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TheStreet Open House

10 Things You Should Always Buy in Bulk

Gum
When people talk about buying in bulk, they probably think of hilariously oversized jars of food and towers of toilet paper. They probably wouldn't think of joining Costco to get good deals on gum.

But if you're already a member, you like to chew gum and you have a favorite brand, it's worth buying it in bulk.

"At Wal-Mart, if you grab gum from the checkout it's $1; at Sam's Club in bulk, it's 84 cents," Perez says.

Just make sure you consider how often you chew gum -- yes, even gum has an expiration date.

Laundry detergent
House says that she'll buy laundry detergent in bulk, which usually means two giant containers of liquid or powdered soap sold together.

"If you buy the Arm & Hammer brand powder, you'll save 40% to 50% and it will last you forever," she says.

She adds that if you want to make the most of your purchase, follow the instructions and moderate your usage.

"People don't pay attention -- it tells you how much to put in for what size load," she says. "If it tells you that you can get 240 loads, you should get 240 loads."

Personal care items
It's not just clothes that need washing. Rather than buy three-packs of bar soap at the drugstore, get a block of a dozen or more bars at Costco. The FatWallet experts likewise recommend shampoo, toothpaste and razors for your next trip to the warehouse club store.

And don't forget deodorant -- hey, it's not like you're going to stop stinking anytime soon. House says that her husband just picked up a six-pack of deodorant, which she says should last him at least a year.

Paper plates and plastic forks
With barbecue season just a couple of months away, you might want to keep an eye out for deals on the paper plates and cups you'll need to throw a good cookout. While you're at it, get plastic cutlery and napkins, too. If you don't use them all, there's always next summer.

"If we have parties and such I hit the bulk stores to get paper plates and cups, I'll have plenty to use for that party and the next couple," says Perez.

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