When grocery shopping, there are certain items you should buy in bulk to get that discounted price that will save you money. However, if you pick the wrong items, you may end up wasting cash if you don't use them up before their expiration date. Here are a couple of items you should refrain from buying in bulk:
- Baking powder. If you don't bake all the time, you might want to skip out on buying baking powder in bulk, as it lasts up to six months to a year.
- Beer. If you're buying beer in bulk for a party, know that the beverage lasts for just three to six months. You might want to limit yourself and make sure that you're not buying too much.
- Bleach. Don't buy too much bleach at one time, as this cleaning agent has a relatively short shelf life of three to six months. It starts to degrade after the six-month mark and loses its effectiveness.
- Brown rice. People assume that brown rice has a long shelf life and can be stored for as long as possible. In actuality, brown rice doesn't last too long — just six months — because of its oil content.
- Candy and unhealthy snacks. Although you may save money buying candy and unhealthy snacks in bulk, having a lot of these items around may cause you to overeat, which will be a detriment to your health. Saving money is not worth the cost to your health.
- Cooking oil. You'd be surprised to learn that cooking oil has a shelf life of about a year. Oils and fats tend to go bad really quickly, so that's a factor to keep in mind when shopping. If you buy too much cooking oil, some of the oil may go rancid, which is said to cause increased rates of heart disease, cancer, and other health problems. You definitely want to make sure the oil you have is fresh.
Read on for more items not to buy in bulk.
- Frozen food. Although frozen food will last longer than regular food, it may take up too much space in your freezer and you may not be able to finish it before its expiration date. Bear in mind that frozen products also have a shorter shelf life (up to a year) than canned foods (can last for up to three years or more).
- Olive oil. Olive oil generally lasts longer than regular cooking oil. However, studies have found that after six months, the antioxidants in olive oil decrease by about 40 percent. If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of olive oil, buy small bottles you'll be able to use up by the six-month mark.
- Nail polish. You may want to buy your favorite nail color in bulk, but remember that nail polish won't last forever. Ask yourself if you'll be able to use them all up within that span of time.
- Nuts. Because of the high fat content, nuts tend to go bad really quickly. It lasts just three to six months in your pantry.
- Sauce and condiments. Although you may think that condiments never go bad, most sauces have a shelf life of one to two years. If you don't use too much sauce to complement your meals, one or two bottles should be enough to last you the whole year. And honestly, how many bottles of mustard do you think you will be able to ingest in two years?
- Tooth whitening strips. These have a shelf life of one to three months so don't store them in your cabinet for future use. The Crest Whitening Strips website has said that the strips are safe to use past the expiry date and the only drawback is that they aren't as effective. But if you're going to invest money in the strips, you may as well get some bang for your buck — using less effective strips for the same price seems like a waste of money.
For all the food products mentioned, the shelf life can be extended if you put these items in your fridge or freezer. And of course, you're bound to go through these items more quickly if you have more mouths to feed, so it may make sense to buy more of certain items if you have a big family.