Does anyone here shop at Sam's Club? There is one opening here soon & I was just wondering if anyone thinks its worth a membership there. What sort of things do you find good deals on there, if anything. Thanks.
I think it depends on how big a family you have, or how many other people you can shop together with. Or if you are planning on making a major purchase soon. Or if you have a big freezer. It wasn't worthwhile for just DH and me. We just couldn't find enough to buy to justify the fee.
They do have good deals on phone cards, which are nice for saving on toll calls. After you buy one there you can keep reloading the card for 3.9 cents a minute even if you aren't a member anymore. (You call in and buy minutes with a credit card.)
I think it also helps if you are too busy to shop sales and use coupons, and buy the absolute most popular brands of everything. It seems to me the grocery prices might be better than normal prices, but not better than sale prices with coupons. A lot of things you have to buy in large packages. And they may carry something like Ragu sauce, but not the flavor you want.
They will probably send out offers for free trial memberships, so you'll be able to see for yourself whether it's a good deal for you.
I go to BJ's here (similar to Sams) My sister and I got a membershiop together so we only spent $15 each. I don't have a large family (just me and my 2 year old) but I go there for things I use alot of like crackers, bread, diapers, wipes, cheese etc.... My sister and I also split ALOT of things such as toilet paper, paper towels, and other things. Seriously though, If I didn't have my sister to split things with, it wouldn't be worth it for me and end up just being more expensive
We have a membership at Sam's. It's through DH's side business so our annual fee is $35.
Several years ago I was buying quite a bit there because I assumed buying in bulk was cheaper. I started compairison pricing and found if I watch for sales I can usually beat Sam's prices. I've also noticed that their prices are going up some. Some of the better deals I get are on their brand of detergent, tp, bulk cheese, tomato juice, tortillas. They do sell good quality meat here. I like their ground beef, pork chops and boneless skinless chicken breasts. Again, if you watch for sales you can get better meat prices at the supermarket.
One example is, I used to buy bulk pecans from Sams. $8 for a two pound bag about 2 years ago. Then the price went to over $11, last time I was there it was $13.88. I found 1 lb. packages of pecan halves at Safeway on sale for $4/lb.
I don't buy any of their prepackaged snacks or frozen meals. The prices are still more than homemade. I pay the same price at Target for the same bag of cat food. I have heard people get some good deals on office type supplies.
I know the Sams here will let you go in as a visitor to check out the store, I don't know if you can make any purchases though. I might be worth it to go and do some pricing to see if you think you'd get some good deals.
Last of all I don't shop Wal-Mart any more (concerns about their business tactics, imported products, effect on small local businesses etc...) Sams is owned by Wal-Mart so I've been looking for alternatives and shop there much less frequently.
I have had a membership at Sam's for years. I have a list on my computer of the items that I buy regularly from Sam's; as something runs low, I highlight it and every other month or so, print the list and give it to DH who is in charge of Sam's shopping.
Here are most of my regulars from Sams:
Liquid hand soap
Head & Shoulders shampoo
Light Days pads
Cream of Mushroom soup
Chicken noodle soup
Pam cooking spray
There are a few other things that I buy occassionally there but this is my main list. I used to have it in order of the aisles so that I wouldn't have to double back for items I had already passed by but they built a new store and I don't go often enough to order the list. (Besides, DH needs the exercise...)
I really hate running out of things and having to make a trip to the grocery, so I like buying in bulk. As with any other shopping, it helps keep costs down to shop from a list. IMHO.
in my experience, the cheap tp in the stores is only 250-300 sheets per roll or only single ply....last time I checked, sam's was cheaper.
Laundry Soap 40 lb bucket 10.58 it says 160 loads, but I easily get over 300 loads out of it. So it's about $.03 per load.
Garbage bags....(for the not-so-frugal of us who *pay* to throw something away) 300 bags with the handle-tie-thingys are 12.87...sooo......$.04 each. Maybe I shouldn't have figured *that* one out.
I agree that they have good quality meat, although not always the *cheapest*.....but it is comparable, considering the quality. Plus, larger quantity's of meat *are* cheaper. I bought 4 huge roasts that I cut into 4 each & I paid 1.67 per lb when it was 2.19 at the grocery stores. Granted, I had to shell out like $75, though.
Mostly, they have alot of pre-packaged food that I don't usually buy. Once in awhile, I'll get a box of "better" granola bars because it's only $8 or so for a *huge* box, but generally, macaroni & flour & etc are cheaper on SALE at the grocery store. Sometimes, though, I don't have the time to shop the sales, so I know sam's will be reasonable.
Obviously, clothes, socks, towels, computers, dvds, software, nice pots & pans, appliances, etc aren't going to be a reason to pay the $35 per year for a membership *IF* you don't buy these things on a regular basis.
OH! Their film developing is *SUPER* cheap!! Like $3 something for a 24 exp doubles.
If you're not going to save at least $3 a month to shop there, the membership isn't worth it. I do save that much.
