Big Box Stores VS. Discount Retailers: Where to Save the Most

Everyone wants to score the best deals when shopping, which is why couponing has become such a craze. But, which stores offer the best bang for your buck?

Membership-only big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club can be a godsend if you’re having a big party or have a large family. Which leaves you to wonder, what items would actually be better deals at discount stores like Walmart and Target?

Vera Gibbons, host of The Savvy Spender, reveals some surprising answers.

Many people think the place to buy foods like cereal and frozen meals, or produce like fruits and vegetables, would be Costco or Sam’s Club.

Surprise! The better deals are actually at Target and Walmart, where weekly sales and specials can be found on these items. You can also double up on coupons or BOGO free deals (big box stores don’t offer these deals) which brings the prices down even further.

Need large quanitites of your brand name soda at a major discount? Target is the winner in this category as well, with “buy 3, get 1 free” offers regularly.

On the other hand, if you’re in the market for luxury jewelry, high-end electronics, clothing, or prescription and OTC drugs, you won’t be able to beat the values at the big box stores. Selection may not be the best, but what they do have to offer comes at an extreme value.

Costco and Sam’s Club have annual membership fees, ranging from $45 to $100. Most first-time shoppers knock out that amount in just one visit depending on what they’re looking to buy.

Consumers appreciate a good return policy, and you can’t beat the return policies of the big box stores. Costco offers a 90-day return policy on electronics, and Sam’s Club has a 6-month return policy on any computer purchase. Both have an open ended return policy on all other items. (Just save your receipts!)

To recap:

Shop for produce, cereal, sodas, fruits, vegetables at Walmart and Target for the best values.

Shop for jewelry, electronics, prescription and OTC drugs, and clothing at Costco and Sam’s Club for the best values.