Do’s and Don’ts at the Wholesale Price Club
You might think that since I’m writing about smart shopping , I won’t have a “problem” with the price club. However, as a new member, it took me several visits to get my bulk purchases under control. Is there enough olive oil to take a dip? Lifetime supply of cheese puffs? Come on, how can you stop yourself? Buying in bulk can be a cost-effective way to stock up on essentials, but there are pitfalls here.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com .
Five rules of thumb when buying in bulk
Here are some rules of thumb when shopping at price clubs so you don’t overspend or outbid.
1. Consider your spending habits
Wholesale Price Clubs are not for everyone. Before joining, compare your membership fee with how often you can shop there, how much you can save, and your personal circumstances. Shoppers who can pre-plan menus or shop for a large family can gain a lot from a price club membership, while single people who eat a lot outside of the home probably won’t.
2. Pay attention to the price
To avoid overspending or buying items that go bad before you reach the box, make sure you:
- I buy only what you need
- Buying things that you will actually use
- Buying something great
Also, while most items bought in bulk are well priced, keep unit prices in mind so you can make informed decisions when shopping at your price club rather than other stores.
3. Remember the “home” brand.
Don’t poke your nose at the “home” brand. In some cases, the products do indeed meet the requirements.
4. Shop outside of business hours.
To avoid crowds and lines at the checkout, try not to walk on weekends (unless you show up just as they open the doors) and during the day and evening hours before a holiday weekend or storm.
Deciding what to buy and what to skip
Not all products are the same when you buy them in bulk, so you need to pay attention to which items it makes sense to buy from the wholesale price club and which ones to skip.
Liquid detergents and soaps become less effective over time, so buy them in small containers at the grocery store or in large boxes rather than in bulk. Powdered cleaners usually have an unlimited shelf life, however, so if powder is your thing, go for it.
Before you buy 400 fish oil softgels, take the time to calculate how long it will take you to go through all of them before the expiration date printed on the bottle.
New Parents: Try not to overdo it at the price club. Forty dollars for 180 diapers is a lot until your baby is halfway out of them. The napkins will dry out over time, so you can also refrain from buying the 1100 pack when potty training is around the corner. When it comes to baby food, remember that your baby will start eating solid foods soon enough so that the whole mixture may run out before the baby drinks it.
If more than one person in the family uses a particular item, or you are quickly going through it, such as body lotion, shower gel, or hair conditioner, bulk purchase might be a smart buy. However, if a night cream that only you use is available in a 32-ounce container … maybe not. Facial creams really do their best when used for three to six months, and that’s a lot of cream that can be applied in such a short period. For sunscreens, SPF is most effective when used throughout the year. If the whole family has been using this oversized pump bottle all summer, great. Only you? Maybe he can wait until I buy it at the pharmacy.
The beauty product rule also applies to fresh products. If the whole family loves seedless red grapes, be sure to get a 7-pound bag. But if they’re just for you? It’s a good idea to skip this.
They may be cheaper in bulk, but if you’re not having a party today or tomorrow, these pretzels, chips, or cheesecakes may go stale before you even take them out of your bag.
Unless you have a large family or a child who sprinkles everything with ketchup, this huge bottle of ketchup can last at least a year. It’s best to buy a smaller bottle from the grocery store so that whatever you spread on your hamburger is fresh.
Cereals, breads, sodas, canned food, eggs and milk
These items are usually similar to those sold at your local grocery store, so compare prices including all coupons and think carefully about how quickly you can get through the item.
Brown rice has a shelf life of about six months. Are you going to handle this millions of pounds bag on time? The condiments last six to 12 months, so consider this before tossing a 32-ounce can of cumin in your cart. The same goes for olive oil, which has a shelf life of about six months.
This category has gone or gone. While prices for basic office supplies are usually better at your price club, you can find big seasonal discounts at office supply stores and large boxes. Also, do you need 36 pens?
Do’s and Don’ts at the Wholesale Price Club | Credit.com