It is not How Much You Save but How Little You Spend

Many years ago when we first started looking at how we could reduce our expenses, one of the things we did was join a warehouse club. Buying in bulk saves you money after all (If you have the room to store these things).

But every trip to the stores meant lots of money out of pocket. A big pack of Bounty towels goes for $15 or so, same with toilet paper, a big pack of chicken breast goes for $14, etc. There was never a trip when we wouldn’t leave that store with a receipt lower than $150 and we only had 5-6 things in our cart!

Since I started using coupons I have had to change my perspective on this. When I first started using coupons it took me a while to understand why couponers would rather use a coupon on a small item that use it towards the same item in bigger packaging. Like say, use a coupon on a travel pack size of paper tissue instead on a three-box pack of the same. Don’t you save more if you combine discount with buying in bulk + a coupon? It turns out that the answer in some cases is no. It makes more sense to maximize your savings by lowering the amount you spend out of pocket. Now I understand why couponers love to see the words “good on ANY size” written on the coupon. That way the coupon can be applied to smaller size packages and save more.

A good example for this is diapers. One of the reasons we keep our membership at warehouse clubs is to buy diapers there. However I have come to realize that diapers are often times cheaper if you buy the jumbo sized pack (smallest available pack size) on sale and using a coupons instead of getting the big box at a warehouse store.

I am seriously rethinking our need for a club membership. I really don’t think we need it anymore but I know my husband would like to have it for “just in case.” Yet, I am sure I can find almost every item cheaper elsewhere.

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  • Kacie

    It is strange to switch over to the “spend less” mentality from the “maximum % off” one. But, overall, I think spending the least amount possible is a good goal.

    For your warehouse club, can you drop your membership and then shop there on “guest pass” days? You’d have to pay a surcharge (I think Sam’s is 10% extra) but it still might be a better deal than having a membership.

    Also, (in my browser anyway), your paragraphs don’t have spaces between them. Can you do that so it’s a little easier on the eyes?

  • MoneyCommonSense

    Oops, sorry about that. I just hit publish and left for the gym without checking out how the post looked.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Carolyn F

    We’re contemplating this very subject as our Costco membership expires next month. Other than gas, we are now doing better shopping elsewhere. Plus I’m getting better at finding cheap gas. I guess I just found another $40?