Money Wise--Buying in Bulk - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/28/03

Money Wise--Buying in Bulk

Going to the grocery store is a weekly routine for most people, but many are shopping at the big warehouse stores in an attempt to cut down on those trips. If saving money is a priority, you need to have a certain mindset before you walk into the world of warehouse shopping. Because if you're not shopping right, you'll end up spending more.

Sam's Club is filled with shoppers buying everything from laundry detergent to meat. One of the main reasons they're there is because it's convenient. Buying in bulk means fewer trips to the smaller grocery stores, and on top of that, many of these customers say they're saving a ton. But some say buying in bulk isn't always the way to go.

"You don't always get a better deal in here, so you have to know your prices," noted shopper Judy Hammond.

That's where getting the bargains in bulk begins: by knowing the prices, typically on the items you purchase most. Other things to think about:

  • Consider your space. Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you have room to store it.
  • Be aware that buying in bulk may mean consuming in bulk. Don't overeat just because you have so much.
  • And time. You're only getting more for your money if the item is used before it goes bad.

For example, don't buy a big amounts of apples just because they're at the warehouse. They may get old before you have time to eat them. Instead, buy things like paper products and meats that you can store properly.

And if you have animals, purchasing pet food in bulk may be best.

"It's like $12 here for this 55-pound bag, and I usually pay 17 to 24 anywhere else," said shopper Jackie Chandler.

But to get in these stores, you have to either pay a $35 per year membership fee or tag along with a friend who has a card. Sam's merchandise manager Don Vaneck to us, "You may spend $35 up front, but over the money you'll actually spend in a year, will more than pay for that $35 membership."

That's only if you know how to shop, by knowing your prices, sticking to your budget, and buying only what you need. Are you wondering if the prices at Sam's Club are really comparable to those prices at other grocery stores? We'll be doing some comparing tomorrow. 

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

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