>Off the Beaten Path>warehouse store membership ?
Are these stores really worth it?
I'm thinking of joining one of the big ones, because they sell something I really need, cheaper than anyone else. ( Generator )
I also need a rain barrel.
But, I also need bird seed, juice boxes for kids, tp, etc etc.
I think I'm going to do it. I just hate the thought of going with all the masses of people. Not to mention the fact that my DH has a real problem with Walmart.
Depends on what this item you need is? If the cost savings pays for the membership itself, then it is worth it.
I personally have no storage space AT ALL in our house, so I can't buy 48 roll packs of TP or a 6 pack of cereal boxes or 5lbs of tuna. I have just enough room for weekly grocery trips as it is. So for us, it isn't worth it because we can't buy these massive packs of one kindof food or freeze meat in a deep freezer we don't own.
I have joined in the past just to buy one item though, it was worth the cost savings.
It can be worth it if you have the storage to buy these items in bulk though.
If you can save enough on the genearator to pay for the membership, give it a try for a year. If it doesn't work out, just don't renew your membership. We shop there once a month and buy paper towels, toilet paper, and frozen and canned food items in bulk. We do have a chest type deep freezer.
Sam's Club is owned by Walmart, but Costco has different ownership. Costco has an executive membership that costs more, but gives you cash back as percentage of what you bought at the end of the year. If you buy enough stuff throughout the year, it can pay for your next year's membership. My wife doesn't like walking around big warehouses either, so sometimes I just go by myself.
In general, it is usually possible to beat Sam's or Costco with careful shopping around. Such is especially true of the stereotypical items like toilet paper. On the other hand, one visit to Sam's/Costco can save several trips or a long delay in shipping. It is always shocking to see people check out with $500+ of garbage junk food on a flatbed cart, though. Just because you buy it, use it, and think you got a good deal on it, doesn't mean that you really need it.
You can spend a lot of money if you are not careful. Give yourself a budget of $50 for the first few trips. You'll get a feel for what the store has to offer, what you buy the most often, and what the best deals are. The main trick is having a list of a few things that you always buy. For us (at Sam's), it is cereal, cheese, bread, Oxiclean, vinegar, cooking oils, chips, salsa, padded mailing envelopes, Clif bars, etc. Lately, they have had the giant pork loin logs (10 lbs) for $1.89/lb, and their lunch meat is pretty good. We occasionally buy perishables like lettuce, avocados, and bananas. I haven't noticed the pharmacy being any cheaper than anywhere else but it is also convenient, and helps limit trips to once/month.
One thing about Sam's is that they sell Seville heavy duty workbenches and tool carts. They are about half the price of Craftsman but better quality, and way better than the flimsy sheet metal Husky or Kobalt crap at Lowes/Home depot.
We also buy several items on Amazon Prime (no tax, free shipping), like iced tea and other lightweight consumables. The membership is more expensive but also includes Instant Video, which has allowed us to dump cable.
Costco also has a great return policy!
We bought a Keurig (coffee maker) during the spring of 2011, and the pump stopped working earlier this month (2013).
We went into Costco with the broken Keurig and they gave us a brand new one without needing a receipt or anything.
A couple of signatures, and we were able to drink coffee again.
Summary, besides the good prices, they have great service.
(possibly the same with Sam's Club too...)
#1: Do what I can do. <not doing well>
#2: 1/2 Ironman (New Orleans, LAI) <DONE>
The only things we use our Costco card for are the big bags of frozen chicken. Hard to find a per-pound price cheaper than what they offer there. Plus, generally speaking, the markets around here have way fattier chicken pieces. We split the cost with my sister-in-law, so it's only $25 a year, which is above and beyond what we'd spend if we bought frozen chicken from the market.
5K: 27:06 (11/10/12) | 5M: 44:03 (6/1/13) | 10K: 1:00:48 (7/4/12)
15K: 1:27:53 (3/17/13) | 10M: 1:30:25 (4/13/13) | HM: 1:59:55 (4/28/13)
Next race: Ashland 4th of July 10K
Strict WTF adherent
Costco can be worth it just for gas.
Plus they hand out lots of delicious samples.
My Amazon purchases have been sharply curtailed since California forced Amazon to start collecting sales tax. Now I buy my stuff on-line from places that still DON'T charge sales tax and usually free shipping too. Too bad, so sad for Amazon.
Sam's Club member here. Like nakedbabytoes said, the cost effectiveness is going to be up to you and your needs. It's worth it for us. our main items we purchase there are chicken breasts, Jimmy Dean "D-Light" breakfast sandwiches, laundry detergent, and protein powder. Occasional clothes and random items, like the OXO "Pop" Containers I'm excited about picking up this weekend. There's a new TV purchase on the horizon for us, and they'll be worth a look for that. And I'm a Kindle guy these days, but they have pretty good prices on books, too.
I get the feeling your DH's problem with Wal-mart has more to do with economic policy than atmosphere, but if it's the Wal-mart-style crowd that is the irritation (and I certainly feel ya there), it's a little different at Sam's. Fewer screaming two-year-olds and tube tops. And not nearly as crowded.
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people
Two year olds in tube tops. Whoa.
You want it, they got it at Wal-mart.
I know this thread is about costco and sams and the like (and I live in Costco central)...
Here's a little wal mart love: 4 dollar prescriptions.
Meat is Murder
We have Costco membership and we had Sam's Club in our previous location. It will be a lie if I told you that having a membership with Costco or Sam's club didn't alter our consumption patterns and that we would buy the same things and same quantities for more if we hadn't this membership. This doesn't mean we are worse off having it.
The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it. - Joan Rivers
Oh yeah, thumbs up to Costco for booze too.
My parents love Costco for their wines prices.
Unfortunately, I live in Maryland. No two buck chuck here
I wish we had Costco, but all we have is Sams close by. I drove by it today, and it just looked packed. I may just do it, and if it turns out to be a waste, so be it.
A friend of mine also cautioned on the over buying potential. I do that at Target! You just see stuff you need. You have got to be careful.
Don't you have to pack the groceries yourself too? It just sounds like a hassle, but if you could make it work, you could end up saving a lot, I'll just have to see..
Thanks for the replies!