View Full Version : Discount warehouse stores...
09-06-2005, 03:03 PM
Has anyone had luck with these? We used to belong to one a few years ago, but stopped going. We could only eat so much corn flakes at a time, and some prices were really not better than hitting sales or clipping coupons at the regular grocery store. We also would end up spending $200 easily on just a few items, and STILL end up at the grocery store. We also would buy more impulse items, assuming they were bargains, but this was not always the case.
If you have to drive more than 15 minutes to get there, is it worth it? If you pay an annual fee, do you really make up for it and more, in savings?
Any advice would be appreciated. TIA!
09-06-2005, 03:20 PM
I don't like the fact that I can't use my Visa at Costco. It might be worth it if you have AmEx - just for the gas discount! (I haven't checked out their prices really recently, but a few weeks ago they were pretty good. I also find forthe things I would buy at Cosco's I can come fairly close at My regular grocery store.
09-06-2005, 03:34 PM
DH and I are Sam's Club members because DH likes to go there. I agree with you. We were there on Friday, we spent $150 and really didn't buy much at all. I ended up going to the grocery store today anyway. DH thinks their meats are really good, and I guess they used to be but now it's the same stuff you can get at Walmart. The only difference is that you don't have to buy 10 pounds at Walmart.
I have a friend who has a big family and she goes once a week. I can't imagine what that bill must be! :earseek: She says she only buys what's on her list, none of that fun frozen food. I guess it just depends on your needs and the way your family eats. If anyone knows the secret to saving money at Sam's, I would love to know it. :earsgirl:
09-06-2005, 03:53 PM
I have memberships to Sams and BJ's and I dont really use them. buying in bulk doesnt help us, instead of making a big bag of something??? last 2 meals we end up eating it all at once. So I end up spending more. The only times I go to them is when I have a party to shop for. SOmetimes I buy fruits and veggies if I'm buy the store since the kids will eat fruits and veggies all day if I let them.
09-07-2005, 05:31 AM
I have been a Sams member for several years. I drive right by it, so it's not out of the way. For the first few years I was a member, I would let my membership expire every year and wait a few months to rejoin. They usually send you an attractive offer after a while.
I do much better on most groceries by coupon clipping and hitting the store sales. I have found them to be cheaper on Prilosec than anyone else, so I get that there now. I also buy a few items like Tostitos and always get my film developed there. I shop them when we travel. In Orlando, they are cheaper than anyone on milk.
Once our Sams got a gas station, I found they were often a little cheaper than my usual station, so I started just renewing my membership every year.
09-07-2005, 05:44 AM
I belong to Costco, and BJ's - our BJ's takes coupons(does not double), and they used to sell gas alittle cheaper. My DH's work gets us a good deal on joining, so I joined both. I still end up going to the market to shop every week. I get books, razors, and a few other items at BJ's -when I have a coupon and if they carry it I can usually get a deal. But for the most part it's just me princess: , and my DH :groom: and he thinks most of the things are just way to big!!
09-07-2005, 07:15 AM
I am an on/off member of Sam's. Just a hint- if you are bummed because you can't use your Visa there (and earn rewards) you can buy WalMart gift cards at the regular Wal-Mart with your Visa and spend them at Sam's.
In general I feel like I can get better deals at the regular store if I wait for stuff to go on special.
09-07-2005, 07:30 AM
We have belonged to BJ's in the past, usually when they offered a free trial membership. We have never found enough bargains to be worth the price of membership. Their regular prices may be better than regular supermarket prices, but not better than prices with sales and double coupons. Plus, at a supermarket we buy a lot of store brand items. Only brand name stuff is at BJ's.
I think if most people would really sit down and figure it out, they probably aren't saving all that much, if anything, by going to the warehouse clubs. But they definitely make you feel like you are due to the atmosphere and bulk buying.
09-07-2005, 07:34 AM
I can't seem to get out of Sam's Club without spending over $100. And when I DO go to the grocery store and have a cart full of food, it surprises me that it's usually much less than $100.
09-07-2005, 10:04 AM
We have had Sam's membership off and on over the past 5 years.
Sometimes we find great deals -- clearance items, things we can portion out and freeze, electronics. Special treats and party goods. And fresh made pizza is a good price.
But for ordinary day to day stuff.. we go to the local grocery store with coupons and rebates I can save a lot more than Sam's.
