Bulk buying http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/400/all en-US 10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Buy in Bulk http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groceries-173299231.jpg" alt="groceries" title="groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you think of buying in bulk, you think of the staple items that are often seen in Costco and Sam&#39;s Club. Canned food, packages of T-shirts, and laundry detergent are some of the &quot;no-brainers&quot; when it comes to buying bulk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-in-bulk-to-fill-your-pantry-and-your-fridge-for-cheap?ref=seealso">Bulk Buying Guide</a>)</p> <p>But what about some of the less obvious bulk items?</p> <p>Let&#39;s take a step back. Buying in bulk can happen one of two ways. First, you can go the traditional route and purchase from a bulk retailer like those mentioned above. Second, you can come across something that&#39;s so significantly marked down in price, that buying a lot of it makes more sense than buying a small amount.</p> <p>In order to come up with a few things that you didn&#39;t know you could buy in bulk, we&#39;ll consider items that pertain to both possibilities.</p> <h2>1. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>You&#39;ve got a couple different options here.</p> <p>First, most gyms will offer a discount if you sign up for a long time, say a two-year contract. This means that if you know you&#39;re a committed gym goer and will stick with it, you can get a better monthly rate by signing up for a longer period of time.</p> <p>Second, some gyms like Bally and Washington Sports Club offer discounts when multiple people sign up at once; so grab your friends and family and see if you can get a referral discount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <h2>2. Cell Phone Plans</h2> <p>The cost of a family cell phone plan, once you divide it up among five or six people, is far and away cheaper than single plans.</p> <p>If you can get a few family members on board, dividing a bill up between five people means everyone pays somewhere around $30 to $50 a month depending on what kind of package you get.</p> <h2>3. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CSA Subscription)</h2> <p>A lot of local farms and cooperatives will offer what&#39;s called a CSA subscription, or community supported agriculture. This is where you pay a monthly fee for a weekly supply of fresh fruits and veggies.</p> <p>Depending on the CSA, the price often comes out to be cheaper than buying the same amount at the grocery store (and even the farmers market) for comparable produce (usually organic). Plus, CSAs deliver. Not to mention you&#39;re supporting local farmers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-a-7-step-food-budget?ref=seealso">The 7-Step Food Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Toothbrushes</h2> <p>You can pick up a box of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MQJ8OQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005MQJ8OQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">14 Colgate Premier toothbrushes on Amazon</a> for about $0.93 per brush. The deals can get even better if you want to go with a cheaper brush.</p> <h2>5. Beer</h2> <p>Beer isn&#39;t typically thought of as a bulk item, but places like Costco and Sam&#39;s Club carry lots of it, with significant savings.</p> <p>For roughly one dollar per bottle you can take home a 24-pack of your favorite brew. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer?ref=seealso">10 Reasons to Drink Beer</a>)</p> <h2>6. Diapers on Amazon</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve got kids, Amazon is a place with which you might want to get cozy. Diapers can be bought in bulk for around $0.28 per unit, while the price of wipes tank to nearly $0.02 if you buy several hundred of them.</p> <h2>7. Building Supplies</h2> <p>If you&#39;re a contractor, or if you&#39;ve got a big home improvement project you&#39;re trying to buy for, <a href="http://www.lowes.com/cd_Lowes+Commercial+Services+Buy+in+Bulk_577249990_">Lowes</a> sells building supplies in bulk at a discounted price, usually netting you a 10% to 20$ discount depending on what you&#39;re buying.</p> <p>This only works if you need a lot of supplies, but if you&#39;re putting an addition on or remodeling a kitchen, it might be something worth considering. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves?ref=seealso">Home Renovations That Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <h2>8. Meat, Poultry, and Fish</h2> <p>This one is contingent upon you having a little bit of freezer space.</p> <p>Assuming you do, buying meat in bulk from a local butcher, from a major retailer, or directly from the ranch can save you some money and a few trips to the grocery store.</p> <p>Wherever you get it, divide the meat up into preferred portion sizes and put it into freezer bags before you freeze it. Label everything with a date so you know when to use it by and stick it in your freezer. If you&#39;ve bought enough, you&#39;ll have meat for months to come, at a significant discount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-freezers?ref=seealso">5 Best Freezers</a>)</p> <h2>9. Gift Cards</h2> <p>Costco will actually sell gift cards in bulk at a <a href="http://www.costco.com/restaurant-gift-cards.html">discounted price</a>. For example, you can buy two $50 gift cards to California Pizza for $79.</p> <p>I&#39;m not totally sure how that works out for California Pizza, but it means you get $100 worth of food for around $80.</p> <h2>10. Paint</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve got major painting project on your hands, it&#39;s a good idea to go with the five-gallon tubs instead of the gallon options.</p> <p>You&#39;ll save some money here, and it never hurts to ask for mistints or returns of the five-gallon tubs. If you&#39;re looking for a basic off-white, you might be able to find something discounted beyond the bulk price, which is already going to be cheaper than buying single gallons.</p> <p>Additionally, if you don&#39;t plan to use it all, this can be a good item to go halfway with someone else and share the container.</p> <h2>Creative Bulk Purchases</h2> <p>In general, if you get creative and work up the guts to ask, a lot of the things you buy on a regular basis can be purchased in bulk. If you know you&#39;ll use the extra amount, it&#39;s a good idea to consider a bulk purchase, even if the item doesn&#39;t fit the profile of your &quot;typical&quot; Costco or Sam&#39;s Club showcase.</p> <p>Figure out what you use a lot of, and see if buying in bulk can save you a little money. If you find it cheap, load up for a makeshift bulk purchase.</p> <p>You can even go in with people for cooperative buys and share the item, like when people buy meat in bulk from a butcher. Having more people involved guarantees the extra goods will get used, and lets you save a few bucks on something that you would be buying anyway.</p> <p><em>Have you scored great deals on bulk purchases we don&#39;t normally think about? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy, How to Store, and Money Saving Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains Bulk buying discounts Wed, 08 Jan 2014 10:49:28 +0000 Mikey Rox 1107272 at http://www.wisebread.com Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy, How to Store, and Money Saving Tips http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bulk-78818754.jpg" alt="bulk buying" title="bulk buying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you think about buying foods or other items in bulk, you might picture an underground bunker in some remote area with enough supplies to survive a zombie apocalypse. Bulk buying is no joke, however. If you have the space, stocking up can be an excellent, budget-friendly way to fill your shelves with foods and other items routinely needed in your daily life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash?ref=seealso">Organize Your Pantry and Save Cash</a>)</p> <p>As you can imagine, bulk buying is an art. It requires careful planning to achieve the best savings and lower risk for spoilage. When done right, this method of shopping can yield big returns on the investment of both time <em>and</em> money.