Warehouse Store Membership - Bottom Line to Savings?
Although shopping at a warehouse club like BJs, Costco or Sam's Club can result in savings
it isn’t always the case for all families. Larger families that go through a lot of staples on a
regular basis can do well but as good as the sales may be most people actually ending up
spending more than they would in a regular grocery store because they simply buy more,
or things that they really don't need to begin with. The joke is that instead of calling these
shopping club stores by their real names they are referred in the business as the “200 dollar
clubs”. The huge store where you go in expecting to spend $100 and come out down $200
with huge packs of toilet paper, paper towels, bottle water, juice boxes, and cases of wine
that last about a week. Those shopping carts stuffed with all the bargains add up real quick
and can ruin a family’s food budget in one trip. Never mind the fact that you could easily end
up buying a new tv or lawn furniture that was too good of a deal to pass up. Bring the kids
and you could come home with a bicycle or skateboard.
So, if you are going to try a free membership or perhaps someone bought you a year’s
membership, you may want to try it out but be warned, the temptation to overspend may be
overwhelming. If you’re up for the task and would like try it out to see if you can save money
with your groceries make sure to count the cost of going into one of those places with these
questions in mind.
Will you use the store enough to justify the yearly membership fee? Will you end up throwing
away too much food because it’s gone to waste? Will you use a grocery list and be disciplined
enough to not make impulse purchases? If you can’t do all these things then do your grocery
budget a favor and stay out.
If you decide to go forward and make the trip, consider the following tips. Starting out, chose
a time other than a weekend to shop. Weekends are busy places at warehouse clubs and
impulse purchases are more apt to happen when you are pressured by a crowd of people
shopping for ‘bargains’. It becomes too easy to just throw things in the shopping cart rather
than thinking. You will always encounter something there at the store that wasn’t on your
list, but might be a terrific ‘buy’, but how can you be sure? Stop and think and give yourself
opportunity not to knee jerk. It is imperative that you plan on using a grocery list and plan to
leave with just the things on your list.
Stick to some of the best deals and to make the most of your club shopping experience. Start
with paper towels, toilet paper, baby supplies, bottled water, laundry detergent, and a few
frozen food items. Give some thought to the size of some of these packages. A giant 24-pack
of toilet paper takes space, a lot of space. Where are you going to keep this stuff? There will be items on your list that you find in a listed item and tempting as a 5-gallon jug of Dill
Pickles is, it is not a good use of money.
Knowing what to buy and what to skip requires thought. Things like produce may be
seemingly bargain priced, but in the long run the bargain is false because you have to
purchase an extra large container right away which won’t keep and the sale becomes more
expensive when you end up throwing it out. Fruit can be a great value but as with any
produce, be sure to check out the quality before you buy. Any produce you are buying should
not be highly perishable stuff, like the salad greens, unless you have the size family that will
eat it all before it goes bad.
Most, fish, poultry, meat, dairy and dried goods can be good values. Don’t over buy items
unless you can use items within a week or freeze items. Think about possibly splitting items
like rice and grains. You will do better if you have a good understanding of what prices are
for the normal for things you most often buy. If you know milk is usually $3.89 a gallon at the
grocery store, but it’s $2.79 a gallon at your warehouse store, buy what you’ll use before the
expiration date. Do the math—if you use 2 gallons a week and you have a two-week from
now expiration, buy 4 gallons of milk. This is the same for all the items in the refrigerated
section of the store. Milk, eggs, butter, cheese are all great values along with the other items
you would normally buy. The trick is how much to buy and can you use it before it goes bad?
Any good deal is no deal when you end up wasting it.
There are deals in the frozen food section , frozen vegetables, frozen boneless skinless
chicken breasts, fish, hamburger patties, turkey patties, and more can be excellent but again
beware of overbuying and space requirements.
Items you can skip are processed foods. Although big boxes of frozen or ready-to-go food
look great and the prices may be good compared to grocery stores do yourself a favor
and pass. It isn’t healthy to begin with and having huge amounts of it doesn’t equate to
promoting good nutritional habits. Skip the spices. Unless you’re cooking for a restaurant,
there is no way you’re going to use up a container of dried rosemary.
Cleaning supplies are hit or miss, some of them will be more expensive and much too
large for most peoples’ needs. An example is those huge containers of laundry soap at the
warehouse stores. These are no bargains when compared to supermarket’s buy one/get one
free sales, especially when there are coupons available that can be doubled
If you pay attention to the news you have heard that business at warehouse stores is booming in this economy. This is because people believe that they will save money. The truth
is club store prices are aren’t always the cheapest! They charge a membership fee and still
profit on their sales. A membership to most warehouse stores will cost you $50 for a year. To
recoup that money means saving $50 within the year to get even.
Grocery store chains routinely beat the club stores with promotions. Remember they are all
competing for your money. Warehouse stores are especially sticky wickets for anyone—the
temptation to overspend can be overwhelming. Few people can go into one of those places
with a grocery list and actually leave with just the things on your list. The same can be true
for the super store supermarkets. So what can you do?
If you are really interested in or need to save money consider an on line service that tracks
prices and shows only the very best grocery deals that can be used to provide a customized
shopping list so you can save thousands of dollars when you shop at supermarkets.
Jumpstartshopping.com is the New England’s premier subscription service that makes
shopping at the grocery store EASY and Saves Time and best of all you buy everything on sale.
Everything you need to know is online every week for Stop and Shop*, Shaws, Market Basket, and Hannaford supermarkets.
· The benefits of knowing sale prices before you shop.
· The difference between saving money or wasting money.
· The easy process of making a fantastic shopping list right at your fingertips
JumpStartshopping.com is jam packed with money saving features, coupon matching, helpful
tips and insider strategies!When you subscribe to JumpStartshopping.com you will receive the most important
information there is about beating the supermarkets at their own game:
· How to take advantage of loss leaders
· How to take home warehouse prices at the local supermarket
· How to match coupons the easy way
JumpStartshopping.com is jam packed with:
Printed Shopping List
And best of all, it’s Easy, Convenient and Cost Effective – all you need is an internet
connection and a desire to save MONEY!