Warehouse Shopping Deals
You loved Rachael's grocery shopping guide and farmers market tips, so now she's joined by TheGroceryGame.com Founder and CEO Teri Gault to show you how to save on bulk warehouse shopping while avoiding the "deals" that could actually be putting a dent in your wallet!
• Start at the back of the store. Head back to the area with the heavier items on your list and make those the first items to go in your cart. "Now the cart's heavy. Two things: we're going to get a little exercise pushing through the store, plus we might get tired ... and then we won't end up browsing too much and spending too much more than what we came for."
• Avoid the "wholesale shoppers black hole." To stay within your budget, avoid the books, DVDs and other impulse purchases. Or, Rachael notes, if you really want something that's not an essential, "get everything you need first and then decide if you have a budget for impulse!"
What to Buy and What to Skip
• Meat, chicken and fish. "Wholesale clubs are actually the biggest buyers of meat, so therefore they can give you the restaurant quality, which is the top quality meat at a great price," Teri says. "If it's full price at the supermarket it's going to cost more than at the club store." If it's being sold in a larger quantity than you need, use your freezer. Rachael suggests stocking up when you see deals on pricier cuts of meat to be stored in the freezer: "Individually portion it so that when you put it in the freezer you can pull out one, two, three, four pieces as as you need it and still take advantage of that fabulous savings!"
• Milk, butter and eggs. "You can't hardly beat [their prices] anywhere. For instance, eggs? You would get a dozen eggs at the supermarket for about the same price you would pay for 18 eggs at a club store," Teri says. "Butter is usually about $3 a pound at club stores vs. $4 to $5 a pound at the supermarket at full price."
• Frozen foods. "I throw a lot of parties," Teri says. "I don't use a caterer ... the frozen appetizers are like gourmet quality!"
• Specialty cheeses. "It's going to be about 40 percent less than you would pay at full price at the supermarkets," Teri says. "I use it at my parties and people don't know the difference."
• Fresh produce. The veggies and lettuce containers might not work for every family. "One of the problems is it's a big package," Teri says. "You need to be careful, I don't like people to overbuy and not use it."
• Wine. You'll find good quality, mid-range wine at the warehouse, and Teri says it should be priced at about 33 percent less than what you'll find at the wine store or the local liquor store.
• Beer and soda. "There is good savings if you're having a big party, but look at how you have a giant box of the same thing," Teri warns. "At supermarkets you would be able to get some sales and some deals where you could get some variety, so just think about what you need."
• Private label store brands. Teri suggests giving these a try and explains that on occasion the packaged items are licensed from major brands and could be the same as what you would find at the supermarket.
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