Buying in bulk is great: It’s often cost-effective and means you’re probably not faced with an empty roll of toilet paper at 4 a.m. But buying in bulk requires a little strategy, since you don’t want to be stuck with five gallons of milk that expire in two weeks. Here, three categories of items that you should always buy in bulk.

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bulk toiletpaper
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Stuff that you’ll always need

According to US News and World Report, buying toilet paper in bulk can be up to 50 percent cheaper than buying a roll here and there. Toilet paper, like pet food and lightbulbs, is something that you’re always going to need, no matter what. As long as you have storage space, it pays to stock up in bulk.

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bulk toothbrush
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Stuff that’s easy to store

Maybe you don’t have closet space for dozens of rolls of toilet paper, but other household items like garbage bags, toothpaste and toothbrushes (which should be replaced every three months) are compact enough to store just about anywhere.

bulk food
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Stuff that won’t go bad

Nonperishable pantry staples like oats, beans, pasta and rice are great for buying in bulk, since you don’t have to worry about using them quickly. While not a food item, per se, alcohol also fits in this category since, with the exception of open bottles of wine, it typically has a long shelf life and can be purchased in larger quantities for less money. And let’s face it: We’ll use it.

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