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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Worth The Cost

We are always looking for ways to save a few pennies and when our Costco membership fees became due again, we thought we'd save a few bucks and just not renew. We love Costco, but rarely buy anything beyond basic food items(and batteries!).

After just two shopping trips without going to Costco, we see we really do save there.

I often see posts on the web or articles in magazines or money saving books on how memberships in such clubs are often not as good a deal as they seem. I have to disagree 100%. I am sure it depends on what you're buying, but here is what we often buy, that is close to half the price of regular stores. Yes the amounts are large, but we are feeding three growing boys(two of them teens or nearing teen hood!) and a hard working husband, so the portions are good for us.

Cheese- all kinds
batteries-seriously can't find a better deal anywhere else
cream cheese
sour cream
turkey bacon
ground turkey
quality bread(we actually don't buy this much, we make our own, but if you do buy bread, this is a good deal. Could do better with an outlet if you have one nearby, which we don't)
printer ink-again something we don't buy here much as with our current printer(a Kodak) the ink is inexpensive anywhere. With past printers, this was a HUGE savings!
cooking oil
small bottled water- our well water isn't drinkable, so we buy alot of this!
peanut butter

As you can see, we don't buy a large amount of items, so we really thought we didn't need to renew our membership. WRONG! Just two of our bi-weekly shopping trips shows that the savings are big enough that just 2-4 trips the card would pay for itself($50.00)

They do have an executive membership that is $100.00, and at the end of the year you get a refund check based on the amount of purchases you made. When we were just buying whatever we wanted, like movies and books, clothing and such(these are all VERY good deals here, just not things we can afford to regularly buy anymore) we got checks for $100+ dollars. More than paid for the cost of membership plus some extra. Now that we shop a bit more frugally, the cost is not justifiable at all for us.

Whether a membership to a club like Sam's or Costco is worth it for you and your family, really depends on what you buy on a regular basis. For us with the purchases mentioned above, it is very much worth it. I have learned that I will always make sure I have my membership fees set aside each year for now on. I have already spent half of those in just two trips of shopping elsewhere.

The only warning I have is to have a set plan of what you intend to buy and you have to be strong to be able to pass up some of the other great deals on items you may find but don't really need. If not, you will not be saving anything at all.

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