Joining a wholesale club such as Sam’s Club could save you money by allowing you to buy in bulk and get better deals.
But savvy shoppers know that just because a store has a reputation for good deals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look elsewhere. Of course, there are great deals to be had at Sam’s Club.
To help you on your next trip to the warehouse club, we talked to a shopping expert who weighed in on what you should buy — and skip — at Sam’s Club.
3 best things to buy at Sam’s Club
Headed to Sam’s Club? Keep an eye out for these three items. You may find the warehouse has competitive pricing.
1. Home decor
When my husband and I were shopping for patio furniture, we shopped around. And we found that Sam’s Club had the best prices for quality furnishings. Our experience matched the findings by Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing for DealNews.
“Furniture and storage units are a great buy at Sam’s Club,” she said. “Often, you can save hundreds with the deals they offer on things like sofas, chairs, and shelving units.”
Sam’s Club offers a wide selection of home decor, from mattresses and bedroom furniture to game room tables. Like most furniture stores, you can also find promotions around the holidays. For example, the warehouse offered up to $700 off for the Fourth of July.
Each year, the latest and hottest TVs are hitting store shelves. If you want the latest technology — or if you’re due for an upgrade — Sam’s Club may be the place to shop.
“You can also save quite a bit on both name-brand and off-brand TV sets, particularly around Black Friday,” Sakraida said. “We saw 4K TVs for as low as $299 at Sam’s Club.”
3. Generic medication
The cost of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can add up. But Sam’s Club can make affording your meds easier, according to Sakraida.
“Generic drugs are another great thing to pick up, with prices typically significantly lower than name-brand alternatives,” she said. “Our staff will often buy allergy medications at Sam’s Club at a tenth of the cost of medicines like Claritin or Zyrtec.”
Generic medications are required by the Food and Drug Administration to work the same as name-brand prescriptions, and the pharmacy at Sam’s Club offers some of the best deals on these bargain-priced drugs.
You can save more on medication by becoming a Sam’s Plus member, which requires a $100 annual fee. Check out the store’s Extra Value Drug List to determine whether you’d save by becoming a Plus member.
3 worst things to buy at Sam’s Club
While you can add home decor, TVs, and medications to your Sam’s list, there are a few items to leave out of your shopping cart.
Sam’s Club offers a good selection of desktop and laptop computers, but Sakraida said its prices may not always be the best around. “Sometimes they have good deals, but more often than not, we see better prices at Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft Store, and others,” she said.
When shopping for a laptop, you may find some of the best deals during back-to-school season in July and August. November and December could also be great times to buy new tech with the holiday season. You can find all kinds of promotions during these months.
Be sure to research computer models before committing to a sale. That way, you don’t end up with a subpar model.
2. Office supplies
Sam’s Club offers an array of office supplies. But you might want to buy your gear for work and school elsewhere. “Office supplies are competitively priced, but you rarely see great deals like you might at Staples and OfficeMax,” advised Sakraida.
Stores such as Walmart may offer better everyday prices on office supplies. For example, in August 2018, Sam’s Club was selling a 24-pack of retractable ballpoint pens for $8.98. The same 24-pack of pens was $6.62 at Walmart.
3. Adult and kid apparel
When you’re ready to expand your wardrobe, Sam’s Club may be a poor destination to search. “We definitely say skip the clothing at Sam’s Club unless you find something there that you can’t get elsewhere,” Sakraida said.
Both price and quality at Sam’s Club are reasons to steer clear of its selection of clothes. Items can often be found cheaper elsewhere, and the quality of even name-brand items at big-box stores may be lower.
Sam’s Club can help you save if you know what to buy
Sam’s Club can offer great savings on high-dollar items. But like any other store, the warehouse club won’t always provide the best deals. As you shop, make sure to price-check your cart.
You can compare prices at Costco and other big brands, such as Target and Walmart. Online stores and marketplaces also offer deals you won’t want to miss.
By being judicious about what you purchase from Sam’s Club — and which items you buy elsewhere — you can stretch your hard-earned dollars.
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