(WHTM) — With grocery prices so high, many shoppers are joining warehouse clubs this year in an attempt to keep those bills down. But, do these stores really save you money?

Tracy Reese likes to buy in bulk. She says she does comparison shops and ends up saving money.

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“If you have a family to feed, Sam’s is definitely the place to be. Buy things like the water, paper towel, toilet paper, things like that, and it’s a lot cheaper here,” Reese said.

Brittany Downing is a mom of five. She said she saves big bucks on cereal.

“I can get two bags of cereal here at Sam’s for about six bucks and one box at Kroger’s for a family size is probably six dollars,” Downing said.

With grocery inflation running at almost 10%, it would seem that membership to Sam’s Costco or BJ’s Wholesale would be a great money-saving idea this year. After all, almost all their products, per ounce or per unit, are priced less than the grocery store, whether you are shopping at Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale, or Costco.

Another big plus: their gasoline is usually 10 or 20 cents lower than nearby gas stations! But, warehouse clubs have both pros and cons, according to experts like Kelly Goldsmith.

“So you’re thinking ‘I’ll just go to Costco store up on shampoo. And toilet paper and paper towels.’Well if you’re the type of person that every time you go, you end up coming home with a patio set,” Goldsmith said.

Some questions to ask before you join:

  • Will you go enough to justify the annual membership fee of $40 to $60 dollars?
  • is it too far from your home?
  • Do you have the pantry space for the larger sizes they sell?

Finally when it comes to perishable and frozen food:

  • Is your refrigerator big enough to hold the large sizes?
  • Will you be able to eat everything or will it end up going to waste?

“But, if you look at things like meat and cheese, these are items where you really can save money, buying in bulk but if half of it ends up in the trash can, you are not saving any money at all,” Goldsmith said.

The experts say if you stick to things that can last for years, like paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, and trash bags, you will really save, and you don’t waste your money.