Anyone who has ever lived with roommates will tell you that it requires maintaining a very delicate balance of give and take — especially when it comes to whatever you’ve agreed upon as communal territory. For me and my two roommates, purchasing household goods is a shared responsibility in our New York City apartment. We don’t have a concrete system nailed down, but we do try to take turns purchasing things like paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher tabs, disinfectant wipes, and more.
Whenever we’re down to the last garbage bag, someone will run over to the drug store for a box to keep the operation running smoothly. The astronomical sticker prices always bugged me, though. Why am I paying $15 for a few-dozen garbage bags when I’m literally just going to throw them away? There must be another way! Enter: Boxed, the bulk shopping website that changed my perspective on communal household goods shopping forever.
Boxed is kind of like an online Costco — except for the fact that you don’t need a membership or a car to tote all of the giant things that you purchased. All orders totaling more than $45 are eligible for free shipping, too, which isn’t very hard to reach when you’re doing a decent-sized haul. Boxed sells snacks, drinks, WINE, cleaning products, personal care and beauty items, school and office supplies, pet products, and more, but for the purposes of analyzing the costs of my apartment’s shared inventory, we are going to exclusively look at their selection of household goods. Here’s how the prices shake out.
Drugstore: $8 for 6 rolls (75 cents per roll)
Boxed: $17 for 12 rolls (~70 cents per roll)
The better deal? Price-wise, 5 cents may seem negligible, but the Boxed paper towels are also perforated by the half sheet, which, in our house, means a Boxed roll lasts even longer than a drugstore paper towel roll. We naturally use fewer paper towels without even thinking about it, making the Boxed ones better for the environment and our wallets.
Wet Sweeper Refills
Drugstore: $10.99 for 24 pads (~45 cents per pad)
Boxed: $14.99 for 60 pads (~24 cents per pad)
The better deal? Boxed (by a mile).
Drugstore: $15.49 for 12 rolls ($1.29 per roll)
Boxed: $23.99 for 36 rolls (~66 cents per roll)
The better deal? Boxed. Are we noticing a theme here?
Drugstore: $5 for 35 wipes (~14 cents per wipe)
Boxed: $13.99 for 4 tubs, 320 wipes total (~4 cents per wipe)
The better deal? We meet again, Boxed. Thanks to you, all of our surfaces will be disinfected at all times.
Drugstore: $1 for 1 box, 80 tissues (~1.2 cents per tissue)
Boxed: $14 for 12 boxes, 75 tissues each (~1.5 cents per tissue)
The better deal? We concede that the drugstore tissues are a slightly better value here, but there’s nothing like having 12 boxes of tissues delivered right to your door during the height of flu season a la Boxed. And, in our household, that is worth the extra fraction of a cent.
Drugstore: $3.49 for 18 ounces (~19 cents per ounce)
Boxed: $6.99 for 90 ounces (~7 cents per ounce)
The better deal? Boxed.
Drugstore: $6.99 for 10 tabs (~70 cents per tab)
Boxed: $13.99 for 85 tabs (~16 cents per tab)
The better deal? Boxed is the only place I’m buying dishwasher tabs, from this day forward.
Drugstore: $14.99 for 34 bags (~44 cents per bag)
Boxed: $17.49 for 110 bags (~16 cents per bag)
The better deal? Also Boxed. Note to self, only buy garbage bags in bulk.
Plastic Sandwich Bags
Drugstore: $6 for 90 bags (~6 cents per bag)
Boxed: $8.99 for 500 bags (~1 cent per bag)
Better deal? BOXED BOXED BOXED.
Sometimes buying in bulk can seem too good to be true (and can even cause you to spend more $$$), but I’m here to tell you that in almost every instance Boxed saved us money. The website also makes it easy for roommates to split the bill and build a shared cart — they even partnered with Venmo to let friends split the cost of an order. Have I convinced you that Boxed is great yet?
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