Warehouse clubs may provide some cost savings for buying in bulk, but buyer beware - it pays to do some figuring before assuming that buying in bulk will net substantial savings.
For a recent Savings Experiment, Walletpop.com recently took a look at warehouse club buying to uncover successful bulk-buying strategies. Among their findings:
- Toiletries, diapers, vitamins, cereal, dog food, and cleaning items, are a few of the bulk items named "consistent values".
- Consider the "per unit price" of what you're buying. If figuring the per-roll price of the TP in a four pack vs the bulk buy is not how you want to spend your time in the grocery aisle, there's an app for that. The iPhone app RedLaser can tell you whether the price you'll pay is worth it, or can be beat elsewhere.
- Split bulk perishable items with others so spoilage doesn't happen before consumption. Singles or households with fewer people might also consider splitting other purchase items, like those which take up lots of storage room.
- Carefully consider the cost to join. Will the savings cover the cost of the fee?
A membership at a warehouse club can be a good value for certain purchases and for certain households. But you'll likely have to do a little investigating to feel confident you're really getting a bargain.