Wholesales clubs have risen in popularity over the past couple of years with the most common being Sam’s Club (owned by Walmart), Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
These clubs require you to pay a membership fee to utilize their benefits including the ability to purchase just about anything in bulk, complimentary roadside assistance, and discounted alcohol.
But are wholesale clubs worth the cost? Let’s find out.
Wholesale Club Membership Costs
Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s all charge a membership fee and have multiple options.
For basic memberships, Sam’s Club comes in at a lower price point at $45 annually. Costco charges $60 annually for their lowest tier membership. BJ’s charges $55 annually. All of these memberships will allow for one additional card for a family member.
You can also purchase a business membership that has a few added benefits that you can find from their respective websites.
Wholesale Club Offers
If you plan to purchase a membership, look online beforehand for any coupons that might save you money. You can occasionally find offers that take $15 or $25 off your annual membership cost. In fact, American Express recently offered $20 off a basic Sam’s Club membership!
What You Get
The most utilized feature of wholesale clubs is access to purchasing items in bulk. They offer superior prices when compared to your local grocer if you plan on using the entire supply.
But that’s not it! sometimes you can score travel deals and take advantage of cheaper gas prices at the pump as well as a complimentary tire repair and battery center. Sam’s Club even offers complimentary roadside assistance and will tow your vehicle to locations within 10 miles.
Need more savings? Many families have found that wholesale clubs can save them tremendous amounts at the pharmacy. The amount you can save varies on the prescription, but every little bit helps!
Wait, there’s more?? Yep, wholesale clubs also offer extremely discounted prices on alcohol. You can pick up your favorite spirits typically discount by more than 15%.
Credit Card Rewards
Some credit cards that offer rotating rewards will offer bonus rewards for wholesale clubs. While this might only amount to $10 or $20 in total, it can reduce the overall cost of your membership.
Don’t Forget the Samples!
Many families enjoy complimentary food samples to keep their stomachs full throughout their trip. In addition to food samples, you can occasionally score household cleaning samples like laundry detergent or fabric softener.
Where People Go Wrong
When it comes to purchasing a wholesale club membership, people tend to make a few key mistakes that can hinder any savings you could possess.
Not Using It Enough
The first mistake people make is by not using their membership enough. If you only go once a month (or less), the cost of your membership might not be worth it.
Be sure to visit your club or make use of online options to maximize your returns. The amount you can save will depend on your usage.
Because you’ll be forced to purchase in bulk, this tends to lead to much more waste, specifically in perishable goods like produce or meats.
Before shopping, it’s a good idea to make a list of things that you plan to eat in the coming weeks. Any items that are perishable might be better bought at your local grocery. Otherwise, you might be able to find the same items frozen that can last significantly longer.
Not Using Additional Benefits
Like mentioned earlier, there are several other benefits to your wholesale club than just the capability of buying in bulk. You can save extraordinary amounts at the gas pump and some people rave about their mattress selections.
You should check out all of their offerings to increase your savings to make your membership worth the cost.
Making a Long Trip
If your nearest wholesale club is more than 15 or 20 miles away, this can make it difficult to recoup any savings you might accumulate in store.
You’ll need to do the math yourself. If you plan on visiting the store once per month, you should
Should You Purchase a Membership?
Getting the most out of your wholesale club membership seems like a no brainer but you’ll need to plan ahead to maximize your returns.
Using your membership to its full potential exceeds the obvious advantages of shopping in bulk. Filling up your gas tank, using their tire and battery services, and checking out exclusive travel deals can help you to get the most from your annual membership.
In addition to utilizing all of the benefits, you should also keep in mind some of the drawbacks that might arise like an increase in food waste caused by purchasing food in bulk. If you can limit these costs, a wholesale club membership is most likely worth the cost.