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Buying in bulk isn't always the cheapest

Tuesday - 6/21/2011, 7:59am  ET

Costco warehouse store (AP)
No one store will give you great prices on everything. (AP)

WASHINGTON - The conventional wisdom is that if you buy in bulk you save money. But that's not always true.

If you have the space for items from a warehouse club, that's great, but not every home does.

Smaller quantities listed in your grocery store's weekly specials can sometimes produce even bigger savings, especially with coupons.

Grocers often discount some popular products at a loss to lure you in, hoping to make up the difference on other items.

One item that is often a better deal at the grocery is soda, according to, which lists the following items as ones you may not want to buy at a warehouse club:

  • Soda
  • Chips
  • Dryer sheets
  • Sports drinks
  • Paper products
  • Office supplies
  • Produce

Coupon-clippers say you can often get a better deal by buying smaller sizes and using coupons. Take your calculator with you and do the math.

WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)