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Warehouse club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club offer great values on a whole slew of items. But before you buy, it pays to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal.
One of the easiest ways you can save money right off the bat at Sam’s Club is to hold off purchasing a full-price Sam’s membership until you can find a membership special. Deal sites like Groupon and others frequently offer Sam’s Club memberships at a significant savings. I was able to score a $100 Sam’s membership for just $35 using a coupon from a deals site.
After you have your membership card in hand and you’re ready to go shopping, here are six sneaky ways you can save money at Sam’s Club:
- Check out clearance items. Sam’s Club typically hides its clearance section towards the back of the store. Sarah Roe of MoneySavingQueen.com says she scored a $250 dining room table at Sam’s for just $50 by shopping in the clearance section.
- Make a list. Compile a Sam’s Club shopping list before you get to the store and then stick with it. Don’t deviate from the list and you won’t walk out the Sam’s Club doors with a few things you needed and a whole basket full of impulse buys, recommends Roe. The shopping list tip goes for any shopping trip.
- Look for discounted meat. Sam’s Club often clearances out some of its meat products in the morning, so that’s a good time to check for good prices on meat. If you find a cut of meat that you want to purchase but you want to split it up and freeze portions of it for future meals, don’t be afraid to ask the butcher at Sam’s for help. They will cut it to your specifications.
- Free prescriptions. For certain medications, Sam’s Club offers no-cost prescriptions. You do have to have an upgraded Sam’s Plus membership to be eligible for five free prescriptions.
- Fill your belly. If you’re shopping near lunch or dinnertime, you can snack on the free samples that workers hand out in the store. You may also want to grab a slice of pizza, a pretzel or a hot dog from the Sam’s food court. Their prices are hard to beat.
- Partner-shop with a friend. If your family is not big enough to eat its way through two enormous boxes of cereal, a huge box of 30 yogurts and 3 pounds of broccoli before it goes bad, then you may want to consider shopping with a friend and splitting the purchase.
- Shop the outside aisles – skip the middle. As is standard in traditional grocery stores, you can typically find the best buys shopping the perimeter aisles. For example, at warehouse clubs like Sam’s, staple items like milk, eggs and bread are often sold at cheap prices, and those items are located in a perimeter aisle. The middle aisles of Sam’s are trying to woo you with books, pajamas, kids toys and lots of other tempting purchases that you probably don’t really need.
Check out “What Not to Buy at Costco (or Sam’s).”
Do you shop at Sam’s or another warehouse store? How do you save money there? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.
Note: We’d never tell you about something we didn’t feel was a great deal. With this one, we’ve managed to get Sam’s Club to send us a little money each time someone signs up for a membership using the links on this page. If you’re one of those people, thank you! We promise to put that money to use writing more great stories for you!
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