Warehouse stores

The 15 Best Things to Buy at Outlet Stores

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Everyone loves a bargain, and warehouse clubs promise so much that you’ll pay just to get in. However, to maximize your savings, make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals.

Here are our suggestions on what to buy to get the most out of your warehouse membership.

1. Alcohol

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We don’t encourage over-consumption, but we can’t help but point out that those big bottles of wine at your local outlet store can be a bargain. Alcohol and beer are usually cheaper there than at the local grocery store.

The best thing about buying liquor from a warehouse club is that in some states you don’t even have to be a member. Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to enter and purchase discounted libations without paying an annual fee.

2. Mattress

The mattress
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Savvy shoppers can often reduce the purchase price of a mattress by avoiding mattress stores altogether. See if your favorite outlet store has a selection of floor mattresses. And don’t forget to check out their online shopping options as well.

While online mattress sellers can be a good option, product returns can be a concern. That’s where Costco’s easy return policy can make a big difference. Make sure you understand the store’s return policy and delivery charges before purchasing.

This guide solves all the confusion of buying mattresses: “7 tips for buying a great mattress at the right price”.

3. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs

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Prescription drugs are something else you can buy at a warehouse club even if you’re not a member. Check your local warehouse club first before heading to the pharmacy.

You need a subscription to buy over-the-counter medications, and these items are also often sold at a steep discount. However, be realistic about whether you will use your purchase before its expiration date. You don’t save money if you end up throwing half the bottle in the trash.

To learn more about non-subscription purchases, see:

4. Socks and underwear

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While shopping for groceries, clothing and electronics at your favorite outlet store, check out the selection and prices of underwear, socks and tights. At Costco, for example, a six-pack of tough, fashionable women’s trail socks sell for around $20. Brand name underwear for children, men and women can be found at equally low prices.

5. Dairy products

Cheese board.
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Among dairy products, milk will probably be your best bargain at a warehouse store; regular prices may be lower even than retail prices at the grocery store. Cheese and yogurt are also generally good buys, while eggs can be hit or miss.

6. Organic products

organic vegetables foodie food preparation
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I have friends who have Costco memberships specifically for organics. They swear the warehouse store offers the best quality and lowest price of any store in our metro area. Of course, they have large families and also consume a huge amount of food every week.

Plan what to do with bulk product purchases. These items will not last long in your refrigerator. You might consider sharing the property with another family. Another option is to prepare and freeze the extras for future use.

7. Meat

bbq bbq steak
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Meat is another best buy at warehouse clubs. You can find sale prices at local grocery stores that are comparable to prices at the warehouse club, but the latter seems to stock higher quality meats.

With meat, you don’t need to worry so much about buying in bulk. Freezing meat is simple and doesn’t require the same level of prep work you might encounter with produce. Simply break down the bulk packaging into the desired quantities, wrap them in freezer bags – squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it – and you’re done.

8. Consumer electronics

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There seems to be a debate about the value of buying electronics from warehouse clubs. Although the prices are really competitive, you may be able to find comparable items for less online or at big box electronics stores.

Warehouse products may come with a free in-house warranty that surpasses anything offered by the manufacturer. However, it’s best to do some shopping before a big purchase to ensure you get the best deal.

When in-store shopping gets tedious, narrow down your decisions first by doing some research. Here’s “13 Little Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better.”

9. Food for dogs and cats

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The Kirkland pet food sold at Costco contains all the ingredients of a premium brand, but is sold at a fraction of the price. Kirkland is made by the same company that produces the Diamond brand.

Meanwhile, you’ll likely find deals on other pet food at other warehouse clubs. People with large dogs will most likely benefit from the large bags sold at these stores.

10. Gasoline

Gas tank eating money
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Many warehouse clubs have their own gas stations. Depending on the store, the prices may not warrant a special trip, but you should definitely stock up while you’re at the store. Gas at warehouse clubs is usually at least a few cents cheaper than what you’ll find at surrounding stations. Sometimes you can save up to 20 cents or 30 cents per gallon.

11. Tires

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Speaking of cars, your warehouse club might also be your best bet for a new tire deal. The price can be cheaper and the installation practically free. Plus, your tires can be changed while you shop, making it a convenient way to cross off one more thing on your to-do list.

12. Caskets and urns

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If you’re a Costco member, head online to check out their selection of caskets and urns. Even with shipping, his prices are much cheaper than pretty much anything you’ll find at your local funeral home.

13. Cafe

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The price per pound of beans can be less than half of what a grocery store charges, let alone a coffee. K-Cups also tend to be a bargain at wholesale clubs. Just make sure you’ll use whatever you buy before it becomes obsolete.

14. Batteries

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Disposable batteries can be much cheaper at warehouse clubs, whether you prefer generic brands or brand names.

And there’s probably no reason not to buy generic. As we discuss in “9 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco,” Duracell produces the popular Kirkland alkaline batteries.

15. Detergent

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Laundry and dishwashing detergents are usually bargains at wholesale clubs, and jumbo containers of soap won’t go bad before you can use them if stored properly.

If you are willing to make your own detergent, your DIY product will be cheaper than any other product sold by a wholesale club. In “3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Next to Nothing,” a Money Talks News contributor tested a DIY laundry detergent recipe.

He said he “couldn’t tell the difference between store-bought and homemade” – except the latter only cost about 2 cents per load.

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