This year I hit peak adulthood when I got not one, but TWO memberships to bulk stores. Yes, friends, two. I live about 5 miles from Sam’s Club so I got one from there and because of the reading program they have going on. I also have one from Costco because of organic food. But when I walked in, I was star struck by all of the things that you see in the front. Yes, of course, I need 5000 new TVs! Now as a family of a very hungry 5, what was I supposed to buy in bulk that didn’t break the bank?

It’s the last part of not breaking the bank that really had me thinking hard.

Growing up, we had a Sam’s Club membership. The things that we used to buy that still stand out are the croissants, muffins and pancake mix. Did we buy other things? I’m pretty sure of it. But these are the things that were so good that I couldn’t forget–like I did the rest of my mom’s shopping list.

My first-month shopping in bulk, I may have blown our budget by a couple of hundred dollars but then I got the hang of it so now it’s time to share!

I've hit peak adulting and own a Costco membership now. But I wasn't sure what to buy in bulk so I did some research. Here's what I found out.

What To Buy In Bulk To Keep Your House Stocked

Paper Goods

My preference for paper goods is or Target because they sell bamboo-based/tree-free paper goods. But if you’re like, I don’t care that much about the environment, then paper goods are definitely great to stock up on from here. They have all the toilet paper and paper towels to clean everything and everyone. This is like a once a month purchase.


Toothpaste, face wash, lotions, oh my!


This one is kind of obvious but not for everyone. I’m weird about my meats and fish and where I buy them. I like how Costco sells both wild-caught and farm-raised salmon for those who have preferences. Their meats are really good too. My plan once we buy our deep freezer to have a monthly meat haul where I just spend like $100 on meats monthly and stock up.


Snacks on snacks on snacks! Ok–so I love the snack section at Costco because they have a mainstream snack aisle and then they have an organic snack aisle. Both Sam’s and Costco have really great nut selections–pistachio, mixed, almonds, salted, unsalted and trail mixes.

Pasta & Rice

My kids are huge pasta and rice eaters so buying this in bulk really makes both lunches and dinners easy. Costco also offers gluten-free and wheat-free products.

Canned Goods

Do you know how excited I was buying organic Clasico tomato sauce that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg? Costco has tons of really useful canned and jarred goods.

Cleaning Supplies

If you have a lot of kids or do a lot of laundry, buying laundry detergent here is great because they sell it in such huge amounts. Oh! And Costco sells ECOS!!!


Yes, you read that right! Costco sells both Suja drinks AND my favorite kombucha in bulk there!


This one can be a little tricky because if you don’t use your produce fast, it can be a waste of money. I like to buy grapes, strawberries, avocados, and asparagus.

I asked some of my friends what they bought in bulk and here are there answers:

Toilet paper (6 people). Snacks. Toothpaste. Avocado. Laundry detergent. Kitchen Trash bags. Freezer bags.

Krystyn Hall, Really Are You Serious?

Toilet paper. Paper towels. Batteries. Nuts. Laundry detergent. Toothpaste, vitamins.

Larisha Bernard,

Half of Costco: juice + water + soap + toilet paper + paper towels + Cetaphil + batteries + toothpaste + laundry detergent + dryer sheets + no show socks + ziplock bags + foil + chips.

Mimi Robinson, MimiCuteLips

Juice + water + toilet paper + paper towels + Cetaphil + batteries + toothpaste + laundry detergent + dryer sheets + no show socks + ziplock bags + foil + snacks + qtips + shea butter + cereal + contact lens solution + deodorant.

Tomika Bryant, Life In Pumps

Toilet paper- laundry detergent – soap – frozen fruit (from Sam’s for smoothies), snacks.

Bernetta Knighten,

Cheese. Printer paper. Scotch tape. Vodka.

Kim Andrysczyk, The South Carolina Homeschooling Connection

Pro-Tips To Not Breaking The Bank

After blowing my budget the first month, I was determined not do that again. Here are some tips to help keep you on track:

  1. Have a list that you stick to.
  2. Don’t bring the kids–they will distract you and ask for things.
  3. Taste the samples. Don’t buy all the samples.
  4. Go in with cash and know an approximate amount of what you’re going to get.
  5. Allow yourself one splurge item.

Do you buy in bulk? What’s on your list?