And Why I Don’t Buy Anything Else
My husband and I have a joint membership at our local Sam’s Club Warehouse and every other month we use that membership to buy from Sam’s Club only five (5) things.
That membership costs us approximately $45 per year. That equates to about $3.75 cost per month, or since we go just about every other month (6 times per year) it costs us $7.50 per trip in order to shop at Sam’s.
You may have a different big box Warehouse store near you and my point in sharing all of this with you is that the 5 things we ONLY buy from Sam’s club today is to SAVE me and you (if you follow my rationale) MONEY!! That’s it.
After reading this, I challenge to see how you can maximize or even use a warehouse shopping membership to your advantage.
My family mostly shops at Aldi for all of our grocery needs. Thank God for Aldi and people who started that business. We love getting good quality groceries from there for many reasons at affordable prices, but this post is not about Aldi, even though I love it!
We shop weekly for our main foods at Aldi, and every other month I make a trip (because its a little further out) to Sam’s Club to buy the things we must have and use in our home daily. For us, every other month is what it takes to restock these items in our home, for you and your family that frequency may be different. This is just what works for us.
But again I encourage you to find a way to make this added extra savings work in your favor! Here are the 5 Things I buy from Sam’s Club.
That’s right!! Paper towels! Did you think it was going to be something else maybe more fun or exciting? I’m sorry to disappoint but, nope, just the Members Mark brand of paper towels.
A package of 15 large and great quality towels cost around $17.50. At your local Walmart, the same size rolls for about the same price (or more $18.97) you get ONLY 8 rolls. What?! That’s crazy.
Now, Walmart is all about low prices, and that’s great, Walmart has some great goods and finds for cheap or immediate delivery/pickup. But, they aren’t ALWAYS the lowest. Even if they are co-owned and operated by Sam’s Club, they just aren’t cutting it when it comes to value, quality, and cost on paper towels.
And for that matter, practically anywhere else you look, CVS, Walgreens, and all major grocery stores, the bulk amount you get for the price just doesn’t make sense. It’s not really “bulk” pricing and value if you ask me. It’s just their marketing that it is to you the consumer.
2. Toliet Paper
This one should be a no-brainer, especially after #1. These two just go hand in hand for me.These two just go hand in hand for me. If I’m buying one, I’m probably going to be buying the other. Is it that way for you too?
Maybe not, I could be the only one, but it seems as one runs out or gets low, so does the other.
Paper Towels and Toliet Paper, in my opinion, are “convenience” products meaning that your local, quick drug store and even Walmart type stores only have them in small packages at higher prices because it’s convenient! Right!!
Hear me out… if you are at the store, buying anything else, say paper plates, a shirt, or whatever, and realize you need toilet paper because you are on that last roll…. you WILL buy toilet paper. Right?!! You wouldn’t want to be caught with your pants down without it!! (haha – see what I did there?)
Okay, in all honesty, I’m not a comic, but that was a pretty good joke. My point is that if you are willing to travel to a big box store (because they are typically a little further out than all the other stores of convenience) then prices for these paper items are MUCH much MUCH cheaper.
They just are! So plan ahead and count up your “usage” of rolls per week or month and see how often you really need to buy them versus when you run out and need them “conveniently”. You will totally thank me later.
Hint: I plan my Sam’s Club shopping Trip around when I already need to go in the direction of the store for something else, so it is not a trip that is out of my way. 😉
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3. Clorox Wipes
Okay – yes another paper product, but the principle is the same on this too. And instead of reiterating that, I will just give you a price break down of what I currently can search for at this moment at Walmart, CVS and Sam’s Club to show you.
Disinfectant Wipes (Member’s Mark Brand) are Sam’s are 4 large tubs of wipes for $8.98 that’s 78 wipes X 4 = 312 wipes
Clorox Brand Wipes at Walmart 4 pack at 75 wipes per tub, so 300 total wipes for $13.44!!! That’s $4.46 more PEOPLE!!!!
Almost $5 more!!
I’m not super frugal, and I’m not super cheap either (although I may be becoming that way) Five Bucks is $5 and well you can get a Starbucks on the way home or whatever. Better yet, if you shop as often as I do for this item that is over $30 in savings per year to clean and wipe down countertops.
