Budget Better: 7 everyday items to never buy in bulk

Buying in bulk can be an awesome way to both save money and save yourself trips to the store. But bigger isn't always better.

Big-box stores and warehouse clubs like BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club are a shopper's dream -- One-stop shops where you can buy a lifetime supply of your favorite foods and products. However, don't let every gargantuan carton and low price tag tempt you. Tons of items are better purchased in a 2-pack rather than a 24-pack.

SEE MORE: The 5 best Kirkland products to buy at Costco

Next time you find yourself at a wholesale mecca -- don't go too crazy. Be selective! Load up your cart with giant packs of gum, toilet paper, diapers and office supplies -- but don't grab everything you see on the shelves.

See the 7 items to avoid buying in bulk below:

7 items to never buy in bulk
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7 items to never buy in bulk

1. Cooking oils

Cooking oils like olive oil and vegetable oil typically have shelf lives of only 6-12 months -- so stay away from the gallon-sized containers. 

2. Spices

While spices don't expire quickly, they tend to lose their potency after about 6 months. If you want to buy spices in bulk, stick to buying whole cloves and grind them up yourself to maintain those bold flavors. 

3. Liquid bleach

Bleach has a shelf life of about 6-12 months. The chemical begins to degrade immediately, especially at higher temperatures, so don't be tempted by the bigger packages.

4. Face cream and sunscreen

Lotions like moisturizer and sunscreen  tend to lose their effectiveness in about 3-6 months -- so stick to purchasing smaller bottles and restock a few times a year. 

5. Condiments

Condiments like ketchup, ranch dressing and mayonnaise are laden with preservatives to hold a longer shelf life -- but even so, it's usually 6-12 months. There's a good chance you won't finish your bottle before the expiration date, so stick to buying one bottle at a time. 

6. Brown rice

Brown rice deteriorates much faster than white or pre-cooked rice. Even when stored in an airtight container, brown rice only has a shelf life of about 6 months. 

7. Soda

Properly stored canned soda has a shelf life of about 9 months, but it may lose some carbonation and taste.


Be cautious in the cooking aisle. Cooking oils have a much shorter shelf life than you probably realize (only 3-6 months!) and ground spices lose their potency after about 6 months. White rice and other pre-cooked rices reportedly have a shelf life of 30 years -- but did you know brown rice expires after only 6 months?

Besides the obvious grocery staples that perish quickly -- like dairy products, produce and meat -- there are some other products to avoid buying in large quantities that you may not be aware of.

Hit up the grocery store instead for the above items -- or just stick to smaller packages.

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