Much like online grocery shopping and food delivery services, bulk buying is a trend that owes much of its recent spark in popularity to the pandemic.
In early 2020, memberships to wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam's Club quickly became some of the hottest tickets in town as shoppers panic purchased and stocked up to avoid unnecessary exposure to the outside world.
Now, over two-and-a-half years later, bulk buying doesn't seem to have lost its luster—made evident by Costco and Sam's Club's stronger-than-ever sales numbers.
People continue to lean on the convenience of bulk shopping in order to feed large families, stay ahead of potential grocery shortages, save money, or save time with fewer trips to the store.
Bulk purchase is beneficial, but complicated. Shoppers forget that jumbo-sized gifts can rot, mold, or grow stale, turning "cost-effective" purchases into money down the drain.
Costco shoppers have experienced this firsthand with the warehouse's fruits and vegetables. But, apparently the problem is widespread at bulk retailers.
We checked in with numerous food and grocery experts, and across the board, buying fresh produce in bulk is something most avoid doing.
You may not need to avoid all large-quantity fruits and veggies, however. Some produce items are likely able to handle a few extra days in the fridge or on the shelf.
Sugary cereals, chips, and candies put off savvy customers. These goods can go bad rapidly after opening, especially when bought in Costco-sized boxes.
MacPherson recommends freezing items like pre-chopped fruits and veggies for later use and also storing various dry goods—such as cereals or grains—in airtight containers to promote a longer shelf life.