ThreeJars Daily: Where You Save The Most At Warehouse Clubs

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Where You Save The Most At Warehouse Clubs

Just because you can buy in bulk at clubs like Costco or BJ’s doesn’t mean you’re saving much. In fact, you might be paying more. We asked Julia Scott, founder of to let us in on the best—and worst—buys.

By Nicole DeCoursy


Gift cards: They’re the perfect holiday gift! BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club all sell discounted gift cards for iTunes, restaurants, movies, spas, vacations, and more.

Electronics: It pays to get your flat-screen at a warehouse club. They usually offer competitive prices and their return policy is less stringent than other stores, says Scott. (Costco and Sam’s Club have a 90-day return policy, while BJ’s has a 30-day return policy on electronics.)

Wine: Costco is the largest retailer of fine wine in the country. This means they’re able to offer bottles at much better prices than wine stores and supermarkets. Check out their alcohol and beer for savings, too.

Meat: “Costco buys very high quality meat,” says Scott. “It’s generally better than what you’ll get in your grocery store.” She recently found pork tenderloin for about $1.99 per pound. Another great find at warehouse clubs—rotisserie chicken. You can keep one in the fridge all week and use it for sandwiches, soups, salads, and pasta.

Butter: It can be pricey at your local supermarket unless it’s on sale. It pays to stock up on butter at a warehouse club, especially this time of year when you’re baking. Just freeze extras.

Prescription medications: You don’t need to be a member at Costco or Sam’s Club to use their pharmacy. Scott found that the savings are huge, especially if you have a chronic condition that requires you to take meds regularly.

Eye glasses: “I got an amazing deal on prescription lenses at a warehouse club,” says Scott, who saved about $150 by buying her glasses at Costco. “The only other place you can get them cheaper is online—and you can’t try them on.”

Diapers: If you have a baby, you know that those diapers get used up fast. It’s one product where buying in bulk really makes sense. And at BJ’s you can use their coupons (they typically offer money off popular brands of diapers) as well as manufacturer coupons for big savings. Costco and Sam’s Club only accept their own coupons.


Toiletries: You can likely get toothpaste and shampoo cheaper at your drugstore, says Scott.

Milk: It’s not usually any less expensive than milk from your local supermarket.

Produce: Fruit and veggies spoil quickly, so if you often end up chucking some of the bulk packages you buy in the garbage, you’re also throwing your money away.

Paper goods: Toilet paper is the biggest buy at warehouse clubs, but it’s often not the best deal. Supermarkets usually put some brand of toilet paper on sale every week at a better price, says Scott. The same goes for paper towels. Next time you go shopping, check the per unit price at your club and supermarket to see where you get the most savings.

Nicole DeCoursy is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Westchester, NY with her husband, two boys, and three cats. Her work has been published in Redbook, Parenting, and Weight Watchers Magazine.


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