Warehouse stores can save buckets of money, but not everything is a smokin' deal. Some items are cheaper at grocery stores and drugstores -- even more so for shoppers who wait for sales and snag coupons.
"Fresh produce is best to buy at warehouse clubs," says Hip2Save.com’s Collin Morgan.
Rotisserie chickens are about 50 percent less than a grocery store -- and heftier, too, leaving leftovers for chicken salad and sandwiches.
Those savoring gourmet cheeses will find great prices at warehouse stores. Butter can be about half the price of grocery stores. It can be frozen, alleviating the pressure to plow through that bulk purchase.
Pure maple syrup is another, um, a sweet deal.
While other items may appear to be no-brainer deals, you're better off buying them at a grocery store or drugstore. Personal care products are one example, Morgan says. (Do you really need a six-pack of underarm deodorant?)
Diapers on sale at a drugstore or grocery store can save a dime per diaper -- which adds up as quickly as the wee one's waste.
Cereals are cheaper in grocery and drugstores, as are condiments and dressings.
"Bigger is not always better," Morgan says.
Warehouse stores do have their devotees. The three most popular warehouse chains in the United States — Costco , Wal-Mart's Sam’s Club and BJ’s -- combined have more than 122 million members. The smart shoppers watch for the best prices everywhere.