Pros and Cons of Warehouse Store Memberships

Warehouse store memberships have become quite popular.  At first glance, the idea of shopping at a warehouse club may seem to be a good idea, and in many cases, it is.  Bargain prices on everything you need to live your life – how can you beat it?  While there are certain undisputable advantages to bulk shopping, it probably makes sense to weigh the pros and cons to see if this method of stocking up now to supply future needs at reduced prices can work to your advantage:

1)       Will you consume the products in question before they expire, spoil or otherwise become unusable due to age?  If you have a hungry family to feed, 24 boxes of macaroni and cheese may go pretty quickly.  If 18 boxes are still sitting in your cupboard a year from the date of purchase, you might consider that a waste of money.

2)      Do you have adequate storage space to house your acquisitions until you consume them?  Heaps and piles of stock piled food items or cleaning products that you have no room to store are just so much clutter and are definitely a negative aspect to bulk buying.

3)      The lure of all those great prices can tempt you to buy something you didn’t intend to purchase.  If you’re open to new eating adventures or experimenting with a different laundry detergent, this may not be so bad.  If you have a strict budget this could cause you to spend more money than you might otherwise.

4)      Similarly, the ability to purchase large quantities of items such as snack foods may tempt you to eat more of foods you should be eating in moderation just because you bought a bulk supply.  If, instead, you bought your chips or cookies in conservative grocery store packaging you might retain more control of your consumption and stick to your diet.

5)      Warehouse clubs come with membership fees.  If you shop regularly you will more than recover this fee in your register receipts.  If you shop seldom or rarely at the warehouse club, this fee may render any ocassional savings meaningless.

6)      Due to the variety of products offered by warehouse clubs, you may be able to reduce the number of different stores you need to fill your shopping list.  While this has a definite advantage of being a time saver, it can also lull you into a false sense of thinking you are always getting the best prices.  Grocery store sales can often deliver many of your favorite items at better than warehouse club prices, but how will you ever know if you don’t compare prices from time to time.  Warehouse clubs, for all the hype, are not the best deal 100 percent of the time.

7)      Are you willing to be flexible?  If your family loves “Brand X” will they be satisfied when you come home with a three month supply of “Brand Y?”  A good price on something you don’t like and won’t use is still a waste of money.

Warehouse clubs have become a wonderful cost savings alternative for many people.  To decide if it’s right for you, take a few minutes to evaluate the features and benefits as they pertain to your individual situation.  If you’re like most people, you will end up deciding that warehouse clubs do offer certain cost saving advantages but they are not the last word on where you do your shopping.