Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club offer big savings on everything from alcohol to sweet treats. But it takes a careful shopper to spot the real deals. The wholesale stores are known for their cheap prices and bulk items. In fact, it’s easy to go in and assume you’re getting a better deal than if you shopped at a grocery or specialty store -- which you often are, just not on every item. Many people justify even the most expensive items because of the vast quantity they are receiving -- but really, are you going to use all that ketchup? We’ve come up with a list of what to buy and skip this summer to ensure you’re spending your money wisely.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you shop. When you make an impulse purchase at Costco or Sam’s, it tends to be a big one so make sure you’re buying something you really want or need. Second, always check per-unit pricing. Just because something is in an enormous container doesn't make it cheaper. Finally, don’t join a warehouse store until you’ve tried shopping there. Some will let you sign up for a free trial membership before requiring you to commit.