Joining a wholesale club such as Sam’s Club could save you money by allowing you to buy in bulk and get better deals.
But savvy shoppers know that just because a store has a reputation for good deals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look elsewhere. Of course, there are great deals to be had at Sam’s Club.
To help you on your next trip to the warehouse club, we talked to a shopping expert who weighed in on what you should buy — and skip — at Sam’s Club.
3 best things to buy at Sam’s Club
Headed to Sam’s Club? Keep an eye out for these three items. You may find the warehouse has competitive pricing.
1. Home decor
When my husband and I were shopping for patio furniture, we shopped around. And we found that Sam’s Club had the best prices for quality furnishings. Our experience matched the findings by Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing for DealNews.
“Furniture and storage units are a great buy at Sam’s Club,” she said. “Often, you can save hundreds with the deals they offer on things like sofas, chairs, and shelving units.”
Sam’s Club offers a wide selection of home decor, from mattresses and bedroom furniture to game room tables. Like most furniture stores, you can also find promotions around the holidays. For example, the warehouse offered up to $700 off for the Fourth of July.
Each year, the latest and hottest TVs are hitting store shelves. If you want the latest technology — or if you’re due for an upgrade — Sam’s Club may be the place to shop.
“You can also save quite a bit on both name-brand and off-brand TV sets, particularly around Black Friday,” Sakraida said. “We saw 4K TVs for as low as $299 at Sam’s Club.”
3. Generic medication
The cost of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can add up. But Sam’s Club can make affording your meds easier, according to Sakraida.
“Generic drugs are another great thing to pick up, with prices typically significantly lower than name-brand alternatives,” she said. “Our staff will often buy allergy medications at Sam’s Club at a tenth of the cost of medicines like Claritin or Zyrtec.”
Generic medications are required by the Food and Drug Administration to work the same as name-brand prescriptions, and the pharmacy at Sam’s Club offers some of the best deals on these bargain-priced drugs.
You can save more on medication by becoming a Sam’s Plus member, which requires a $100 annual fee. Check out the store’s Extra Value Drug List to determine whether you’d save by becoming a Plus member.
3 worst things to buy at Sam’s Club
While you can add home decor, TVs, and medications to your Sam’s list, there are a few items to leave out of your shopping cart.
Sam’s Club offers a good selection of desktop and laptop computers, but Sakraida said its prices may not always be the best around. “Sometimes they have good deals, but more often than not, we see better prices at Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft Store, and others,” she said.
When shopping for a laptop, you may find some of the best deals during back-to-school season in July and August. November and December could also be great times to buy new tech with the holiday season. You can find all kinds of promotions during these months.
Be sure to research computer models before committing to a sale. That way, you don’t end up with a subpar model.
2. Office supplies
Sam’s Club offers an array of office supplies. But you might want to buy your gear for work and school elsewhere. “Office supplies are competitively priced, but you rarely see great deals like you might at Staples and OfficeMax,” advised Sakraida.
Stores such as Walmart may offer better everyday prices on office supplies. For example, in August 2018, Sam’s Club was selling a 24-pack of retractable ballpoint pens for $8.98. The same 24-pack of pens was $6.62 at Walmart.
3. Adult and kid apparel
When you’re ready to expand your wardrobe, Sam’s Club may be a poor destination to search. “We definitely say skip the clothing at Sam’s Club unless you find something there that you can’t get elsewhere,” Sakraida said.
Both price and quality at Sam’s Club are reasons to steer clear of its selection of clothes. Items can often be found cheaper elsewhere, and the quality of even name-brand items at big-box stores may be lower.
Sam’s Club can help you save if you know what to buy
Sam’s Club can offer great savings on high-dollar items. But like any other store, the warehouse club won’t always provide the best deals. As you shop, make sure to price-check your cart.
You can compare prices at Costco and other big brands, such as Target and Walmart. Online stores and marketplaces also offer deals you won’t want to miss.
By being judicious about what you purchase from Sam’s Club — and which items you buy elsewhere — you can stretch your hard-earned dollars.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
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