What's your opinion on Wholesale Clubs?

United States
May 6, 2008 3:20pm CST
Do you shop at wholesale clubs like Sam's Club, BJ's or Cosco? Do you think they are a money saver or a time waster? We have had a Sam's Club membership for years! We used to only go on weekends and walk around for the free samples, we called it "going out to lunch". Rarely would we buy anything. However I began to see their meat prices were much lower, and figured even though it's more than I'll use in a single dinner, I could freeze what I don't use and have some saved for a rainy day. Now I shop at Sam's Club weekly and spend about $100. Instead of freezing the meat for a rainy day, I make it all that week. I'll buy one pork roast and it will give us 3 or 4 dinners for only $15. Sam's Club also has great gas prices! What are your opinions of these wholesale clubs?
4 people like this
13 responses
• United States
6 May 08
it was good at one time,but i don't think i'll be renewing my bj's club this time.i paid for a renewal for myself and my brother last august,they kicked him off early,and now they're telling me mine expires the end of this month,when it's supposed to be august! they had been steadily raising their prices anyway to where it's not the deal it was. i wish we had some other clubs out here too,instead of just the one.
• United States
6 May 08
That is a shame! When my Sam's Club was about to expire I looked around the local BJ's, but I didn't like it much. They carried more items, but I think they were a bit more expensive. I'm sorry you don't have a Sam's near you, I really like them.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 08
tucson had a sam's when i lived there,and you know,i really liked the store.you could even walk in if you weren't a member and buy a small amount of stuff. that's what i'm hoping for-give ol' bj's some competition.
• United States
6 May 08
As a non-member here you can go in and look around, but they don't let you buy anything without a membership. Usually around the holidays they offer a special or a free trial, but BJ's does this as well.
• United States
13 May 08
We do most of our shopping at Costco and I think it saves us a ton. At first my Hubby didnt like it because I had to buy so much of one item but after we got a stand alone freezer our Costco membership has become priceless. We have the $100 membership that gives us a 2% return on all the things we buy in the form of a gift certificate to Costco and we use it to pay for our membership so it has been free for us for years.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 May 08
Those chest freezers are awesome. I don't know how I ever lived without one. That's awesome that you can get your membership for free that way, I wish Sam's club worked like that. Unfortunatly we have no Costco here.
@sisterjinx (1136)
• United States
6 May 08
It's so funny that you said this about "going to lunch". We used to go to Sam's Club all the time and my kids called it "going to lunch" too. It was their favorite shopping trip of the month. I agree that buying in bulk can be more cost effective. We had a store in the area we lived before that sold bulk meat packages once a month. I used to buy a little every month. I would then go home, separate everything into freezer bags and put it all into our big freezer for later use. It saved us loads of money and made cooking just that much easier.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 08
My toddler still considers it going to lunch, LOL. But usually it's just me and the babies now, we don't go as a whole family. That may change once I get my own vehicle.
• United States
6 May 08
Our Sam's Club doesn't have gas and some of the produce prices are more expensive than the grocery store I go to. But, overall, I'm glad I have a Sam's Club membership. I resisted for years getting a club membership because it's pretty much just me at home. But, when I started to need to eat a lot of vegetables, I started to go there. I get great deals on frozen veggies, meats, and spinach there. I also get oatmeal and salad dressing there. I used to get a lot more until I found a grocery store with great prices on a lot of other things.
• United States
6 May 08
Oh, I'm not saying all their prices are better. I do half my shopping each week at a grocery store as well because some things are cheaper there. But for the amount I buy, shopping at the wholesale club usually works out at least a little cheaper.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
6 May 08
we did belong to costco, but havent gone there for a couple of years. we dont have a very large family, so there is really not much need for us to buy in large quantites. for our meat, we go to a butcher and the prices are very good and for our groceries, we go to a cheap store, so we are doing ok without the big wholesale stores.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 08
We don't have a butcher near by, I wonder what the price difference would be. I am sure a wholesale club would not be worthwhile for a small family. I feed an army of 7 though, LOL, so for me wholesale shopping is a must!
@shymurl (2767)
• United States
6 May 08
I wish there was one close by. When I lived in Colorado, we would always shop at Sams Club. We could shop there one time in a month and have enough stuff to last us for that month. Unfortunately where we live at in Mississippi there isn't a wholesale club close by.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 08
That is too bad. I actually drive 45 minutes to my Sam's Club. We have a BJ's nearby, but I don't like it and I think their prices are higher. I have been with Sam's Club for years and like them more.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
7 May 08
Hi There, I actually have a membership at costco and we go there quite often. I do find it is a money saving place to go even if the bill is usually quite larege when you are there. The stuff which is bought however tends to last forever....this makes it such a good investment. cheers,
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
7 May 08
I don't generally shop at places like this. I used to have a membership to a cash and carry place, but I found that it wasn't much cheaper by the time I had added on the VAT. The only time it was helpful was if I really was catering for large numbers. I do agree that the meat they sold was cheaper than in the supermarket, but I don't eat allot of meat so I would rarely buy it even though it was a bargain.
@bdugas (3581)
• United States
7 May 08
i also have a Sam membership, I used to go often to shop there , they had a few items in cleaning and groceries I liked. I did not have a use to buy in bulk as there is just 2 of us and we have no place to store the extra. I find they are high on some things though. I have never bought their meat, soem of their frozen things I like.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
7 May 08
We have a Sam's Club membership as well. We will use it but we do check to make sure we are getting good value for our money. Many things are priced well there but you do have to check. Sometimes it's not such a good deal but I find that is rare. We go once a month usually and get at least a hundred dollars worth if not closer to two. We have also bought the meat there and have gotten some great pork chops and steaks. We get a roast and have it cut up for us. It saves us lot of money but those are treats for us, not something we get all the time.
@Cocoa33 (921)
• United States
6 May 08
i think they are a money saver. they cut down on the trips you have to go to the store to buy things. you can use the extra money for other things.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 May 08
In this economy wiht the high cost of gas and the rising cost of foods, I thiknk whoesale clubs are great! You may have ot buy in bulk and re-package meats, etc..for the size of your family for meals? But it's worth the cost and I highly suggest them!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 08
Most everything you buy there you can find elsewhere for less or equal the price. When you add in the cost of membership you would really have to utilize it a lot to get your money back. I think it's worth it for large ticket items such as tires, electronics, etc. and then use it for regular stuff like food etc., but unless you're going to really and truly save a lot I think it's worthless. I love going there but I'm not so sure I'm being "frugal" by doing it. I tend to buy more of stuff I really don't need and will often go ahead and buy something at a "reasonable" price brand name as opposed going elsewhere and getting off brand for less.
• United States
13 May 08
Most memberships hardly cost very much, my current membership at Sam's is $40 a year, we could waste that plus more on fast food each week! While I agree that not everything is cheaper, there are many things that are. Meats are usually a lot cheaper than at a regular grocery store, and for my family, that alone is worth it. Then, if you go early in the morning, many of the meats are marked down to sell them faster, so you save even more. Many wholesale clubs are now carrying generic versions of items, which also helps save. Also, the clubs that offer gas savings make it worth while with the cost going up so much. When I get gas at Sam's club, I usually save at least 10 cents a gallon compaired to regular gas stations. As other's have mentioned, wholesale clubs may not be worthwhile for small families, but for larger ones like mine, they're a must have!