</p> <h2>Bulk Benefits</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/bulk-91253311-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you&#39;ve ever scanned the unit prices on your favorite grocery items, you&#39;ve likely noticed that those in larger packaging/quantity <em>typically</em> cost less per unit than their smaller counterparts. In much the same way, those items in the bulk bins &mdash; sans packaging &mdash; are even less expensive in comparison. If you cook or use certain items more often than not, it&#39;s in your best interest to buy and buy big to yield the biggest savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples?ref=seealso">15 Dollar-Wise Winter Staples</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few more benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Less packaging means less waste and is, therefore, a smarter environmental choice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buying more at once saves on time and also gas and other related expenses.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Without conforming to pre-measured, packaged amounts of food, you are free to choose how much you need for yourself or your family. This scalability is smart for a number of reasons.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bulk buying also leads to healthier food choices. Many ingredients in those bins are whole foods, which are fantastic choices nutritionally.</li> </ul> <h2>What and Where to Buy</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/bulk-177276037-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Bulk foods and other goods can be found at your local grocery store, health specialty shops/cooperatives, online, and through bulk buying clubs (not to be confused with big box buying stores). If you haven&#39;t ventured into the bulk section in your store before, it&#39;s well worth a jaunt to see what&#39;s in all those tubs. Many of your favorite basic ingredients are well represented here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list?ref=seealso">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Grocery List</a>)</p> <h3>Pantry Items</h3> <ul> <li>Rice: white, brown, and just about every other variety</li> <li>Lentils</li> <li>Quinoa</li> <li>Oats: instant, rolled, steel-cut</li> <li>Nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc.</li> <li>Nut butters</li> <li>Spices: from cinnamon to curry, nutmeg to smoked paprika</li> <li>Pasta, including couscous</li> <li>Dried fruits: apples, papayas, banana chips, dates, raisins, etc.</li> <li>Dried mushrooms</li> <li>Dried seaweed</li> <li>Sugars: white, brown, coconut, etc.</li> <li>Flours: white, wheat, rye, gluten-free, etc.</li> <li>Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, sesame, etc.</li> <li>Confectioneries: chocolate chips, among others</li> <li>Coffee and tea</li> <li>Cereal</li> <li>Maple syrup</li> <li>Oils: olive, canola, vegetable, sesame</li> <li>Vinegar: apple cider, white, etc.</li> <li>Honey</li> <li>Tomatoes: whole, diced, sauces, etc.</li> <li>Beans: kidney, black, chickpeas, etc.</li> <li>Soup stocks and broths</li> <li>Condiments: ketchup, mustard, hot sauce</li> </ul> <p>Note: You can also buy seasonable fruits and vegetables in bulk and then can, freeze, or otherwise preserve them for later consumption. Similarly, you can get great deals on frozen fruits and vegetables. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Use Frozen Vegetables</a>)</p> <h3>Non-Food Items</h3> <ul> <li>Aluminum foil</li> <li>Plastic wrap</li> <li>Sandwich bags</li> <li>Shampoo and conditioner</li> <li>Soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant</li> <li>Laundry detergent</li> <li>Toilet paper</li> <li>Paper towels</li> <li>Batteries</li> </ul> <p>...basically anything and everything you use on a daily basis that is either shelf stable (or lends well to preserving) can be purchased in bulk. We&#39;d love to hear what types of items you stock on a regular basis, so be sure to leave a comment below!</p> <p>Oh, and beware of big box stores, which are popular spots to find many of these items &mdash; they typically involve more packaging. As well, I did an informal price survey at my local joint, and I wasn&#39;t impressed with my findings. And if you haven&#39;t heard of those bulk buying clubs I mentioned above, ask around your local farmers market &mdash; or <a href="http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/how-to-start-a-food-buying-club">start one</a> of your own.</p> <h2>How to Store</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/bulk-97496270-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you live in a tiny apartment or are otherwise short on space, you might be wondering about how to house all these items. I live in a modest home and we&#39;ve found a few creative solutions, including setting up a special pantry shelf in our basement, storing smaller quantities in clear Ball jars on some open kitchen shelving, and stocking frozen items in an upright freezer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-freezers?ref=seealso">5 Best Freezers</a>)</p> <h3>Containers</h3> <p>Place items in safe containers. If you order items online or buy them at the store and they come in paper bags, consider switching over to either plastic or glass storage. This will eliminate the chance that the bag could tear or be tampered with (cats, dogs, mice, the neighbor kids). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-find-free-or-cheap-mason-jars?ref=seealso">Where to Find Free or Cheap Mason Jars</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Utilize all the options for sound storage. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, but be sure that whatever you use is airtight and uncompromised. The key with storing bulk foods is keeping them as fresh as possible. Protect your investment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look beyond your favorite retailers for deals on storage containers. You can find great deals at discount dollar stores, online, or even at garage sales.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use a funnel to swiftly and cleanly transfer goods from larger to smaller containers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use old measuring cups and spoons (tablespoons are particularly handy!) as scoops.</li> </ul> <h3>Space</h3> <p>Consider installing a dedicated shelving unit in your kitchen or another room in your house specifically for housing bulk food items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space?ref=seealso">How to Live Large in a Small Space</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Designate one of the kitchen cupboards the &quot;bulk cupboard&quot; and store all your goods in there. Alternatively, create open shelving for storage of clear containers for an easy, grab-n-go experience.</li> <li>Use unique spaces, like under the bed or in the hallway closet, as creative storage when in a pinch. You can even create a <a href="http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/29345/stair-pantry">stairway pantry</a> with all that unused wall space!</li> <li>Find new uses for old items, like over-the-door shelving for shoes. If it holds stuff, it might be just what you need to organize your bulk empire.