Best (and worst) deals at warehouse clubs

By John Matarese
Posted by LS - email

Are you shopping discount stores more than you used to? Many shoppers are. They're also turning to warehouse clubs for even bigger savings.

In these tough times, many families are turning to warehouse clubs to save on groceries, bulk goods, and clothing. But are you really saving as much as you think?

Smart Money magazine analyzed the deals at major warehouse clubs like Sam's Club and Costco. It says ounce for ounce, warehouse prices are lower than retail stores. However, that doesn't always mean it's a great buy.

The best

The best warehouse club deals, according to Smart Money are

  • HDTVs and electronics because of low prices and great return policies.
  • Beer and wine
  • Milk, butter, eggs, and meat

From the 'Doesn't That Stink' file, are some good warehouse deals that are bad buys for most families. Smart Money says name brand clothing may not be the deal it first appears. It says prepared food is often a bad idea, unless you have a family of 6 or more.

The worst

  • Smart Money says designer clothing items are usually cheaper warehouse-only lines.
  • Giant boxes of frozen food, which spoil before you can eat it all.
  • Giant supplies of toilet paper and paper towels, which are not cheap enough to justify the space they take up.

My advice? Go ahead and join a warehouse club but Smart Money says shop carefully, or the urge to save could end up costing you.