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OT: How do you feel about wholesale club shopping (Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, etc)?


Forum: September 2013 Playroom

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  • 1 Post By Babybear4

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  #1  
April 21st, 2013, 10:09 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I've wondered if it would be worth it for us for a little while. We got a trial membership card for BJ's in the mail the other day, too.

My mom has a Costco membership, uses it all the time and has for years. Between my brother and I and my stepsisters, we had a large family family (five kids) so the larger sizes worked out really well, and they still do a lot of shopping there now that we've all moved out.

Do you have one? Do you find it's worth it? Do you do ALL of your shopping there, or just go every so often and go to a regular supermarket for most things? Do you have experience with more than one store and if so, which one do you like best?
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  #2  
April 21st, 2013, 10:19 AM
Destiny
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I don't live close enough to one to have a membership, but I'm a big believer in buying in bulk to save money.
I buy certain things in bulk and shop sales at the supermarket (especially for perishables). I feel that we eat fairly well for how limited our budget tends to be.
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  #3  
April 21st, 2013, 11:15 AM
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We get most of our fruit and veggies at Costco. We also get bulk chicken and ground turkey there. I would say we save money on the meat but probably spend a bit more on the fruit.

We plan a weekly menu around the meat and veggies we get at Costco but I wouldn't say it saves us money. Sometimes, we spend more. If we bought bulk things like beans and rice and really planned a menu around all of that, we would save for sure but I don't.
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  #4  
April 21st, 2013, 01:45 PM
beckiethedoula's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We buy non perishables in bulk at Costco. Canned good we use occasionally, too. Oh and all our paper goods, like toilet paper and paper towels and printer paper. We get berries too. Some toiletries too. Bulk Tylenol and Advil. Claritin for Alex the Asthmatic. And other random stuff... We do one- two Costco runs a month and the rest of the time we shop local. It's TOTALLY worth it for us.
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  #5  
April 21st, 2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckiethedoula View Post
We buy non perishables in bulk at Costco. Canned good we use occasionally, too. Oh and all our paper goods, like toilet paper and paper towels and printer paper. We get berries too. Some toiletries too. Bulk Tylenol and Advil. Claritin for Alex the Asthmatic. And other random stuff... We do one- two Costco runs a month and the rest of the time we shop local. It's TOTALLY worth it for us.
Ugh, how did I forget about that stuff?! Yes, we get our paper products, bags (trash and ziploc), laundry detergent and baby wipes. Their generic medications are usually MUCH cheaper than elsewhere and the detergents are usually a really good deal, too. And kids' clothes. They usually have 3-4 piece Carter's outfits or fleece sleepers for $7.99-$10.99.

ETA: We also get our Costco membership for free, since it is through Tavo's dad's business, so it is MORE than worth it for us.
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  #6  
April 21st, 2013, 06:26 PM
mirdeemrlvs's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Do you have one? We have a Costco membership.

Do you find it's worth it? Yes. I think so. We have a Costco gas station too. I like that Costco picks the "best of the best" items, so you don't have to sift through a lot of stuff to find what is good. Most of their stuff is good.

Do you do ALL of your shopping there, or just go every so often and go to a regular supermarket for most things? Every so often. There are things that I find at Costco that I really like that you can't get anywhere else, or things that the whole family likes and it's easier to just buy it in bulk.

Do you have experience with more than one store and if so, which one do you like best? We only have the costco in our area.

