Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Benefits of Wholesale Club Memberships

Lately my husband and I have been discussing the merits of joining a Wholesale club. We've discussed it many times in the past but have never been able to decide if it was really worth it or not. So we took a little test drive through BJ's this weekend and checked out some of the deals.

Unfortunately, many of the items we inititally looked at only looked like good deals - but then when I calculated price per item (see below) I noticed the price was substantially higher.

Things I bought at BJ' during this trip:
  • Large 4 pack of Lysol Wipes. Cost was $11.99 and there was a $2.00 off coupon in the BJ's coupon book - making these wipes $9.99 (or $2.50 per 80 ct container).  These large wipes containers usually retail for around $4.50 EACH so I thought this was a really good deal!
  • Milk - $2.39 a gallon! You can't beat that!
  • Bertolli Instant Meals -  a 3 pack for $3.50!
  • Berkley Jensen Cat litter - $8.99 for 40lbs! I pay almost double this for Tidy Cat.
The only other items I thought were really good deals were on yogurt (24 Yoplait for $6), produce and in the deli section. We are still up in the air about joining- but we definitely enjoyed checking out the store! (Hint: BJ's often offers one day passes or 60 day free trials so you can see what the store is like - make sure you ask at the customer service desk!)

Here are my tips for determining whether or not a wholesale membership is worth it to you:

1) Figure out what the lowest price you can get your membership for. I can get a discounted card through my union. Ask at your preferred club to see if they offer a discount for AAA or AARP members etc.

2) Think about your shopping habits. Is it likely you will visit this store on a weekly or monthly basis? Do you do smaller shopping trips or huge 'stockups'? Will you actually make good use of your membership?

3) Know your prices. If you typically pay $1 a jar for tomato sauce - then  you know that three pack for $6 isn't worth your while.  When in doubt calculate the price by the amount of units to determine how much each item is really costing you.

Do you belong to a wholesale club? If so which one and what do you typically buy there? Do you think the membership is worth the price? Let me know!

1 gave me some sugar:

calgymnastbc said...

We do monthly trips to Costco. I buy all my staples there...when I have a coupon. This includes things like conditioner, shampoo, tampons, multi-vitamins, toilet paper, paper towels, and plastic baggies.

They are also my go-to source if I have missed a sale on poultry at my local super market, as their everyday price is cheaper than the local grocery store.