6 Things To Buy In Bulk With Your Roommate

By Ashley Paskill

College students have a lot of expenses and a limited budget. If you live with a roommate or two, buying taking advantage of buying in bulk can help save money. While sharing things like your favorite snacks or health products, sharing various other essentials can help save on costs. There are stores specifically designated for bulk purchases, but those often require a paid membership. Even buying things in bulk at your local grocery store can help you save money.

Cooking necessities

While buying food items in bulk on your own can seem unproductive as they may go bad, buying cooking essentials like eggs, seasonings, milk, ketchup, cooking oil, and flour in bulk may be useful. These things are used frequently across multiple recipes, so it is useful to have the bulk of these items so you and your roommate have enough for all the things you like making. If you have specific needs or brands that you prefer in these items over ones your roommate uses, make sure you have your own stash.


You and your roommates may have individual snacks that you buy in regular portions, but if you know that you all enjoy a specific snack and find yourself eating each other’s stash, you may want to consider buying those snacks in bulk. You may even be able to find healthy snacks depending on where you shop. Just be sure you are clear about individual snacks, and if you decide that you want to buy a snack in bulk next time you go shopping, make a note on a shopping list. Be sure to check expiration dates so that you do not end up wasting food and money.

College Roommates: 6 Things To Buy In Bulk With Your Roommate

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Things such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and razors all cost less when purchased in bulk. Individual toiletry items can cost up to $5, but a large pack of even 100 can be $20. If you take care of these items and store them properly, you may be able to have a stock of toiletry items for the duration of time you are with your roommate. This allows you to split the box and split the cost. Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but you will also help reduce plastic packaging to help the environment.

Soap and cleaning supplies

Whether you live in an apartment with your roommate or a dorm, you will have to keep your space clean. Things like hand soap, shampoo, bar soap, laundry detergent, and soap for cleaning can add up when purchased in individual portions. Buying in bulk will help you save money and make sure you do not run out of supplies when you find yourself having to clean up a mess. You will likely need various types of cleaner, so having these in bulk can help make sure they last while you are with your roommate.

School supplies

Textbooks, tuition, and a computer are all expensive enough, but as a student, you will likely need things such as pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, and index cards. These things can add up if you buy them individually or in smaller quantities. Since you are all in school, you will all likely need these supplies and will want to have plenty on hand, especially since pens tend to go missing. Before each semester, take a look at your syllabi with your roommate to see if there are specific supplies that you will need. Otherwise, stick with general supplies that you anticipate needing. That way, you will not have to panic when you lose your pen or have to do notecards for a project or exam.

Paper goods

Paper goods such as toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues often come in individual quantities, but since you are living with a roommate, you will likely need to have a bunch of these supplies handy. The good thing about paper goods is that you do not have to worry about them going bad, so you can have a large supply of them so you are not caught in an emergency without toilet paper or paper towels. College students are notorious for getting sick and spreading germs, so having tissues on hand can help ensure that you do not have to make a store run when you or your roommate are sick.

General tips

If you know that you will use a bulk item before it goes bad and you know your roommate will use it as well, it is worth buying. Otherwise, buy the smaller portion so you do not waste the money and food. Consider buying the store brand of the bulk items to help save even more money. Only buy things in bulk that you and your roommate both use and be sure to make clear what items are yours.

While the initial cost of buying in bulk may seem higher than buying in smaller quantities, if you sit down and do the math, buying items in bulk actually saves money over time. This is essential as a college student, especially if you have a roommate and can split the costs.

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