The Pros and Cons of Shopping for the Best Deal

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Hunting down savings means separate trips to different stores.

Warehouse stores
With great deals on gas and plenty of membership savings, warehouse stores may seem like an instant savings win, but money traps await if you're not careful.

Pro: Shoppers with a party or large gathering on the horizon can nab big savings at these membership-only stores. The best deals found at warehouse stores are items like sheet cakes, wine and frozen appetizers. Score savings on standard kitchen staples like eggs, butter and cheese.

Con: Be wary of stocking up on perishables and items you don't have room to store. There may be a deal on fresh tomatoes, but if buying large quantities means any get thrown out, that's money down the drain.

Grocery stores
There's likely one in your neighborhood offering your best options for quality perishables.

Pro: Quantity is under your control at these stores, meaning you're less likely to overspend on unnecessary deals or excess foods that get tossed. There's also more variety when it comes to fresh produce.

Con: The best deals at grocery stores tend to be frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, which frequently go on sale or have available coupons. Aside from that, smart shopping — sticking to a list and staying focused — is your best tool for savings at the grocery store.

Big-box stores
There's likely one in your neighborhood offering convenient one-stop shopping.

Pro: Convenience plays a big role at these stores, and many feature in-house brands that offer great deals on dry foods like snacks and cereals.

Con: Shopping for groceries at these stores means you're likely paying a premium, so stick to perishables needed for tonight's dinner, making it worthwhile to skip an extra trip — along with any savings — to a grocery or warehouse store.

More Shopping Tips
3 Ways to Save Time at the Supermarket
Lower Your Shopping Bill in 5 Steps
7 Habits of Smart Supermarket Shoppers