Think back to that very first time you set foot in Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, or other warehouse store: Remember how your jaw dropped when you spotted that keg-size jar of peanut butter, or that lifetime supply of socks? Bulk products at big-box stores have a gravitational pull on us all. Blame it on human greed, or American capitalism, or just our insatiable drive for a deal—after all, at that size, we must be getting a bargain, right?
Sometimes, yes. But not everything you see in these warehouses is worth the money or real estate in your already packed pantry. To help you separate the smart purchases from the space and money hogs, check out this antishopping list of items you may regret buying in bulk.
1. Things you don’t use often
Five years ago, Costco shopper Lillian Small got suckered in by a 1,000-count box of Q-tips. And guess what? She’s still up to her ears in those cotton swabs today.
“I gave half of them to my sister-in-law, but I still have the box,” she admits. “It’s moved from Canada to Paris to Scotland, where I live now.”
Before you bite, ask yourself how much of this item you use per week. How about per month? Then do the math to see how long that 1,000-pack will last.