Buddy up for extra savings at wholesale clubs

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Bulk shopping has always been a great way to save on everyday items but the recession is ushering in a new trend: "buddy shopping." Members of wholesale clubs like BJ's, shop together and split their purchases. Buying eight tubs or margarine might be too much for one refrigerator, but how about four in two? Discount club shoppers who buy in bulk often save more than 30 percent off retail prices, and BJ's will even accept manufacturer's coupons, apparently the only warehouse club that does. This allows for multiple coupons to be redeemed on multi-packs of "individual for sale" items packaged together. For instance, on a two-pack of mouthwash that would normally be sold as two individual items, you could use two manufacturers coupons, for extra savings.

Seems like a great idea to me, especially at Christmas time, although you and your buddy would have to have more or less the same likes and dislikes when it comes down to choosing which paper napkins or bottled water you'll buy. If neither of you have any issues over tissues or can agree to compromise here and there, you'll both save a ton of money as well as time and gas.

After you cart it all back to someones kitchen, you'll have fun gloating over your great buys as you divvy up the loot. It's win, win. You get a lot of shopping done, save a lot of money and get to spend time with a good friend.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for decorating using only items found at dollar stores.

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