</li> <li>If you&#39;re lucky enough to have a pantry, clear it out and organize with bulk in mind. Containers should be in clear view, easy to reach, and out of harm&#39;s way (off the floor, away from where pets and toddlers can reach, etc.).</li> </ul> <h2>Other Bulky Considerations</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/bulk-179221888-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Now that you&#39;ve got the basics, here a few more tips to make it all go a little smoother.</p> <h3>Make a Plan (and Stick to It!)</h3> <p>It can be tempting to go overboard when presented with seemingly endless bulk buying options. Keep in mind that the only way you save is if you actually use up what you&#39;ve bought or it doesn&#39;t go to waste do to spoilage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-recipe-substitutions-that-save-money-and-prevent-food-waste?ref=seealso">Recipe Substitutions That Prevent Food Waste</a>)</p> <h3>Bring Your Own (Reusable) Containers for Shopping</h3> <p>Many establishments charge for bulk jars (not so much bags). And while you&#39;re at it, be sure to mark the tare weight (that&#39;s the weight of the container) on your containers, so you&#39;re all set with that information come weigh-time.</p> <h3>Freeze It</h3> <p>To eliminate any possible pests, it&#39;s a good practice to freeze foods (especially grains, beans) for a day or two. I don&#39;t always follow this rule myself, but someone told me it keeps foods fresher, longer.</p> <h3>Mark Ingredients With Name and Date</h3> <p>All those grains can get confusing without packaging. Be sure to use a permanent marker and some labels/masking tape to stay organized and fresh.</p> <h3>Write Up Cooking Instructions and Stow in the Container</h3> <p>Along these same lines, you will likely forget how to cook black rice versus Israeli couscous &mdash; we write instructions on note cards stored in plastic baggies and toss them in with the ingredients for easy reference.</p> <h3>Create a Master List</h3> <p>A danger in buying a lot of something is forgetting you have it. To avoid spoilage or duplicate purchases a simple inventory list can be a lifesaver.</p> <h3>Plan Meals and Cook In</h3> <p>When buying in bulk, it&#39;s important to dedicate a certain amount of time into figuring out which recipes/meals they will eventually turn into. With so much fresh, healthy food on hand, you might want to cook more often rather than going out, further escalating the potential savings. All it takes is a little foresight (and a few good cookbooks). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals?ref=seealso">A Month of Frugal Meals</a>)</p> <h3>Evaluate and Tweak as Necessary</h3> <p>It&#39;s good to keep those receipts and track your investment wisely. What items did you use up quickly? What ones did you forget? Were any ingredients unusually costly? Is there another place you might want to check out? Continually refining your process will help it work better each shopping trip.</p> <p><em>Are you a bulk buyer? What works for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk">10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Shopping Bulk buying discounts meal planning Mon, 30 Dec 2013 19:47:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1285 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Do You Buy in Bulk? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-buy-in-bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-buy-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/candy-kid-1644356-small.jpg" alt="bulk candy" title="bulk candy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-buy-in-bulk#comment-637050">Kristina</a>, Maria, and Jillian for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money if you have a large household, but even small families and singletons can make it work by sharing the cost and goods with other families or friends. But beware! If the cost per unit doesn't check out, or you don't have the space to store it, or you won't actually use up all the goods before they go bad, bulk buying can be a deadly budgeting &mdash; or hoarding &mdash; trap.</p> <p><b>What do you buy in bulk?</b> What common bulk product do you NOT buy in bulk? Do you split bulk purchases with others? What strategies do you use to save even more when you buy in bulk?</p> <p>Tell us about your bulk purchases and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d31" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d31/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 13th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 13th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your bulk purchases and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-buy-in-bulk">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-optimistic-about-2011">Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers Bulk buying Tue, 07 May 2013 10:36:33 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973865 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6039471081_b1db66ac14_z.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After housing and transportation costs, food consumes more of the average household's budget than anything else. I've already looked at ways to cut <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home">housing</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car">transportation</a>. Now let's look at a few ways trim our food budget &mdash; and do it without tightening our belts. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to&nbsp;Grocery&nbsp;Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Budget, and Stick to It</h3> <p>These are the first and last words in cutting your grocery bill. It's all about goal-setting. You will never succeed unless you define what you are trying to do.</p> <p>The easiest way to start out with a grocery budget is to save a couple weeks' worth of receipts, calculate how much you usually spend on average, then subtract 10% from that amount. If you easily achieve that, you can go ahead and lower your budget even more.</p> <h3>2. Don't Shop the Same Store Every Week</h3> <p>Shopping multiple stores is key to paying less for groceries, but it's a strategy that many people balk at because it sounds time consuming. Here's the workaround &mdash; you don't have to shop at three stores <em>every</em> week, wasting gas and time running from store to store. Instead, be strategic. When your circulars arrive, find the best deals in the stores nearest you, then choose which store will help you save the most this week.</p> <h3>3. Use Coupons</h3> <p>From personal experience, I can tell you that coupons are worth the time they take to clip, print out, or, increasingly, load to a store card. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dominicks.com/ShopStores/Offers-Landing-IMG.page?">Safeway's Just for U</a> digital coupon program alone promises about 20% savings, and after using the program regularly I have found that it usually saves me more than 20%. Think of it this way &mdash; if you use just five $1 coupons per week on items you would have bought anyway, you'll save more than $250 per year.</p> <h3>4. Buy Clearance Items</h3> <p>Some grocery stores regularly put soon-to-expire meat in a special clearance bin, marked 30% or 50% off. Other good items to find marked down are deli items, dairy products, and at some lower-end stores, produce. Personally, I have never had a quality problem with such foods, since I always use them or freeze them immediately. But remember, if you buy something that does not taste good, any decent grocery store will give you a refund or replace it, even if the product was on clearance.</p> <p>Bolder shoppers don't just look for products marked &quot;clearance&quot; &mdash; they ask the butcher or other employees if they can have a discount on something that's soon to expire.