From the Editor's keyboard By Lynda Duffy firstname.lastname@example.org Musings, thoughts and ideas from Lynda Duffy, editor of Williams/Grand Canyon News.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Shopping in bulk is not always a money-saver
Lynda Duffy Former Editor
I've always loved to shop ... even for everyday, mundane items such as food. When my children were small and I was a stay-at-home-mom, I religiously clipped coupons and purchased only what was on sale. I did everything I could so I wouldn't be forced to return to work.
Once the kids were both in school all day, I began to work part-time, which left me with some time to still manage to save some money. Eleven years ago when I began working full-time, I found less time to clip coupons and watch sales.
Then I discovered the art of shopping in bulk at discount warehouses. I saved so much time making one trip to a store that had everything that I needed. Plus I could eat lunch (food samples) while I shopped! What more could a girl want? I was hooked.
For several years, shopping in bulk was cost effective. Lately, I've discovered that shopping in bulk is not as effective as I grow older.
One child is all grown up and no longer lives with us. The other child is all grown up, still lives with us but is not home much anymore due to work and school. And he never ate what we ate anyway. So many nights it's just the two of us. So much has changed.
As we age, we tend to eat much less than we did even five years ago. Sadly, our meals are small while our tummies are large. How did this happen? I digress. I'll save that tale for a future blog.
Children can be useful. While mine were still in my charge, they did most of the heavy lifting while we were shopping. They loaded 50-pound bags of cat litter, cases of water and soda and massive sacks of dog food. The kids unloaded all this stuff once we got home. They were also the ones that used these products, since their chores included changing the cat box and manhandling the large sacks of dog food when they fed the dogs.
I don't have anyone to do my chores anymore and worse, now I shop alone. If I tackle warehouse shopping when I'm by myself, I'm exhausted when I get back to the truck. Once I arrive home, I have to take breaks while unloading.
Here's where I'm wasting money - when I change the cat box and attempt to use the 50-pound bag of cat litter, it dang near kills me. At 110 pounds soaking wet, if I am successful in lifting the large bag of kitty litter, I usually end up spilling twice as much as I need. Being slightly lazy and forever short on time, I don't sweep it up to use for another day. I vacuum it up instead. I've also wasted huge amounts of liquid fabric softener, dish soap, coffee, flour and sugar. You name it; I've spilt it.
So now Safeway is the place for me. Yes, I probably am spending more on some products, but I'm using more of the products because I'm not spilling them. I never was good at math, but I think I've solved the shopping in bulk versus shopping for items I can carry equation.