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Can You Save With A Warehouse Club Membership?

Can You Save With A  Warehouse Club Membership

Can You Save With A Warehouse Club Membership?

People are always looking for ways to save money. Some love to cut coupons; others hop from store to store buying just the advertised specials. But there are some people who are convinced that the warehouse clubs like Sam’s and Costco are the ultimate way to save money. If you have been thinking about shopping at the big box membership store, make sure you check out these three tips to help you decide if you can actually save money with a warehouse club membership.

Do a Test Run

Most warehouse clubs will offer a visitor pass. You can usually go to the membership desk and ask for a one day shopping pass. Often this pass will let you shop and will sometimes even waive the upcharge that typically occurs when non members purchase items in the warehouse store. I suggest you call the store before you show up to confirm that they offer this guest shopping pass. Another way to check out the store before you purchase a membership is to go with a friend. They are usually allowed to bring in a guest. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate the products and prices before you spring for a membership.

Check the Unit Price

There are some items in warehouse club stores that will definitely not translate to savings even if you’re buying in bulk. If you are a small family and don’t eat a lot of ketchup, it may not make sense to buy the 3 pack value size bottles of ketchup. But if you have a large family and eat ketchup with every meal, you may end up saving money with the oversized bottles. The best way to decide if an item is a good price is to look at the unit price. Most warehouse clubs will post the unit price per ounce or packaged item. If you aren’t sure if the price is a good deal, then wait and come back with more information.

Snap a Picture

Now that you know the unit price, you will want to compare that price to your local grocery store. Since most people carry a smart phone, now’s the time to use it! Pull out your phone and snap a picture of the price so you can clearly see what the item is, the size of the product and the unit price. Then when you get to your local grocery, you can compare to see if the warehouse product is a savings. Shopping at a warehouse club can be a great way to save money on many products. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that buying in bulk is always the best strategy. Do your homework so you will be an informed shopper.

*Bonus Tip*
There’s also another factor to consider. If you like to use coupons find out what the store’s coupon policy is. There are some warehouse club stores that will not accept any manufacturer’s coupons, but will mail out a variety of store coupons to members each month. Other warehouse club stores will accept manufacturer’s coupons and allow you to stack them with their own store coupons to maximize savings. So make sure to ask before purchasing a membership.

Do you shop at warehouse clubs? Do you find that it helps you save money? I’d love to hear from you!

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Thursday 22nd of May 2014

Hi Jesenia!

I found your blog on Pinterest. These are some great tips. As you can tell, I shop at BJ's. :) To help my readers with determining prices, I have a price book here:

It is currently undergoing a major overhaul, as prices have increased. It will be re-published within the next week or two. However, as you have mentioned, many times items are still less per unit than the grocery store. And when there is a good coupon to stack, it really helps the bottom line.

There are other benefits to club memberships, but with coupons, your membership tends to pay for itself. Bottom line, is to know your prices. :)

Thanks, for the good read!

Jesenia Montanez

Thursday 22nd of May 2014

Thanks for stopping by Melanie! :) And thanks for the price book link, looks like a great resource.

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Sunday 11th of May 2014

[…] The Latina Homemaker shares some simply ways to determine if you can save money by shopping at warehouse clubs. […]


Thursday 8th of May 2014

We're a family of 5 living in Alaska. We definitely shop at Costco! For us, the produce is the best I've found up here and much cheaper than grocery stores. Plus, Costco is doing this big push on organic and gluten free foods which is important for our family. We also get reward coupons (basically a check). You can chose to cash it out or use it towards a purchase. Ours is generally pretty significant. We've moved quite a bit due to the military and I've generally found that how much you can save at a warehouse is dependent on where you live. In Florida, it was cheaper to go to the regular grocery store.