</p> <h3>5. Look for Alternative Grocery Stores</h3> <p>Don't walk past a small neighborhood grocery, ethnic store, or dented-can store without checking it out. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Ethnic and neighborhood groceries</a> often have excellent deals on meat and produce, while the dented-can outlets and even drugstores can offer deep discounts on canned and boxed goods.</p> <h3>6. Try Amazon</h3> <p>Sometimes Amazon's prices for canned foods, cereal, and other pantry items are sky-high, but sometimes they offer steep price drops and coupon codes. <a target="_blank" href="http://wantnot.net/">Wantnot.net</a> is a good blog for getting alerts on great Amazon deals.</p> <h3>7. Participate in Meatless Monday</h3> <p>Meat is often the most expensive component of a meal. If you are used to serving meat at every dinner, try <a target="_blank" href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/">going meatless just once a week</a> and see how much you save. You may find you want to add Tofu Tuesday or Steak-Free Saturday to your schedule as well!</p> <h3>8. Stop Wasting Food</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec12/food_09-07.html">Forty percent of all food produced in the United States is thrown away</a>. That's a whopping 20 pounds of junked food per American.</p> <p>You may not be able to control the amount of food that is thrown away at the farm and grocery store, but in your home, you can put a stop to the waste by making sure to use ingredients before they go bad, and by not putting too much food on your plate. One handy tip is to make a weekly meal of a soup or stew that can serve as a catch-all for any bits and ends of ingredients used throughout the week &mdash; you may end up with some surprisingly delicious concoctions.</p> <h3>9. Make Economical Substitutions</h3> <p>Make pesto with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. Replace expensive or out-of-season vegetables in recipes with the always-cheap carrots or cabbage. Substitute frozen berries for fresh. One substitution that doesn't usually save money anymore is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative">swapping powdered milk for fluid milk</a> &mdash; nowadays the powdered stuff usually costs more!</p> <h3>10. Stretch the Meat</h3> <p>Instead of serving whole pieces of meat like steaks or chops, serve casseroles, stews, and other dishes with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/meat-money-grocery-saving-tips-for-carnivores">chopped, crumbled, or shredded meat</a>. That way you can make it stretch and use it more as a flavoring than as a main source of nutrition.</p> <h3>11. Stop Over-Eating</h3> <p>Do you ever make a double batch at dinner so you'll have leftovers to pack in lunches, only to realize that the family all had seconds and there's nothing left? If you're tempted to eat more than you need, try packing away half the food <em>before</em> you put it on the table or putting half servings on your plate. If you're trying to lose weight, this strategy can kill two birds with one stone.</p> <h3>12. Look for Buy One, Get One Free Sales</h3> <p>These are often the best deals in the supermarket, offering a 50% discount on two products. Most other discounts are only 10 to 20%. If your store allows you to use two coupons on BOGO pairs, you can save even more. The ultimate savings is when they let you pair a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale and take home two items for free!</p> <h3>13. Use the Cash Envelope System</h3> <p>If you find you're spending more than you want at the grocery store, many budget gurus recommend the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">envelope system</a>. At the beginning of the week or month, put the amount of cash you plan to spend on groceries in the envelope, and ONLY take that cash to the store. No credit or debit cards. If you can, include a little extra in your budget to allow you to take advantage of great, unexpected deals like clearance items.</p> <h3>14. Cut Your Shopping Trips to Once a Month</h3> <p>Some people find they <a target="_blank" href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/03/why-grocery-shopping-once-a-month-saves-money.html">spend less if they limit their &quot;big&quot; shopping to once a month</a>&nbsp;because they're less tempted by impulse buys. If you do this, you'll need to monitor your fresh produce carefully or possibly schedule &quot;milk, bread, and fruit&quot; stock-up trips.</p> <h3>15. Sign Up for a Regular Produce Delivery</h3> <p>This may seem counterintuitive since many of the community-supported agriculture produce boxes are organic and more costly. But you may find that receiving a regular delivery of produce forces you to cook more veggie-based meals and cuts your spending on meat.</p> <h3>16. Chop Your Own Veggies</h3> <p>If it takes you four minutes to chop an onion, is it really worth it to pay for a tub of pre-chopped veggies? Only if you make a really great hourly wage.</p> <h3>17. Don't Depend on Your Groceries for Your Self Image</h3> <p>Are you shopping at Whole Foods because you really feel it offers the most nutritious and delicious food, or because you feel like you've achieved the status of someone who shops there? Guess what? Just like smart millionaires drive cars with lots of miles on them, smart upper-income families clip coupons (they're the highest-using group!) and buy nutritious, inexpensive foods.</p> <h3>18. Find Out Which Organic Items Really Matter</h3> <p>If you're concerned about pesticide residue on your produce, it pays to check out the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/">Environmental Working Group's list of which foods are most likely to be contaminated</a>. Thanks to this list, I know that springing for organic potatoes and apples is worthwhile, but I don't pay more for organic onions.</p> <h3>19. Investigate Buying Clubs</h3> <p>Does your neighborhood or church have a bulk buying club you can join? This is sometimes a good option, especially for people who want to shop for organic food or non-toxic household products.</p> <h3>20. Make Your Own Bread</h3> <p>One of the easiest things to make from scratch is bread, especially if you have a bread machine. Not only do the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/08/wednesday-baking-does-homemade-bread-save-money/">ingredients cost less than a store-bought loaf</a>, but a fresh, homemade loaf of bread also brings more enjoyment to a meal than a bag of factory-produced slices.</p> <p>But what about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">the cost of the bread machine</a>? No problem. I have picked up several perfectly functional models over the years for less than $5 each at thrift stores. Not convinced? With a &quot;no-knead&quot; recipe, you don't even <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html">need a bread machine</a>.</p> <h3>21. Try Costco &mdash; With Caution</h3> <p>Costco can be a boon to your budget or a major stumbling block, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">depending on how you work it</a>. It's a great place to get budget wines, if that's on your list. Personally, I don't have a Costco membership at the moment, but I do appreciate it when a friend with a membership picks up something for me like a large package of flour or baking soda.</p> <h3>22. Drink Water</h3> <p>Not only is it almost free and healthy, but, unlike a certain popular carbonated beverage, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/12/coca-cola-soda-death/1912491/">two gallons a day won't kill you</a>.</p> <h3>23. Look at What the Rest of the World Eats</h3> <p>Next time you're heading to the grocery store, first look at these pictures of a<a href="http://blogs.oxfam.ca/blogs/grow/7-photos-reveal-what-families-eat-in-one-week"> week's worth of food for families around the world</a>, taken by Oxfam. It just might help you realize you don't need to pile the cart high to enjoy nutritious meals.