To List or Not to List

Joy’s recent post on saving money grocery shopping sparked an interesting debate in the comments. Erin B. provided some great tips, including this one:

ALWAYS make a list, NEVER buy anything not on the list. Ever… ever… seriously, I know we are all grownups and we think we can walk around Target without a case of the “gimme-gimmes” (a great Berenstein Bears book, by the way!) but we can’t. Make a list with literally EVERYTHING you need and buy off the list and not a single item more. Seriously, it works.

I loved all of her ideas except for that one above, which I hear a lot. Here was my response:

Five Reasons I Don’t Buy Groceries in Bulk

I am going to reveal my secret to saving money and keeping my kitchen organized that will shock the tightwad community to its core:  I don’t buy in bulk.  There are a few select items I buy in bulk, such as spices and yeast.  Both of these kitchen staples are much cheaper from community bins rather than individual packets or jars.  For the most part, though, I don’t like to buy mass quantities of food at the supermarket.  Here’s why.

 1. It costs more. Okay, sometimes you save big money by buying the bigger version of something. However, I have found that smaller packages of certain products are actually a better deal per pound. I always make sure to figure out the price per pound before buying the bigger package.