Best and worst things to buy at warehouse clubs

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — When it comes to shopping, many of us frequent the aisles of warehouse clubs. They certainly do have their fair share of deals, but buyers beware. A new report out by “Kiplinger” is shedding some light on items that may not be worth the buy.

A lot of people go to warehouse stores to buy in bulk and save money. But with some items, this isn’t always beneficial.

Here are a few items you should not buy at warehouse clubs:

1. Electronics. The prices on a TV or laptop can be good, but keep in mind many of these items may be bundled with accessories you don’t need, driving up the cost. So your best bet is to look around for deals and compare prices.

2. Laundry Detergent. The study found that liquid detergent can lose its effectiveness after six months because the ingredients start to break down. So, if you don’t have a lot of laundry to do, this may not be a good purchase.

3. Cereal. The prices on name-brand cereal at a warehouse store are said to be comparable to those at the grocery store. Warehouses don’t really have sales on these items, so it may be more cost-effective to buy at a grocery store.

4. Books and DVDs. According to the study, you can buy these same items for sometimes 15 percent less by going online.

5. Canned Goods. You can often find better deals at the grocery store according to shopping experts. At a warehouse store you could pay up to 40 percent more. Yeah, you may get more, but if you open the can and don’t use all of it, it may go to waste.

6. Condiments and Cooking Oils. These items have a short shelf life once opened, so if you’re buying a large container and don’t use them rather quickly — they may go bad. Oil, for example, only lasts for 3 to 5 months.

Don’t always assume you’re getting a good deal.

“One of the things we do when we are walking through a big box store is we get distracted, I need 24 rolls of paper towels. The question is yes the price is good but do you need 24 paper towels right now or do you need that money to buy gifts,” said Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

We talked about the bad — now the good. Some of the best items to buy at a warehouse store are meat, wine and batteries. Stuff to keep in mind, however, if buying in bulk works for you and you use all the items in a reasonable amount of time — carry on.

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