Costly Shopping Mistakes at Warehouse Clubs

Avoid these pitfalls to get the most from your next trip to Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's.

There are savings to be had at warehouse clubs. But there are plenty of ways to overspend, too. Avoid these costly mistakes and you’ll come out ahead.

Let’s start with the basics: Buying in bulk is great as long as you use up everything before it spoils or expires. Check the dates on packaging, and freeze items that’ll keep, such as meats.

Also, be sure to compare unit prices, such as cost per ounce, rather than package prices. Otherwise, you might pay more per unit on bulk purchases even though it seems like you’re getting a good deal. No matter the package size, canned goods and sodas are almost always cheaper during supermarket sales.

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Finally, here’s a trick you probably don’t know: Skip the center aisle at warehouse clubs. This is where impulse buys such as DVDs and toys are displayed. To be safe, always shop with a list—and stick to it—to avoid temptation.

There are more costly shopping mistakes at warehouse clubs that you are probably making. Plus: Learn about the worst things to buy at Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.