USU Extension: Warehouse Shopping

Teresa Hunsaker, Family and Consumer Education Specialist with Utah State University’s Extension office in Weber County, shares some important tips to keep in mind.


While there are some drawbacks—like finding and getting help when you need it, or getting variety in your choice of peanut butter for example—there are some positives.


1. Rebates and incentives through your membership.

2. Lower unit price on many things.

3. Convenience of not having to “run back to the store” as often.

4. Store is always clean and organized.

5. Samples of foods you are not sure about.


1. Membership fee.

2. Tendency to overspend and impulse buy.

3. More in the house means more to consume—tendency to snack more and overeat.

4. End up spending more at a time on fewer items because of the size you are buying.

5. Lack of variety—one brand of things—and often “name brand”.

6. They don’t take coupons.

7. Things are rarely “on sale” at the warehouse.

8. No servicing of electronics or appliances if problems.


1. Know prices of the things you buy—do your homework on those things that are not as frequently purchased.

2. Watch sales at other stores—you may find it cheaper—if you are willing to wait or it can wait.

3. Consider storage space(especially in the refrigerator) and how many you are buying for.


Typically, you can find good buys at warehouses on fresh produce(if you can eat that much before spoiling), meats, batteries, vitamins, milk, over the counter meds, sugar and flour, some electronics, candy, tires, and more.

Remember: Bigger is not always better—or cheaper!!

For more information on this or any consumer question, call the USU Extension Division, Family and Consumer Science Department at (801) 399-8200 or on line at

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