Who doesn’t love buying jumbo packs of paper towels from Costco for a fraction of the normal price?

While there are definitely perks to shopping in bulk, the only way to actually save money is to be smart about what you’re spending. For those of you wondering if buying in bulk can save you money, here’s a guide on how to do it right. Your wallet will thank you.

How Much Are You Really Saving?

So, you’ve finally caved and bought a Costco membership. But, how much cash are you really saving?

It really comes down to what you buy. Depending on your shopping list, you could save anywhere from 20% to as much as 83% on purchases by opting for bulk stores like Costco and Sam’s Club instead of traditional discount stores such as Wal-Mart or Target.

What To Buy

When you’re shopping in bulk, it’s always smart to grab non-perishables at a fraction of the normal price.

This includes products such as toilet paper, paper towels, and paper plates, or even canned items and frozen single-dinner meals. If you’re a parent, you can also score cheap deals on diapers, baby wipes, and more while shopping at Sam’s, BJ’s, or Costco. On average, diapers are about 16% cheaper at bulk stores than normal discount stores.

What To Skip

As a rule, you should always skip food items that will spoil before you can finish them. This includes the jumbo packs of strawberries, avocados, spinach, and other produce items which don’t stay fresh for too long.

Even though they’re cheaper by the unit, you only score the discount if you actually end up eating them all. An exception to this rule would be shopping for large family gatherings or parties.