Ask Maeve: How do we make room for buying in bulk?
My wife and I live in a small one bedroom apartment in New York. We are trying to save money, so we buy lots of our necessities in bulk. The problem is that right after a Costco run, our apartment is filled with the extra items and feels cramped. How do we store everything?
Ahh, the age-old buying-in-bulk question! The appeal is obvious, as buying in bulk can save you a few bucks and extra trips to the store, but it is tough to live with so much extra stuff.
My first suggestion would be to do the math. Often we think we’re saving tons of money when we purchase 36 rolls of toilet paper, but the actual savings aren’t quite so mind blowing. Once you’re able to see how much you really save, you might change your mind about your bulk purchases. Is it worth it to create a cramped apartment for the $5.00 in savings? Your answer might be no, which is great, then there’s your solution. Or your answer might be yes, which is OK, too. In that case, my next suggestion would be to find a way to make bulk work for you.
Have you considered buying in bulk, but less so? Instead of a 36-pack of toilet paper, how about a 12 or 24? There will be less savings but also less to store – the give-and-take might be worth it. Another option is to share your purchases with a friend. When you split your bulk purchases you’ll still be saving, and you’ll help a friend to save as well. It’s a win-win situation.
If you still find yourself overwhelmed by your bulk purchases, look to your closets to find some extra storage space. Many closets have plenty of unused space above the top shelf – see if you can add an extra shelf here and store your bulk items up high and out of the way. If buying in bulk is important to you, then it’s time to free up some space.