</p> <h3>24. Layer Your Discounts</h3> <p>It's not just about finding sale prices and coupons. These days, grocery stores also offer occasional basket coupons in their ads or by email, allowing customers to save $50 off a $50 purchase, or so. Then there are the benefits that come after you buy, like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-grocery-deals-catalinas">Catalina coupons</a>, which print out after you pay and can take $1, $5, or more off your next purchase when you buy select items. Some stores, especially Target, are also offering store gift cards if you purchase certain items.</p> <p>If you really want to save, combine a coupon, a sale price, a Catalina offer, and a basket coupon all in one trip.</p> <h3>25. Skim the Best Deals Off the Top</h3> <p>Every store offers a limited number of &quot;loss leaders&quot; each week. &quot;Loss leaders&quot; are the deals so good the store may be losing money on them. Their plan is to use these discounts to draw you into the store, where you will proceed to pay full price for lots of other stuff. You can thwart their plan by stocking up on the loss leaders without buying the full-priced stuff. The key is to stock up on whatever's on sale each week, and then next week you can draw on your stockpile in the freezer and pantry to avoid having to buy those things at full price.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money on your grocery bill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping affordable food Bulk buying grocery budget lower grocery bill Thu, 07 Mar 2013 11:24:32 +0000 Carrie Kirby 967858 at http://www.wisebread.com Trader Joes vs. Costco: What's a Better Place to Shop? http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5639256351_29f8bfda98_z.jpg" alt="man at costco" title="man at costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How does Trader Joe&rsquo;s stack up against Costco? Both stores are often held up as ultimate destinations for the frugal shopper (frugal shoppers who also care about how employees are treated, as both Trader Joe&rsquo;s and Costco seem to <a href="http://www.workforce.com/article/20050602/NEWS02/306029978">pay their employees well</a>, unlike SOME big-box stores that will go unnamed in this article). Although I don't really enjoy grocery shopping anywhere, I know lots of people who swear by both chains as great shopping experiences. Friends of mine swoon when discussing Trader Joe's frozen desserts, and my mother waxes rhapsodic about Costco's USDA Prime filet mignon, which costs roughly half of what it would in a regular grocery store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>But is Trader Joe's really more convenient than Costco? Or is Costco a better place to shop than Trader Joe's? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal From Trader Joe's</a>)</p> <h2>Advantage: Trader Joe's</h2> <p>There are definitely some areas in which Trader Joe's beats Costco. Here are a few.</p> <h3>Variety of Flavors</h3> <p>Now, Costco probably has greater overall variety of food stuffs &mdash; like, you won't find 12 pounds of baby back ribs at Trader Joe's, but you sure as heck will at Costco. However, one of the things that makes Trader Joe's so attractive as a shopping destination is the variety of snack foods that they stock. Yes, you can buy almonds, walnuts, and pistachios by the gallon at Costco &mdash; but at Trader Joe's, you can buy wasabi, roasted, and raw almonds; Thai-chili-spiced cashews; pistachios both whole and shelled; Brazil nuts; filberts; walnuts; pumpkin kernels; sunflower seeds; and dozens of varieties of trail mix. Costco may have freeze-dried blueberries and dried apricots, but Trader Joe's has unsulphured dried mango, white peaches, apples, blueberries, apricots, and even freeze-dried pineapple.</p> <p>Costco will always have seventeen-gallon jars of peanut butter, but Trader Joe's will have peanut, almond, walnut, and sesame butter as well.</p> <h3>Scale</h3> <p>No, you won&rsquo;t find Memory Foam mattresses or flat screen televisions at Trader Joe&rsquo;s, but you won&rsquo;t have to walk six miles to get from the front door to the checkout counter, either.</p> <p>In fact, Trader Joe's is sort of impressive in its ability to cram so many products into such small stores. They are masters of product stocking, and the overall size of the <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/26/business/la-fi-trader-joes-20111027">each store is surprisingly small</a> (between 10,000 to 15,000 sq feet per store, as opposed to <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&amp;p=irol-homeprofile">Costco's 143,000 sq foot average</a>).</p> <p>Now, how you feel about the size of a store may depend on how much you enjoy walking around the store. Me, I'd rather be in and out fairly quickly.</p> <h3>Specialty Produce</h3> <p>Most lists of &quot;<a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/healthy_cooking_blog/what_to_buy_and_what_to_skip_at_trader_joe_s">What to Buy (and Not) at Trader Joe's</a>&quot; will immediately call out Trader Joe's produce as a no-go. Fortunately, TJ's seems to have stopped selling individually shrink-wrapped tomatoes on a Styrofoam tray, but it still seems as though you&rsquo;re better served purchasing fresh fruits and veggies elsewhere &mdash; fruit stands or farmer&rsquo;s markets if your goal is freshness, Costco if you simply need massive quantities, and your favorite local grocer&rsquo;s if you simply need more variety than Trader Joe&rsquo;s offers.</p> <p>That said, there are some exceptions in the fresh produce section at Trader Joe&rsquo;s that always take me by surprise.</p> <p>For instance, the only place that I have ever found Meyer lemons is at Trader Joe&rsquo;s. I&rsquo;m sure that they appear at higher-end food marts like Whole Foods every December, but they are prominently displayed at Trader Joe&rsquo;s, and as such, that&rsquo;s where I end up buying them.</p> <p>This weekend, I was surprised to find an entire pound of green figs at Trader Joe&rsquo;s for just $3.99. That&rsquo;s a steal compared to the $5 I paid for a few ounces of them at my local grocer a few days ago.&nbsp;Fresh basil and rosemary plants, although often placed outside near the cut flowers, can be had at a relative steal at Trader Joe&rsquo;s as well.&nbsp;Trader Joe&rsquo;s also seems to have a consistent special on bananas, offering them at roughly $0.19 per banana.</p> <h3>Reasonable Portions</h3> <p>How you feel about buying in bulk depends largely on your method of transportation and how much living space you have to keep stuff. Until recently, I lived in a townhouse in Seattle without much storage space, and every trip to Costco resulted in a nightmare unpacking scenario in which I had to figure out where to keep 600 rolls of toilet paper, two Tuscan cantaloupes, two loaves of bread, six cans of salmon, and a pot roast the size of a Volkswagen bus. Contrast that to a trip to Trader Joe's, where I would traipse home with one tightly packed paper grocery bag of nuts, dried fruit, crackers, frozen humbow, and other snacky things that fit neatly into my kitchen cupboards and freezer, and it was easy to love Trader Joe's.</p> <h3>No Membership Required</h3> <p>Trader Joe's just lets anyone saunter in. You don't have to pay a membership fee, show ID, or submit to a personal search on your way out. WIN.</p> <h3>Limited Overspending</h3> <p>When you buy stuff you didn't intend to buy at Trader Joe's, you might walk away having blown, at max, another $50 on wine and dark chocolate. When you buy things you didn't originally want (or need) at Costco, chances of getting away without spending an additional $300 are slim.