I'm not terribly sure that wholesale clubs are worth the cost of their membership, when comparing their prices to places like Aldi's, but the fact of the matter is... they are just so much fun!!!
Who doesn't enjoy their giant packages, yummy pretzels, and super cheap fountain drinks with free refills? I know I do! However, I think my favorite part is what I've most recently discovered, I place my order online and simply go in and pay and then they put it in my van. Now truth be told I enjoy walking around the store but I have two small children, the store is over an hour from my house, and I don't always have time. So when I am in town I try to squeeze in a stop. It takes a little bit of pre-planning on my part but allows me to get the items I need in a short amount of time.
Below I'm including my tips for a successful wholesale club trip.
1) Carefully plan what you want to purchase. - Inventory your current panty, fridge, and freezer then decide what you want to have on hand and make a list that is in line with your budget (their website is helpful in knowing how much of a particular product will be in the package and what it will cost). Also give yourself a little lee-way because you'll probably find something to buy that wasn't on your list. Or is that just me?
2) Remember their produce comes in a larger container. - Do you really need as many types of fruit as you normally buy when it's package is twice as large as normal. (I would always recommend purchasing produce from your local farmer before anywhere else! However right now strawberries are not in season so I have the option of simply not eating them or buying them at the store.)
3) Bring or buy several large insulated bags or coolers - This way your cold/frozen food won't spoil on the way home.You may even need to get a little ice if this is not you last stop on the way home.
4) Always ask yourself if you will really eat or use that much of something. - It's not cheaper if you throw half of it away.
5) Go to the bathroom as soon as you arrive. - Check diapers and pull-ups and have you children use the restroom. This may go without saying but there's nothing quite like being as far away from the bathroom as possible and having your three year old insist she needs to potty right now.
6) Eat before you get there or do as I do and immediately go to the snack counter and buy a drink and a pretzel. Make sure your children are also fed and are maybe munching on a container
filled with cheese crackers and sipping on full sippy cups.- It's easier to avoid a (giant) impulse purchase when you aren't hungry and your kids aren't insisting they are hungry (even though you know they just ate). ( I absolutely love my snack traps and would highly recommend them!!!)
7) Just because something may cost a few cents more than it does at another store doesn't mean you shouldn't get it there. - If I go to a second store I know I'm going to purchase items not on my list. I'd rather pay an extra $3 total than go somewhere and have a giant cart full of unplanned purchases. Yes, I don't have the greatest self control.