Can Warehouse Clubs Really Save You Money?

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With Memorial Day celebrations here, you may be looking for ways to save when entertaining guest.  Elle Martinez will give you tips and help you figure out if warehouse club memberships save you money.

Many people assume that buying in bulk is always better, but that is not true. Depending on what you buy and how often you’d use or consume it, bulk can either be a fantastic deal or it can be a hole in your wallet.

How do you know if a membership is the right move for you? If you’re on the fence or curious about making the smart move, I’ll share some tips on how you can maximize your savings and avoid pitfalls.

The first factor you want to consider is the membership costs. The big three clubs (Costco, Sam’s Club, and B.J.’s) all have some annual fee, so the minimum savings threshold you have to shoot for is covering that cost. If this is your first time joining, I highly suggest you get the basic membership to test out the waters.

Shopping in Bulk – Smart Move or Wasteful?

For singles and couples, warehouse clubs can be wasteful if your food goes bad before you have a chance to eat it. Dry goods like rice and coffee were definitely fantastic buys for us, but other items, like produce didn’t always work for us. It took some trips, but my husband and I have found ways to curb our spending.

  • Tag along with a friend to test out the place. If you’re not sure which warehouse club to sign -up for, ask your friends if you can join them for a shopping trip. You don’t have to buy anything, just get an idea if the place has what you need.
  • Have a shopping list ready before you go. One of the easiest ways to spend more is buying items that you weren’t planning on buying. Review your purchases before you get to the register so you don’t waste your hard earned money.
  • Have a price book or spreadsheet. Keep an eye out for prices on the items you buy the most of,  like milk and bread so you can be sure that you’re actually saving money.  If you’re not really into keeping meticulous records, simply keep tabs on purchases that matter to you.

While most warehouse clubs don’t allow manufacturer’s coupons, B.J.’s will  you use them. With some strategic planning, you can trim down your spending.  If you have any more suggestions, please leave them below in the comments.

Maximizing Your Membership Benefits

Besides savings you may get with buying at the warehouse club, there are some fantastic memberships benefits that can help keep more of your money and still get wonderful service.

Gasoline

For us, Costco’s gasoline has been considerably cents cheaper per gallon then other gas stations in the area. I’ve noticed a difference of about 10 cents a gallon over the years. Since I’m over that side of town most weeks, I try to fill up so I can not only save money on the gas, but I can also go ahead and get a rebate with our executive membership.

There are added benefits to Costco membership including discounts on certain services.

Car Insurance

Our Costco membership has helped slash our car insurance by switching to Amerprise. Executive members have towing and assistance included for free with their insurance policy. It never hurts to compare auto insurance and if your membership can give you a significant discount, then go for it.

Tires

I admit that I was not expecting to save money on car tires, but you can get some huge savings with your club membership, depending on the brands you use.  Besides the discount on the tires themselves, you may also get some services included with the installation for free.

Thoughts on Warehouse Clubs

We recently reviewed our Costco membership and the numbers are still in our favor. However I could do a better job with taking advantage of the membership perks. How about you – does being a warehouse club member save you a ton of money or is it just another bill?

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