After living overseas for many years, when I settled back into the states I really anticipated my first shopping spree at a wholesale warehouse club. After all, I wasn’t going to be required to pay an entrance fee or join the wholesale warehouse club to shop there the first time around. And I was certain I was going to save gobs of money while purchasing every item on my short grocery list. The size of the wholesale warehouse club grocery cart I picked up in the parking lot amazed me. I wondered how anyone would need one that enormous!
Now, ten years later, here’s my view on shopping at wholesale warehouse clubs.
Lesson One: Shopping at a wholesale warehouse club is not about how many grocery items are on my list. It’s all about deciding this: How many of the items on my list do I want to buy in bulk? Do I really need six bottles of soy sauce? Where will I store those five extra bottles? Do I want to spend that much money on soy sauce on this shopping trip? If not, I add the item to my regular stores list.
Lesson Two: The two wholesale warehouse clubs located near my home do carry grocery items that include fresh fruit and vegetables. And by the pound, the prices are usually cheaper than a regular grocery market. But fresh fruit and vegetables are not sold by the pound in a wholesale warehouse club. So I always must ask myself a couple of important questions before I purchase them.
For example: How long will it take for the two of us to eat five pounds of grapes? Is there enough room in my refrigerator for them? Will my desire for grapes be exhausted before we run out of grapes?
Lesson Three: Wholesale warehouse club buildings are huge and I find the tremendous variety of merchandise overwhelming. If I walked down every wholesale warehouse aisle, I would be so fascinated with all the new products that I would tend to pick them up to read the information on their containers (so I could figure out if we really need that item) and thus be stuck there all day.
So I make a specific wholesale warehouse club list of items I want to buy either in bulk or in a larger size than the grocery store handles. Then I don’t window shop. I focus on my list. Some items that I regularly purchase at a wholesale warehouse club are toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, picnic supplies, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, frozen shrimp and salmon, computer ink cartridges, and paper-back books.
Wholesale Warehouse Club Future Shopping Lists
I keep a list of items to buy at our wholesale warehouse club on the refrigerator, and shop at the warehouse club about once a month. When entertaining, that list definitely includes items not on my usual list. One thing I can count on. No matter how short my shopping list, I end up spending at least $100 per visit. I tell myself those wholesale warehouse club bargain prices make that a good deal, and that the huge shopping cart now makes sense, even for a grandma.