There’s no doubt that warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club offer great deals for savvy shoppers. Savings that can easily pay for the annual fee if you shop smart. But as with any retail store, there are going to be items that just don’t cut the mustard in terms of the amount of money you can save. Here are the bad buys at Sam’s and Costco that should be bought elsewhere.
Let me know if you disagree or agree in the comments and hopefully we can make this article a great resource for warehouse club shoppers everywhere.
The Bad Buys at Warehouse Clubs:
From Kiplinger, here are a few of my favorites, followed by some commentary from yours truly:
The Kiplinger article states you can typically find books and DVDs 15% cheaper online. Yeah…maybe. Costco prices are pretty darn good in my opinion, especially on box sets of DVDs and “new to paperback” books.
But you can definitely buy books cheaper online if they are used, check out sites like ThriftBooks.com and AbeBooks to score some awesome used deals.
You can typically find better deals at grocery stores, especially when they put their store-branded cans on sale. Also, since they last for years in your cabinet, stock up when they go on sale and save big.
Name Brand Cereal
Because Costco and Sam’s don’t generally accept coupons, you can get a better deal on cereal when it goes on sale at your local grocery store. This is especially true when you can combine a manufacturers coupon with a grocery store-wide sale.
Because the shelf-life is relatively short, buying large containers of olive and vegetable oil is typically a bad buy at Costco and Sam’s Club. Instead, buy when they go on sale at grocery stores in smaller containers.
Apparently the prices on produce at warehouse clubs is static, whereas grocery stores fluctuate their prices when fruits and veggies are in-season.
So over the course of a year, you can save more money by buying from your local grocer as prices drop a lot when produce is in-season.
As a family who buys all of our toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins from Costco, this one surprised me.
Kiplinger suggests saving more money by shopping “for paper products during the first and third weeks of the month, when supermarkets typically put them on sale.” Might have to give this one a try.
Clothing and Shoes
The article suggests buying flip-flops at the dollar store rather than at Costco.
Really? I don’t know, maybe I’m just really hard on my sandals, but the last pair of flip-flops I bought from the dollar store blew out within a week. I hate buying pants and shorts from Costco as I can’t try them on.
I have twice bought a pair of Levi’s and Calvin Klein khakis and got them home only to find out that my typically size was way too small.
The article says you can typically find better deals online on new TV’s and laptop computers.
Kinda disagree with this one as Costco is very competitive and often beats the likes of Amazon and BestBuy.com in price, especially on HDTV models in the 42″ to 65″ range.
Ask the Reader: Do you agree or disagree with these bad buys at Costco and Sam’s? How do you score the best deals at warehouse clubs?
Check out the article below to see all of the worst warehouse club buys:
16 Worst Things to Buy at Costco and Sam’s Club | Kiplinger
Photo by David McKelvey.