yayas or cooks who do most of the rummaging around the kitchen. If you forgot to tell them about that new ingredient that you bought from the grocery three months ago, chances are that item is still in your pantry gathering mold,” Duplito said.

Buying in bulk also requires a sense of discipline from consumers, because you tend to use more of an item when you know you still have plenty of it.

Items in the pantry should be considered good as cash and therefore should also be budgeted wisely.

To make bulk buying work, Duplito gave these simple tips:

  • Keep away from perishable goods, unless you’re going to process them immediately.
  • Record your inventory and make a pantry plan. Make sure your cook or househelp is on the same page as you.
  • Buy only items you have already tried in small doses.
  • Split up your bulk buying spree with friends and family.

“Whatever you do, never go into debt just to buy in bulk. No discount from bulk buying is ever worth the credit card fees and charges you will have to pay,” she said.