Can Warehouse Clubs Really Help You Save Money?
Millions of people pay a membership fee for the privilege of shopping at warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJs or Sam’s Club. But is joining one of these clubs going to help or hurt in your quest to save money?
Joining a warehouse club entails paying an annual membership fee of between $30 and $110 dollars per year. The exact cost of the membership fee depends on the club you join and the type of membership that you choose.
In some cases, the more expensive membership will come with the extra perk of offering cash back for most purchases. Whether or not this benefit is worth the fee will depend on how much you plan to spend at the club.
Some shoppers dismiss joining a warehouse club simply because they feel it is wasteful to spend money up front because on the membership fees. For many people, however, the total amount they can save by buying in bulk will easily make up for the cost of the membership fee.
Again, this will be determined by your own shopping habits, so it will be worth it for some families and not for others.[ws_ads_post position=”right”]
Buying in Bulk
Sometimes buying in bulk can help you save money. But understand that this is not true in every case. When you join a warehouse club, you will have to take the time to learn the prices and then compare those prices to what you can get at your local grocery store.
Often, if you combine sale prices with coupons, you will realize a far better savings at the grocery store. But that doesn’t mean that you should dismiss the idea of joining a warehouse club. Many of the items that you can buy in bulk WILL save you money.
Just understand that to get the best savings you will need to do price comparisons instead of assuming that buying more is always better.
Another pitfall of warehouse stores that can lead to increased spending is impulse buys. Warehouse stores are filled with tempting items that are so well-priced that they can be tough to resist. Sure, the prices on these items may be great, but if you run to Costco for a gallon of milk and leave with a flat screen TV and a new blender, it’s going to be hard to stick to your budget.
Most warehouse stores are set up in such a way that you will have to walk past the non-essential items to get to the grocery items. This is by design. They know that if you have to walk right by these items that there is a good chance you’ll stop to look at them and, in many cases, follow through with a purchase.
The impulse buys are there, but if you can be disciplined enough to stick to your list then you avoid this pitfall. Make a decision that you will not buy anything that is not on your list without first going home, checking prices and thinking about it. Most of the time, you won’t bother going back for the item and you will have avoided this clever marketing trick.
Know Your Stuff
The bottom line: When shopping at a warehouse club or any other type of store is to know your prices. As mentioned above, buying in bulk is not always going to result in a better price.
Warehouse clubs CAN save you money. But you must be a smart, disciplined and well-informed shopper in order to get the best savings.