Before we had a large family, I did not see the purpose in buying such large quantities of stuff- now I see alot different. Costco has great papertowels and toilet paper. I don't buy papertowels anywhere else and tp only when I have to. They have a great snack bar too where you can get a huge hot dog and soda for 1.50. They haven't changed their prices in forever.
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Last edited by mirdeemrlvs; April 21st, 2013 at 06:28 PM.
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  #7  
April 21st, 2013, 06:57 PM
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I think it depends on what you buy. For our family, our local wholesale club does not have most of the food brands that we use. We don't use paper towels or napkins, disposable diapers, etc. They don't carry most of the brands of cleaning supplies, bathing products, laundry detergent, etc that we use, or even anything similar. For our family, it isn't worth it. Really, the only thing we'd buy there semi-regularly would be toilet paper. LOL

I have friends that use wholesale clubs to buy pretty much everything and they swear it saves them a ton of money.
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  #8  
April 22nd, 2013, 07:11 AM
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I buy some things there but not everything. I do paper goods and laundry detergent and I do a lot of my SO snacks there because its way cheaper than him buying from the vending machine. Once we move and I have my deep freeze again I will buy even more. I do love their pork loin. I get like a 10+lb one and cut it into chops and rewrap it. I save a lot doing that for my families dinners
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  #9  
April 22nd, 2013, 07:25 AM
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The only things I find to be cheaper there are cheese and meat....
everything else is the same or more expensive.

I feel like at costco you pay for the priviledge of buying in large quantities.

Maybe its b/c i buy tagret brand eveyrthing instead of name brand....so target brand granola bars, if i buy 60 of them, work out to be cheaper than 60 quaker brand box they sell at costco.

carters stuff is wayyy cheaper at Kohl's when they have a sale and 20% off coupons etc....

i don't like the costco wipes or diapers. they are similar to huggies.
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  #10  
April 22nd, 2013, 07:43 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I think we will end up giving it a try - likely not until we move because we just don't have the storage space right now to accommodate it - but it sounds like it would probably be a positive thing for us. Paper products, medicine, cleaning products, etc. are SO expensive at our grocery store it's ridiculous and I already buy larger quantities of meat, butcher or portion it and then refreeze it when there are good sales on, so having a better avenue to do that would serve us well. We cook with beans and rice fairly often too, and if I can find a better deal on quinoa somewhere I would be thrilled (I LOVE quinoa and use it often but it does run expensive at the grocery store).

We're planning to CD, so we really won't need to consider their diapers but access to a better variety of laundry detergents would be heavenly.

So produce runs about the same as the grocery store? We would prefer to buy from a farmer's market (we're still searching for one that's within reasonable distance, but it's hard to do when you're not totally sure where you're going to end up so that probably won't be decided until after we move) but I was curious about the price and quality of produce at wholesale stores too (since our grocery store kind of sucks when it comes to both selection and quality, and usually price).
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  #11  
April 22nd, 2013, 09:17 AM
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When I knew I was becoming a stay at home mom we started a serious price comparison misson. We checked costco, amazon bulk, our regular stores and one called azure standard. What we found was that even with the membership cost, you couldn't beat Costco's prices on organic free range meat, or their bulk cheese. Ours also had great organic canned tomato price. Amazon had the beat organic wheat pasta price, and then with everything else bulk we used azure standard.

Look it up, it is a wholesale co- op. You buy online, but there has to be at least 500 dollars worth of products before they deliver to one location near you. I got lucky that we had a drop off spot already established with a good amount of people that I could order the first month I tried. Especially if you want bulk organic I really recommend it.

Other than that, we do a CSA box ( look at localharvest.org) for most of our produce. We have a freezer full of bison that we bought in bulk for a great price. We also try to hit our local farmer's market once a week, and use sprouts for everything else.
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  #12  
April 22nd, 2013, 09:43 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
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We have a Costco membership and use it for things like paper products, toiletries, juices for the boys (they go through them like crazy), snacks, bread (we get the two loaves....freeze one and use the other). That's about it though. I go to the regular grocery store for meats, veggies, fruits, etc.
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  #13  
April 22nd, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
So produce runs about the same as the grocery store? We would prefer to buy from a farmer's market (we're still searching for one that's within reasonable distance, but it's hard to do when you're not totally sure where you're going to end up so that probably won't be decided until after we move) but I was curious about the price and quality of produce at wholesale stores too (since our grocery store kind of sucks when it comes to both selection and quality, and usually price).
I would say it's comparable. Blueberries get expensive anywhere but they are about $8.99 for the large clamshell at costco, whereas they are about $5.99 for the tiny one at our regular grocery store. They also have a 2 pack of 1 QT. Odwalla juice, which is my favorite right now, for $5.50 or so, where they would be $3 EACH for the small ones, so that saves us. We get a large bag of asparagus that lasts us quite a while for ~$4, a 4 pack of LARGE artichokes is around $5, a large container of organic mixed greens was around $4, 6 lbs of pears is around $7-$8, 5.5 lbs of apples is about the same. The Costco here also has that San Pellegrino sparkling juice drink you were talking about for $14.99 for a 12 pack.

