Price Check Your Wholesale Shopping
There were times when shopping at a wholesale club meant saving money on nearly all of your purchases. That isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Pay close attention to prices or you may end up paying too much.
Back in the day, you couldn’t help but save money by shopping at a wholesale club and buying in bulk. The main reason was that your options for an item like paper towels were to buy one to three rolls at the grocery store or buy a blister pack of sixteen rolls at the club. Buying in bulk saved you money.
Buying in bulk still saves you money; it’s just that you have more places to do it than just at the wholesale club. Target, Wal-Mart, and other retailers have been offering bulk items for quite some time. To see where I’d get the best deal, I did some comparison shopping between Target and Sam’s Club. The items that I was looking for were paper towels, diapers, dog food, and kitty litter. All of these items were available in large sizes at both places. I was surprised to find that Target’s regular prices were lower on all of the items except one. Taking the sales prices into account, it was a no brainer that Target was the right store for this shopping trip.
If I had another list of items, I may have had different results. I have since found that envelopes and packing supplies are significantly cheaper at Sam’s Club. So, you need to check items individually. Also, remember to compare prices by looking at the unit cost. I’ve found that the wholesale clubs tend to carry items in different package sizes than regular stores.
Also remember to take other costs into consideration. Driving across town to get a better deal on one item might not be worth it, especially given the price of gas and more importantly the value of your time.The more you comparison shop, the more you’ll learn which stores to go to for which items.
The money you save is only as good as how you use it. One suggestion you will see often on this blog is to save or invest any such new-found money. Many people with extra cash have been investing in person-to-person loans from Lending Club because of the great rates that are offered. Whatever you do with your extra money, comparing prices at wholesale clubs with your other options will ensure that you always get the best deal.
Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 5:09 am