Shopping at a warehouse club store saves you money because the bulk-goods approach offers low per-unit pricing on many household items. But some items, especially perishable ones, are better bought – and sometimes even more cheaply bought – at your neighborhood supermarket.
Consumer watchdogs at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance suggest seven items you may be better off not buying at the warehouse store:
- Books and DVDs – Warehouse store pricing seems tempting, but books and DVDs can generally be purchased for 15 percent less online with free shipping opportunities.
- Canned goods – Unless you’re into huge quantities, analysts say you can get better deals when canned goods are on sale at the supermarket – especially on store brands, which are not offered at the warehouse store.
- Condiments and cooking oil – A gallon jar of mayo or a three-pack of ketchup or mustard might seem like a good buy, but the shelf-life of condiments and cooking oil is shorter than you think once the container is opened. Keeping them in the fridge helps, but unless you are feeding a crowd, bulk pricing is not always a bargain.
- Generic diapers - Generic diapers from a warehouse club store can be a money-saver because they work as well as name-brand diapers at a much lower cost. But researchers say that generic diapers from the warehouse club typically cost about four cents more per diaper than they do at the average big-box store.
- Milk – According to researchers, you can usually buy a gallon of regular milk for 50- to 60 cents less at the grocery store than you can at a warehouse club store. In fact, some of the high-end grocery retailers offer the lowest prices on milk.
- Name-brand cereal – Cereals stay fresh in the pantry for up to a year after purchase. But because warehouse clubs don’t have sales on cereal, you may be better off stocking up on your favorites when they go on sale at the supermarket – where you can boost the savings by using manufacturers’ coupons.
- Soda – Experts say you can usually find soda on sale at a grocery store for less than you’d pay at a warehouse club. That’s because Coke products go on sale every other week for between $2 and $2.50 per 12-pack at the supermarket, while a 24-pack costs between $7 and $8 at the warehouse club.
Reprinted with permission from RIS Media. (c)2016. All rights reserved.