ETA: I am sure prices vary depending on the area you live but they didn't change from the Costco we had back at home compared to the one where we live now.
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  #14  
April 22nd, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Milk is way cheaper at Sams also
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  #15  
April 22nd, 2013, 04:06 PM
bevyvuska's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We have had a Costco memebership for a long time. They have a lot of things now that you may not expect. They have expanded their natural & organic selections. We buy our Ecos laundry detergent there. It works great, especially for sensitive skin like my hubby & is $13 for what would cost me $20 at the store. I also get their grain free dog food for $28 for a 30lb bag. So do have to watch though, not everything is a great deal. Some things it is better to just get at the regular store when you need it. With our son, I couldn't breastfeed after 3 months, so we tried their infant formula & he loved it & did great on it. So for all those baby things they are great also. Wipes, diapers, toiletries. Bread is a fabulous deal there if you go through a lot. I tend to freeze 1 loaf of the 2 pack you buy.

I'd say it's woth it. We also got season passes to the local amusement park for $20 less each than buying them through the park.
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  #16  
April 22nd, 2013, 10:27 PM
Happy Song's Avatar Nicole
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I live really close to an Indian store and it is underwritten by two casinos so my local store has some great loss leader sales. salarIed I hit there sales right they can be cheaper than Costco on most items. But there are things I prefer to buy at Costco... parmesan cheese, bacon bits, olive oil, cheese, antihistamines, sugar, spices... meat prices are lower than the grocery store regular price but there sales are lower than Costco and the c clearance meat is a good deal.

But the one thing that pays for my $35 Costco membership is picture printing... it is like 1/3 the cost of Wal-Mart.
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  #17  
April 23rd, 2013, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babybear4 View Post
Ugh, how did I forget about that stuff?! Yes, we get our paper products, bags (trash and ziploc), laundry detergent and baby wipes. Their generic medications are usually MUCH cheaper than elsewhere and the detergents are usually a really good deal, too. And kids' clothes. They usually have 3-4 piece Carter's outfits or fleece sleepers for $7.99-$10.99.

ETA: We also get our Costco membership for free, since it is through Tavo's dad's business, so it is MORE than worth it for us.
Totally OT: I have never met anyone else who knows a Tavo-that is my uncles name!! Crazyness.

Anyways-Costco is where we go for a lot of paper products and certain cleaning ones and also teir diaper wipes. We get non-perishables foods there and meat. But we shop locally for things they don't have (like my Jif PB) and things that die quickly like green onions and stuff. Its also great for when you have a party planned. I have noticed though that alocal store called Cash N Carry has bulk items as well and their prices are better. We get a lot of spices there because they are onlya couple bucks. I find that for things you know you use a lot of or things that you use regularly that last a long time its a good price at costco esp when you factor in the gas money you save not going shopping more often, but you do have to watch it. Like diapers, they cost the same or less per diaper (for Huggies anyways) at BiMart which is like 2 mins from my house. But when they have their $6 coupon at costco we get the diapers there.
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  #18  
April 23rd, 2013, 08:57 AM
MyFantasticFour's Avatar Mommy of 4
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We got the trial one and we want to use it but overall, DH doesn't feel it will save us as much.
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