Evidence bulk buying could be costing you £215 a year

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Consumers could be losing money by bulk buying items according to new research announced this week.

In the South East eight in ten (80 per cent) consumers said they regularly looked for opportunities to stock-up with 89 per cent stating the main reason was to save money, according to research by TopCashback.co.uk.

However, with the average spend on bulk items at £34.15 per cent and the news 15 per cent don’t use what they buy in volume typically £4.14 of that is going to waste, a total of £215.28 each year.

Bathroom items are particularly popular for consumers in the South East, stocking up on toilet paper (94 per cent), washing powder (70 per cent), shampoo and conditioner (40 per cent), toothpaste (39 per cent), closely followed by food staples, baked beans and pasta (30 per cent).

Natasha Rachel Smith, from TopCashback.co.uk said: “Bulk-buying is always listed as one of the best ways to save money, and often it can be. However, consumers are finding themselves in a false economy with a huge amount of goods going in the bin and cash down the drain. Bulk-buying is great for items such as toilet roll and none perishables – if you have the space – but it’s best to check what things you actually need before going online or heading to the supermarket.

“Although it may take a bit more time, writing a shopping list and sticking to it will help keep spending under control, as will looking for discount codes and vouchers. When it comes to online shopping, cashback sites also help people save a lot of money as you get a percentage of what you spend back.”

More than a quarter are reported to be 'shopping blind' - purchasing without checking what is needed or running low at home - while nearly a third (31 per cent) admit to buying items they only think they’ll need because they are on offer and two per cent buy items they don’t need at all. As a result, according to the research 15 per cent of people don’t use the items they buy.

Going unused because they have been forgotten about (63 per cent) or they have passed their expiration date (49 per cent) are key reasons. While, around one in ten consumers admit having to ditch items because they had no storage space, while a further 11 per cent simply had no use for the product. Consequently, more than half (51 per cent) of unused items end up in the bin.

The overbuying also leads to 11 per cent of consumers in the south-east regretting bulk buying, and a further 11 per cent feeling they are financially worse off by doing so, according to the report.