</p> <h2>Advantage: Costco</h2> <p>Costco definitely shines as a place to find a huge variety of...everything, really. But here are a couple of areas in which Costco bests Trader Joe's.</p> <h3>Price Per Unit</h3> <p>Now, I am 100% certain that there are some products that are cheaper at Trader Joe's &mdash; I just wasn't able to locate any in my non-scientific survey. This list is by no means exhaustive, but when looking at generic (or at least, the cheapest) brands of food products at both stores, here are my cost per unit calculations.</p> <p><img width="605" height="145" alt="Price comparison chart" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/Picture%2014.png" /></p> <h3>Food Court</h3> <p>They say you should never shop hungry &mdash; well, at Costco, you can arrive hungry and actually sate your ravenous state before you get shopping. Although not exactly the pinnacle of healthy food, Costco hotdog stands offer tasty, filling food at incredibly cheap prices.</p> <h3>Samples</h3> <p>Sure, Trader Joe's offers a couple of coffee samplers in the back, and maybe some snack foods, but Costco has people throughout the store offering samples of everything from seafood to miso soup. Some people adore this &mdash; personally, I&nbsp;feel weird taking samples of food that I have no intention of purchasing, but I know people who can more or less make a free meal out of Costco samples.</p> <h3>Meat and Seafood</h3> <p>Trader Joe's definitely lacks a good butcher's section, and if you are a carnivore, this is where Costco may win you over. No, you probably won't find lots of organic or grass-fed beef at Costco, but you will find large quantities of meat in nearly every cut imaginable. Seafood can also be a real draw for Costco shoppers, although again, you might not find much in the way of sustainably harvested fish &mdash; more likely the fish and prawns are farmed, and Costco salmon almost always has color added.</p> <h3>Giant Portions</h3> <p>Costco was initially founded to serve businesses by providing goods at wholesale prices, and although it extended its membership rules to include households, it hasn&rsquo;t exactly embraced the average urban consumer. Costco&rsquo;s motto might as well be &ldquo;Go big or go home.&rdquo; Because while there are some things that can be purchased in smaller quantities, obviously the majority of Costco goods are sold in bulk &mdash; that&rsquo;s where the savings are supposed to come from.</p> <p>For some shoppers, buying two giant slabs of pork ribs is perfectly reasonable &mdash; for others, Costco shopping is pretty much precluded by a lack of storage space&hellip;or stomach space. Sure, two gallons of milk will work for the family with four kids, but if you&rsquo;re only supplying the calcium needs of a childless couple, then Costco&rsquo;s portions seem a bit excessive (unless you work out a sharing program with another person or household and simply halve the cost and the bounty).</p> <p>If you hate shopping as much as I do, bulk buying can at least stretch your time in between tortuous shopping trips. The trick is being able to actually use everything that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-101">buy in bulk</a> &mdash; not just having the space to store it, but the capacity to consume perishable goods in a normal amount of time. If you have a big freezer and a decent sized pantry, Costco might seem like the ideal shopping experience.</p> <h2>Advantage: Draw</h2> <p>There are simply some advantages to both stores that really depend on where you live, how you travel, and your shopping philosophy.</p> <h3>Location, Location, Location</h3> <p>Trader Joe&rsquo;s makes a point of having locations in both urban centers and suburban strip malls. In cities, they feature tiny, cramped parking lots that take hours to enter and exit. They are, however, usually on a major bus line, making it easy for many urban commuters to stop off and shop on their way home from work.</p> <p>Costco, on the other hand, is not a walker&rsquo;s destination. This is largely because it is difficult to leave Costco without at least 200 pounds of goods in your cart, and you can&rsquo;t take a shopping cart on a bus (although you CAN simply walk away with the cart, as a good many urban shoppers are wont to do). No, Costco is a car-oriented shopping destination, replete with gas pumps and sometimes even drive-through car washes.</p> <p>Mind you, even though I commute by car, this doesn&rsquo;t make Costco an EASY place to shop. It&rsquo;s just easier for me to get there than, say, someone who has chosen to embrace a car-free lifestyle.</p> <h3>Wine and Beer</h3> <p>Although this probably varies greatly from state to state, in my state of Washington, both Trader Joe's and Costco carry wine. Now, there's a lot of debate about whether Trader Joe's famous Two-Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wines) is worth the $3 price tag. I'm a fairly discerning wine drinker, but I&nbsp;don't find Charles Shaw to be terribly off-putting. And anyway, you don't generally buy a $3 bottle of wine to impress people &mdash; you buy it for big BBQs or to make sangria.</p> <p>I tried putting both Costco and Trader Joe's through a per-bottle cost comparison, but found it difficult to locate enough overlap in brands to make an accurate comparison, although both stores seem to pride themselves on a wide selection of wine. Costco certainly appeared to have an edge when it came to high-end wines and champagnes, but Trader Joe's had a wider variety of unusual European blends and hard ciders.</p> <h3>Sushi</h3> <p>Both Trader Joe's and Costco have the world's most horrific sushi platters. There is no excuse for this. It's practically a crime.</p> <p><em>Do you prefer shopping at Trader Joe's or Costco? Maybe both? Neither? Tell us why in the comments! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal from Trader Joe&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Bulk buying costco trader joes Wed, 15 Aug 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Andrea Karim 950573 at http://www.wisebread.com The 4 Myths of Buying in Bulk Dispelled http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-myths-of-buying-in-bulk-dispelled <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-myths-of-buying-in-bulk-dispelled" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beef in bulk_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-dealista-file"> <div class="field-label">Dealista MP3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://media.blubrry.com/dealista/traffic.libsyn.com/dealista/dealista026_buy_bulk.mp3" target="_blank">Dealista #26: What You Need to Know About Buying in Bulk</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article shares tips from the newest episode of </em><a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com/"><em>Dealista</em></a><em>, our podcast that'll help you get more for less.</em></p> <p>Ask most people for a common way to save money on groceries and household goods, and they may come back with this answer: Buy in bulk. While it can be an amazingly simple way to potentially save some bucks, it can also be a buying trap. Here are the 4 misconceptions we typically attribute to bulk buying, and the truth for each.</p> <h3>Myth #1: Buying a larger package usually means that the cost per unit (ounce, pound, etc) is lower.</h3> <p><strong>Truth: </strong>It's one of the many reasons people rush to buy bulk, but it isn&rsquo;t always so. Just because a bottle of vitamins has 3 times the number of pills in it, it won&rsquo;t automatically mean that each of them are cheaper than if you had bought the small bottle. Even when the price per unit is clearly marked on store signage or the store shelf, you may need to do some careful sleuthing to determine if it&rsquo;s a good deal. Price books are a great way to make sure that you&rsquo;re always familiar with what a &ldquo;good&rdquo; price is for any item you buy regularly, and can be made simply from a lined notebook. (Sometimes the best prices per unit happen with the smallest packages!)