PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As we head into the weekend, many families will be getting their weekly shopping done, so where do you go?

Are you a member of a discount wholesale club or have you considered signing up? This also begs the question, are they worth it and is it smart shopping?

Let’s take a look at the wholesale shopping landscape and while there are advantages, there are some cautions in the world of wholesale warehouse shopping.

There is vast space, products from floor to ceiling, and bulk buying at a discount – welcome to wholesale warehouse shopping.

“The memberships hover between $45-60 per year depending on which club you choose, and you can save up to 40% by buying in bulk,” said Smart Shopping Expert Trae Bodge.

Bodge said you can save a lot of money but there is a catch.

“If you’re going maybe twice a year, that investment may not play out,” she said. “But, if you’re going every other week for example, and buying for a family of four or five, it is definitely worth it to belong to that wholesale club and to pay that membership fee.”

So basically, the more you use it, the more you save per item.

As for which club is better, we’re talking Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s, Trae said the deals are pretty much similar, so go by proximity.

“If one farther away from you, and you’re more likely to go to the one that’s closer, that’s the one I would do because again, that frequency of visiting that store really is where it pays off,” she explained.

Regardless of which you choose, Bodge said to avoid buying perishables in bulk. They may spoil before you can eat them and there goes your great deal.

When it comes to paper products, Bodge said sometimes it’s better to check places like Amazon, Target, or Walmart because they could have better offers.

As always, when it comes to anything you’re buying, don’t forget the coupons.

“If that store happens to have an app you want to have that on your phone, if not use a coupon app like Coupon Cabin which you can put on your phone and take with you to the store to look for those in-store offers,” Bodge said.

In the store, scan the bar code on everything you buy, and if a coupon comes up, that’s extra savings at the register.

Does this mean all wholesale warehouse stores are created equal?

On the staples, Bodge says for the most part, but places like Costco and Sam’s Club have bigger footprints and can carry more options while BJ’s is generally smaller which you might like.

Costco has become a legend for its dollar hot dogs and Sam’s has since responded. Now, even BJ’s has the hot dog and drink deal for $1.50.


Click here to view the original segment on CBSNews.com.

Related: How to Save Money on Groceries