1. Frozen Foods
Warehouse clubs have a great reputation for their frozen food selection, and there’s a good reason why! These clubs not only offer high quality items in bulk, but the savings can be significant. For example, Sam’s Club offers a 24-pack of Klondike Bars for just $9.98. Compare that to the $4.39 that Kmart charges for a 6-pack and you’re saving nearly 50 percent! If your kids love Totino’s Pizza Rolls, you can pick up 140 of these little guys for $8.98 at Sam’s. Priced at $3.99 for 40, the same pizza rolls will cost you about $14 for 140 at Kroger. Not only do the warehouse clubs offer great deals on everyday staples such as ice cream and frozen pizzas, but they have a wide variety of frozen appetizers that are perfect for parties. Sam’s Club offers items such as a 60-pack of Chicken Potstickers and a 30-count box of Risotto Balls, each priced at $9.98. Not only will you not find these items at most traditional grocers, but the comparable items are typically anywhere from 30–50 percent more!
Although I try to stock up on batteries when I see a good deal, I often find myself running out to the grocery store at the last minute to grab a pack. However, batteries have an extremely high markup, and purchasing smaller packages of batteries over and over can really cost you. Instead, purchase batteries in bulk at warehouse clubs and you can save as much as 70 percent! For example, a 4-pack of Duracell AA batteries is priced at $5.99 at CVS. If you keep running out and buying 4-packs every time you need one, you would end up paying about $60 for 40 batteries. However, a 40-pack of those same batteries is priced at just $34.99 at Costco.
Whenever I need new tires, the first place that I think to go is Sears or one of the big-name tire companies. However, BJ’s, Sam’s and Costco all offer tire services, and research has shown that they typically offer savings of up to 20 percent compared to other automotive retailers. Michelin X Ice Xi3 tires are priced at $163.96 per tire at Sears, but Costco has the same tire in the same size priced at $153.54. If you’re replacing all four tires, that’s a savings of $40!
If you’re in the market for a new TV or other electronic item, don’t discount warehouse clubs. Electronics such as televisions and computers at warehouse clubs are competitively priced with other major retailers, but their edge comes in the form of their warranties and return policies. Costco is by far the leader is this category, accepting returns on electronics for up to 90 days. In comparison, Best Buy only accepts returns for 15 days. Not only that, but Costco extends the manufacturer warranty by two years on TVs, computers and projectors. And if that wasn’t enough, they offer technical support for any television, computer, camera and most other electronics purchased at Costco or Costco.com. You can call and speak to technicians for troubleshooting, warranty information or any other questions you have about your item. Sam’s Club, which also offers a 90-day return policy, offers a similar technical support service for all questions regarding electronics purchased at Sam’s.
If you consider yourself to be a wine connoisseur, you may snicker at the thought of purchasing your wine at a warehouse club. But because these clubs buy such huge quantities of wine, they are able to offer them at a lower price than many other retailers. In fact, I recently found a 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay priced at $28 that I had just seen at my local liquor store for $35! In addition to finding great deals on a variety of brands, Costco’s own Kirkland brand wines are consistently rated by the experts as one of the best brands for the money. There’s also a high rate of turnover at warehouse clubs, so you’re likely to find something new each time you visit!
6. Peanut Butter
If your family is like mine, you probably go through a lot of peanut butter. If you find yourself constantly purchasing PB, be sure to check your local warehouse club. These clubs typically offer peanut butter at a savings of around 30 percent, although the savings is sometimes much higher than that. For example, currently, Sam’s Club offers two 40-ounce jars of Jif peanut butter for $9.16. Compare this to the $3.99 that Safeway charges for one 18-oz jar and you’ve got a savings of nearly 50 percent! If you’re worried about it expiring before you use it, the average lifespan of peanut butter is around one year—so you should have plenty of time to enjoy those two giant jars!