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Opinion

Bulk purchasing saves money, time, waste

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October 16, 2008

There are some things that should definitely be taught in schools but are somehow looked over. Like how to reduce your electricity bill by unplugging all of your appliances when they’re not in use, or how to be a conscientious online shopper by using the less expensive services and classified sites. These things seem obvious and even common sense, but surprisingly I find more students are left in the dust when it comes to “living in the real world” and who lack basic street smarts. My favorite street smart this week is buying in bulk.

Number one reason to buy in bulk: save money! Duh, often times you will find things are cheaper when you buy a lot of it at once. This also works the other way around. Let’s say you only want to purchase one cup of sugar. You won’t use a whole pound of sugar any time in the next six months. The best option is to only buy one cup of sugar and skip the whole pre-packaged item that will costs you much more money and waste.

In fact, buy all your favorites in bulk. When your favorite beverage is already on hand in your own refrigerator and ready to toss into your backpack for a full day at school, this saves time running to the store. Again, money saved on fuel and no precious time wasted.

Yay! You’re already on your way to saving the world by not fueling your car to buy more things. Another obvious way to save the environment by buying in bulk is saving on packaging. Also, it is a better idea to bring your own bags and containers to fill than to use new plastic bags each time that take decades to biodegrade. You can feel trendy with an awesome canvas bag or reuse the plastic baggies that your drugs came in. This is called recycling!

Some items are only available in bulk and are often healthier choices anyway. This means a healthier lifestyle since your “recycling” practices creates a healthier environment and the foods purchased call for delicious meals with less preservatives and additives. You’ll have that healthy sexy glow in no time.

Some of the most common things to buy in bulk are rice/grains, flours, beans, spices and oats. But why not buy a few cases of beer or a gallon of dish soap? You know you’ll use it all and you know it won’t go bad.

Of course, there are things that I suggest not buying in bulk. If mayonnaise is on sale and it comes in a two-gallon jar, but you find the taste of mayonnaise revolting, skip it. This is not a deal. Plus, it will spoil by the time you find anyone that will want the disgusting condiment. Also, don’t buy 50 pounds of oats if you live in a dorm room. This is a very large amount of something you don’t have the storage space for. Use your head.

Follow all of these reasons for buying in bulk and you won’t feel like such an idiot for not doing so.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.