NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Paper products, detergent, and canned food – those are among the items most of us consider buying in bulk. But Dian Farmer, author of the blog “Grocery Shop for Free,” says there are others things we should consider.

“You have to know what the things you buy on a regular basis cost,” she said. “Then you look for that rock bottom price. That’s the key.”

With Farmer’s help, here’s our top five most surprising things you should buy in bulk.

Gift Cards – At warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco look for what’s known as “extreme” gift cards. These gift cards, usually for restaurants and movie theaters, sell between 20- to 25-percent below face value.

Toothbrushes – Most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. At a drug store you’ll pay three to five dollars for a single brush. At a warehouse store a pack of eight of the same toothbrush can cost less than ten dollars. Farmer said percentage-wise toothbrushes are among the best deals at a warehouse store.

Prescription Drugs – Due to lower costs, mail order pharmacies have become a popular way for people to fill their prescriptions. When ordering for a chronic ailment, consider a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply. The difference could save you as much as 40-percent.

Education – Not only do many pre-schools offer a sibling discount, a handful of colleges also offer a discount to siblings attending at the same time. Plus, for families who qualify for federal student aid, the amount a family is expected to pay stays the same no matter how many children are attending college.

Alcohol – Farmer said alcohol purchased at a warehouse store often will be nearly 30-percent cheaper than at a liquor store. Plus, you don’t have to be a member. What stores like Costco and Sam’s Club stores don’t tell you is legally they have to sell alcohol (along with prescription drugs) to anyone of legal age, even if you don’t pay to be a member.

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