We got in trouble using a Sam's/Walmart card.. ended up buying more than we should. If we could just use our check card it wouldn't be a problem. I never have cash or checks with me so Sam's is not "cutomer friendly" to me.
09-07-2005, 10:13 AM
We belong to BJ's...but don't really use them for regular grocery shopping. We will go to buy non-food items though. Buying in bulk for those items is usually something of a savings, especially if you have a $1 coupon which the regular stores won't double anyways so why not use it at BJ's? And they are always sending us coupon books also which usually have $1.50 or more coupons that can only be used there. I don't mind having 3 bottles of shampoo or shaving gel because I know it's not going to go bad.
Most regular everyday grocery items aren't any cheaper than the grocery store. Of cours, BJ's is only 5 minutes from my house too, so it's not out of the way or like I have to make a special trip. Just wish the one near us had a gas station too.
09-07-2005, 10:40 AM
I belong to Costco and Sam's, and go to one of them at least once a week. I have found over the years that if you go regularly you figure out what are bargains, and what are not. I originally started going every week for the milk. It is about $1 less per gallon than the grocery stores around here. With 4 kids we go through 6-10 gallons of milk a week, so that is a savings of at least $300 per year. I also buy a lot of frozen chicken breasts, juice boxes (for school lunches), waffles, fruit, etc. Sometimes these are discounted at the grocery store, but I know they are always cheap at Costco or Sam's. In addition, Costco sends out coupon books a few times a year, and they are generally VERY good buys (lots of BOGO). The Costco near me also has gas, which was 25 cents a gallon cheaper last week. I was going to stop my Sam's membership this year, but my oldest, who is in college, asked for a membership for his birthday so he can shop cheaply at school. My DH laughs at my bargain hunting, but being frugal during the year is what allows us to go to WDW, and that's enought motivation for me.
09-07-2005, 10:51 AM
I belong to Costco and at first it was not a great deal because it was just me and my DD (8). Now my DN (21) lives with us too. Generally, I buy bagels (1 doz = $3.49), loaves of bread, individually wrapped foster farms boneless chicken breasts (about 14 breasts for $18.99), juice boxes (100% juice) for $6.99 - I think, 6 hearts of romaine lettuce ($2.49). So some items are a savings - the other stuff I buy at the grocery store. Also, they have movie tickets $5.50 and sometimes DVD, CD's are cheaper. It just depends.
09-07-2005, 11:32 AM
I have both Sams and BJ memberships free through work. I don't do much grocery shopping at either of them, with the exception of milk, some produce, and clearance items.
I get my best deals at Sams on non-food items. Most people don't know this, but clearance items are actually scattered throughout the store. Just look for products ending in .x1 (with Costco, I believe the clearance items end in .97, but it's been awhile since I shopped there). I've gotten phenomenal deals on all kinds of stuff, particularly on clothes at the end of the season. A couple years ago they had fabulous deals on toys after Christmas. Right now alot of garden stuff is marked down.
As with any store, you've got to know your prices and try not to get caught up in the "warehouse mentality". Some things are a good deal, and others decidedly are not.
09-07-2005, 12:31 PM
I think the key to shopping at these stores and savings is being VERY aware of what you are paying at the grocery store. That and knowing what you can use. Also in our case sometimes it's a matter of convenience - or quality.
I buy almost all of my meat at Costco. We have an upright freezer and I find that the quality of the meat for the same price (or less) is MUCH better than our local grocery. Also the boneless/skinless frozen chicken breasts cost much less as well.
I also preferred their store brand canned veggies.... the quality is very good and the price is overall less than the grocery store.
Someone mentioned bagels - we get those as well - as I can't find the less anywhere else. Also buy my doggie biscuits there (we have 3 dogs)
I usually don't buy produce there because we can't go through it all ... and it's usually the same price or higher than the grocery store.. ( the quality however is usually MUCH nicer ... cest la vie..
I do the bulk of my grocery shopping every two weeks... the run is Walmart ( eggs, sour cream, yogurt, some frozen stuff and produce.) put everything into the cooler.. stop at Costco and get meats/cheese/breads. Stuff THAT in the cooler... and stop at the grocery store on the way home for anything I couldn't get at Costco/Walmart.. I really think you can save .. just be practical.
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