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Will a warehouse club really save you money?

With rising food, gas and everything else costs, with inflation hovering above 8% a year, many shoppers are taking a second look at warehouse clubs.

Charlotte Lee is proud of her recent reception at Sam’s Club this April.

“I took some cornflakes, some paper towels and paper plates,” he said.

This mother says her $ 45 membership fee was a smart investment. “Yeah, it’s worth it,” he said.

With meat, chicken and so many other prices on the rise, it looks like memberships from Sam’s, Costco or BJ’s Wholesale would be a great idea to save money this year.

After all, almost every product – a ounce or a unit – is priced lower than in a grocery store.

Another big advantage is that their gasoline is usually 10 or 20 cents less than the gas stations around them.

If you buy in bulk, they promise big savings. But will it really save you a lot of money?

Know the pros and cons before you get into it

Warehouse clubs have their pros and cons, according to marketing expert Kelly Goldsmith of Vanderbilt University.

One of the biggest downsides, he said, is the ability to buy more than you want.

“So you’re thinking I’m going to go to Costco and supply me with shampoo, toilet paper and paper towels,” he said. “Well, if you’re the kind of person who comes home with the yard every time you go, you don’t save money.”

Some questions to ask before entering:

  • Can it stop the urge to buy the impulse?
  • Will you go often enough to justify an annual fee of between $ 40 and $ 60?
  • Is it too far from your home?

“Think of your time as an opportunity,” he said. “You’re making money with that time, so think of something that’s going to benefit you in the long run, considering the cost of your time and going to the store.”

In addition to the time commitment (a visit to a warehouse store can suck up 2 hours or more a day), in most cases, you need to think about the larger sizes you need to buy.

  • Do you have a pantry for the larger sizes of paper products and detergents they sell?
  • Is your fridge big enough to hold large sizes of perishable food?
  • Will you be able to eat everything, or will you waste it?

If you have room for everything, Goldsmith says they can be significantly cheaper than in a grocery store, which is a big savings these days.

“If you look at things like meat and cheese,” he said, “they’re really items that can save you money.”

Corollary: If you control your shopping spree, a store will lower your food bills over time so that you don’t waste your money.

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