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A Guide for Seniors on Maximizing Savings and Minimizing Waste

Mature granddaughter taking her grandmother shopping at the shopping center. Senior woman needs help with grocery shopping.

Everyone is looking for ways to lower their consumables budget. For those on a fixed or limited income, the need to keep costs low is even greater. Seniors, even those who live alone, can still benefit from bulk purchases.

Tips for Seniors on Buying in Bulk

One of the greatest benefits of bulk buying is that you can lower the number of shopping trips you need to make. For example, many seniors may find that bulk shopping of household products or personal care items makes it easy to afford to buy such products at the grocery store, where they'll be more expensive.

A very simple approach for seniors, even those who live alone, is simply to designate a storage spot for bulk-purchased items. A storage tub under your bed can hold extra consumable personal products and cleaning items, including

  • shampoo and body wash
  • deodorant
  • toothpaste and mouthwash

Once you're stocked up on these items, you can "shop" from your storage tub instead of running to the store. You'll save time, fuel, and cash.

Why is Buying in Bulk Better for Elder Adults?

Bulk buying can also help you plan. If you're used to cooking for a large household and are now just cooking for one or two people, you may have to re-learn the process of meal planning for you and your partner.

If you know that you have plenty of tuna because you stocked up recently and your pantry shelves are full, you can create a smaller version of your favorite tuna casserole. Dry goods like pasta and canned goods such as tuna and cream soups have a long shelf life and offer flexibility.

Buying in bulk when your favorite items are on sale will also lower costs over time. Watch the sales cycles and note when common favorites go on sale. Flour is cheaper around Thanksgiving and Christmas, as are many spices. This is an ideal time to stock up so you can save in the future.

How can Buying in Bulk Minimize Waste Overall?

Indeed, bulk packages of consumables such as paper towels and toilet paper are a bit more expensive overall. That being said, these items do offer a lower cost per unit when you buy them in bulk.

Bulk purchases of such items will also lower the amount of packaging you have to discard. The plastic sleeves that paper towels and toilet paper come in will take years to break down in a landfill. If you don't have access to recycling, bulk buying is the simplest way to make sure that your carbon footprint is reduced.

Bulk Buying and Downsizing

If you as a senior are working hard to downsize, buying in bulk may seem counterintuitive. However, stocking up when the price is right can make downsizing easier.

You won't have to run to the store when you run low on items you use regularly. The more times you enter the store, the greater the risk that you will buy something you don't need and now have to clean, dust, store or pack for a move.

Even if you plan to age in place in your current home, cutting your spending back to consumables only is a good way to build up savings and reduce debt. Bulk buying of items you're going to use in the future can free up cash in the coming months.

Carefully review your product storage areas to make sure you're putting them to best use. If you've always been a bulk shopper, you may notice that your freezer doesn't get much use anymore; you're simply not cooking for as many people. It may be time to sell the freezer and put the money into savings.

Retirement, downsizing, and living on a smaller income are all big adjustments. Bulk buying of products you know will get used can take the pressure off of your finances in the future.

Written By

Brittany Cotton

Brittany Cotton is an article writer that focuses on health, wellness, and business. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing, and trying new recipes.

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