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What Not to Buy at a Warehouse Store

Linda Lombardini

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

Jan 29 3 minutes read

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.
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