Are Warehouse Clubs Worth It? A Breakdown of Fees Versus Savings

warehouse store My family used to be avid warehouse club shoppers. We dutifully paid our annual fees and renewed our membership each year. We would shop about once every six to eight weeks and stock up on all of the items, food and non-food, required in our household, as well as a few things that weren’t actually required (premium hot cocoa anyone?).

Two years ago, however, we let our membership expire without a renewal. Now, however, we have been thinking about getting one again and are weighing the fees against the probably savings. Will it be worth it? Here is some information that I can share with you.

Most warehouse club memberships are approximately $40-$50 a year. That means that you’ll have to save at least that much to make it worth it. How much can you save? The average savings is about 30 percent on your groceries. If you use coupons at the warehouse club (BJs is one club that lets you use both store and manufacturer coupons), you’ll save even more.

If you are a super couponer or an extreme couponer, you can probably save more than 30 percent on groceries per trip. Most normal couponers or sales shoppers save about 30 percent on their groceries, equal to the savings at the warehouse club without cutting the coupons.

Some warehouse clubs offer you cash back on your purchases at an average of 2 percent back. This cash back option comes with a higher membership fee, usually an extra $50. This means that you would have to spend an additional $2,500 per year on groceries to break even, so consider how much you would normally spend before you choose this option. So, larger families or businesses might benefit from this type of membership, but most average families probably will not.

Related Articles:

Grocery Saving Secrets

When Buying in Bulk Backfires

Saving with Grocery Store Web Sites

How to Win the Competition for Grocery Bargains 3

Where to Buy Food

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog