20 Products to Avoid Buying at Warehouse Clubs

Sam's Club

Warehouse clubs like BJs, Sam’s Club, and Costco offer good buys on some items. They’re one-stop shops that carry most things on your weekly shopping list, but some products are more expensive at these retailers. It may be more convenient to buy everything on your list at one time, but if you want to save money, it’s best to skip some items on your list and opt for other stores that offer them at lower prices. Thrifty shoppers know that these outlets generally do not accept manufacturer coupons for discounts on items. While you can save on some pantry items and paper goods such as toilet paper, when you buy in bulk, you can spend hundreds more per month by taking the easy route. Here are twenty products to avoid buying at warehouse clubs.

20. Designer clothing

Kiplinger advises that warehouse clubs access designer clothing items in bulk, but designer clothes are often cheaper versions of the clothing versus what you will find in boutiques or direct from the manufacturer. Finding these items at discount prices means you’re buying seconds with factory defects. Often, they have inferior quality materials because they are made for lower-tier retail stores. You may get the label that makes you happy, but you’re not getting the best quality in the items. Furthermore, the clothing may not look as attractive and it is likely to have a shorter lifespan. You’re not getting the same items when you compare the quality.

19. Liquid Cleaning Products

Liquid cleaning products get sold at club stores in large containers or multi-packs, but price comparisons show that they’re not always the best deal when calculating the cost per ounce. Some of the cheaper store brands offered at discount prices are weaker in their strength. You need to use twice the amount of cleaning products to get the same results. Bathroom and counter sprays are more expensive than the brands you can find at the dollar store. Studies show that Dollar store brands are just as effective at cleaning bathrooms and countertops as the more expensive brands found at warehouse clubs. You can use manufacturer’s coupons for discounts on cleaning products at other stores to save more money.

18. Over The Counter Medications

OTC Medications are sold in mega-size containers offering savings when you buy in bulk. Most of these items are name-brand products that lose their potency when stored for months. You can save money by purchasing generic versions of over-the-counter medications while buying in smaller bottle sizes. OTC meds often go to waste when purchased in large quantities. Why spend money on products that will not work as effectively? It’s wise to check the labels for expiration dates and discard them when they lose their effectiveness.

17. Meat

Buying meat products in bulk may seem like the best move to stock your freezer, but you’re not going to get the best quality or deals on meats at your local warehouse club retailer. Meats may be in exceptional condition at the time of purchase, but in standard packaging, the meats going into the freezer for weeks or months can more easily become freezer burned, resulting in loss of quality and desirability. You can often find better deals on meat specials at your local grocery chains and save by buying them in smaller quantities. Some grocery stores offer great deals with their buy one get one free special.

16. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are best from your local supermarkets or fruit stand. Warehouse clubs maintain supplies of fresh fruits and veggies from large brokers from across the world. Buying these items in bulk can lead to copious amounts of waste because these products have a limited shelf life. Tons of produce spoil before it gets eaten, making it a less appealing offer when you’re wasting half of what you purchase. Fresh fruits and veggies are usually more expensive than canned or frozen. It’s best to buy these products in smaller amounts that you will use rather than throwing out half of what you buy.

15. Toothpaste

It’s never a bad idea to stock up on toothpaste, but it’s a product that frequently comes on sale at local grocery stores. You can find tons of coupons for money off for various toothpaste brands, but you can’t use them at Warehouse club stores. When you compare the prices of the large packs of toothpaste at these clubs, you’ll find that you can get them cheaper from other retailers, and you won’t have to buy six tubes to get a good deal.

14. Razors

True Money Saver advises that razors are an expensive item at most retailers, but they’re even higher when you get them from warehouse club stores. You’ll find the worst deals on razors and refill packs at club stores. You can find them cheaper at your local discount pharmacies and big box stores. Many drugstore chains offer special deals on razors and refills. You can also find loads of coupons for savings on these items.

13. Books, DVDs, and Blue Ray Discs

Books, DVDs, and Blue Ray Discs are higher when purchased at warehouse club stores. They tend to offer boxed package deals and they make them look appealing. When you compare them with the prices for the same items on Amazon, you’ll notice that you can find them for half the price. Why pay more when you can save by ordering online? You can also find copies of many Blue Ray discs and DVDs offered at a discount at Walmart and local and online bookstores. It pays to shop around.

12. Soda

Soda is a product that warehouse club stores maintain at a set price without specials. Coke and Pepsi are two competing brands that frequently offer huge specials on their products. Your local grocers use soda as a drawing card to attract shoppers. They offer deals that range from buy 2 get one free to as much as buy 2 get 3 free. Soda deals abound at local grocery chains and if you wait a week or two, you’ll see plenty of specials advertised, especially around holidays or special events like the Super Bowl. Avoid purchasing soda from warehouse club stores because it’s consistently overpriced at these retailers.

