How to save money warehouse shopping

Warehouse membership style stores can really save you a lot of money with their competitive prices and the opportunity to buy in bulk. However, in some instances, these savings stars can actually end up costing you money. Part of this is the way in which they throw the need vs. want scale out of whack. It’s also the impulse shopper’s paradise.


Here are a few warehouse shopping tips to help you come out on top (of your budget).

Have a purpose

Never ever hit your local warehouse store when you are “just looking” or for a way to kill a chilly/rainy/snowy afternoon. Before you know it, your cart will be teeming with things that you don’t want or need really (and those are big carts).

Waste not, want not

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. However you stand to lose a substantial amount if you end up wasting much of what you buy. So, before you buy several litres of maple syrup or mustard, are you going to use it- and when?

Get prepared. If you are buying perishables, plan their use and how you can store/freeze the rest. Meat and fish freeze well. Fruit, when cleaned and frozen in individual servings freezes well too.

Another way to avoid waste is to shop with a friend, with plans to split the goods (and the savings).

Beware the freebies

Ok I admit it. I’ve made a small meal out of snacking at the various sample food stands that are usually more available on high-traffic weekends.  While this can be a great way to get yourself a free snack, beware of the interplay here. Once you savour the sample, they’ve got you right where they want you-by the taste buds.

Again, only buy what’s on your list- not what smells/tastes/looks good.

Skip the pre-fab

Another great thing in warehouse stores? The abundance of prepared foods. This is pure gold for the time-pressed parent. However, if you are trying to keep to a budget, prepared convenience foods are a budget-squasher.

If you really must pick something up, grab one of those cooked rotisserie chickens, which are very reasonably priced- and best of all- already cooked!