This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
Buying in bulk can be an awesome way to both save money and save yourself trips to the store. But bigger isn’t always better.
Big-box stores and warehouse clubs like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club are a shopper’s dream — One-stop shops where you can buy a lifetime supply of your favorite foods and products. However, don’t let every gargantuan carton and low price tag tempt you. Tons of items are better purchased in a 2-pack rather than a 24-pack.
Next time you find yourself at a wholesale mecca — don’t go too crazy. Be selective! Load up your cart with giant packs of gum, toilet paper, diapers and office supplies — but don’t grab everything you see on the shelves.
See the 7 items to avoid buying in bulk below:
1. Cooking oils
Cooking oils like olive oil and vegetable oil typically have shelf lives of only 6-12 months — so stay away from the gallon-sized containers.
While spices don’t expire quickly, they tend to lose their potency after about 6 months. If you want to buy spices in bulk, stick to buying whole cloves and grind them up yourself to maintain those bold flavors.
3. Liquid bleach
Bleach has a shelf life of about 6-12 months. The chemical begins to degrade immediately, especially at higher temperatures, so don’t be tempted by the bigger packages.
4. Face cream and sunscreen
Lotions like moisturizer and sunscreen tend to lose their effectiveness in about 3-6 months — so stick to purchasing smaller bottles and restock a few times a year.
Condiments like ketchup, ranch dressing and mayonnaise are laden with preservatives to hold a longer shelf life — but even so, it’s usually 6-12 months. There’s a good chance you won’t finish your bottle before the expiration date, so stick to buying one bottle at a time.
6. Brown rice
Brown rice deteriorates much faster than white or pre-cooked rice. Even when stored in an airtight container, brown rice only has a shelf life of about 6 months.
Properly stored canned soda has a shelf life of about 9 months, but it may lose some carbonation and taste.
Hit up the grocery store instead for the above items — or just stick to smaller packages.
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