WARM UP TO SUMMER SAVINGS
When shoppers think of the savings found at Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's Wholesale Club, food and paper goods likely spring to mind. But the warehouse clubs offer deals on many more products, including some seasonal items. Popsicles, meat for grilling, and oversize containers of condiments can be good buys from warehouse clubs this time of year, although local prices vary and sales may make these items cheaper at a local grocery store. Here are 12 items that promise extra savings when purchased from a warehouse club this summer.
AMUSEMENT PARK TICKETS
Getting a good deal on tickets at an amusement park is rare, but coupons and deals are available through warehouse clubs. Costco, for example, offers travel packages to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios that include park discounts. The deals vary and change often, so it pays to scoop them up in the weeks and months before a visit. Sam's Club's Hot Activity Deals page features discounts on activities such as Broadway shows, Sea World, Universal Studios, and more.
BEER AND LIQUOR
For a backyard party or unwinding at home, nothing screams summer like a fruity cocktail or an ice-cold beer. Costco frequently features seasonal liquor specials, such as tequila for Cinco de Mayo. Prices vary by location, but bulk pricing typically makes liquor a good deal -- especially for entertaining. The same goes for beer. Costco previously has offered deals on Leinenkugel Summer Shandy beer and other strictly summer offerings.
Members can take advantage of Costco travel services including car rentals, with discounts and perks such as an additional driver at no cost. The store's low-price finder locates coupons, deals, and discount codes to ensure the best deal possible, making car rental simpler.
Warehouse club shoppers sacrifice a large selection of colors and models of patio furniture but can find better deals than they would at home improvement stores. A comparison of similar items available online revealed that Costco typically beat Home Depot's prices by $20 to $100 (or more).
Belonging to a warehouse club may help members clean and maintain a backyard pool for less. For example, a 40-pound bucket of Clorox Pool Spa Xtra Blue 3-inch chlorine tablets costs $78 (after $12 instant savings) at Costco, while the same product in a 25-pound size is $69 from Walmart. The much larger container sold by Costco costs about 30 percent less per pound.
Need to spruce up an outdoor space? A wide variety of large potted plants recently available at Costco were priced at $30 and typically would cost about twice that a garden store. What's more, the pots were made of reusable, heavy-duty plastic that could be used for potting other plants, saving money for years to come.
Consumer advocates disagree on whether sunscreen is a good buy at a warehouse club -- it may expire long before the bottle is empty -- but for a large family who likes to spend a lot of time outdoors, a large container or multipack can be a good value. Costco sells a bundle with two 3-ounce bottles of Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer SPF 55 sunscreen and an SPF 70 face and body stick for $16, while a similar bundle is listed for $23 on Amazon.
Disney World and other theme parks aren't the only vacation destinations with discounts from warehouse clubs. Costco Travel offers deals on cruises and vacation packages to various locations with perks exclusive to members, such as resort credits, excursions, and free breakfast.