Buying in Bulk Isn’t Always Better

batteriesMore and more we’re buying less and less in bulk.;)

For example, now that the kids have moved, I’m not buying milk at Costco. Also, our fridge doesn’t hold as many milk jugs as the one at our last house. (One of the main criteria when we bought that fridge was whether it could hold 4-5 gallons of milk.) 90% of the time I get milk on sale at King Soopers for $1.99/gallon, which is probably as cheap, or even cheaper, than what I’d pay at Costco.

We do still buy paper towels and toilet paper at Costco. And shrimp and salmon and steak and rotisserie chicken and frozen corn and Ibuprofen and sponges and laundry detergent and bottled water and toothbrushes and coffee and trash bags. But I’m backing off buying things like Ziploc bags and toothpaste, for example. If it’s going to take more than a year to get through, then I’m more likely to buy at Target, when they’re on sale and, hopefully, with a coupon. Just last week I was filling a prescription at Rite Aid and they had a table set up with Colgate Optic White toothpaste for $3.50. Each had a $3 coupon attached to it, making it 50¢. Costco can’t beat that!

I was reminded of the bulk thing last week when I was visiting my Mom. The remote control for her cable box wasn’t working. And the adapter for her laptop died, as well. Completely a coincidence, but you could tell she thought it had to do with me. Anyway, I changed the batteries in her remote and it still didn’t work. Then I looked closely at the batteries. It was one of those Costco packages of 40 or 50. They were almost all gone. But some of the remaining ones were all corroded. I’ll bet those batteries were 10 years old! (Still, not as bad as 35-year-old cayenne pepper.) My brother took an old toothbrush and cleaned the springy wire part of the battery housing and that resolved the problem. But it was a lesson in not buying in bulk.

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