When it Pays to Join Retail Membership Clubs

One way for some people to save on grocery and household items is to shop at a membership club. Membership clubs offer lower prices for their members, but there are some things to consider to determine if it is right for your household. 

Most membership clubs have an annual fee, so it is important to consider this when planning on being able to save over the year. Many of the items offered at these stores are packaged in larger sizes than at other stores. Membership clubs may be a good place for larger households to shop since they often get better prices on items than shopping at grocery stores.

If you have a smaller household, then you will need to determine if the prices are low enough to make sense for your family. You will not save money if you end up throwing out items before you can use them up. You may want to split the membership cost with a friend or family member to be able to get the lower prices and not waste a lot of the items. 

Since the items are packaged in larger quantities than other stores, it is more difficult to determine if they are a better deal. The price per ounce or other quantity may be labeled on the shelf to make price comparison easier.  

It may also be more important than ever to shop with a list. With the large selection of items and prices that may seem good it is easy to overspend.  

Besides groceries, bulk stores also offer competitive prices on other items such as eye glasses, car tires, mattresses and other house hold items. Some stores have gas stations, and they often have lower gas prices than other stations. So even if you don’t think you have a large enough household to make up for the annual fee with grocery savings, you may save enough by purchasing other items you need.  

At certain times during the year, bulk stores may offer deals on membership fees and some have a free weekend where non-members can shop without incurring the fees they normally would. This is a great time to check out the prices to see if a membership would work for your household to save money. 

Shopping at bulk stores makes sense for some households. There are things to consider to determine if it will make sense for your household.