Wednesday, August 20, 2008

getting more for less$

A recent report shows that Canadians are paying more out of pocket money for less stuff. Retail sales rose 0.5% in June but actual retail sales volumes decreased by 0.4% from May. Basically the 0.5% rise in retail sales came from higher prices at the gasoline pumps, to the tune of a 4.2% increase in sales of petrol. The Canadian consumer spent more in dollar terms during June, but bought less with their money in terms of the volume of goods and services. I am sure that the increase in food prices is not helping.

Where does that leave the average consumer? Well spending more for less is never a good scenario, but I like to think that we are beating this trend by buying smartly in bulk. By doing this, we are actually getting more for less. We buy the following items at Costco Wholesale for prices per unit that are far below what you would pay at any traditional grocery store.
Bread, toilet paper, Ziploc bags, baby wipes, diapers, fresh and frozen vegetables, fruit, salmon, tuna, lunch meat, paper towel, granola bars, juice, toothpaste, cottage cheese, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, cheese, garbage bags, ketchup, sausages, and chicken among other items

I would estimate that we probably save thousands of dollars per year doing this. Obviously you must be careful not to buy goods that you don't really want or need, and careful to not buy something in bulk that perishes to quickly. If we could only do this for gasoline...we'd be set. We have an area in our home ('the stock room') where we store these items so that we can take advantage of sales and not take space from the kitchen and bathrooms. The prices on these items may rise, but we are still gaining the benefit of cost savings through buying in bulk.

Another added benefit of doing this the elimination of hassle. I hate having to think about whether or not we need bread, toilet paper, or paper towel every time we're at a grocery store, as we constantly buy the same items over and over. By buying in bulk we're always covered, and we only buy and stock the best stuff, as Costco never carries inferior products. We've actually eliminated the need to make a large weekly trip to a traditional grocery store.

'Do we need baby wipes?' , 'Let me check our inventory'.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I used to stock up like this when my kids were little. It saved time AND gas-fewer trips to the store meant less gas used (also less "impulse" items that add to the bill.