Find deals and avoid overspending with our guide to maximizing warehouse club savings.
Shopping warehouse clubs and buying in bulk can mean substantial discounts. But is the savings worth the cost of membership? Use this guide to hone in on the best bargains at the major clubs to get the best deals and keep more cash in your wallet.
Not all warehouse clubs carry the same inventory, although there is some overlap. Visit each chain to decide which (if any)
is the best fit for you.
At BJ’s and Sam’s Club, you can get free day passes, but with those you pay a surcharge on the items you purchase. If you can, tag along with a friend who is already a member to check out the differences among the stores.
After scouring the fliers and blogs, make a list of the coupons you plan to use and transactions you want to make, incorporating
as many different discounts as possible. It might sound cumbersome, but planning ahead saves a lot of time at the store.
When your membership is about to expire, stock up on enough nonperishable items to last three to six months. When you start
running low on those products, renew your membership. With this strategy, you pay the fee every 15 to 18 months instead of
Warehouse stores have incredible deals on produce but unless you have a large family, perishable items you buy in bulk may
spoil before you can use them. If you find an incredible deal on a huge bag of lettuce, make a call to see if a friend, family
member or neighbor will split it with you. That way you both benefit from the cheap unit price.
Certain products like big-ticket electronics, gas and perscription drugs will cost you up to 50% less if you buy them at a
warehouse store. Make the most of your membership by grabbing up these big discounts when you can.
Warehouse clubs wield an arsenal of strategies to encourage impulse buying. Persuading shoppers to assume they’ve found the
best deal creates a perceived urgency that can lead to overbuying. And because warehouse clubs stock big-ticket items, your
whim might be a pricey one.
Rather than impulse buying, stick to your shopping list. If you see something appealing that’s not on your list—especially if it’s expensive—ask how long it will be around, then go home to compare prices.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that everything sold in bulk is necessarily a steal—you still need a basis for comparison. Buying
small can sometimes be a better bargain, especially when taking into account store and manufacturers’ coupons and other offers.
Carry a calculator and keep a price book with you whenever you shop so you can divide the total cost by the amount in each container to find out the price per unit.
Each club has its own markdown methods: