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Sam's Club, Costco or Neither?

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by momof2here, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. momof2here

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    Since someone mentioned Sam's Club on another thread, I would love to know if you think having a membership at Sam's or Costco is worth it?

    When you buy in bulk, do you use it or throw alot away? How do you do it to make the most sense and make it worth it?

    Which store is better, in your opinion?

    What are the best things (i.e. best value) - that you pick up the club stores?

    Any advise appreciated!
     
  2. chbarnes

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    We don't have Costco here, but I used to belong to Sam's Club. It was a waste of time and money. It is true there are lots of items sold in bulk at a steep discount, but our family of four would take forever to use most things. But they tempt you with lots of consumer gadgets and novelty foods on the way to the cheap stuff. I ended up buying stuff I would never have bought if I hadn't been to Sam's. Nevertheless, there were still things we bought at our regular supermarket, so that made two trips. It may be good if you have a large family, go with a list, and buy nothing else.
     
  3. momof2here

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    Thanks Chuck - this is what I was afraid of. Also, my family (all three of them) are overly concerned with expiration dates. It a box of crackers shows that they expire in the same month that we are in, no one will touch them to save their lives! They are also firmly against leftovers (which really makes life difficult and expensive).
     
  4. Pauji5

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    COSTCO!!!! Love it!!! I shop there about every 10 days and love it. Great quality meat, wonderful fruits and veggies, big selection of alcohol, lots of staples..

    It's close, so I can get milk, bread, eggs, waters, pop, etc.. We save a ton of money, and I also get gas there...

    They also have great "extra's" especially around the holidays. Plus, you can order stuff on line and there is no shipping fee, it's in the price. And you get the extra warrenty on electronics, and if you use the Costco American Express, you get an additional year warrenty on top of that. I love it.

    and ps. no, I don't work for them!:)

    I was a Sam's club member as well, but it closed and honestly, Costco is nicer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  5. momof2here

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    @!


    Thanks Paula and lol.... was wondering if you were the ceo or something! I should go check it out and see... all of my daughter's friend's parent (yes, all - according to my daughter) belong and we are totally missing out.
     
  6. Lee

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    We have a BJ' - smaller then Sam's or Costco - but same principle. I love it - I go once a month and buy all of my TP, and Paper Towels, frozen chicken, etc.

    I can buy an ginormous bag of veggie straws for $4.00 - then I portion them out in baggies and write the carbs on each bag (oh - the baggies are $4 for about 500 of them :)), so I buy 3 or 4 bags of snack stuff for the kids to take to school, a box of fruit chews, caprisun, stuff like that.

    I have to be VERY careful and go in knowing exactly what I am going to get and set a spending limit. I find it much easier to go overboard there then I do at the grocery store.
     
  7. jcanolson

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    We do Sam's. That's the only option here. My dd and I are both on Zyrtec, and the lower cost of their generic version pretty much pays for our membership. We do tp, paper towels, trash bags, cat food, kitty litter, and various other things. Since it is right across from where my dd has dance I can run in and grab a few things as needed.

    I think most places offer a trial membership.
     
  8. Lee

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    I forgot to say this - but it is so true! I get a bottle of 500 (I think?) generic Zyrtec for $15.00 - try finding that at a store. Also, heartburn medicine, tylenol, etc. It really does pay for itself.
     
  9. nanhsot

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    Well, both have their good qualities. I compare it to Target and Walmart though. Costco is more like Target with higher quality items and more interesting selection. Sam's is more like Walmart with better value if you know your merchandise but also lots of junk to be careful of.

    That said, I spent too much at Costco on unneeded items; they have a lot more "fun" things that I enjoyed but didn't NEED, and I'm at a point in life where I need to cut down on that sort of stuff and stick to the basics.

    I only have Sam's right now. You do have to know your prices, and do some math sometimes to make sure you are getting a deal. I've been known to take a pad of paper and write down the prices and compare to other places to make sure. It's hard because you have to compare a 3 pack of a HUGE bottle to a regular sized bottle but once you do it a few times you figure out what the bargains are and what is a rip off.

    Let's see, at Sam's I buy: mixed nuts, strawberries, spinach, bananas, kiwi, chicken (fresh and frozen), wine, eggs...that's on my list right now! I also buy Tide, bathroom cleaner, batteries (they have a huge pack of the lithium that go into his pump, MUCH cheaper), protein shakes, tuna, chocolate chips, some spices (mostly stuff like garlic and pepper that I go through quickly),paper/pens during the school year. I'm mentally going up and down the aisles trying to think of what is typical, I have a pretty set grouping of stuff that I buy specifically at Sam's.

