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Old 09-25-2009, 10:07 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 14,736,031 times
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We more than justify the membership .... in fact so much that we have taken out the executive level membership. We go approximately 4 times a year as our nearest Costco is just over an hour away. We buy the whole range of stuff at Costco from paper products to filling the freezer with meat. Two times ago they had our favorite malt scotch at $12 cheaper than in our local store. We bought three bottles of it ... total saving $36 and we are still on bottle one

I have done enough price comparisons to know that we are paying a lot less than we would at local stores.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:48 AM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,821,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
We barely buy enough to justify the membership although we do get decent discounts on over the counter drugs. We also do not have a lot of room to store a years worth of paper towels.

If you are buying in volume like Great Day it really makes sense.
In some states, like Illinois, you do NOT need to be a member in order to use their pharmacies. Under Illinois law, not pharmacy can be for "members only".

Personally, I keep a price book and have found almost no bargains; the promotional "loss leaders" at the major chains are far less than Sams Club and Costco. The local independent markets are even less.

The two things that I do keep a membership are gas (usually 0.10 less) and marked-down clothing,.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:57 AM
 
458 posts, read 1,446,852 times
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Yep, it's worth it for the gas alone for us.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,122,715 times
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I love Costco, and although it's only 2 of us, I still stock up. The prices are good, good quality and sometimes I only have to go to the local super every other week or less, plus perishables. Remember, the more you go grocery shopping, like once or twice a week, the more you spend.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,446,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
It depends on your purchasing habits and your consumption ...

- If you use up some things a lot, ie. diapers.
- If they have the cheapest gas in town.
- You don't mind things in giant packages.
- You rather one-stop shop.

It's not worth it if ...
- You already have a nicely priced supermarket nearby.
- A couple extra stops to different places doesn't bother.
- You simply don't consume enough.

For me, I can't justify it. There's a Winco Foods (a supermarket the size of a Home Depot!) that's not too far from here, I thrift shop, I'm still on the same bucket of homemade laundry detergent (borax/washing soda/fels naptha) from last year that averages about 5 cents/load, and buying stuff online or on sale from other nearby stores isn't any issue.
I'm somewhat on the same page as you. I tried a warehouse club years ago and couldn't justify it, for me. Here's why:

- I have a few great supermarkets nearby which are conveniently on the way to or from work or other shopping/errands for me. The prices are great, the meat is excellent, and their sales make it easy to stock up on things I would need in bulk.
- Housewares are easily found on sale, and I tend to do homemade solutions for cleaning, e.g. vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, etc. Haven't tried borax or homemade laundry detergent yet, but I do use baking soda with a smaller amount of regular detergent.
- Produce is better obtained at some other sources I have nearby. In addition to occasional great sale prices at local supermarkets (all of which will feature in-season local Jersey produce, on sale, when it's abundant), I have a large farm store nearby with good prices on their own and imported produce. Also, there is a place called Corrado's in Northern NJ which is almost like a warehouse club with no membership fee, but they are very well known for good quality produce (lots of volume so it's almost always very fresh) which is at good or even VERY low prices (I just got bananas for 29 cents a pound, I bought 10 pounds for under 3 bucks!). They also have bulk items, as well as specialty/ethnic items.
- Because I need certain foods I can only get at ethnic stores, I make a trip once or twice a month to a couple of ethnic stores where they have the foods that the warehouse clubs wouldn't have. Also, they have certain foods at much better prices and much better quality than warehouse clubs would have.

So, for me, the warehouse clubs just aren't worth it. I'm glad for those who find they can save money by going to one, but it's just not worth it for me. I'd end up paying the $35 to $50 or more yearly fee, not being able to get everything I need, and not necessarily saving money on many things.

As for gas - Corrado's, which I mentioned earlier, has a gas station with warehouse club-like prices. But here in NJ, our gas is so cheap, that I can get close to what any Sam's or Costco or BJ's would offer (and, most of them here don't even have a gas station, probably because of that reason) without going out of my way to go to one of those places. Also, where I live, none of these place are nearby or convenient, and the checkout process is always LONG.

So, for me, it's just not worth it.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Indiana
324 posts, read 493,133 times
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Not for us. There's Sam's Club in the area for about 20 years. We didn't find it that good for paying a membership.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,357,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulpan View Post
Not for us. There's Sam's Club in the area for about 20 years. We didn't find it that good for paying a membership.
As I previously mentioned - we have both Sam's and Costco memberships. And, with their Business / Executive memberships, which give cash back, we get back far more than the cost of the memberships each year - just from buying the things we would norminally buy anyway.

In our case, if we did nothing but purchase fuel from them - the savings on fuel alone would pay for our memberships. Then again - we do a lot of driving - my wife and I, between us, do some 70 to 80,000 miles a year - and that is just with the cars / SUV's. Doesn't include the flying.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:45 AM
 
191 posts, read 481,124 times
Reputation: 118
Default Coscto membership

Glad I did not pay for my membership. When my friend joined, I got a free membership for a year. Why pay? You are not getting a good deal. I compared their prices to Walgreens, Kohl's, Pennys and a few other places. Turns out Coscto was more. Lame! Do not waste your money. It is not a good deal.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:54 AM
 
12,607 posts, read 14,605,815 times
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It's worth it for us. We mostly buy things like toilet paper, paper towels, dishwashing soap, kitty litter, generic (Kirkland - Costco's brand) Advil and Tylenol, stuff like that. The Kirkland brand Advil is $8.99 for two 500-count bottles. I haven't seen a better price than that anywhere. I have also never seen a better price for Prilosec than at Costco, and even better - Kirkland's brand is about $5 cheaper than the Prilosec. We buy the Kirkland brand dishwashing soap, two big boxes for $6.

We don't buy the food so much because it's in such big quantities that it goes to waste before we eat it. But we have bought the Marie Callendar pot pies (6 or 8 in a box) and that is MUCH cheaper than buying them from the grocery store. I also will buy 6 or 8 packs of Ro-Tel, corn, green beans, soup, black olives, things that we do use a lot.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,357,433 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSherman View Post
Glad I did not pay for my membership. When my friend joined, I got a free membership for a year. Why pay? You are not getting a good deal. I compared their prices to Walgreens, Kohl's, Pennys and a few other places. Turns out Coscto was more. Lame! Do not waste your money. It is not a good deal.
With due respect - I have to disagree. We have more than saved the cost of our membership with the savings we get at Costco. In my area, I would be a member just to save on the price of Gas - which is ALWAYS lower - sometimes by as much as a dime a gallon. And while we do not fill up at Costco each time - I can say a majority of times we do. Both my wife and I put around 40,000 miles a year on each of our primary vehicles - so, a dime a gallon amounts to a whole lot!

Walgreens, Kohl's, Penneys ususally do not carry Beef, Poultry and Fish. Nor the fresh produce that we can get, cheaper, at Costco, than at a "regular" grocery store.
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