1. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Warehouse clubs offer cheaper prices than neighborhood drugstores on prescription drugs, primarily generics. A 2013 Consumer Reports study found, for example, that the price for a one-month supply of escitalopram, the generic version of the antianxiety and depression drug Lexapro, without insurance at Costco is $7, as opposed to $119 at Rite-Aid.* Bonus: You don’t need to have a membership at a warehouse store to reap the benefits. Prescription drugs sold at these retailers must be available to the public.
2. CEREAL AND GRANOLA
Because of a rise in the cost of wheat, cereal prices have skyrocketed recently. Save lots and lots by purchasing cereal in bulk. At Sam’s Club, 49.4 oz of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal was $6.98, while at the supermarket, a 12.2-oz bag rang up recently at $3.99. You’re paying well more than double at the grocery store.
3. KITCHEN COOKWARE AND SMALL APPLIANCES
Compared with other mass merchants and direct-from-manufacturer sites, warehouses dish up great deals on kitchen items. Warehouse stores also typically offer free add-ons: At Costco, Woroch found the Vitamix 5200 blender listed for $449, including a second dry-grain blade container (a $144 value). The Vitamix website sells that exact blender without the extra container for the same price. Just make sure the model numbers match when you’re comparison-shopping.
At Costco, where batteries are sold only in bulk packages for deep discounts, you can buy 40 Duracell AAs for $14.99. The equivalent number (usually sold in 4-packs) can cost $40 at the supermarket. Shopping at the warehouse store means spending 38¢ as opposed to $1 per battery.
You can generally save on spirits, beer and wine when you buy them at club stores or in their liquor stores. At a Costco in Kansas City, MO, a 1.75L bottle of Maker’s Mark was $49.99, compared with $57.98 at a nearby liquor store. At a liquor store affiliated with BJ’s in Watchung, NJ, the same size bottle was $52.99 versus $56.99 at a local shop. Bonus: In some states, you don’t need to be a member to buy alcohol at warehouse stores.
6. VANILLA EXTRACT
Pure vanilla extract, maple syrup and bouillon—in fact, vanilla costs 5 times more at the grocery than at BJ’s.