Should you join a warehouse club in 2022?

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Joining a warehouse club could be a smart financial decision. Here’s how to know if it’s right for you.

Key points

  • Joining a warehouse club could save your household a lot of money.
  • Becoming a warehouse club member isn’t for everyone, so ask these questions to see if it’s right for you.

When I first moved to the suburbs, I was hesitant to join a warehouse club. At the time, it was just my husband and I, and while the membership fee (about $50) wasn’t horribly expensive, I wasn’t sure we would get our money’s worth either.

But now that we have three school-aged children, I can say with certainty that being a warehouse club member not only makes sense for my family, but has also resulted in a world of savings, despite the annual fee that we pay. If you’re considering joining a warehouse club, ask yourself these three questions to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

1. Should I feed a larger family?

If you’re single or part of a childless couple, you may not spend enough money at a warehouse club to justify the annual membership fee you’ll pay. Also, if you don’t have that many people in your household, you can’t use bulk groceries before they expire.

But if you have a large family, you are less likely to fall victim to food waste. In my house, we buy things like spinach and broccoli in bulk, and even with picky eaters, we always manage to eat it all before it goes bad. Likewise, we eat a ton of fruit, so buying it in bulk saves us money and it never goes to waste.

2. Am I good at meal planning?

I admit that I’m not always very good at planning meals in advance. But I’ve gotten better over the years, and it’s helped me get the most out of my warehouse club membership.

There are certain bulk items, like frozen vegetables or sauces, that I will buy more frequently because I have determined in advance which meals they will be used for. If you are a meal planner or would like to become one, a warehouse club membership might be right for you.

3. Do I have enough storage space?

In my house, we have our usual fridge/freezer combo in our kitchen, a spare fridge/freezer in our basement, and a freezer. We also have a large pantry for non-perishable food.

I realize that most people don’t have as much capacity as we do to store perishables. But if you have a decent amount of storage, a warehouse club membership might pay off.

If you’re perpetually short on space, then you’re probably better off not join a warehouse club. After all, what’s the point of scoring an unbelievable price on bulk chicken nuggets if you don’t have a place to put them? And while you have more leeway with non-perishables, do you really want to have to store two months worth of cheese crackers and granola bars in the corner of your bedroom because you don’t have a big enough pantry?

Spending less on groceries helps my family boost our savings, and to that end, belonging to a warehouse club makes sense. Not only are our members more than profitable, but I would say we are earning several hundred dollars a year. Joining a warehouse club could also benefit you, but go through these questions first to make sure it’s right for you.

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