We’re always looking for ways to save money, aren’t we?
One of the best ways to save is to buy in bulk at a warehouse club like Sam’s Club or Costco.
That explains the popularity of Sam’s Club, Costco, and others.
Walmart owns Sam’s Club, so with prices even better than Walmart’s, you know you are getting a deal. According to a Consumers’ Checkbook survey published by the not-for-profit Center for the Study of Services, Sam’s Club prices are on average 33% lower than the largest supermarket chains.
So shopping at Sam’s already saves you money, but here are some more ideas that will help you squeeze out more savings next time you go shopping at Sam’s Club.
What will I learn?
1. Check the Unit Price
Most of the time, buying in bulk will be the most cost-effective. But sometimes, the bulk price is not cheaper than buying smaller quantities, particularly if a store in your area has a special loss-leader on what you want.
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So try and do some calculating as you load up your cart, making sure that you’re not paying more per unit weight for your purchases than buying from your local store.
2. Shop in a Ring
It’s a common marketing ploy to put the best buys around the outside of the store, and to put impulse buys in the center and at the entrance.
That means you should shop around the perimeter, in a ring avoiding the middle, to get the most for your money.
3. Split Your Membership Cost with a Friend
You may not buy enough to justify paying the full amount for the membership.
If so, see if you can find a like-minded friend who will go in with you in buying a Sam’s Club membership.
Whoever holds the card will have to pay at the till, and then you can split the goods and settle up outside the store.
4. Use Your Employer’s Membership
Most of the ideas mentioned in this post assume that you are a member, but if you’re not one yet you might want to check with your employer to see if you can become one of the two designated shoppers on a business membership.
Sure, it may mean you have to do the odd coffee and dried milk run for work, but you will get all the benefits of club savings for your own shopping.
5. Buy the Store Brand
Sam’s Club has its own brand, the Member’s Mark (just as Costco has Kirkland, and BJ’s has Berkley and Jensen).
There’s nothing wrong with any of these brands, which are usually much cheaper than the nationally advertised ones.
It makes sense for the store brands to be high quality, as customer satisfaction is a priority at Sam’s Club.
6. Get Discounted Gift Cards
You can get a great range of gift cards at Sam’s Club, and they are usually discounted from the face value.
These are known as “Extreme Value Gift Cards“.
The discount can range from 10% to 25%. That means you might pick up $100 worth of gift cards for, say, $80.
7. Stick to Your List
Make a list of what you want to buy and then stick with it.
It’s easy to be distracted by all the savings, particularly on the large-screen TVs, and you may end up buying much more than you wanted to or can afford.
Before you go, make a list of what you want to buy and do your best to stick with it when you’re in the store.
8. Check out the Clearance Section
Work out where your local Sam’s Club puts clearance items, and check them while you are there. You can pick up some amazing deals.
You’ll also find the electronics section has a display, scratch and dent, or open box area which you can visit to squeeze out extra savings on what you want.
9. Look for Instant Savings
Sam’s Club has recently introduced “Instant Savings” on the various items, and these are automatically loaded onto your membership card.
You can find out about them from the mailer that Sam’s Club sends out at regular intervals or check out SamsClub.com/MyInstantSavings.
10. Avoid Additional Warranties
If you really want to save money, then the best advice is to avoid any extended warranties that you may be offered in the store.
They are usually not needed, as most gadgets break down, if at all, in the first few weeks or months of use.
The experts tell us that on average extended warranties cost more than simply paying for the rare repair out of warranty when necessary.
It’s a way for them to get a little more profit out of playing on your insecurity.
As a member of Sam’s Club, you already know that you can save a lot of money shopping there; using some of the hints and tips above, you will maximize your benefits.