Buying bulk has become the newest grocery shopping trend. People are running to stores like Costco, BJ’s. and Sams Club to scoop up bulk products with bulk savings attached to it. Many people believe these types of purchases are convenient and will save them money on future return visits, they haven’t stopped to ask themselves, “how can buying bulk be a mistake,”? For those of you who have not considered the cons, here is a list to get you thinking

Membership Fees

Most bulk retailers charge a yearly premium for the convenience of shopping in-store. The price per membership at Costco ranges from $20 for students to $60-$120 for Gold Star and Business Executive members. BJs memberships are $55-$110 and Sam’s Club memberships range from $45-$100. Membership tiers often reflect different types of discounts and store access, with higher premiums offering better benefits. While the prices alone aren’t that alarming, the price of membership just to gain access to the store could be best spent on something else. 

Lack Of Discounts 

While many bulk suppliers offer in-store discounts, do not bet on using your Sunday paper coupons to bring down your total. Many of these stores have their store coupons and sales you can apply to your purchases but will not allow you to use manufacturer coupons. The exception to this rule is Bj’s. You can check out their coupon use policy here

Pro tip: Cashback apps are another exception to this rule. Ibotta has cashback deals on items that can be purchased at Sams Club and Costco. Additionally, you can get cashback on membership fees for both stores and Bj’s.                                                                

Shelf-Life and Product Storage

It’s easy to get caught up in savings while shopping. We often purchase more than we need. When in bulk stores you have to be cognizant of your limited storage space. You need to check expiration dates and be realistic about whether you will be able to utilize your products before expiration. If you do not check into these things, you could be wasting good products. 

Price Comparisons

Buying in bulk does not guarantee the best prices. Many couponers believe in cost comparisons. You need to find like items on the bulk retailers site and compare it to your favorite low-cost grocer to see who has the best deal. You may be surprised to find the three-pack of toothpaste you bought at Costco cost a few dollars cheaper elsewhere. 

Shopping bulk can be a great savings tool in many households. However, if you don’t stop to think, “how can buying bulk be a mistake?” you could be wasting your time and money.


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