Bulk shopping: Amazon or Costco and other questions too...
Thanks to the Growing Up Poor
thread, my girlfriend and I have decided to try and stop wasting as much money as we do on small portions of things when we can afford to buy in bulk.
I've got an Amazon Prime subscription and she works from home a few days a week so getting packages isn't a big deal. We also have a Costco that is a 20 minute straight shot on the train and probably under a $20 cab ride on the way back, and we have friends with cars who would probably give us a lift to and from in exchange for getting to shop there. Assuming the savings are worth it, the cost of membership is fine with us. We have the closet space to store bulk purchases but not fridge space. My only experience with bulk shopping is going to Costco with my mom when I was a teenager, and I don't really eat any of the stuff I remember buying there, and definitely not in the quantities I did when I was still growing.
The thing is that we don't
really need fresh groceries. We're a two-person household. The part of Brooklyn where we live has some of the cheapest/freshest fruits and vegetables. She's a vegetarian and I don't eat enough meat to make buying it in bulk worthwhile (we also have a wonderful meat store nearby.) I eat a lot of Eastern European stuff -- cured meats, pickled vegetables, certain types of breads -- that's not going to be at Costco. We also just got a SodaStream, and neither of us drink juice or anything like that. We also don't keep more than one or two servings of junk food/sweets in the house, and that is definitely not something we need to buy in bulk.
However, that still leaves toiletries, canned and dry goods and food that doesn't go bad quickly. So, the real questions are:
- Does it make more financial sense to buy in bulk from Amazon or Costco? (NB: We are fully aware of the ethical issues at hand.)
- Is Amazon better for certain things and Costco for others?
- What foods can purchase in bulk that doesn't go bad, soon?
- What non-edible household stuff does it makes sense to buy in bulk?