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scruffy nerf herder
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4,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have never been a member of one of these discount clubs. Are they worth it or not?

Right now my company is paying $15 off the price of a Sam's Club membership, so to me it would be like... $25. Is it really worth it? Im not opposed to buying a 2lb can of peanut butter or a 10lb bag of chicken... but Im trying to figure out how many things I need to buy to make up that $25 savings....

So, is it worth it?

Or is Costco better....

Make your answer quick... the offer ends in 45 minutes...
 

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here comes trouble
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10,045 Posts
I dunno anything about Costco, but we have a discounted Sam's membership and shop there weekly. And not everything is sold in bulk, FWIW.



(I still have no idea what FWIW means)
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
funknuggets said:
I have never been a member of one of these discount clubs. Are they worth it or not?

Right now my company is paying $15 off the price of a Sam's Club membership, so to me it would be like... $25. Is it really worth it? Im not opposed to buying a 2lb can of peanut butter or a 10lb bag of chicken... but Im trying to figure out how many things I need to buy to make up that $25 savings....

So, is it worth it?

Or is Costco better....

Make your answer quick... the offer ends in 45 minutes...
I like Costco better--higher quality stuff, but they are similar. I sometimes wonder if I'd be better off just buying stuff at Safeway, but there are certain items there that are super cheap. Stuff like protein powder, gas, meat, coffee, TP, paper towels, party supplies. If you BBQ a lot or throw parties you'll find it pays for itself. Give it a try...I know Costco offers a ful refund if not satisfied so what you have to lose? Everytime I go there it's a +$400 hit though. Make sure you have another fridge/freezer to store stuff.
 

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Non non normal
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10,086 Posts
I joined Costco so I could buy a big screen. You can take it back without a hassle if you don't like it.

I have found that I save more on the grocery bill by going to Save a Lot and buying staples such as canned beans, tomato sauce, etc., fruit, lunchmeat and hotdogs. I avoid the processed and frozen aisle and the fresh meat dept except for the hamburger.

I go to the upscale store for cheeses, spices, yogurt, etc.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
bigrider said:
I joined Costco so I could buy a big screen. You can take it back without a hassle if you don't like it.

I have found that I save more on the grocery bill by going to Save a Lot and buying staples such as canned beans, tomato sauce, etc., fruit, lunchmeat and hotdogs. I avoid the processed and frozen aisle and the fresh meat dept except for the hamburger.

I go to the upscale store for cheeses, spices, yogurt, etc.
we buy the mongo-sized bags of mozz cheese at Costco for pizzas--divide them into quart sized freezer bags and freeze em...pull one out when making pizza. Super cheap.

//they take ANYTHING back which is a plus. Recently they tightened their policy on returns for electronic stuff...limited time period now. I knew a guy who bought a computer there and when it got all messed up he brought it back and they refunded his money and he bought the new model.
 

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Gronk SMASH!
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1,973 Posts
Costco is great. Great meat dept. Great wine dept. Decent deals on electronics. Liquor section expands regularly. I like Costco a lot.
Don't know from Sam's Club, but I bet it's similar
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
jptaylorsg said:
Costco is great. Great meat dept. Great wine dept. Decent deals on electronics. Liquor section expands regularly. I like Costco a lot.
Don't know from Sam's Club, but I bet it's similar
That's one thing that sucks about CO Costcos--the blue laws here prevent them from selling anything other than 3.2% beer which as everyone knows is not beer. Would love to be able to buy cases of Ravenswood Zin at a discount.
 

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Still On Steel
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2,391 Posts
Worth it, but watch it.

We have only Sam's Club here. I wish we had Costco as well. I've been in Costco with other people, and my impression is indeed that they're better overall. That said, my parents regularly shop at both, and tell me that both stores have their pluses.

One thing to be wary of: never assume Sam's Club will have the best price just because of their marketing model and packaging. I have noticed MANY items that have lower unit costs at Wal-Mart than at Sam's Club.
 

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Soon to be banned
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14,475 Posts
funknuggets said:
I have never been a member of one of these discount clubs. Are they worth it or not?

Right now my company is paying $15 off the price of a Sam's Club membership, so to me it would be like... $25. Is it really worth it? Im not opposed to buying a 2lb can of peanut butter or a 10lb bag of chicken... but Im trying to figure out how many things I need to buy to make up that $25 savings....

So, is it worth it?

Or is Costco better....

Make your answer quick... the offer ends in 45 minutes...
Sorry bro, but Sam's is Wal-Mart. Don't do it.

I never understood the idea behind paying someone a $40 club membership in order shop there. Sure, there are some benefits, but I checked the prices at my local Costco and I beat them regularly at my local grocery store.

Now if you have a family of 6 or more then sure bulk is where it's at.

Wal-Mart is a blight on our society. Just say NO!
 

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Cat 6
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4,695 Posts
The quality of literally everything at Costco is MUCH better than Sam's. You can walk into a Costco and pretty much buy anything and be confident that a) it's a quality item (including all their food) and b) it's a good deal. Their return policy is awesome as well...it's even 6 months no questions asked on computers! I spend way too much money at Costco...I really should invest in them.

And related...when I first joined I was VERY skeptical about whether I'd ever use it. Now I buy all my fruit/veggies from them which easily pays the membership. Any single large purchase such as a tv will pay the membership instantly.

