These Are The Groceries To Buy And Skip At The Warehouse Club

grocery store, shopping cart, diet coke

Photo: Flickr / Nomadic Lass

Bigger doesn’t always mean more savings when you’re shopping at a club store like BJ’s or Sam’s that sells items in bulk. We talked to Grocery Game founder Teri Gault to find out how to shop these stores like a pro. 

BUY: Birthday cake

Half sheets at the grocery store are $28 to $33, says Gault, adding that warehouse clubs sell these much cheaper, between $16 and $18.

'They're flat-out the best,' she says.

SKIP: Frozen veggies and fruits

'It's just not a good a deal as what you'll find in the supermarket during a sale and with a coupon,' says Gault.

Frozen veggies on sale at the grocery store can be half the cost of club stores, and even 75 per cent cheaper if the item's on sale and bought with a coupon.

BUY: Frozen Appetizers

Bacon-wrapped dates and pizza bites are just a few of the yummy starters you'll find in the freezer section, Gault says.

'They're perfect for parties,' says Gault, before adding, 'When I do a giant party, I can serve for about $16 something that would have cost twice as much with a caterer.'

SKIP: Select and choice meats

'The middle of the road meat is the same quality as a grocery store, but when it's on sale, it can be half the price of club stores',' Gault says.

'I'd only buy meat there if you're buying prime, it isn't on sale at the supermarket and you need it right now.'

BUY: Gourmet cheeses and dips

'You can't beat the prices of these anywhere, except at Trader Joe's,' Gault says.

SKIP: Boneless chicken breast

These sell for two dollars a pound nationwide, but at the club store you'll be paying more than 50 per cent more, Gault explains.

Like meats, these will be half the price at the supermarket.

BUY: Select produce that isn't on sale elsewhere

The quality's great, but the price not so much, Gault says.

'Take your circular from the supermarket with you and buy what doesn't beat their price,' she adds.

SKIP: Produce you won't use immediately

This is a general tip, but you won't save a thing if the food goes to waste sitting on your kitchen counter.

Especially if you buy in bulk, Gault says. 'Getting a five-pack of romaine is pointless.'

BUY: Eggs, butter and cheese

Cooking staples like these are 30 to 50 per cent cheaper than what you'll find in the grocery store.

SKIP: Cereal

Don't buy into the idea that bigger is better, warns Gault.

You can find cereal for half off or even cheaper if it's on sale with a coupon elsewhere.

BUY: Mid-range, name-brand wines

Barefoot Bubbly and other name-brands are about 30 per cent less than what you'll find in the wine store, although when a supermarket has a sale it can be a lot cheaper.

SKIP: Giant bottles of aspirin

It seems like a deal, but you'll do better grabbing the smaller bottle at the drugstore.

'Those often go on sale for $2, and with a coupon you can sometimes get them for free,' Gault says.

BUY: Toilet paper and paper towels

You can't go wrong stocking up on what you know you'll use.

SKIP: Paper plates and cups

Unless it's not on sale at the grocery store, leave these on the shelf, Gault says.

However, if it's a huge party, go ahead and stock up.

BUY: Baguettes and other fancy breads

'I love the bakery at warehouse clubs for artisan breads,' says Gault. 'They're such a good deal.'

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.