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Dos and Don’ts of Shopping at Sam’s Club

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jmoor17 / Getty Images

Every dollar counts when shopping at a warehouse club like Sam’s Club. Shoppers who invest in a Sam’s Club membership want to make sure they’re utilizing shopping strategies that go beyond buying their favorite products in bulk.

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Check out these dos and don’ts of shopping at Sam’s Club to score extra savings and great deals.

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Do: Use Cashback Apps on Your Purchases

Even though Sam’s Club members may not use coupons while shopping, Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with Dealnews.com, said you should be able to redeem rebates and other cashback offers through apps like Ibotta.

Before heading to Sam’s Club and starting your shopping trip, Ramhold recommends browsing available offers and saving them. This ensures you’re able to pick up the right items for the offers. Shop as you normally would and when you’re done, submit a picture of your receipt to receive your cash back.

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Do: Download the Sam’s Club App

One of the best reasons for downloading the Sam’s Club app is members get to use a function on the app called Scan & Go. This does exactly what it says: scans your purchases as you go, then you can checkout in the app and show the receipt in the app as you leave the store.

“This can really help to avoid the long checkout lines, which can make your trip faster and smoother, especially if you’re shopping at busier times or around big holidays when there are more people in store in general,” said Ramhold.

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Don’t: Assume Everything Is a Good Deal

This is an easy assumption to make in a warehouse club setting. If it’s sold in bulk and you’re buying it in bulk, then it’s a good deal right? 

Not always. Ramhold uses the example of how there are many recommendations to avoid purchasing toilet paper or paper towels at warehouse clubs. More often than not, shoppers can find them at better deals at big-box stores or even grocery stores during weekly sales.

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Don’t: Buy Something Just Because It’s a Good Deal

If you don’t eat yogurt every day but see it sold in bulk at Sam’s Club, you might be tempted to buy it because the price tag looks affordable. Shoppers don’t always need to buy items that look like good deals, especially if they don’t plan on consuming the food or using the product. Here are a few questions Ramhold recommends considering when making a bulk purchase.

  • Do you have the room to store the excess product?
  • Is the item perishable?
  • Do you have a plan for all of the items?
  • Are you sure your kids will like (insert product name here) enough to eat all of it before it goes stale?

“These are all relevant things to consider before you make a bulk purchase, and if there’s any chance you might not be able to use an item in its entirety then you may want to skip buying in bulk,” said Ramhold. “If you have to throw any of the product out, then the value of the deal decreases significantly.”

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©Sam's Club

Don’t: Opt for Delivery if You Can Avoid It

Using a third-party delivery service will actually mean paying more than it would to shop directly at Sam’s Club.

What if you can’t do your shopping in-store? Ramhold recommends looking into curbside pickup instead of delivery. Keep in mind the Sam’s Club website notes both tiers of the Sam’s Club memberships offer curbside delivery, but things may change to make it available only for the more expensive Plus membership. Take advantage of the free curbside pickup and save your wallet a few extra dollars by not paying more to have someone deliver your products to you.

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Do: Buy Gift Cards

Buying gift cards in bulk doesn’t mean you’re just getting more gift cards. Ramhold said you can save up to 25% off the face value of these cards just by purchasing them at Sam’s Club. 

“Whether you want to actually gift them or just use them yourself, this is one of the smartest purchases you can make at Sam’s Club,” said Ramhold.

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Do: Grab a Sam’s Club Instant Savings Book

Sam’s Club members can receive additional discounts and savings by picking up the Instant Savings Book available through Sam’s Club. Members may receive a copy of this book at any Sam’s Club location or access it on the website to enjoy deals on everything from groceries to clothing to tech and much more.

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