If you have a membership at a warehouse club, you are well aware of the great deals you can find there. Jumbo sizes, low prices, and store generics can make warehouse shopping a cost-effective way to keep your home well stocked. Throw in cheap food court fare and the fun of indulging in samples while you shop, and a trip to the warehouse can even be kind of fun. However, along with the loss leader items, some products aren’t such a bargain at the membership club. And some of those bulk items will expire before you can use them up.
14. Bulk-Sized Dips
That big old carton of hummus, onion dip, or guacamole may seem like a steal. However, if you aren’t able to consume it within seven days of opening, you may be throwing most of it into the trash. Furthermore, you may be able to score a better price per ounce by watching the sales ads at your big box department stores such as Target or Walmart. Speaking of dips, have you tried Trader Joe’s Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip? At $2.99 for an 8.8-ounce frozen package, you can serve up a hot, creamy, bubbly appetizer that is a real crowd-pleaser.
13. Canned Goods
Bulk packages of canned goods can be a great deal if you choose items you use in your regular meal rotation. However, buying a large pack of rarely used canned foods means they will be languishing in your pantry and may expire before you enjoy them. You may require an item for a recipe but otherwise rarely use it. If so, you may be better off grabbing just a single can from your grocery store.
12. Cleaning Supplies You Infrequently Use
Unless you are frequently running your carpet steamer, unclogging drains, and disinfecting large surfaces, you may not need jumbo bottles of certain cleaning supplies. These bulky containers can take up valuable real estate in your cupboards and closets. If you shove them to the back of a closet and forget about them, then you may end up repurchasing them in a pinch. For supplies that you use only on an occasional basis, it may be more cost-effective to purchase smaller quantities from a big box department store.
11. Designer Clothing
If you are looking for a cheap pair of jeans or an inexpensive hoodie and don’t care about the label, then the items at your local membership club may fit the bill. However, if you are looking for top-quality, name brand items, the membership club may not be the best place to purchase your wardrobe. Refinery29 reports that designer clothing sometimes makes its way to membership clubs through convoluted channels. Furthermore, manufacturers may funnel lower-quality items to the clubs at a discounted rate.
Don’t assume that all items on the warehouse shelves are coming to you at a discount. Diapers are expensive items, and it pays to do your research before shelling out money for them. You may be able to find better deals on diapers at big-box retailers such as Target or Walmart. Clipping coupons and watching for sales may net you the best price. Furthermore, the Amazon Subscription service also offers discounts on diapers and other household items scheduled for regular delivery.
9. Fresh Produce
You can often find good prices on fresh produce at the warehouse club. However, these fresh items may go bad very quickly. When purchasing bulk quantities of fruits and vegetables, inspect them carefully for signs of decay. Make sure you have a plan for using fresh produce in your kitchen in the next few days. If not, you may be better off choosing smaller quantities from the grocery store. If you do find you have purchased more fruit than you can use in a couple of days, you can cut up and flash freeze chunks to use in smoothies.
8. Impulse Buys
As with any store, the impulse buys are where the membership club may get you. Shopping on an empty stomach is always a no-no. Furthermore, it can be especially expensive when the treats that tempt you come in bulk boxes. Head to the store with a satisfied tummy, a list of the items you need, and be prepared to fight off the temptations. Plan to ask yourself questions like, “Do I really need this 40-count box of Stroopwafels?”