</p> <h3>Myth #2: Bulk-buying clubs don&rsquo;t allow non-members to shop with a friend who is a member.</h3> <p><strong>Truth: </strong>Representatives from major buying clubs have themselves proven this to be untrue, with statements that bringing a friend is allowed. In fact, most warehouse stores <em>want</em> you to bring a friend in at least once to sample the experience of shopping these kinds of stores. Yes, they&rsquo;re hoping that the allure will lead your friend to buy their own membership (and sometimes this makes sense), but if you are content to shop in tandem with a relative or buddy, don&rsquo;t feel like you&rsquo;re breaking the law. After all, it&rsquo;s twice the sales for the store!</p> <h3>Myth #3: Bulk-buying clubs can only be shopped in-store.</h3> <p><strong>Truth: </strong>Most, if not all, major warehouse clubs can be shopped online (although fresh produce and groceries may not be available via online ordering). This, combined with the addition of several web-only items and the perk of free shipping for some larger items (like furniture, exercise equipment, and power tools), makes it an attractive way to buy your wares without ever leaving your home.</p> <h3>Myth #4: You can&rsquo;t find good bulk buys outside of a warehouse club.</h3> <p><strong>Truth:</strong> Remember our good friend, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Target</a>? They are just one of the many national retail outlets gearing up to offer our warehouse bulk stores some friendly competition. With special aisles dedicated to providing a bulk-buying experience to everyday shoppers, they have much to offer. Examples include 3-packs of boxed cereal, enormous boxes of diapers, and light bulbs by the 20&rsquo;s! In addition to being competitively priced to bulk clubs, you can save big time by using manufacturer&rsquo;s coupons (something the big box stores usually won&rsquo;t let you do) and snagging items on clearance.</p> <p>Still hoping to use bulk buying as a way to stretch that grocery budget? That&rsquo;s OK! Be sure to keep these additional tips in mind when roaming the large concrete aisles:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Use it or lose it.</strong> Remember that jumbo container of hummus you had to buy the last time you went shopping at a bulk club? If you don&rsquo;t, chances are good that it&rsquo;s rotting in the back of your fridge &mdash; and wasting you money. Be sure that you&rsquo;re committed to making every last penny of bulk savings work to your advantage, and use up perishables in a timely manner. (You may want to read up on how even dry goods can go bad if not stored correctly.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Out of cart, out of belly.</strong> Ask anyone who buys yummies from a warehouse store if they are saving money, and they&rsquo;ll probably tell you that the giant box of fruit snacks they bought were far cheaper per ounce than buying from a retail store. They may also admit that they were eaten just as quickly as the small box they usually buy. If you&rsquo;re inclined to tear through giant cases of gourmet pecans or, in my case, those jumbo jars of refrigerator pickles, within days after purchase, look to scale back your buying (and your calorie consumption) with a package from your grocerer&rsquo;s aisle, instead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Bring a list.</strong> There&rsquo;s something truly dangerous about a store that sells baby formula, frozen mini eggrolls, and firepits within 25 feet of one another. If you&rsquo;re destined to stroll the aisles that you won&rsquo;t be shopping from, bring a list, and stick to it! Keep in mind that warehouse club offerings may change from month to month, and the joint supplement you&rsquo;re used to buying may not be offered the next time you shop. Bring your list, shop the clubs first, then buy whatever is not available or affordable at your local store. If you put all your eggs into the warehouse basket, you&rsquo;ll end up with quite the eclectic (and expensive) cart of stuff.</li> </ul> <p><em><a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">Dealista</a> is a collaboration between Wise Bread and <a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/">Quick and Dirty Tips</a>, the producer of popular podcasts such as <a href="http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/">Grammar Girl</a>, <a href="http://moneygirl.quickanddirtytips.com/">Money Girl</a>, <a href="http://winninginvestor.quickanddirtytips.com/">Winning Investor</a>, and <a href="http://mightymommy.quickanddirtytips.com/">Mighty Mommy</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in <a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">our show's archive</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-myths-of-buying-in-bulk-dispelled">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-best-mobile-shopping-apps-for-your-phone">16 Best Mobile Shopping Apps For Your Phone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-outrageously-expensive-whole-foods-products">The 7 Most Outrageously Expensive Whole Foods Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Bulk buying dealista grocery shopping Tue, 23 Feb 2010 17:01:29 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5405 at http://www.wisebread.com Maximize Your Membership: 16 Tips to Shopping Warehouse Stores http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2937157436_007c50dfe0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="195" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than one-third of 1,900 consumers recently surveyed by <a href="http://www.thefrugalshopper.com/articles/warehouse.shtml" rel="nofollow">The Frugal Shopper</a> said their &quot;favorite way to save money&quot; was to shop warehouse clubs. Clearly, the recession has given these super-super-super-sized stores a boost. More than 75 million cardholders shop the 500-plus warehouse stores spread across the country.</p> <p>Some find the price savings invaluable to reign-in tight budgets. Others are simply confused by these stores that average more than 100,000 square feet and offer everything from creamed soup to caskets.</p> <p>Warehouse stores are no-frills and no-service discount stores, usually located in low-rent areas. Many grocery chains now have their own warehouse stores, which allow them to attract low-income, value-conscious buyers while maximizing their buying power. Major warehouse stores include <a href="http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/index.jsp">Sam's Club</a>, <a href="http://www.costco.com/">Costco</a>, <a href="http://www.bjs.com/">BJ's Wholesale Clubs</a>, and <a href="http://www.food4less.com/Pages/default.aspx">Kroger's Food4Less</a>. Some clubs focus on a single type of merchandise, such as clothing, children's products or pet supplies.</p> <p>Coupon Sherpa compiled 16 guidelines to help you make the most of your warehouse club membership.</p> <h3>1. Membership Fees</h3> <p>Paying for the privilege to shop seems like an oxymoron. Shouldn't THEY be paying us to shop their stores? Do the math, however, and you may find the $30 to $50 annual fee is well worth 365 days of savings. As a rule of thumb, you'll need to spend at least $250 annually to justify the fee. Keep in mind the value of a membership also greatly depends on the location of the store, as well as your family's size, shopping and cooking habits and available storage space.