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When it comes to the cost of everyday items, most of us would love to save a buck or two whenever possible. Sure, you can wait for sales and clip coupons, but there are other ways to spend less money.

Enter bulk shopping.

Taking advantage of a wholesale club — even with the membership fee — may be able to help save you hundreds of dollars a year.

How Are the Wholesale Clubs Different?

Think of warehouse clubs like a large retail store that looks like a huge storage facility. The three currently available in the US — BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club — have a wide range of products, anywhere from groceries and toiletries to furniture.

These stores can keep their prices low because of their membership. This can range anywhere from $40 to $120, with each tier giving you different perks. For example, more expensive memberships may reward you extra discounts on products and services.

It's these fees that help these places produce much of their revenue. In turn, these warehouse clubs pass on these savings to its members.

Perks of Using a Wholesale Club

Since these stores are so huge, warehouse clubs tend to have a bigger inventory and better selections of products. Additionally, they can offer lower prices because they've purchased the items themselves in bulk, saving them money. Warehouse clubs are more willing to pass on their savings since you've already paid a membership fee.

Furthermore, buying in bulk, in general, helps save you money. When you purchase a large number of items, the price per item or ounce is generally lower. That means that the more you buy, the less it actually costs you. For those who have big families or don't mind stocking up on non-perishable items, the savings could be huge.

Most wholesale clubs will mail coupons once a month to use specifically at their store. Some may also offer special discounts instead of coupons which you can even take advantage of online.

Other than grocery and cleaning items, most warehouse clubs offer big-ticket items at a discount. These include car insurance, vacation packages, electronics, and tires. Even if you don't intend on going to a store often, using your membership to purchase these large items once or twice may be worth it. For those who regularly use the pharmacy, their prices are usually lower compared to other places, as well.

What to Watch out For

Even though warehouse clubs are great for savings, you'll want to make sure you're going to use the items you've purchased. Sure, it's great that you only paid $3 for a five-pound bag of tomatoes, but if you let them spoil, you've just wasted your money.

Don't assume that all items are cheaper than other grocery stores. Do a bit of comparison shopping beforehand so that you know which items are worth purchasing.

Getting a membership at a warehouse club is a great way to save money on items you're already purchasing on a regular basis. If you're not sure whether this is the best choice for you, most places will give you a one-day pass so you can check them out. That way, you can decide which warehouse club is the best choice for you.

Disclosures

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on www.Key.com, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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