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Saturday, June 27, 2009

How to shop frugally at the warehouse stores

I'm a Sam's fan. Have been for years. We took a walking trip through Costco, and there were some great perks there. We've stayed with Sam's just because it's closer. Either way, these stores can be helpful in your shopping if you keep some things in mind.
  • Buying in bulk doesn't necessarily save you more money. If you don't use it all and the food goes to waste, you end up throwing money away. Make sure that you are careful in what you purchase, and that they are things you will indeed use in that size.
  • Know your price per ounce/unit/etc. Sam's, and I'm assuming Costco as well, is famous for carrying sizes on products that don't match up with other stores. The cleaning products have 2 more ounces in them, or things like that. I suggest taking a notebook with you to the the stores you frequent and track the prices by price per ounce. It makes your comparisons easier to do.
  • Once you know your price per ounce/unit, you can then determine if purchasing some things are better at a regular store on a great sale with a coupon.
  • Don't go hungry!
Generally, over the years I've found toilet paper and paper towels to be very competitive with other stores, especially if you are brand picky, and I am. I also found baby formula and diapers to be competitive, although with coupons you can do a lot better. It's a good fallback, though. I also think both stores are great on produce. I love buying lettuces and other things, as the pricing is MUCH lower than grocery stores. The only catch again is that you have to be willing to eat a LOT of salads or it will go bad before you can consume. Fortunately I think I was a bunny in a former life. :)

We also find great luck on purchasing things like photo paper, socks, underwear, and the salt for our water softener.

Be strategic, have a plan, and shopping in the warehouse store can be a helpful element to your frugal goals.


michelle said...

yes; I totally agree! Its the same thing with coupons! Some coupons save you money and some dont (if the coupon is for a more expensive brand of toilet paper, its still cheaper to get my original brand)!