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5 ways to get the most out of a Costco or Sam’s Club membership

Retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club may be able to save you up to 30% on your annual grocery bill. However, just because you shop big doesn’t mean you’ll always come out on top.

Convenience, accessibility and, of course, price all vary by purchase. Luckily, we’ve got five tips to help you make the right choice every time.

1. Compare prices by weight or volume

Most grocery stores include the price per gram, pound or ounce on the shelf’s label. Instead of taking costs at face value, consider how much you’re paying per portion.

It pays to stock up on everything you need with each trip, especially if your nearest warehouse is far from your home. You can freeze any extras you buy and store shelf-stable goods in your pantry. Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money at big-box stores.

RELATED: Is it worth paying for a Costco or Sam’s Club membership to save on gas?

2. Don’t be shy about buying store brand

Kirkland Signature and Member’s Mark products aren’t inferior to more famous brands. In fact, many of these generic products are the same thing as your favorite big brands.

Some Kirkland coffee is actually roasted by Starbucks Coffee company and can be yours at a fraction of the cost. Why pay more for essentials like batteries and fancy imported cheese?

3. Think about huge yearly (and weekly!) expenses

Did you know you can get your car serviced at your favorite big-box store? Sam’s Club and Costco offer members deals on necessities like tires, gasoline and household goods. 

If you buy gas exclusively throughout the year at Sam’s Club or Costco, the savings will most likely cover the membership cost. You can expect to save big money per gallon on the price of gas. It’s one of the best big-box store perks.

NOTE: Although stores like these offer discounts throughout the year, it’s still a good idea to wait for certain purchases at specific times, like Black Friday.

4. Fill your prescriptions on-site

Costco offers members an exceptional discount on prescription drugs, eyeglasses and more. Even vaccinations may be covered. If you use medical devices, you might be able to save on those.

You can compare prescription prices on both sites: Costco members can check them out here, while Sam’s Club members can scope out their potential savings here.

5. Enjoy an exceptionally cheap lunch

At Costco especially, you’ve got many famous options, including delicious pizza for two bucks, a water bottle for a quarter and a state fair-sized hot dog for only $1.50. Sam’s Club offers much of the same to its members, with a more generous selection of ice cream flavors.

Depending on the time and day of the week, you might be able to score in the aisles. Costco’s samples are our favorite way to recharge as we shop. And, of course, you can’t forget about grabbing an inexpensive rotisserie chicken for dinner.

You may also like: How to find coupons that will save you hundreds on bills in 2023

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