Andy Wise: When to buy or avoid buying wholesale - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy Wise: When to buy or avoid buying wholesale

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - You can't argue with the savings of wholesale clubs.

But you can argue you'll find deeper savings sometimes somewhere else.

My love for Costco is no secret. I'm on a first-name basis there, from the general manager to the foot-long hot dog cooker. My family and I buy nearly everything at Costco.

Shopping guru Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game, told me maybe I shouldn't.

"Costco and other wholesale clubs specialize in volume, so they will always have value in the items you can buy and store in bulk," Gault said.

But she pointed out that other retailers, during their sales cycles, may actually go deeper in savings on certain categories, or -- in some cases -- own the lowest prices on specific categories all the time.

"Usually, about every eight to 12 weeks in each category, these things will drop down into a great sales price, and that's when you want to stock up," she said.

WHAT GAULT SAYS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BUY AT COSTCO:

* Dairy (eggs, butter, cheese, in particular)

* Paper Goods (plates, napkins, cups, towels, toilet paper)

* Party Items (frozen appetizers, gourmet cheeses, cakes)

When Gault and I shopped Costco, we found a monster, 72-count (80 ounces) bag of hot wings for $7.49. Compare that to SuperTarget, whose comparable hot wing deal that week was $3.49 for a 10-ounce box.

You'd have to buy eight of those boxes at Target to get the amount that's in the Costco bag of wings -- and Target's price would be $27.92.

Do the math, and Costco's hot wing deal is a 73 percent savings over Target's.

WHAT GAULT SAYS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BUY AT TARGET/SUPERTARGET:

* Health & Beauty

* Produce

* Snacks

With a printed or digital coupon, Gault and I were able to buy Kashi Granola Bars, a $1.67 for a box of 6. At Costco, we would have to buy a huge 35-count box of the bars -- at a price of nearly $2.22 per 6-count.

WHAT GAULT SAYS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BUY AT KROGER:

* Meat (especially chicken. I'm still partial to buying quality meats in bulk at Costco, but Kroger sports some great deals on chicken)

* Pantry staples (canned vegetables, soups)

* Cleaning Products

Costco sells a large bottle of All liquid laundry detergent. Unit price: 9 cents a load.

With a handy coupon stacked on top of a sale at Kroger, Gault and I got two bottles of All at 8 cents a load, plus a free bottle of Snuggles fabric softener.

That's the key, Gault said. Stocking up on coupons, saving them for big sales, then stacking those coupons on top of the sales can really score some better-than-Costco savings.

When to use and when not to use coupons is our next Teri Gault exclusive, scheduled for Feb. 25 on WMC Action News 5 at 5 p.m.

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