Anchor Intro: When economic times get tough, we're all looking for ways to save a few dollars. And one way to do it is to shop at warehouse or membership stores. But just because something's in these stores, doesn't make it a deal. Bankrate.com has five of the best deals.
Voice over 1: When it comes to everything from gas to groceries, more and more Americans are heading to warehouse clubs in search of bargains. There are now more than 1,100 of these stores nationwide doing more than $100 billion in sales.
Voice over 2: But not everything found here is a bargain, and price comparison with traditional stores isn't always easy. And membership costs money -- $40 to a 100 bucks.
Voice over 3: So what's going to make that membership worthwhile? According to a recent issue of Smart Money magazine, here are the five best deals, in no particular order.
Voice over 4: Number one? Alcohol. According to Smart Money, you save up to 35 percent on beer wine and liquor at warehouse clubs, with the greatest savings coming on high-end, expensive stuff. Added bonus? Most states allow you to buy alcohol without paying a membership.
Voice over 5: Next? Dairy products, especially milk, butter and eggs. Savings? Around 20 percent.
Voice over 6: The picture may also be brighter on electronics. And compare warranties -- they may be longer here than at mainstream retailers.
Voice over 7: Meat may also be a better deal, especially high-end meat like lamb and steaks.
Voice over 8: And rounding out the top five is drugs, especially the prescription variety.
Standup: Bottom line? You can get great deals at warehouse clubs, but the same rules apply here as anywhere else: Use a list and comparison shop. Oh, and don't come in for milk and walk out with a flat-screen TV. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.