And they make the best homemade granola/crackola ever...I'm convinced it's some lethal cocktail of nuts, crack, raisins, heroin and granola.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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21,050 Posts
chiming in late (sorry).

i've been a sam's member since we had a sam's. costco came along later. i was also a costco (free trial) member, and found that they were pretty much the same imo.

i'm still a sam's member and buy stuff in bulk regularly.
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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4,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
thank you for not telling us what you buy in bulk. It would probably frighten the children, or the Feds...
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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3,156 Posts
Costco is fantastic. The customer service is great, and they pay their people enough and provide benefits so it seems like people like working there. They even get grief from some (wall street) for being too employee centered. But if you ask me it's just good business. We have one close to us, so I even buy gas and milk there.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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13,467 Posts
We don't get ANY beer at our Costco's or similar places. That said, if you get a good deal on a membership, it's definately worth it IMHO. we belong to both Costco and BJ's wholesale club. BJ's has a great deli section and decent prices on produce, seafood (Costco as well) and TV's, digicams, DVD's, etc. We do most of our shopping there.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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4,232 Posts
I'm a member at BJ's (we don't have Costco here), and I believe my membership was $40 without any matching funds.

I buy most of my gas at BJ's (price varies, but is 5-20 cents cheaper than anyplace else), propane for the grill, tires for the car, 35-packs of bottled water, and 2lb+ packages of fresh ground beef. Sometimes they have Snapple in a case, and some of their computer stuff is cheap. Oh, 28-bottle cases of Labatts are a very good price as well...

Otherwise, most packages are too big (how can 2 people eat 5 lb of cereal??), the furniture is cheap but ugly, the 5 gallon pails of olive oil are made for restaurants or armies, and other things are similarly too big.

Several years ago, I was a Sam's club member, but found that they were even worse in the giant-sized packs they sell. Unless you have a family of 8 or a small restaurant to supply, it probably isn't worth it. Unless they have a convenient gas station.....
 

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remodeling...me
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4,177 Posts
I know it's to late for the orig request but thought I would an another 2 cents anyway.
We shop at Sam's as others have said I can sometimes find things on sale cheaper elsewhere by watching the flyers, however there are staples we buy at Sam's with a decent discount. Maple Syrup, Honey, lunchmeat, and cheeses, as well as water. Tires and electronics are well priced there too. In addition we watch for last item and open box items to purchase and do well on those. Vitamins and soap and toothpaste etc.
When the membership really pays off however, is around Christmas. With 11 neices and nephews on my side and 8 on his and friends etc. We have found Sam's is a great place to save a lot on gifts.
 

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Banned
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6,360 Posts
Yes to Costco, no to Sam's Club (warning: Rant inside)

I'm a Costco member, and it pays off for us, though the margin is narrower now that the kids have moved out. We make back the membership fee on things like tires and the occasional large purchase. If all we bought were groceries, it probably wouldn't work.
. I've been in Sam's Club only a few times, but my impression, too, is that quality and selection are sacrificed for low prices. I'm lucky to be in a position where I don't have to sweat an extra few dollars now and then, and I didn't see anything at Sam's that would bring me back.
If this matters to you (and why wouldn't it?), Costco has an excellent record of treating employees well, providing benefits and a fair wage. Sam's Club is the bargain basement for WalMart, with all that implies about whips, chains and morale-boosting fight songs.
 

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Registered
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This is a late reply, as I am sure the offer has expired by now. Hopefully, you passed on it...

I worked at Sam's for two Holiday seasons while I was working in banking, and getting paid pennies. This is the Sam's way. This is the Wal-Mart way. It's fast becoming the global way as NAFTA has opened the pandora's box to cheap merchandise and low wages.

I am vehemently opposed to the idea of paying a membership to buy MORE of something. It could be the greatest scam ever perpetrated in retail merchandising. And that's a long, dubious list. Think "PET ROCK"....

I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of this underground, Tijuana-San Diego tunnel.... This economy is propped up by the continue expansion of the average household's income, and at some point, the haves and have-nots are going to become so far apart, with such a small group in the middle, that it grinds to a halt. To the wealthy end, the party never ends. To the Joe and Jane Smith, who depended on middle-class income and middle-class lifestyle (of which I belong to, proudly), the ship is about to run aground. With Wal-Mart attempting a foray into banking, and the rural community's willingness to adopt all things "Walton", more jobs will be lost. This time, it will be the hometown bankers, the analysts, the jobs that we have watch evolve, as the old-line manufacturing jobs have been shipped off to Singapore and Bangladesh.

And to think: All you wanted to know was to buy a discounted membership or not!! And you got all the above instead! Man, sometimes one can find value if one knows where to look!!
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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21,050 Posts
ashpelham said:
This is a late reply, as I am sure the offer has expired by now. Hopefully, you passed on it...

I worked at Sam's for two Holiday seasons while I was working in banking, and getting paid pennies. This is the Sam's way. This is the Wal-Mart way. It's fast becoming the global way as NAFTA has opened the pandora's box to cheap merchandise and low wages.

I am vehemently opposed to the idea of paying a membership to buy MORE of something. It could be the greatest scam ever perpetrated in retail merchandising. And that's a long, dubious list. Think "PET ROCK"....

I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of this underground, Tijuana-San Diego tunnel.... This economy is propped up by the continue expansion of the average household's income, and at some point, the haves and have-nots are going to become so far apart, with such a small group in the middle, that it grinds to a halt. To the wealthy end, the party never ends. To the Joe and Jane Smith, who depended on middle-class income and middle-class lifestyle (of which I belong to, proudly), the ship is about to run aground. With Wal-Mart attempting a foray into banking, and the rural community's willingness to adopt all things "Walton", more jobs will be lost. This time, it will be the hometown bankers, the analysts, the jobs that we have watch evolve, as the old-line manufacturing jobs have been shipped off to Singapore and Bangladesh.

And to think: All you wanted to know was to buy a discounted membership or not!! And you got all the above instead! Man, sometimes one can find value if one knows where to look!!

whoa trip out dude that's like totally deep and stuff. :)
 
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