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Do you have have a membership to a club store? Which one? Sam’s Club? Costco? Does it save you money? What if I told you that there’s a really good chance that your club store membership is actually helping to make you broke? Buying in bulk can absolutely save you money, but it can also cost you huge amounts of money too. In fact, it can cost you money in ways that you might not even be able to clearly see how much and why. This is a major problem for most people since it can lead to over spending which of course leads to a complete budget failure.
If you’re a hard core club shopper, you’re probably thinking I’m pretty close to being insane right now. Trust me, I am but that’s beside the point. Club stores really are great, but they’re also very smart. They are fantastic at making you think you need to buy from them to save money. How many people have you seen that buy bulk and never stop to think whether buying in bulk is actually saving them money? Your local club store is partially responsible for that. When you go to shop at a club store, especially if you’re new to buying in bulk, it’s easy to buy into the hype.
How Your Club Store Membership is Making You Broke
Need mayo? Buy this 5 gallon jug!
How about frozen pizzas? Here’s 15!
Those can be great deals for some families but the issue is that they are marketed to make you buy them…whether you actually need, want or can use them. Those marketing tactics are what is making you spend more than you realize when you shop at those big box bulk stores. That spending is what, in the long term, makes you broke. Let’s take a look at 6 ways your club store shopping is making you broke.
Overpaying for your membership in the first place –
Club stores love new members and as a result, they are constantly running membership specials on sites like Groupon. What this means for you is that there is usually never a reason to pay full price for your warehouse club membership. Paying full price isn’t going to make you broke, but if you can save money, why wouldn’t you? Want to save even more? Use my $225 income system to earn free Groupon gift cards and use those to pay for your membership when the next deal comes around.
Buying items you don’t actually need –
Just because there is a deal on the item, doesn’t mean it’s going to save you money and the same could be said for buying in bulk. Just because something gives you more doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. If you aren’t using the item, you are not saving money, you are hoarding which is one of the reasons that I stopped extreme couponing.
“I bought 50 air fresheners for $0.10 each!What a deal.”
Yeah, it’s a great deal if you’re handing out air fresheners for Christmas.
It’s an age old way to save money on groceries, but it really applies at club stores when you’re buying in bulk. If you don’t need it? Don’t buy it.
Buying more than you can reasonably use –
Do you eat mayo? If not, why would you ever consider buying a gallon sized jar or even a bulk package of regular sized jars? Chances are super good that they will go bad before you can use them which means what? You wasted money. That goes for anything you buy in bulk at a club store but won’t use before it goes bad or expires. Instead, buy the smaller item. Yes, you may pay more per item than you would if you bought the big bulk buy, but in the end you will save…because you’re not wasting money on a product you never got to use.
Better yet? Stop buying and make homemade. You’ll not only be healthier but you’ll also take a few steps backwards from being as broke as you currently are.
Not getting a better price per unit –
One of the things I talk about in my book, Six Dollar Family is how to figure out the unit price of an item. Not sure what the per unit price is? It is the cost you pay for each item in the package and because of the unit price? You may not actually be saving money at the warehouse stores you are shopping at because you’re not checking the smaller sizes for a better deal per unit. It’s true! Those smaller sizes that you are passing up may actually be a better deal!Bulk prices sometimes are more per unit because not only do they require more packaging but they also cost more to ship to the store, they use more floor space at the store and since they often create the look of value, retailers sometimes mark them up “just because.”
To figure out the cost per unit, take the cost of the item and divide it by the number of products or weight of the item. For instance, to figure out how much per load a bottle of detergent will cost you you would divide the cost by the number of loads.
$9.99/140 loads = $0.07 per load
Really pay attention to this and you could save some big money!
Buying Electronics or appliances at Warehouse Stores –
We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Saw an electronic at your favorite warehouse store and “had to have it.” only to get home and find out the deal wasn’t as great as you initially thought it was. Buying those electronics at the club stores isn’t a great way to save money since they’re often priced pretty close to retail. Instead, learn how to find a great deal online or check your local stores that specialize in what you need to buy. Remember that these club stores specialize in groceries and household items and not freezers or computers.
Not Utilizing the Purpose of a Warehouse Store –
It might surprise you just how many people buy a club store membership, but have no real idea how to use it to save money. They’ll shop once or twice a year and think they’re saving the most money possible. The rest of the time they shop like they normally do. Sure, they’re saving some money, but they aren’t saving as much as they could. To be utilize your club store membership, shop at least once each quarter (once every 3 months). This will allow you to get deals on the products that are a savings which means you won’t run out and have to pay normal retail prices.