Some people love to wander through a warehouse store, checking out all the merchandise, looking for bargains, and tasting the array of free food samples often being handed out throughout the store. Many folks like to make an adventure out of the experience and spend hours walking up and down aisles.
For others, however, warehouse shopping can be a somewhat a daunting experience. Being faced with shelves upon shelves stocked to the ceiling with bulk items can be overwhelming.
Undoubtedly, warehouse shopping and buying in bulk can save you money if you know how to make the right choices… and if you don’t get carried away by the belief that everything around you is a money-saving bargain. Here are a few tips from everyday folks who know their way around a warehouse store.
Check unit prices. When you buy in bulk, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that you are purchasing something at a bargain price. But, that isn’t always the case. Compare the unit prices for the same item at different stores and you may be surprised to find that you might actually save by buying some merchandise at your local grocery store.
Avoid impulse buying. Like any other type of store, warehouse stores are designed to entice people to make impulsive purchases. Yes, you may come across a deal you can’t walk away from and that’s okay. Just give yourself enough time to really think it over before buying something you had not planned in advance to purchase. If you see some true benefit and value in making the purchase, then you will feel more comfortable bringing it to the register and taking it home.
Partner with a friend. Warehouse stores usually charge an annual membership fee. Most memberships are not limited to one person and often provide at least two membership cards. You can cut the cost of membership in half by sharing one membership with a friend. It also helps to split bulk purchases with a friend when the quantity included is too much for one person or one household to use before the expiration date.
Always shop with a list. If you have a list in hand as you walk through the overabundance of merchandise in a warehouse store, it will be easier to avoid purchasing appealing but unnecessary items. Concentrate on your shopping list when the urge arises to buy something just because its seems like a bargain.
Avoid items with limited shelf life. Only buy in bulk if you will use the entirety of the purchase in a reasonable amount of time. If you love tomato soup and know you will use up a case of it before any of the cans reach their expiration date, then it makes sense to purchase a case. But, if a case of tomato soup will sit in your pantry for a year and you'll end up throwing out half its contents, then you have probably lost money on the purchase. Non-perishables items like paper towels and toilet paper tend to be wise bulk purchases.