Friday, October 14, 2011

Tip: Price Compare, Even at Bulk Stores

There are many items well worth buying at Sam's and Costco.

I shop Sam's and purchase milk, chicken, cheese, romaine, apples, and bananas weekly. Those prices just can't be beat and the items don't generally go on sale. I'm sure there are some other items, as well, with terrific prices.

BUT there are some things to watch out for when shopping at these stores. Most of their items are name brand items, so they're priced as such. Sam's carries peanut butter, but only one brand and their price, while it may be good for that brand, doesn't beat a store brand and doesn't beat a Publix bogo sale - even without coupons on top of the BOGO (yes, BOGO = 2 items = 2 coupons!). Sam's price on toothpaste may be a better deal than the regular price of the same brand elsewhere, but if you can get it for free or almost free when writing your weekly shopping list than that Sam's price isn't worth considering.

Also, consider whether or not you'll use all of an item before it expires or gets stale. While their bananas price is great, if you aren't able to use more than one bunch before they go bad then buying more than one is not in your best interest, no matter what the price is. A giant bottle of cooking oil is great, but it will go bad over time.

These stores will not take manufacturer's coupons. BJ's will, but not Sam's or Costco.

I suggest that you simply keep your eyes open while shopping (everywhere). I have a price point where I will or won't buy most items, and I don't hesitate to pull out my phone and use the calculator to see if the bulk prices meet my limits.
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