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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Some of you may remember a post I did on this a couple years ago.  Well, I’ve decided take another look. I get asked a lot: “What about warehouse clubs?” I fight the urge to answer back with a quick “you aren’t saving anything”.

Personally I haven’t found much that makes the cost of a membership worth it. The biggest reason being that you can’t use coupons at most warehouse clubs (BJ’s being the one exception). To learn about the best way to use coupons go here.

In an effort to put numbers behind my personal feelings, I went to my local warehouse club and got the prices of 30 items from all over the store to get an updated price comparison. I compared prices for the same product and brand in each category.

Here are the prices broken down by price per size.

Item Regular Store
w/ coupons
Sam’s Club
Boneless Chicken Breasts $1.99 /lb $1.77 /lb
Split Chicken Breasts 99¢ /lb $1.79 /lb
Bacon $3 /lb $3.42 /lb
Canned Tuna, 5 oz 50¢ per can 84¢ per can
Ketchup 1.6¢ /oz 5¢ /oz
Mayonnaise 3¢ /oz 9¢ /oz
Mustard Free 8¢ /oz
Salad Dressing 3.7¢ /oz 12.5¢ /oz
Popcorn (microwave) 60¢ ea. 77¢ ea.
Soups, 15 oz 40-60¢ per can $1.15 per can
Soft Drinks, 12 oz can 18¢ per can 32¢ per can
Iced Tea Bags, family size 3¢ per bag 5¢ per bag
Butter $1.80 /lb $2.37 /lb
Cheese $2.50 /lb $2.46 /lb
Eggs $1.19 per dozen $1.41 per dozen
Milk $3.19 per gallon $3.29 per gallon
Sour Cream Free-1.8¢ /oz 12.4¢ /oz
Spaghetti Sauce 3-4¢ /oz 5.7¢ /oz
Spaghetti Pasta Free 96¢ /lb
Brownie Mix, 18-20 oz 40¢ $1.97
Cake Mix, 18-20 oz Free-50¢ $2.40
Cereal, 18-24 oz $1.25 or less $3.34
Sugar 32¢ /lb 58¢ /lb
Baby Diapers 9-15¢ per diaper 22.5¢ per diaper
Foil 1¢ /sq. feet 4.6¢ /sq. feet
Freezer Bags 4.5-6.7¢ ea. 4.9¢ ea.
Paper Towels 1.3¢ /sheet 1.8¢ /sheet
Sandwich Bags .9¢ ea. 1.7¢ ea.
Toilet Paper, roll Free-29¢ ea. .0019¢ /sheet
Trash Bags 10-13¢ ea. 19.9¢ ea.
Dishwasher Detergent Free – .8¢ /oz 5¢ /oz
Glass Cleaner 4¢ /oz 12¢ /oz

A few things that stand out to me:

-I remember at one point getting a membership just for paper goods, thinking that I had to be saving money getting a 40 roll paper towel pack, but using store sales and coupons (normally in the drugstores) we are saving a ton over the “bulk price”!
-The second reason folks get memberships… diapers. Yep, not saving there either.
-$1.79 for boneless skinless chicken breast is really good, but don’t think 20¢ less per pound is worth the membership.

I know for some of you looking at the price per ounce, you are thinking “that’s only 5¢ more and I don’t have to use coupons”. Remember that’s 5¢ per ounce and really in the end will make the product twice the cost over using a coupon and catching the sale in the grocery store.

Okay all this said, there are some that love to buy in bulk versus watching sales and clipping coupons. You are saving money over the full retail price in a grocery store, so I’m not trying to rock your boat. But, I’d like to show you how much you could save if you put a little time into doing the whole coupon “thing”.

I know a lot of people really enjoy BJ’s as they have store coupons and accept manufacturer coupons.  Others are big fans of CostCo as they have store coupons (and, apparently, cheap organic produce).  Neither one is close to me, so I don’t have much shopping experience there.  Having talked to friends, it sounds like there are certainly deals, but grocery stores are still king.

Helpful Links:
Walmart vs. Grocery Stores
Learn to Coupon

(In case you are wondering, I am not affiliated with Sam’s in any way… that’s to make lawyers happy.)