</p> <h3>2. Split a Membership</h3> <p>Split the cost of membership dues with another family or friend and you'll only need to spend about $125 per year to cover the cost of the card. Check with each store to make sure they allow membership splitting, however.</p> <h3>3. Shop for Prescription Drugs</h3> <p>Federal law stipulates warehouse stores may not require club membership to use the pharmacy, meaning you don't need to recoup a membership fee to save money on prescriptions. Many prescriptions are substantially cheaper through warehouses, so this can be a real boon to your budget. For example, 100 pills that cost $40 at WalMart may run just $10 to $12 a Sam's Club. Surveys indicate you can save anywhere from 25-percent to 77-percent on many prescriptions at a warehouse.</p> <h3>4. Payment Methods</h3> <p>Many clubs don't accept credit cards, preferring you pay using cash, checks, or debit cards. If this is going to be a problem each time you shop, it may not be worth your while.</p> <h3>5. Make a List</h3> <p>Warehouse stores depend on impulse shoppers for hefty profits. How many shoppers pop in for a gallon of milk and come out with two full shopping carts. Buying in bulk fills those carts fast, so make a list and stick to it.</p> <h3>6. Pull Back on the Perishables</h3> <p>The prices on bananas or artichokes may be mighty tempting, but perishable items as produce, breads, and dairy products may go bad long before you can use them. Check expiration dates &mdash; even on batteries &mdash; to make sure you'll use up the product before it expires.</p> <h3>7. Not Everything is Cheaper</h3> <p>You'll want to shop elsewhere for paper products, cereals, pet food, can goods, and snacks as warehouse prices on these items rarely prove to be a good deal.</p> <h3>8. Comparison Shop</h3> <p>Don't assume the warehouse price is the lowest price available. It helps to have a rough idea of supermarket versus club per-unit prices for commonly purchased items. Unit prices are usually listed as &quot;cost per pound,&quot; &quot;cost per tissues,&quot; etc. and are listed at the bottom of price tabs on store shelves. In some cases, you can comparison shop on the Web before heading out to the warehouse.</p> <h3>9. Consider Gas Prices</h3> <p>Gas is generally 5 to 10 cents per gallon cheaper than local stations. If you do a lot of driving, it'll take no time to recoup your membership fee. A Costco membership also entitles you to a free tire check and refill.</p> <h3>10. Wine, Beer, and Liquor</h3> <p>Most clubs sell alcohol at an amazing discount. For example, a 30-pack of 12-ounce Coors cans averages $17.50 at Sam's Club, nearly $4 less than at your local Stop &amp; Shop.</p> <h3>11. Shop the Periphery</h3> <p>The middle aisles are filled with discretionary-spending items (aka non-necessities), while row ends push sale items that aren't always that good a price.</p> <h3>12. You Snooze, You Lose</h3> <p>Inventory turns over rapidly and may be replaced by an entirely different brand the next time you shop. If you spot something you frequently use in the brand you prefer, grab it.</p> <h3>13. High-ticket Items</h3> <p>Electronics, furnishings, and appliances are often sold at deep discounts, as compared to major-chain stores. Don't compromise, however, on brand, style, or quality just to save money. You may end up with a product that doesn't suit your needs and will disintegrate before your eyes. When comparing high-ticket prices, however, keep in mind that most membership stores don't charge a restocking fee, as opposed to big electronic stores that may charge up to 15 percent on returns.</p> <h3>14. Shop for the Office</h3> <p>Some Clubs offer executive memberships to small-business owners that include a two-percent annual return on expenditures. It's a great way to stock up on frequently used items, like paper and pens, and such major purchases as office furniture, computer peripherals, etc. Again, research quality before you buy.</p> <h3>15. Know the Benefits</h3> <p>Read the brochure so you'll know all the benefits included in your membership, such as discounts on carpet cleaning, automotive services and more.</p> <h3>16. Break It Down</h3> <p>After unpacking your bags and boxes at home, separate large combo-packs into smaller packages for easier storage. For example, divide packets of multiple-chicken breasts into freezer bags containing one or two breasts so you need only defrost as many breasts as you need for a meal.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/">Coupon Sherpa</a>, a source of reliable online, printable and grocery coupons. You can download the free <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">Coupon Sherpa iPhone app</a> with in-store mobile coupons, or check out more great tips from the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/">Ask Coupon Sherpa blog</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/6-tips-to-shopping-consignment-stores/">6 Tips to Shopping Consignment Stores</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/5-ways-to-sell-your-stuff/">5 Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/9-steps-to-shopping-for-gluten-free-foods/">9 Steps to Shopping for Gluten-Free Foods</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupon-sherpa">Coupon Sherpa</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals">Walmart vs. Sam&#039;s Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Bulk buying warehouse stores Mon, 18 Jan 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Coupon Sherpa 4650 at http://www.wisebread.com “Shop in stores with concrete floors.” http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016470480_Large.jpg" alt="costco store" title="costco store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A self-made millionaire gave me that little nugget of wisdom. And boy oh boy, he was dead on the money. Basically, those huge warehouse stores (like Costco, Sam&rsquo;s Club, and BJ's) are a treasure trove of cheap deals for the frugal shopper.</p> <p>Now, I&rsquo;m not suggesting everything they sell is quite right for your needs. A five-gallon drum of relish is probably going to go bad long before I get to use even half of it. But when it comes to things like toilet paper, cling wrap, aluminum foil, freezer goods, meats, anything like that, you&rsquo;re getting a steal. I bought an industrial size roll of aluminum foil two years ago, and it&rsquo;s still looking like it could last another two years.</p> <p>Admittedly, the big stores are members-only places, and usually you pay anywhere from $30-$100 per year for the right to shop there. But you&rsquo;ll make that back on your first big shop. I know I did. And on some of the larger electronic items, furniture, fridges, washers and driers, well, the price of admission is worth it to get that huge discount on one big purchase.<span>&nbsp;(See also:&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership?ref=seealsp">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a>)</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re still not convinced, go by your local warehouse store and see the deals for yourself. Most of them will give you a pass to go and look around for free. Some even give you a one-day special, allowing you to buy whatever you want without paying the membership fee. But trust me, you&rsquo;ll find way too many low prices to ever think about shopping at a regular grocery store again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores?ref=seealso">16 Tips to Shopping Warehouse Stores</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals">Walmart vs. Sam&#039;s Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores">Maximize Your Membership: 16 Tips to Shopping Warehouse Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bj's Bulk buying costco sam's club warehouse stores Mon, 08 Jan 2007 02:27:38 +0000 Paul Michael 164 at http://www.wisebread.com