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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You pay a membership fee up-front to belong to a warehouse store like BJ's or Sam's Club , but you tell yourself it's worth it if you're going to save money in the long run.
In many cases you will. However, we learned there are five things that you just shouldn't buy in a warehouse store.
Inventor of popular coupon website The Grocery Game, Teri Gault, wanted to share with you her list of don't-buy items for warehouse stores. She added her "do-buy" at warehouse store list, too.
Teri says these are items you should steer away from at warehouse stores because you can find them cheaper when on sale with a coupon at the supermarket:
Breakfast cereal, including instant oatmeal: Typically with a sale and coupon, the cost per ounce on these can easily be half as much as the giant boxes of the same brands at warehouse stores.
Salad dressing: Smaller 16 oz. Bottles on sale with a coupon at the supermarket will most often beat the cost per ounce of the giant bottles at warehouse stores for the same brands. Costco has some brands that the supermarket doesn't carry, and they are good in terms of quality and taste. However, they tend to go bad in a lot of households, as they are so big, take up too much space in the fridge, and just aren't practical.
Canned vegetables: Believe it or not, those 8 packs of corn can be purchased for less on sale with a coupon at the supermarket. Most canned vegetable coupons are for $1 off 2 , 3, or 4 cans. The sales in supermarkets run on about 12 week cycles. So stock up when you see the deals. At times like weeks before thanksgiving, canned vegetables are at their lowest of the year.
Individually wrapped frozen snack items (like Hot Pockets): These are those convenience items that manufacturers push with coupons. Wait for sales, and then stock up with your coupons.
Toothpaste and deodorant: Health and beauty items also run on 12 week sales cycles. By holding coupons for sales, you even get them for free!
5 items you SHOULD buy at warehouse stores:
Eggs: Eggs can go on terrific sales at supermarkets, and even beat the price at warehouse stores, but not every week. And since eggs are not typically a brand name item, there are not many coupons for eggs. However, if you like egg substitutes, there are many coupons for those. When they go on sale at the supermarket, they will often beat the warehouse price with the coupon and sale.
Cheese: By the same principal as with eggs, there are few good coupons for blocks of cheese. Warehouse stores have the best prices on those, as well as huge bags of grated cheese.
Fancy frozen party appetizers (bacon wrapped shrimp, mini quiches, etc.): Costco is one of my favorite big event resources. They specialize in great prices and excellent quality on things like their fancy frozen appetizers. These really beat the price of a caterer, and are easy to serve. They are pretty, delicious and classy.
Heavy duty paper plates and cups: Good quality plates and cups are pricey unless you have a sale with a coupon. We can beat Costco with sale and coupon at the supermarket, but for big parties, you rarely have enough coupons to go with the number of small, packages that you will need.
Birthday cakes ( or any special occasion decorated cake): These are just fantastic, delicious and you simply can't beat the price anywhere.