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Memberships to warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club are often hawked as a great way to save money. Buying in bulk is cheaper per unit, right? I have always had my doubts, but what proof did I have to back that up? So, when a new Sam’s club opened near me, The Big Guy and I decided to purchase a membership for $45 and receive a $20 gift card back, essentially making the membership cost us $25 for the entire year. Now that we have shopped at Sam’s Club for for several months, I am starting to see how easy it is to overspend – like I talked about in January Budget Update – but assuming I can keep my spending under control, is there actually a cost savings compared to my local non-club stores? If there is a savings, is it worth the annual $45 membership fee?
To find out whether or not my Sam’s Club Membership is worth is I have broken down the cost of commonly purchased items at Aldi and Sam’s Club:
SAM’S CLUB: $175.20
Aldi is the clear leader but bear in mind, Aldi does not carry some products that I use, so I still purchase them at Sam’s or Walmart. Things like CLIF bars are twice as expensive at Walmart as they are at Sam’s Club, so that $10 saved every three months almost pays for my Sam’s Club Membership.
Besides groceries, there are other things to consider. Sam’s Club provides discounts on prescriptions, tires, mattresses, and a whole host of home goods. From what I have seen, they have pretty good prices on these things – and obviously ALDI doesn’t carry those them.
I think I am going to keep my Sam’s membership. I am almost breaking even on the CLIF bars alone, so as long as I keep in mind that groceries generally are not cheaper at Sam’s Club, I will be all right. I will probably continue to shop for home goods there too, but I will make sure to shop around!
How do you combat the overspending? Do you have a warehouse club membership? Do you feel its worth it?
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