When it comes to wholesale retailers, Costco and Sam’s Club are at the top of the list. Both Costco and Sam’s Club have made a name for themselves by offering bulk-purchasing of most groceries at a discounted price. Most people know how these businesses operate – you pay a membership fee to shop at these stores in hopes of saving money on your monthly grocery bill. While it’s true that you can find good deals and end up saving money, there are also some pitfalls to avoid when shopping at places like Sam’s Club and Costco. Here are a few to avoid next time you’re out grocery shopping!
1. Assume Everything Costs Less
One of the biggest mistakes people make (and one of the brilliant marketing strategies) is thinking everything costs less. If you can get five pounds of peanut butter for $10, surely everything is a great deal, right? Not so much. Things like name brand cereal and diapers are typically more expensive at Sam’s Club. Plus, Sam’s Club doesn’t honor competitor or manufacturer coupons, so chances are you can find better deals on some items with coupons elsewhere.
2. “Spend More to Save More” Mentality
Why do you pay membership fees every month at Sam’s Club? For the opportunity to save big on groceries, of course. Oftentimes, we get into the mentality that we have to make up in savings what we spent on the membership fee. While this makes sense, it can also lead to buying more than you need or purchasing items you normally wouldn’t under the guise of getting the most out of your membership. In the long run, you’ll end up wasting more money than the original membership fee in the first place.
3. Buying More Than You Need
Buying something cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving money, especially when you’re buying in bulk. Since a lot of items at wholesale retailers like Sam’s Club come in bigger quantities, most people calculate the price difference in cost per standardized unit. Pound for pound, these retailers offer a better deal, but only if you use it all before the expiration date. If you end up throwing away half a tub of jelly, then you really didn’t save much money.
4. Overlooking Non-Grocery Items
Not every mistake involves buying too much. This one, for example, is actually not spending money on the right things. Did you know it’s significantly cheaper to get your tires changed at Sam’s Club? Big electronic items like TVs are also cheaper at wholesale retailers. Fun fact: Sam’s Club sells coffins for a fraction of the price as funeral homes!
5. Not Buying Gift Cards
Most of us only look at the gift card section at Sam’s Club if we need a gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or a last-minute present. However, it’s worth checking out the gift cards next time you’re at Sam’s Club. They offer discounts on a lot of their gift cards – up to 25%! At that rate, spending more really is saving more. If you happen to see discount gift cards for places you normally frequent, go ahead and stock up to save big in the future.