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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RMN = Retail Me Not
  • 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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Find out if buying in bulk at Sams Club, Costco and other warehouse stores really saves you money.  Couponing may be the way to go.

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.

Item Regular Store
w/ coupons
Sam’s Club
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
Mustard Free 8¢ /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”.

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.)