03/12/2012 09:20 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How To Shop At Warehouse Clubs Like Costco, Sam's Club

Sometimes, shopping at warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club can be overwhelming. With aisle upon aisle of bulk items and products, it's easy to lose track of time and buy things you don't necessarily need. Instead, make your shopping experience easier and more efficient with our tips.

Prior To Leaving
Organize your list. Know what you need and how much storage space you have.
Invite a friend. To take advantage of bulk prices and savings, bring someone along with whom you can split large purchases.
Bring plastic tubs. Since warehouse stores do not provide bags, bring a few plastic bins to contain loose items and transport purchases.

While Shopping
Know unit costs and price compare. Warehouse clubs can offer deep savings, but they do not accept manufacturer's coupons. Usually the best deals can be found on pantry items, over-the-counter medications, personal-care products, and big-ticket items such as electronics, appliances, and jewelry. Some smart phone applications can scan barcodes and find the best deals using Google product search.

Coming Home
Leave boxes behind. Avoid the hassle of disposing of boxes at home by bringing a box cutter with you to break down boxes as you load the car. Costco will collect and recycle empty boxes left behind in carts. Check with your local warehouse club to find out if it has similar recycling procedures.
Unpack strategically. Keep similar items together when unloading into plastic bins. This will make unpacking at home much easier. For instance, keep frozen foods together to unpack them first. Keep paper goods in one tub and pantry items together in another.

Flickr photo by coolmikeol

For more cleaning tips, check out What's A Disorganized Person To Do?