The 6 Worst Things to Buy at Sam’s Club — Best Life

Along with Costco and BJ’s, Sam’s Club is next on the list if you’re thinking of buying in bulk. The appeal of these stores is that you shop less often and save money by buying in larger quantities. While some items are worth the extra space they take up on your shelves, others may not be the best value for money and are better off being bought from the grocery store or pharmacy. To help you get the most out of your next Sam’s Club trip, we spoke to a consumer analyst about what you might want to think twice about going to the bulk store. Read on for the six worst things to buy at Sam’s Club.

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Sam's Club Produce Gang
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Fruits and vegetables tend to go bad fairly quickly and should be eaten shortly after purchase. Unless you plan to use it right away (or need a ton for a party), product purchases should be kept small.

“There’s a good chance you’ll end up throwing something away when you start, and that can kill the value of buying in bulk in the first place.” Julia RamholdConsumer Analyst at, narrates best life. To keep things fresh, it’s best to buy these items as you need them rather than all at once.

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Variety pack of spices

Buying sauces and dips like ketchup, mayo, or mustard in bulk doesn’t make sense, says Ramhold. “If you don’t literally eat ketchup with every meal,” it would be difficult to use up the entire bottle before it went bad.

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Although spices tend to have a longer shelf life, after a while they start to taste strange, so it’s better to buy smaller bottles if you know you’ll need them in the pantry. An exception might be if you are hosting a large barbecue and planning to grill hamburgers and hot dogs.

Sam's Club Pharmacy
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Vitamins and daily medications like allergy relief are best bought in bulk. Less commonly needed medications like cold and flu pills, pain relievers, or burn cream aren’t worth the hassle, however.

Ramhold thinks you could find a great deal every now and then, “but these are things you don’t take in every day. So unless you have a large budget, you run the risk of these items reaching their sell-by date or losing their potency before you can use them up.” And in this case, the deal you thought you were getting is not the case .

Several bottles of banana boat sunscreen
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Buying sunscreen in bulk is similar to buying medication. When it reaches its expiration date, it begins to lose potency. “Unless you go to the beach and plan on putting sunscreen on every single day of your vacation, you probably aren’t going to use up a large container before it expires,” says Ramhold best life.

Be honest; Do you really need 10 bottles of sunscreen at once? It’s easier to take a bottle with you on the go than store it until next summer.

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Buying multiple cans at once isn’t a huge problem as standard sized cans last quite a while and come in handy when you need to make a quick meal. It’s the oversized cans that tend to become waste after opening.

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“These are intended for serving crowds and unless you have the food supplies to store leftovers after opening those giant cans, chances are you’ll end up throwing some away, which means you’ll have it.” didn’t actually make a deal,” shares Ramhold. These are typically made for camp or cafeteria settings, not a family’s kitchen.

Book a course at Sam's Club
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It might seem like you’ll get a deal when it comes to the bookshelves in Sam’s Club, but in reality the odds are slim. Most books are for children or young readers, and there aren’t many options for adults. “For a larger selection and possibly better deals on some items, it’s better to look at traditional bookstores or even independent bookstores,” says Ramhold. And if you own an e-reader, even better; E-books are almost always cheaper and the selection is much larger.

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