    I personally stay away from the frozen convenience foods, not worth the value and hard to store. I also stay away from the clothing as the quality isn't great, though I will buy stuff like socks.

    For meats I buy but immediately package smaller and freeze. For produce don't buy it unless your family eats a lot of it, for example the spinach is a good value but huge package, we eat a lot of it so it works for us, but might not for other families. I buy the enormous package of fresh garlic but we eat a TON of that. They have seasonal plants that are a good value, but plants are a weakness of mine. :p Their pizzas are a GREAT deal, I have a deep freeze that they fit into (they are huge) and I keep one on hand all the time.

    In another place and time (financially) I would like both. From Costco I get (my mom buys for me) frozen turkey burgers (raw), packages of hummus, turkey sausage, stuff like that...less standard but useful. I didn't use Costco as much for everyday items for some reason so can't answer to that.
     
  10. Pauji5

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    that's what my friends say as well!! and things like peanut butter, juice, jam, pasta....doesn't go bad...
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Here the Costco doesn't sell booze, if it did my attitude might be different. :cool:

    Here's what I can buy at our Costco at great savings over sale price at the supermarket:

    Capers
    Batteries
    Lysol Wipes

    Is it worth it? probably not :rolleyes: but I'm on my brother's account and he keeps renewing it, so ... let's just say I'm always up for making a batch of lemon caper chicken;)
     
  12. kimmcannally

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    I love Sams! We get lithium batteries for J's pump - $19.99 for 12 of them. Lasts J about a year :)
    Milk is usually cheaper than anywhere else. We have a deep freeze and buy about 8 gallons at a time, then freeze them. You just shake them as they thaw to mix it back up. Can't tell the difference once it's fully thawed.

    We also have a vacuum sealer thing. I buy huge packs of chicken breasts ($1.97 per pound) and divide them into smaller bags using that thing. Keeps them fresh and no freezer burn.

    Bananas are $1.50 for three pounds, Sister Shubert rolls (YUM) are cheap, I love Sam's!

    Forgot to add Sam's has their own brand of Sour Apple glucose tabs. J loves them and they are $4.81 including tax (9% here) for a bottle of 50.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  13. jcanolson

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    Forgot about the batteries!
     
  14. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    Costco, and because I have the points card, my membership only costs about $20.00 a year instead of $100.00. I through the Amex card I signed up for to get the card, in the shredder. We also get our gas there, it's usually 2-5 cents per gallon cheaper
    then everywhere else


    Never buy the batteries because they don't carry Energizer, only Duracell in the NorthWest Costco's, and all 3 pump companies I've used state energizer, and I've found they're right for battery life
     
  15. Lee

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    $100.00 - OMG - BJ's is $35! I don't think I would pay $100.00.

    I also get batteries there - the expensive ones fro the pump - and the cheapies for the Wii remotes!
     
  16. txmom

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    Costco.....

    I try to buy my gas only at Costco (I pass one on they way to work so this is easy). Gas is 5-8 cents cheaper and I get 3% cash back - just received my annual check $218 (YIPEE!!!).

    We also shop Costco for TP, Papertowel, dish soap, pinesol etc. In the food category we buy Peanut butter, wine (OK, not food so much), fresh berries, rice. Of course we buy fruit snacks as it is Grant's "low" food of choice, we also buy protein bars and bananas.

    Love costco but one needs to not impulse buy.
     
  17. kimmcannally

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    Our Sam's membership is $35 too. I don't think it would be worth it for $100.
     
  18. Heather(CA)

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    It probably depends on your situation, but worth 3 teenage boys and sports it's definitely worth it for us. I have certain things I buy at certain stores. We are Costco people, Sam's club could be good too, but I have only been there once or twice and I like how Costco has yummy filling in their birthday cakes.

    This is what I buy at Costco... Keep in mind that with sports, I need to have some fast and easy meals..
    HUGE bag of frozen veggies
    Lasagna
    20lb bag frozen chicken breasts
    Meatballs
    Huge bag of shredded cheese
    Milk
    eggs
    sour cream
    fresh fruit
    Potatoes
    Bag of salad
    Tortillas
    regular bread
    garlic bread
    Teriaki(sp?) glazed chicken breasts
    Pre-make chicken alfredo
    some snacks
    Zyrtec
    other misc in the pharmacy like my fish oil pills :)

    Membership is not $110 to my knowledge. $50 maybe?

    I buy snacks and cereal at Walmart

    Everything else, Winco

    Very little waste with 3 boys...I hope this helps :)
     
  19. momof2here

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    what is a veggie straw?
     
  20. momof2here

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    Great list! I was laughing when I read about the 20lb bag of chicken breasts! I cannot even imagine that!
     

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