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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2008
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Sam's Club membership...worth it?

    I've been thinking about getting a Sam's Club membership but can't decide if it's actually worth it or not. I'm a vet student, live alone but my boyfriend often eats at my apartment and I pretty much buy for two (as does he...we split things fairly evenly). Has anyone with a membership found the savings to be worth the $40 membership for just two people? I really don't think I need huge bulk amounts of every item but saving some money on meat, etc sure would be nice with 90/10 ground beef going for about $4/lb around here. Do you actually save money in the long run or do you just end up buying large quantities for roughly the same price as Wal-Mart?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,847

    Default

    Just in my experience, I think it's a great deal if you have large amounts of hungry teenage boys to feed.

    For a couple? Not so much. If I were you I'd start doing more in the way of watching sale flyers and clipping coupons. If you buy meat when it's on sale (For example, whole foods recently put their organic chicken breasts on sale for $2.99lb, just for one day on the weekend) you can easily freeze it for later.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    10,230

    Default

    I go a couple times a year. I do the annual trip for the bale of toilet paper and paper towels, but I go the rest of the year for small things for cheap! I got my netbook there for less than $300, I buy my dog beds (huge ones for $18, $60+ at Sprawl-Mart), other pet stuff, occasional treats, books, movies, etc. Good stuff, I like it!
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,205

    Default

    We had a membership for a year and let it lapse since we did not buy in large quantities. For the amount we bought, we soon realized that we could often find better deals at Walmart, Target, or even many of the supermarkets.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,964

    Default

    Not really the question but personally prefer Costco

    Like the quality of their house brands and meats better (and meats freeze nicely in smaller "servings".)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 3, 2010
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Depends on what you like and how much you eat. If you eat like a bird....one crouton and a glass of water and your "full"....probably NOT the place for you. Meats.....if you have one of those vaccuum sealer things, you can buy in bulk and freeze. apples/carrots, yo ucan get the "big" bags of those cheaper than most places...gallon of milk is usually cheaper there than in regular stores (I LOVE milk!!).
    They also have "ready made" dinners like lasagna, chicken piccata, etc. that you pop in the oven. Those packages come in 2's sometimes so you can cook up one pack for the 2 of you and save the other for another time. Or, cook it all and then tupperware the leftovers for lunch or what-not.

    dry goods/canned goods/etc. things that are good to keep "extra" of. They also have some half decent clothes and stuff.
    Oh, if you use stuff like metamucil instead of sand clear for your horse, you can get the BIG containers of that there.....WITHOUT poeple looking at you like you eat way too much cheese in regular stores when you put 5 bottles on the counter!

    Sometimes those stores have a "free" day where you can go check it out without a membership. find out if theyre having any of those.....or, ask your friends if they have a membership to go shopping with them to see if theres enough stuff you can use to make it worth it.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,942

    Default

    Costco shopper...I buy lots of other things besides food. Mostly household products of one sort or another. I buy Frontline Plus, cat litter, vitamins, pain relief, different personal care items, BEER, etc. For the most part, this stuff is way cheaper than anywhere else. You do have to buy in bulk, so if your living space is limited, it might not work for you.

    We definately save mucho big bucks over the cost of the membership.

    We don't go often...I hate the mass people, traffic, waiting for a parking space, waiting 20 minutes in the check-out line, etc. However, if we run out of the butter-toffee peanuts, all bets are off.

    I think you can visit one time as a guest to look around. Maybe take your normal shopping list with you and compare prices. See if it will work for you?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    415

    Default

    Worth it for gas in my town, especially. Saving about 10 cents a gallon every trip adds up, but it has to be in a convenient location like it is for me for that to add up.

