For Big Savings, Shop The Warehouse Clubs

For Big Savings, Shop The Warehouse Clubs

Warehouse clubs are big on selling certain items, offering unmatched savings and value on nearly everything in their stores.

Warehouse clubs are big on selling certain items, offering unmatched savings and value on nearly everything in their stores.

Before joining my first warehouse club about a decade ago, I had heard that these massive factory-like “stores” were good places to go to save money on purchases. But, I also knew that whenever you bought something from a club, you’d get much more than you probably could use including 6 pound tubs of margarine, 144 snack packs of potato chips, and other exorbitant sized packaging.

Clearly, I didn’t want to be stuck with more stuff than what I needed.

But, my fears were proven to be somewhat unfounded as I eventually discovered that warehouse clubs offer all that and more. True, there are gargantuan sized products being sold, but most clubs also offer smaller, more manageable sized packing, just perfect for the small family.

In the US, there are three warehouse clubs in operation, with Costco and Sam’s Club having a national presence, while BJ’s is mostly located up and down the east coast. Each club has a membership requirement, meaning in order for you to realize full savings you’ll have to pony up the annual membership fee. That fee is typically $40-50 for families which entitles members to buy anything in the store.

All three warehouse clubs are different, but what they do offer is value, with potential savings on groceries ranging from 10-50%. This means that most members recoup their membership fee within the first two visits, realizing tremendous savings throughout the year. Larger families love warehouse clubs which can trim $50-$100 or more off of the weekly grocery bill for annual savings of over $5000 possible.

If you are considering joining a warehouse club and you have access to two or three in your area, joining more than one probably won’t yield the benefits you want simply because you’ll spend an excess amount of time at each club trying to find the best bargains. My advice to you is to compare all three clubs, then decide which one is right for you.

The following are some things to keep in mind when choosing your warehouse club:

Membership – What exactly is the benefit of membership? If you’re looking for savings on groceries then all three offer that and more. Some clubs also offer discounts on gas, tires, travel, cell phones, insurance, optical, etc. Join the club that best matches what you need.

Coupons – Of the three warehouse clubs, only BJ’s accepts manufacturer coupons. This means on top of already low warehouse club prices, you can save more money.

Payment – Most clubs offer a variety of payment options, but Costco accepts only American Express cards while the other two clubs accept a variety of charge and debit cards.

Return Policies – Return policies vary with each club, but are generally liberal particularly if packaging hasn’t been opened. Electronics return policies are tighter, but each warehouse club offers some of the most generous return policies of all.

Warehouse clubs offer far fewer products than the average grocery store, but what they do offer is value on mostly everything that they sell. Instead of having more than twenty choices of ketchup brands and sizes, you may only find two or three choices, but what you get is uncompromising value with each product.

One further note: Clubs will sometimes offer an incentive for first time sign ups, including up to ten dollars off of your first purchase, two months extra free, and coupons toward free items in the club.

Adv. – How about a card you need that fits your financial objectives? Whether you are a savvy consumer or first-time user, there is a credit card that will meet your buying-power needs. Please visit to conduct your smart credit card search.


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".