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Old 04-17-2009, 07:03 PM
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,578,409 times
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I've had my Costco membership for about 10 years now. I love the place. I have withdrawal if I don't go there at least every two weeks.

I do like to get all the toilet paper, paper towel, paper plates, cups, coffee, canned stuff, and even meats, fish, chicken. I separate the food into small portions and vacuum bag them. This way I don't have to shop for the same things that frequently. Then I go to a Publix or something for the bread, milk, and smaller food items - veggies, salad, fruits.

I have a lot of pets too and their dog bedding is great and prett inexpensive so I change those every once in a while and don't spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, I don't buy the pet food there as my dogs are on special foods.

But Costco is great! Oh..... TVs, Cameras, any watches........their return policies are great and I think their prices are very, very good.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:32 PM
Location: NJ
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Actually it's 2 fold. Yes you do save money for quality items and I like to stock. That can be your nature to want to buy in quantity, at a good price. We belong to Costco for about 15yrs. We are only 2 also, so I watch the perishables.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:40 PM
Location: mass
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Wholesale clubs only save you money if you actually do the research on the items you are buying. If they regularly go on sale at the grocery store for the same price you can get them from the wholesale club, then don't bother. And if you are a big impulse shopper but want to save money, STAY AWAY FROM WHOLESALE clubs. Buying a box of cookies at the grocery store on impulse is still cheaper than buying a case from the wholesale club.

That being said, I save a lot of money at wholesale clubs, and I like the products sold there. I have a BJ's and Costco membership. Costco membership was more expensive but I get 2% back at the end of the year, which will more than cover the cost of the membership, so I will essentially get the membership for free after the first year.

Milk is $2.35 at BJ's, and $3,79 at the grocery store. So, with $1.45 per gallon savings, two gallons a week, that is $150 a year if I only calculated milk.

There are so many other things I save money on I couldn't even name them all. Ground beef, rotisserie chicken, yogurt, cheese, eggs, bananas, dates, strawberries, spring mix, crackers, kitty litter, laundry detergent, toilet paper, miscellaneous health and beauty items (with coupons), etc.... The savings adds up.

I am not going to lie, though, I spend a LOT of money in these wholesale clubs. I go in for certain things, I come out with a bathing suit for my daughter, lacrosse set for my son, vases of tulips, serving dishes, books, magazines, undershirts, towels, candy, peanuts, scuba gear, extra lanterns, patio accessories, garden clogs, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. By the time you add up all that extra garbage, the money I saved on the other things is long gone.

However, I never buy something at a wholesale club that I can get cheaper anywhere else.

Originally Posted by FLGAL76 View Post
I just don't want to have to shop there and get so much then turn around and shop another store or two to get everything we need.
Well, if you have a Costco card you will have to do exactly that. You can buy many things at Costco and such places, but if you want to make a recipe and need a certain product, you may not find it at a wholesale club, and if you do, you may not want six of them.

Originally Posted by plf86 View Post
Typically sales at grocery stores will see the same items go on sale every 6 to 8 weeks. If it aint on sale i dont buy, When it is on sale I buy enough to get through at least two months.
I do the same thing if I can.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:02 AM
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
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Originally Posted by FLGAL76 View Post
Thanks for all the great responses. I will be moving around June and I noticed there is a Sams Club that wasn't far from the area we will be living around about 30 minutes I believe and we are a family of four so I was thinking that it might help save some money. We been eating alot of microwave dinners, sandwiches & fast food since Dh has been gone working in another state and I always used to make dinner every night and we always had a sit down meal at the table and he said he can't wait for some home cooked meals again. I just want to make sure it would be worth it. It sounds like it would. I just don't want to have to shop there and get so much then turn around and shop another store or two to get everything we need.
I don't think it would be best for you unless you eat certain foods. For example some people here have said that the meat is cheaper, but in my area meats are loss-leaders and cheaper in our supermarkets. Sometimes though Sams has good deals on fresh meats that are about to expire, especially on Mondays.

Tell us what your family eats a lot of, then we can advise you better!

If you eat a lot of rice you could save bigtime on the 20 or 50 lb sacks, but pasta seems to be more expensive usually. Ketchup is cheap by the gallon size. I don't remember too much about Sams though, I only went there a couple times, Costco seems to have the better quality and more choices.