I shop at Costco, which is like Sam's Club, but not for everything. My SIL and I tend to split stuff like TP, paper towels, etc. I buy my laundry detergent, fabric softener, and cat litter at Costco, but for most other things I shop at Aldi or my local supermarket. If my SIL and I didn't split things, it wouldn't be worth the annual fee or the 25 mile journey. As such, when I do go to Costco, I make sure that I buy what I need to last me until the next time I go, which is about once every three months.
We used to belong to Sams and used it quite a bit for purchasing food, diapers, electronics, plastics (ziplocs and trash sacks) and when we needed 3 twin sized mattresses they had a good buy. For the most part we bought food there.
It has been a long time since we shopped there, but as I recall their milk was significantly cheaper than the grocery. And when we needed diapers it was our main source. One time I bought a gallon of pancake syrup for very little, but half of it went to waste because we couldn't eat it fast enough.
But it got to where we were only going once or twice a year, and then we also became concerned about the WalMart empire so have let our membership expire.
We have both Sam's and BJ's here. We are members of both (although the BJ's is a freebie right now).
You do have to know your local prices and what items go on sale for at the regular grocery stores to know whether or not you're getting a deal.
What we find to be a good deal at Sam's.......
- maple syrup (although now that we can shop at BJ's, they are a bit cheaper)
- freezer baggies
- trash bags
- compact discs
- contact lens
- tilapia (fish)
- bananas (some parts of the year - sometimes it's cheaper per lb. at a produce stand)
- minced garlic (another one that's cheaper at BJ's now)
- vitamins and supplements
- saline for contacts
- handwashing liquid
- olive oil
- baking cocoa
There's plenty more that's a good deal, but it's not stuff we buy.
Also, if your Sam's is going to have gas pumps that might turn out to be a cheaper option for you as well if you are nearby. Both Sam's and BJ's here are about 5¢/gallon cheaper than the regular stations.
there are some things at sam's that i have found that are cheaper, but there are things that we would be better off buying at the regular grocery store. we usually buy most of our baking goods at sam's, also peanutbutter is cheaper there, milk (powdered & regular),cheese, ragu, pasta,beans,books, dvd's,ice cream, some vitamins & aloe vera juice....that's about all that we have found that we actually save by shopping there.
I use Sam's for over the counter drugs mainly. Their Oscal 500 +D is quite a bit cheaper,vitamens and Musinex . Things like that are a bargin & the main reasoon for my membership. I have had bad luck with their fruit, but meat was good. We also do not shop at Walmart for many reasons and only get the pills at Sam's. cau:smball:
We have a free BJ's membership (again, like Sam's Club) since my BIL works there are gets a few "family" memberships - so DH has one that doesn't expire until 2035. I don't know if the savings are enough that I would pay $35/year for it if I had too.
Thanks for this post - I actually haven't been in about 2 years (ok, for a year of it we were living in CO) and I have in my head a few things that I thought I remembered being cheaper. Here's my list of things that I KNOW were cheaper:
Dishwasher detergent ($4 for a huge bucket - last us 3-4 years)
Ramen Noodles (I used to be a college student and would stock up on breaks) - $2.99/36 ( .09/each - best grocery store sale I've ever seen is $.10)
Cat Litter (this is from before I became brand loyal to Pet Gold Plus)
I'm hoping that chocolate chips, yeast, and nuts are cheaper - but I'll double check before I buy them. We should be going in the next two weeks or so. I have started baking a lot more since I got married, but don't have the room for the huge bags of flour and sugar. I believe that mark-down meat at the grocery store is cheaper.
We have a membership and buy lots of the stuff already mentioned above. I think for most families in our area that it's worth the membership fees. The gas prices alone are worth it for us. Right now gas is .16 cheaper per gallon than we can buy locally.
We have a membership for this year it was a gift to us. I have mixed feelings about Sam's Club really. I do think there are some wonderful deals to be found but I tend to spend more money in one trip to Sams as I do with three or four trips to the regular store KWIM?
I LOVE getting my meats there though, our supermarket prices on meats are SO outragous that I love getting bulk meat at Sams I can make it strech so far.
Overall I think Sams is great as long as you go with a list and stick to it and don't get drawn into the "extras" there.
well i cant tell you about the membership fee cuz i use my moms card when i am homestate side....but i just buy a few things i like there kraft cheese the shakin chesse one ya sprinkle on pasta...instead of buying the small ones at the store i buy two big ones at bj's and they last me 2 years tops! its worth it if you want to buy things in bulk more so if there is something you like a lot of getting it there is soo much cheaper..
I compare grocery prices all the time on everything. And I have found that it is worth it to me to pay the $30 for membership each year, because I save more than that, even when compared to buying generic and/or on sale with coupons at the regular store. On milk, bacon (for DH) and eggs alone, it saves the membership every year. You just have to make sure that what you are buying there is really a better price than you can get elsewhere, and on some items, it's not.
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