See I told you, this would help!
- SC = Store Coupon
- MC = Manufacturer Coupon
- SS = Smart Source
- RMN = Retail Me Not
- PG = Proctor and Gamble
- 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
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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 recently to my local warehouse club and got the price of 30 items from all over the store. In case you are wondering, I compared prices for the same product and brand in each category.
Here are the prices broken down by price per size.
|Boneless Chicken Breasts||$1.99 /lb||$1.97 /lb|
|Split Chicken Breasts||99¢ /lb||$1.78 /lb|
|Bacon||$3 /lb||$2.96 /lb|
|Canned Tuna, 5 oz||50¢ per can||78¢ per can|
|Ketchup||1.6¢ /oz||5¢ /oz|
|Mayonnaise||3¢ /oz||9¢ /oz|
|Salad Dressing||3.7¢ /oz||12.6¢ /oz|
|Popcorn (microwave)||60¢ ea.||$1.31 ea.|
|Soups, 15 oz||40-60¢ per can||$1.31 per can|
|Soft Drinks, 12 oz can||18¢ per can||27¢ per can|
|Iced Tea Bags, family size||3¢ per bag||19¢ per bag|
|Butter||$1.80 /lb||$1.06 /lb|
|Cheese||$2.50 /lb||$2.66 /lb|
|Eggs||$1.19 per dozen||$1.44 per dozen|
|Milk||$3.19 per gallon||$3.32 per gallon|
|Sour Cream||Free-1.8¢ /oz||8.9¢ /oz|
|Spaghetti Sauce||3-4¢ /oz||63.7¢ /oz|
|Spaghetti Pasta||Free||96¢ /lb|
|Brownie Mix, 18-20 oz||40¢||$1.86|
|Cake Mix, 18-20 oz||Free-50¢||$2.40|
|Cereal, 18-24 oz||$1.25 or less||$3.49|
|Sugar||32¢ /lb||69¢ /lb|
|Baby Diapers||9-15¢ per diaper||20.8¢ per diaper|
|Foil||1¢ /sq. feet||9¢ /sq. feet|
|Freezer Bags||4.5-6.7¢ ea.||4.8¢ ea.|
|Paper Towels, roll||43¢ ea.||$1.62 ea.|
|Sandwich Bags||.9¢ ea.||1.7¢ ea.|
|Toilet Paper, roll||Free-29¢ ea.||55¢ ea.|
|Trash Bags||10-13¢ ea.||11.1¢ ea.|
|Dishwasher Detergent||Free – .8¢ /oz||13¢ /oz|
|Glass Cleaner||4¢ /oz||9¢ /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. The cost difference on paper goods was the most striking though! 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.
- Dairy was the one department that did show savings. I don’t know if you can eat enough butter and cheese to make it worth the savings and extra trip, but their prices were lower than the grocery stores.
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. I want you to see how much you could save though if you put a little time into figuring out the whole coupon “thing”.
(In case you are wondering, I am not affiliated with Sam’s in any way… that’s to make lawyers happy.)
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