At Costco, there are a lot of hardware or electronics items that come and go, and can be quite a savings. Good Honda generators, Batteries, stereos, computers, clothes (very limited but good prices), name-brand tires, and as several have mentioned the gas is almost always significantly cheaper.

There can be good deals on wines and beers, and I think I saw liquor at an Oregon store.

The hot rotisserie chickens are excellent, as are the take and bake pizzas. Huge.

Butter and cheeses are a good deal, and both can last for months in the refrigerator if not opened, so you can buy a few.

Some frozen foods but not all of them.

Tuna is cheaper at Walmart.

Cereals as mentioned above, if you all eat boxed cereals or oatmeal often in the morning you'll be able to finish the large boxes before they go stale.

You can get huge bags of corn or potato chips, but those are likely to get stale before you finish them.

Peanut butter and jams are cheap, and you can get Adams peanut butter which is natural.

Spaghetti sauces can be very cheap by the institutional sized can or large jars, and the leftover amounts will stay good a long time in the refrigerator. Olive oil is significantly less expensive in the larger bottles, and it won't go rancid for years.

Toilet paper yeah, but they might not have the brand you like.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:33 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,064,587 times
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I'm a fan of Costco for food, Wal-mart of paper products. I've been burnt buying groceries at Wal-mart, the quality isn't always as good, and sometimes their products taste old/stale.

For example, I was thrilled to find Starbucks ground coffee for $6 a pound one time, but for the next two weeks our coffee tasted horrible. I won't buy coffee there again, I'd rather grind my own Starbucks beans at Costco because I know I'll get better quality (even if I have to buy a huge bag of it).

Our local grocery stores are much more expensive than Costco. There is an economy chain that has prices about the same as Costco, but their produce is terrible and their meat isn't always that good.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:44 AM
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I LOVE Costco. It's my favorite store. I pay 100 dollars a year for their executive membership and, based on the fact I spend a lot of money there, I get a check back which makes the membership really cheap for me. One year it only cost me 15 dollars for the membership. Of course, I buy my prescriptions there, Boca Burgers, Blueberries, Shrimp, etc. It's about 3 miles from my house so I go there as often as I can
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:58 AM
Location: Denver area
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We have a Costco only a few miles from us also...I usually buy paper products there; I like their Kirkland eco-friendly laundry detergent; I buy our glasses and contact lenses there; they have good prices on certain clothing items (their winter gloves are a huge bargain IMO);bread is a good price and the meats are good. BTW - I don't know if this is true for all Costcos but the liquor is in a separate (but connected) store and you do not need a membership to purchase the liquor...I love Costco but I do have to be careful about impulse spending (I did not make it past all the spring bulbs last week - now just need good weather so I can plant them!).....
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:57 AM
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,578,409 times
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The only problem I find with Costco is that they don't have the same merchandise all the time. Always putting out new things. So (and this is where the impulse buying comes in a lot) if you see something you like........better get it that day because after you go home, think about it, and decide to go back to get it.....it's GONE! LOLLLLLLLLLL. You can always return the item(s) if you change your mind after you get home. Of course, refrigerators, washers, dryers....bulky items.... well, that's a little bit more difficult to take and/or to return.

You can get a lot of your holiday and/or special occasions shopping done too when you happen to find something special for someone and just hold it until that special time.

I do think the quality at Costco for food or anything else is really better than in most places and sometimes it's worth paying a little extra for things that will last or taste better.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:08 PM
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I only recently joined Sams because there was a great deal on a membership

They gave me a $25.00 gift card to use in-store for a new membership. Call them and ask when they will be running that special again. Also, fatwallet .com will alert you about this and other deals if you sign up there. So a $35.00 business membership only cost me $10.00.

Here is another big tip. If you know someone else who would like to join, one person pays the membership fee and they can give a free card to anyone they want. In other words, every membership generates a free card for the person of your choice. So split the fee and get 2 for the price of one, or ask someone you know for a free card.

I only go there once a month. I have found good deals on butter, mozzarella, chicken and meat.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:11 PM
Location: Fort Thomas, Arizona
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I use Sam's club a lot, for both my business and my family. They are pretty good, but you have got to know your prices. Lots of people go in there and are so excited about the huge boxes of cereal, or whatever it is, and they ignore the prices. Do research, check the product sizes and oz/price and you'll do fine. We especially enjoy the summer fruits and fresh meat from Sam's.
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