10 ways to save money by buying in bulk
There’s strength in numbers, they say, but did you know there’s also money-saving to be had if you’re buying in bulk?
Everything from food to energy, holidays to nappies could be bought cheaper if you buy a lot in one go.
Here are ten cool ways to save when you buy in bulk.
- Groceries: buy in bulk with friends
- Get discounts for groups in restaurants
- Save with Eurostar
- Bulk buy holidays
- Bulk buy electronics with friends
- Join a wholesaler
- Bulk Buy to resell
- Get cheaper UK train tickets
- Bulk buy at auctions
- Bulk buy mobile phone SIMs
If you have a market locally or a big supermarket that has special bulk offers, you can get together with friends and neighbours, pool your money and buy food and household goods to share between you.
That way, you can take advantage of the cheap, bulk deal but only have the goods you want. Because very often the problem with 3 for 2 or BOGOF deals is that you can only manage to eat one or two and the remaining one goes bad. If you share them out between friends, neighbours and family members you get the best of both worlds.
If you can go out in a big group, you’ve got haggling power to get a group discount, free bottles of wine or even negotiate a set menu rate.
This can save you money and it makes working out the bill at the end much easier.
Eating out early in the week should get you even better deals as this is when restaurants find it hardest to fill up their tables. Similarly, early meals – like 5-6.30pm – can give you more scope for getting a discount.
This is the thinking behind 5pm.co.uk which recognised how cheap early dining can be. Check out the site for new deals.
Also, of course, OpenTable has regular offers and can help with group bookings.
You can also just phone round the restaurants in your area to see which one will give you a good deal.
Play them off against each other too. If you especially want to go to one place but another venue is offering you a better deal, ask your favourite if they will match the offer. It’s always worth an ask, particularly if you’re bringing a big group in.
Eurostar does special group deals and weekend getaways to various destinations including Paris, Brussels and Euro Disney.
If you’re a group of ten people or more you can get 10% off the usual rate as you can find out here.
Going on holiday with a group of people can definitely be cheaper.
- Opodo is always worth a look for group deals, particularly on self-catering skiing holidays.
- Travelodge gives you cheaper rooms with group bookings
- Virgin Holidays say that if you book with a minimum of ten adults you may qualify for a group discount as they explain here.
Remember, too, that if you go on holiday with a group of friends, you can make money from it by doing the booking for them.
If you use a credit card with rewards you could get the maximum cashback or even earn enough Avios to get yourself another holiday later on.
If you need a new plasma TV and so does your best friend, you can get together and make some savings. Here’s how you do it:
- Compare first. Before you go to the electronics shop decide on an item and use a shopping comparison website to see how much they cost in different high street shops.
- Haggle in the shop. Take the lowest price you find with you to the shop and haggle for your TV using that price as a starting point.
- Get an extra discount. See how low you can get the price before asking how much they can give them to you for if you take two? It’s always worth a try.
With Makro you need to own a business or be able to purchase for a business to go into the stores, but anyone can use their website. They have an amazing array of products on offer from furniture to kitchen gadgets to electronics and garden equipment.
Costco costs £33.60 for an individual pass but if you buy a lot it can be worth it. Also, if you’re happy just using their online service you can get a £15 card per year but you won’t be able to use it in-store. Then there’s a trade membership for £26.40 per year.
Remember, though, you need the space to store your cheap goods – or, share them with friends, neighbours and family, sharing the cost as you go.
Once you’ve visited a local cash and carry you could find boxes of small items at a discount that you could separate into smaller groups to sell on eBay, at a car boot sale or on a market stall.
For example, you might buy a box of 100 cocktail umbrellas at a cheap rate, then divide these into ten lots of ten and sell them at twice the price.
You can also go direct to manufacturers of small gadgets (if you have the cash) and buy in bulk from them to sell at a profit on eBay.
Keep your eye out for shop closing down sales and at January and summer sales for bulk buys that you could scoop up, separate out and then sell for a profit.
Try to stick with products you are familiar with where you have a pretty good idea of how much you could sell them for. That way you can work out at the start whether you could make a profit or not.
8. Get cheaper UK train tickets
It’s possible to get three or four tickets for the price of two with the ‘GroupSave’ scheme.
GroupSave offers the opportunity for three or four people to travel for the price that two adults would normally pay on various off-peak ticket types.
- Up to four additional children can accompany the main party, and travel at the flat fare of £1, single or return (not valid on ScotRail).
- Also two children under the age of five can travel free of charge with each fare paying passenger.
- Most (but not all) train operators participate in the scheme.
- Railcards can’t be used in conjunction with this, but if you mange to split the cost four ways you’ll be saving more anyway.
- You can find the terms and conditions at National Rail’s GroupSave page here.
Auctions are a great place to bulk buy all sorts of items that you can either keep or resell.
If you take a look at our article on how to buy lost luggage at auction, you will find a few auction houses mentioned there that sell all kinds of stuff, not just lost luggage.
In fact, they often sell bags of new shoes, boxes of second hand shoes, job lots of electronics, books, prints, jewellery, crockery and more, often from bankrupt stock or just factories that want to get rid of old products.
These items can be bought up and then sold on eBay, at a car boot sale or on your own website if you have a site that sells specific products.
Worth a look!
Families can now get cheaper mobile tariffs through BT Mobile Family SIM.
- The BT Mobile Family SIM works for mobiles and tablets
- A family can get up to five SIMs on one contract
- Each SIM comes with a generous individual allowance and with extra value discounts that increase with the number of SIMs on the contract
- Families can save up to £372 a year.
Each person in the family can have a personalised tariff and once the bill payer (probably Dad!) has signed up for a one year contract, the others can have flexible 30-day contracts so they can come and go as they please.
The bill payer can also set different levels of authority and spending caps for each individual family member, so they control the spending while the family member gets the kind of package they want.
Take a look at the deals here.