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With online shopping today, does warehouse shopping still pay off?

Don't Waste Your Money: Do warehouse stores save you money?
Posted at 1:05 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 14:16:27-05

Warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco used to be the go-to place for shoppers who wanted the best deals.

But with Amazon now dominating the retail world, are these stores still relevant?

But there are some items that are still cheaper at warehouse stores, so you don't waste your money.

With online shopping and discount pricing everywere right now, paying $45 or more to join a membership club feels so 1988.

Why pay a fee, then have to carry large boxes to your car?

Because it can still save a bundle of money.

Think the warehouse store's best days are behind it?

Then check out a Sam's Club or Costco parking lot on a Saturday where every weekend feels like Black Friday.

“I come for paper products, toilet paper, paper towels," one shopper says.

"Tide. I always get my detergent here,” says another.

We found one Sam’s Club to be bustling inside on a recent weekday.

"I come here and stock up about once a month,” another shopper told us.

We found mom Lindsay Erickson filling her cart with large boxes of Pampers.

“I have two little kids, so I need a ton of diapers, wipes, and all that stuff,” she said.

These may not be the stores for you if you are single, have a small refrigerator, or just prefer small-sized portions.

But when it comes to things like paper products or baby products, you really can't go wrong when you buy these bulk packages, since they can last for months.

So with the help of recent comparisons from GOBankingRates and The Penny Hoarder, we found nine things that are almost always cheaper at Sam's and Costco.

  • Diapers, baby wipes, and baby formula...about 20 percent less than supemarket prices.
  • Rotisserie chicken, at $4.99, half the price of most grocery stores.
  • Maple syrup.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Peanut butter and Nutella.
  • Cheese.
  • Pet food/kitty litter.
  • Tires, including name brands like Michelin and Goodyear.
  • And eyeglasses. Which looks better? This? Or this? Or maybe this?

But what about Amazon, which offers the convenience of diapers delivered right to your door with free shipping?

You pay for that convenience, according to recent comparisons by Joanie Demer, the Krazy Coupon lady.

Sams's and Costco were about 10 percent to 15 percent cheaper overall than Amazon.

Business insider says Sam's and Costco prices are so similar that it recommends joining the one that is closest to you.

That's so important: choose your warehouse store based on location rather than membership price: if you have to drive 45 minutes, you will rarely go.

And that way you don't waste your money.