Wondering if the membership price to that warehouse club (like Sam's Club) is worth the money or if the savings you get from buying in bulk are worth it? If you’re thinking about getting a membership to a warehouse club, you’ll find it’s a lot different than your everyday grocery store. Here’s some tips to figure out if it works for you.
Most warehouse clubs will let you in without a membership as long as you don’t buy anything. You may want to bring a notebook and jot down the unit prices for items you buy regularly to compare it to your average grocery store price. Remember, just because it’s in bulk doesn’t mean it’s always cheaper.
Just like the grocery store, the warehouse club can be full of tempting impulse buys. Make a deal with yourself to avoid buying anything off your list. Instead, jot the item and price down on your list and research prices online when you get home. You’ll also get through that giant building a lot faster if you already know what you're looking for.
What to do with 5 pounds of pork chops you got at a steal? Wondering how you're going to get through that value pack of butter before it expires? Plan your meals around what you get. And be sure to check out cookbooks made just for warehouse club shoppers, like From Warehouse to Your House or Fix, Freeze, Feast.
Bulk items are a pain to store, but they’re easier to use and can even look nice on your counter if you store them in good airtight containers. These Snapware canisters are airtight and great for anything from snacks to sugar .You’ll probably want some for cereal, too. It may come in a big box, but inside it’s just a bunch of flimsy bags.
That giant pack of paper towels may be a great buy but do you have somewhere to put it? It’s always a good idea to check your fridge, freezer and pantry to see how much space you have to work with before you buy.
Five pounds of oranges may be a better deal than buying them individually, but that saved money won’t matter if you have to throw away most of them. Buy produce, meat, dairy and bakery products with an eye on their expiration dates and make sure you don’t get it if you won’t finish it. If you do overbuy, make sure it’s something you can freeze. If you’re interested in doing a lot of freezing, you may want to invest in a FoodSaver.
At least, not if you haven’t moved up a size recently. Buying a giant box of diapers means your baby will outgrow them in a week. But wipes are always a good idea.