11. Diapers for babies

Baby Diapers are offered in mega packages at warehouse stores. It’s a good feeling to have a huge pack of diapers to ensure you won’t run low on your supply, but there are drawbacks to buying them in bulk from these retailers. You can usually find online deals for baby diapers that run as low as 13 to 25 cents per diaper through online venues like Amazon Family. You can even get them shipped to your home at no charge when you subscribe to their service. Warehouse club stores are more expensive per diaper when you buy them in large bulk packages. It’s unwise to purchase mega-packs of newborn diapers because babies grow so fast that they may outgrow them within a week, and you’re stuck with a product you can no longer use.

10. Printer Paper

Printer paper sold in bulk at Warehouse Club stores is one of the most expensive choices you can make. Prices are higher at these club stores compared to office supply stores. It’s best to stock up on these supplies through local office supply stores when they offer back-to-school or other specials on them. Warehouse clubs sell them at a consistent price and don’t offer great deals when you compare the items to the prices of other retailers. You can also purchase printer paper from some online vendors at a tremendous discount, and have them shipped to your home free of charge. On this item, it pays to shop around.

9. Condiment Packs

Cheapism points out that the popular condiment packs sell three large squeeze bottles together. If you’re throwing a large barbecue, this may be a good deal, but if not, it’s essential to be aware that these items do have a limited shelf life, even when stored in the refrigerator. Mayonnaise is only good for two months, relish for nine months, and ketchup for six months. Buying in large containers often results in waste and the long run, you’re paying more when you discard the expired leftovers you couldn’t use in time.

8. Luggage

Warehouse club stores offer attractive luggage sets and individual pieces, but the prices they charge are often higher than what you can find at other retailers. It’s wise to do a price comparison instead of impulse buying on this item. You’re almost always guaranteed to find a better deal on luggage from other retailers offering discounts and sales.

7. Name Brand Cereal

You can buy name-brand cereal in mega boxes and multi-packs at warehouse club stores. Unless you plan to eat a steady diet of a particular cereal, or you’re feeding a small army, the large boxes are likely to become stale within a few weeks of opening them. Name brand cereal is another product that frequently goes on sale at local grocery chains. Manufacturers produce tons of discount coupons on these items and they’re usually cheaper when bought from other retailers.

6. Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is another product to avoid buying from warehouse club retailers. Unless you’re operating a restaurant and use a lot of cooking oil within a few months, it doesn’t end up being such a good deal. Large containers are sold for up to 6 quarts. Once you open cooking oil, it must be used within three to five months. If you can’t use this month before the expiration time, you’ll lose money by purchasing in bulk. It’s more economical to buy in smaller amounts from your local grocery chain.

5. Eggs

The price of eggs is going up and although you can purchase extra-large eggs in packs of two dozen, a price comparison shows that warehouse club eggs are more expensive than most grocery chains. Comparisons show that you can save an average of fifty cents per dozen by purchasing eggs at a supermarket versus a warehouse chain. This is yet another product that you should avoid buying at warehouse club retailers.

4. Spices

Yahoo News explains that ground spices do not technically expire, but they are at their most potent for just two to three years. Warehouse club stores sell them in large containers that can range in size from 4 ounces to five pounds. Spices can be used for years, but after a few years, the large containers will lose their peak freshness and they lose the flavor, quality, and robustness of fresher spices. It’s not realistic to buy them in such large amounts and expect to get the best results in your cooking. It’s best to buy spices when they’re on special, in smaller amounts for the most flavorful and potent results.

3. Printer Ink

Warehouse club retailers strategically position supplies of printer ink in places where you’ll notice them when walking by. Printer ink is sold in bulk packages which may seem like a good deal, but when you compare the price per cartridge with the deals offered through the manufacturers or discount outlets online, you’ll discover that it’s not such a good deal. You can find printer ink far cheaper for various online retailers.

2. Dips and Spreads

Dips and spreads are pantry items that enhance movie nights and snacking, but it’s best not to buy them in large amounts unless you’re sponsoring a huge event. Once you open a 40-ounce container of hummus, you’ll only have seven days to use the entire contents. These items should only be purchased in bulk sizes for large parties and gatherings because they are highly perishable and will only last for a week. They’re expensive wherever you buy them, but you’ll save on waste by purchasing them in smaller amounts from local retailers.

1. Dietary Supplements

Warehouse club stores offer bulk supplies of herbal supplements and vitamins, but the cost is usually less through other providers. When comparing the price per tablet or caplet, many local retailers or drug store chains offer these products at far less. If you do find a deal on them, make sure that you’re not buying a large supply that will expire before you can use them all. Dietary supplements have a shelf life. Expired supplements lose their effectiveness, and you’re not receiving all of the potential benefits. It’s best to purchase them in smaller amounts from a discount pharmacy where the price is likely lower anyway.

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