Want to stock up before Brexit? 10 top tips for clever bulk-buying

Nine in 10 shoppers claim to be committed bulk-buyers, new research has found. And with 89% of people saying they buy in bulk, it’s not just a good deal that’s enticing consumers to stock up on items they won’t immediately use.

Across the UK, one in 10 (10%) are stockpiling grocery items as a reaction to Brexit and uncertainty over how this will affect prices, according to the research from

So far, these shoppers have spent an average of £214 on items for their “Brexit cupboards”.

The top 10 most popular items for people to bulk-buy are toilet paper, washing powder, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, baked beans, frozen food, soap, pasta, rice and meat, the survey found.

But for many, their bulk-buys can often end up going to waste, with 44% of consumers admitting they eventually throw away goods they’d previously stocked up on.

In terms of why, some say they simply forget about the extra items they’ve bought, while others miss the chance to use them before they go out of date.
Bulk-buys can also end up in the bin because there’s nowhere at home to store them, the survey of over 2,100 people revealed.

Adam Bullock, UK director of says: “Bulk buying is often not as savvy as it seems. Consumers are throwing goods in the bin and money down the drain by stocking up on items they either have no immediate use or space for.

“It can be done right, when buying non-perishables and items like toilet roll, but it takes a time and planning to make sure it works for you and you’re getting the best deals.”

Keen to stock up? Here are’s top tips for being a clever bulk-buyer…

1. Do your maths
Special offer labels can be enticing, but work out the cost per item or per gram to see how much you could save by buying multiple items rather than just one or two – it may not be as much as you think or anything at all. Use the calculator on your mobile phone if you need to.

2. Set a bulk-buying budget – just as you might for your regular shopping
Weekly budgets are essential for ensuring you don’t feel the pinch. If you decide to bulk-buy products, make sure you put away a little money each week, so you spread the cost evenly across the year. Doing a big bulk-buy shop can leave you short in the months to follow if you haven’t planned for it.

3. Make a list of the items you regularly cook or use
These will be the items that are most important to bulk-buy. This will stop you being distracted by deals for items you don’t need.

4. Bulk-buy expensive items
Make a list of the expensive items you need such as washing powder and razors and make a point of looking for bulk-buy deals. As you don’t need to buy them every week, you can wait for a good deal before stocking up.

5. Make more use of the freezer and canned foods

Cartoon people at grocery shop or healthy food store. Simple man with basket of fruit and flat woman with pack of vegetables. Buyer at mall or market, vegan counter with dairy. Showcase, trade theme

Plan what you’re going to buy and when you need to use it by

Don’t bulk-buy perishable goods unless you’re able to use them immediately – or see if some can be frozen.

6. Check how much storage space you have before going shopping
A lack of space could result in having to throw items away to make room for new purchases.

7. Shop big
Buy from wholesalers and discount stores, who may have great deals when bulk-buying.

8. Join forces
Pairing up with friends, family or colleagues means you can split the purchase and still end up with the same deal but without a large amount of stock to store at home.

9. Make note
Keep a note of sell-by-dates on items and make sure you are using products before buying more.

10. Only use the amounts you really need
Having an overflowing amount of items can encourage people to use bigger amounts in a more wasteful way, knowing they have a back-up.

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