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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Value of Warehouse Clubs

I have to say there can be a definite value to becoming a member of warehouse clubs whether it is Sam’s Club or Costco. I am a member of both, though I will probably not be renewing my Sam’s Club membership in May, since as a new member of Costco I am realizing it is pretty much the same store. The values to these clubs are in the bulk purchases that are known to be consumed heavily throughout the year. One instance of this purchase would be the Iam’s dog food for large breed dogs. I usually buy this food at my local Meijer store for about twenty dollars for seventeen and a half pound bag. I have to buy these bags every three to four weeks and this can be a hefty price tag within a year. The forty eight pound bag at Costco will regularly run about $39 or .81 per pound as opposed to the $1.14 per pound when I shop at the grocery store. In addition to this, Costco will occasionally run a $10 off coupon for the 48 pound bag.

The other key attribute to both of these clubs is that they make really good cakes that most grocery stores cannot compete with when it comes to price or taste. Only a bakery could rival such cakes, and good luck trying to find a bakery in this day and age. I have ordered three cakes from Sam’s Club and every one of them has been outstanding. The service I received however leaves a lot to be desired. There were two instances when the bakery department screwed up my order and I had to come back later than the designated time to pick up my cake. I have also tasted a Costco cake and they seem to be as good as the Sam’s.

Besides dog food and birthday cakes, the real reason I like to purchase at these clubs is to get the large volume items such as meats, cheeses, and juice that our family of five seems to pour through on a weekly basis. If I see unit pricing to be of no advantage, I do not make the purchase. You simply cannot go into a warehouse club with the expectation that you will tackle every item on your shopping list. If you attempt this, you will either go broke or run out of pantry space in a hurry. However, I do think the $55 gold membership to Costco does pay for itself in about three to four shopping visits with cost savings realized with dog food, bulk meats, and snack purchases.

The other great value of warehouse clubs such as Costco is the quality food court offerings. I usually run far and fast from mall food courts because they don't seem too clean or have very good quality eats. The Costco food court is so different as they seem to offer up really tasty food at unbelievable prices.I mentioned a few posts back about the great hot dog deal available at Costco. Not only is the quarter pound hot dog truly delectable, but the carryout pizza also is a winner at a paltry $9.95.

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