Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping Warehouse Stores
You’ve paid for that warehouse club membership but find yourself lost in an overwhelming assemblage of sale items. It’s hard to believe everything is really on sale. The truth is, sometimes those warehouse deals aren’t all there cracked up to be, even if you buy in bulk. Take it from an experienced warehouse shopper; there are a few do’s and don’ts that might help you make the most of that membership.
1. Don’t Buy Too Much
Sure you can stock up on toothpaste until it’s piled to the rafters, but you might want to keep your acquisitive nature under control when purchasing perishable items. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans toss about 34 million tons of food every year and the average family throws out 880 pounds a year. That’s roughly the weight of an adult cow!
2. Do Resist That Impulse
Just like traditional stores, warehouses create displays designed to entice you into making impulse purchases. Make a list before you leave home and stick to it, with the exception of truly special deals.
3. Don’t Assume
We tend to make the assumption that paper products, diapers and the like are cheaper at warehouse stores. The fact is you can actually find reasonable or better prices at your local supermarket by using coupons. It helps to keep a notebook comparing prices on the major products you usually buy. Even for online warehouse purchases, compare deals with other e-Retailers using sites like PriceGrabber and review discounts applied with online coupons to Sears or other retailers to see if there are any other better deals available.
4. Do Identify the Final Markdown Location
Most warehouses shove all final-markdown items into one shelving unit or area of the store. Before you start shopping, head over there to scope out any exceptional deals. The same is true for meat, poultry and fish.
5. Don’t Assume They Don’t Take Coupons
Many of these warehouse club distribute store-wide coupons like BJs and Costoc. In fact, BJs accepts manufacturers coupons along with store-issued vouchers for deeper discounts. Look for coupon policies online before heading to the store.
6. Do Weigh Bulk Produce
Federal law requires each bag of oranges, potatoes and other produce must contain at least the advertised weight. What most people don’t know is that, to avoid underweight errors, grocers sometimes toss in extra food, making bulk purchases an even better deal. Weigh the bags and pick the heaviest.
By Andrea Woroch
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