Costco and Sam’s Club offer great deals that tempt you to come in and shop around, often leaving with items you never planned on buying. But are they saving you money?
Are Big Box Stores Worth the Membership Price
These tips will help you decide if the bargains they offer are right for you:
Do your homework. Buying in bulk isn’t always the best deal. Compare prices to be sure; know what you pay at your regular grocery store per unit. If you find a box store deal for $2.98 for 2 gallons AFTER rebate, but you only pay $1.50 a gallon at your regular store, it’s probably not worth dealing with the hassle of a rebate to get the same price. Do your homework before shopping for deals.
Can you really use all that peanut butter? If you only eat peanut butter once a week, that 5 pound jar is going to be around for a VERY long time. And it will be taking up a lot of space during that time. Also, will you be able to eat it all before it expires? If you’re going to end up throwing a lot of it away, it’s not a good deal.
Don’t impulsive buy. If you can buy 3 bottles of pain reliever for $10, that’s a great deal. Or is it? Think it through before buying. If you only go through one bottle every 6-8 months, that means you will be storing bottles of pain reliever for almost 2 years. And chances are, it will expire before then.
Stay organized when buying in bulk. A quick look at Pinterest will tell you that most of us are organizationally challenged. If we weren’t, there wouldn’t be so many articles about organizing! Finding a place to store your deals and keeping track of what you have is important if you want to make sure you use it all before it expires. Before buying, think about whether or not you’ll be able to store your big purchase until you use it all.
Most people spend more than they anticipated. And usually on things they don’t need. Are you one of them? This strategy will not save you money. Before buying, think about how and when you will use it. Will you need that much? If you’re not sure, hold off. You can always go back if you change your mind.
If you have a lot of mouths to feed or you’re buying for a business then big box stores can be a great deal. But if you have a small family, you probably won’t save any more than you will shopping the sales at your regular grocery store. Do the math and evaluate your everyday needs. Then decide if buying in bulk is saving you money or just creating more work.