    I've found that it's worth it for me for various reasons, but as others have said, it depends on the size of your household and your storage facilities. For alcohol (which I realize you don't need a membership to purchase), beef, household dry goods, bacon and gas alone, it's totally worth it. I also take advantage of the cheap eye exams and contacts.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,645

    Default

    We have a LOT of dogs (foster them) so we get things like paper towels, dog beds, huuuuuuge boxes of milkbones for bedtime snacks,.. for the dogs. it's amazing how quickly we can go through a gigantic box of those treats.
    While we're there we get sports drinks, sodas, breakfast bars/cereals, toilet paper, all sorts of over the counter meds, personal hygiene items, etc. We usually don't stray from our normal stuff, but will get the occassional other item, like around Christmas they have Keurig K-cups in the 80 pack for a great deal, so I get one box of those.
    It's really good for the gas, too. I also just got 4 new tires for $400, which I was happy about.
    A big caveat to my story is that MrB's card is in his parents' account, so they split the membership. I haven't a CLUE what his parent's get there, or if it's worth it to them but for us, it is.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2004
    Posts
    2,342

    Default

    Not worth it, I bought a membership this year, they do not have the quality of merchandise nor the prices of Costco- nor of Target. I am not renewing.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    765

    Default

    I get gas for 10 to 20 cents cheaper a gallon almost every time I fill up -- today, everywhere else in town was at $4.39, and I managed to fill up at $4.11.....an excellent deal if you're getting gas.

    Don't shop for food so much -- sometimes I'll get pizzas and throw them in the deep freezer, or lots of papertowel if I need some and there isn't a good deal elsewhere...
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Posts
    5,708

    Default

    Another Costco shopper here. MUCH better quality, and the staff is 1000x friendlier. If you have a Costco near enough, pass on Sam's.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,645

    Default

    Another person that would pick costco over sam's, if it was an option. alas, I believe the nearest one is a state away!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2003
    Posts
    399

    Default

    Same here. Sam's Club is the only game in town.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2008
    Posts
    1,418

    Default

    Thanks everyone!
    Yup, the nearest CostCo to me is about a 2 hour drive away. Sam's is only a few blocks up the street. It doesn't look like there's a gas station associated with our Sam's Club but that alone would make the membership worth it to us. We both drive a lot and one of our vehicles is a diesel that does a fair amount of hauling. I'll have to call and see if they offer a free one time pass or anything to check it out a little and do some math. Thanks!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,745

    Default

    I wish we had a Costco here, but all we have is Sam's Club. I don't go there because I can get very similar deals by shopping Walmart or Publix on sale items for staples such as paper goods, and it's just me not a family. One tip is before you buy the huge amount of some item (at any store not just the low cost ones) make sure it is cheaper than buying the individual or smaller amounts-it isn't always a savings, and then you have to store a bunch of stuff you won't use for a while. I also would have to buy a lot of stuff to make up for the membership fee at Sam's. Remember though they do have great prices on appliances, cars, eye glasses and even small business health insurance packages-so price the big stuff around before you buy.

    Publix has gas stations in some locations also, and I think other retailers are doing this also with a few cents off per gallon.
    Last edited by JanM; May. 3, 2011 at 01:06 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,634

    Default

    I may be the lone dissenter but I prefer Sam's over Costco. They are both open about their business models -- Costco is not a cost leader, they offer higher quality goods at comparable prices as you would get lower quality ones at other stores. That is fine if you want the higher quality products at the same prices, but if you are fine with the same products but want to save money, Sam's is your better bargain. Their business model is to be the low-cost leader and it shows in their prices.

    I cut my grocery bill in half shopping at Sam's and only buying staples in bulk that I would buy anyway, just less often. The cost savings on things like kitty litter, toothpaste, granola bars, cereal, Coffeemate etc. are substantial, much better than Costco and much better than Walmart/Target/etc unless you are an extreme couponer I suppose, I clip when I see something I regularly buy but not religiously.

    I also use Sam's for larger purchases occasionally and get substantial savings there, if they have what I am looking for for a better price than I can get otherwise. The selection is limited though so often they do not have exactly what I want for larger purchases. Did get a wonderful area rug there recently that is amazing for the price.



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