When shopping at big box stores, you can find some INCREDIBLE deals. There are also some things that seem like a good deal, but you might end up losing money on. Here is a list of things you’ll want to buy as well as items you should pass on when shopping at these stores.
18 Good Big Box Buys:
1. Paper Goods
Toilet paper, paper towels and other paper products are among the most competitive product lines sold in the warehouse clubs, and if you shop while they’re on sale, you’re bound to save big with minimal effort. These items have no shelf life, so you can store them forever. Short on storage space? Send a few to school with the kiddos as classroom donations!
Costco and Sam’s Club both offer the same brand name tires as your local tire stores, but they offer big discounts, especially when you buy while they’re on sale! Bonus: You can shop while they’re being installed!
3. Dried Beans, Pasta, and Rice
With a great shelf life and a multitude of uses, dried beans, pasta, and rice are ideal for buying in bulk (just make sure to store them in a sealed container)!
This is hands-down one of the best things to buy at your local warehouse store! Across the board, they generally have the lowest prices on fuel. This is always a great purchase when you’re there!
6. Vacation Packages
Costco offers deeply discounted vacation packages. Booking travel through a warehouse club can also bring perks on rental cars and stays at partner hotels.
7. Kid’s Clothing
Costco and Sam’s Club have some amazing deals on name brand kid’s clothes, like Carter’s, which typically rival the store’s prices WITH coupons. Sam’s club also has a Carter’s 39-Piece Layette Sets that offers all of your basics for a bargain!
8. Fresh Premium Meats
Sam’s Club has a great selection of premium meat, poultry, and seafood, especially if you’re looking to buy large cuts of meat.
9. Premium Gourmet Cheese
One of my favorite things about Costco is their food court! You can get a large all-beef hot dog and a soda for $1.50! They also have other options, like hot turkey and provolone sandwiches, whole pizzas or by-the-slice, and a few treats, including frozen yogurt and churros! My kids look forward to going to Costco just for the lunch!
Charcoal is one of those things that you probably go through quicker than you realize, but even if you don’t, you can save it. Both Costco and Sam’s Club’s prices are considerably lower than your regular supermarket, making this a very smart bulk buy.
I don’t know about you, but I think wine is definitely something to buy in bulk. 😉 There are great deals to be found on beer, wine, and spirits at your local warehouse club stores.
13. Coffee and Hot Cocoa
Costco has great deals on bulk coffee, including their Kirkland Whole Bean Coffee roasted by Starbucks. Sam’s Club offers great prices on coffee, including single serving cups and whole beans. Sam’s Club and Costco both have rocking deals on hot cocoa, especially towards winter time. Plus, consider storing your coffee in the freezer to keep it fresher longer.
14. Baking Supplies
As an avid baker, I can vouch for the quality of the baking supplies at Costco. I buy all my flour, sugar, butter, and even some of my baking pans and mixing bowls there. Sam’s Club also has some great baking supplies. Both stores offer incredible prices on bulk nuts as well.
When you have kids, you tend to go through a ton of batteries. Costco has great deals on bulk packs of AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V batteries, and their Kirkland brand batteries work just as well as the Duracell, in my opinion. If you’re in the market for a new car battery, check out Sam’s Club.
From refrigerators to vacuums and mixers to blenders, you’ll find great deals at both Costco and Sam’s Club on large and small appliances. While their prices are comparable to regular appliance stores, they tend to offer better, longer warranties, as well as bundle packs with accessories, making these a much better bargain. They don’t have quite the selection that a regular appliance store offers, but they do offer high quality products with the latest technology.
17. Gift Cards
These are always a great warehouse buy, because you can typically score great deals, like $100 in gift cards for $80. They have a decent selection of gift cards, too, including restaurants, spa packages, gym memberships, and tickets/season passes to local attractions.
Warehouse stores have REALLY upped their selection of organic products in the last couple of years thanks to higher demand, and they definitely have some unbeatable prices. Things like organic milk, eggs, and other dairy products are usually a much better price than your local stores. Organic produce is more readily available, and usually at a great price, but only buy it if you’re going to use or freeze it all before it goes bad!
Skip buying these items…
This is something that can be purchased for cheaper at the grocery store or drugstore if you’re shopping smart. If you’re not interested in shopping around, their prices aren’t terrible, but if you’re a frequent soda drinker, better wait until they’re on sale at your supermarket.
Same idea as the canned goods- if you’re shopping smart, you can generally find them cheaper at your local supermarket.
Cereal has a shorter sale cycle than most foods, so you can typically find it on sale at your local supermarket for a better price than the big box stores. Pair with coupons for even bigger savings!
Personal Care Products
Again, you can typically find a much better deal on toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal care items, at your local supermarket if you’re shopping their sales and pairing with the frequent manufacturer coupons.
Books, DVDs, and Video Games
These items are typically cheaper on Amazon and other places, especially around Black Friday.
Some Office Supplies
Things like printer paper can usually be purchased for much cheaper, or even free (after rebate) from your local office supply store. This is another area where it pays to shop around if these are items you buy frequently.
Written by Danielle for Hip2Save. Danielle is a proud mom to 5 amazing kids in Utah, who lives for coffee and baking. She’s dedicated to balancing her own interests and passions, while encouraging her children to follow their own paths in life.