AND This is just for one product… that we mindlessly use and buy. Just imagine the savings when you do this with everything or even 5-10 things you buy all the time! I am willing to bet that you would find at least a few hundred dollars saved per year by doing this. I’ve only mastered it down to these 5 things thus far because these things I USE ABSOLUTELY EVERY DAY!!
So I’m saving cents and dollars every day!! Woot!!
4. Apple Juice
Finally, something not paper related! My kiddos drink this lovely fruit flavored drink every day. At least at lunch and dinner. Sometimes I water down the sugariness.. what mother hasn’t? I’m still perfecting how many gallons of apple juice I need to get per trip.
Remember, I go every other month. So if my kids drink (I have three kiddos) one gallon of juice per week, then I need 8 of these between each trip. Again, I get the Member’s Mark Brand (that also seems to be the savings difference in price of using off brands). SO if you brand picky it may not work. But, Each 2 pack, so 2 gallons is $4.98.
Walmart – 1 has a 96oz (so not even a full gallon) for $2.48.
This is pennies on the ounce here, so I know this is not huge, but again my point is to share with you just some tiny ways to save money monthly, and annually. Plus, I hate hate hate going to the store to get 1 thing because I ran out. I would rather spend more time each month planning it to where I won’t run out, versus running to the store to buy it. I might add more things I don’t need!!
5. Bottled Water
Last and certainly not least. Bottle water. The price per regular bottled water package varies pretty much everywhere. But hands down, my members’ club has the best price on a 40 pack versus your standard 24 or 48 pack.
I mean its water – and if you are not picky about flavor or taste of all the bottled waters out there, then what you buy shouldn’t matter. And if you just drink tap… then you can skip this one.
I just know we like to have them in our fridge to grab when we’ve been outside doing yard beautification or projects. Or when my kids have been playing.
Also, Fun Fact to ponder: I’ve read in several places on the web (valid reputable sites) that bottled water may just be tap in some instances, AND that if “bottled water” crosses state to state lines that it has a separate FDA requirement check to run through. Makes you wonder…. is the water from out state better, cleaner?? Less likely to contaminated or not??
Example: I live in Florida. Zephyrhills is in Florida and they make water! Is the water they sell directly to Florida consumers different than the bottles shipped across the country? I haven’t really looked into this further, so I’m not an expert, but I do know, I find myself buying water bottled in Georgia and North Carolina without thinking really.
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I haven’t quite figured out how many bottles we drink or go through in a week or month. It seems we can’t actually keep them stocked in the house. It’s just one of those things, that yes, probably go “convenience buy” from somewhere close just to have them. This is not something I always do, in fact, I don’t like to buy things because they are conveniently there as opposed to getting them somewhere cheaper. But, I also won’t go out of my way to buy it cheaper, because time is money and money is time. LOL.
Buying Other Things
I also can’t fully write this post without noting, that Yes, we do on rare occasions buy “other things” from Sam’s Club. I look at those things as a bonus if we do, because it’s not all the time, and we truly don’t buy them unless it is actually “cheaper” and saving us money.
For example, if we are buying our regular 5 things, and I also have a party planned, where I will need some beverages or chips, then Yes, I will add these to my regularly planned shopping trip (every other month) ONLY if (if falls in that timeframe to shop) and ONLY if it is truly the better buy or cheapest option. Just because you are at Sam’s Club, and also need to grocery shop, doesn’t mean you should buy all the other things you normally buy elsewhere out of convenience of being at Sam’s Club.
Convenience shopping works both ways at both kinds of stores.
Back in the day, in my husband and I’s earlier dating and married lives we did this where we shopped for “all the grocery” things at Sam’s because we were already there.
No! Don’t do that. We spent so much money on food that never got ate.
Food spoils you don’t eat and because it was too much of a bulk item, to begin with, we couldnt get through it for the 2 of us before it spoiled. So in that sense, it’s now overpriced for just a few more units than what your average grocer stocks.
Learn from us, and what I’ve learned over years by being a Sam’s Club shopper.
And, for what’s it worth, for those who may be wondering, Yes, it “costs” us $7.50 per trip (our annual membership cost noted above) but the savings alone per trip and by not shopping conveniently outweighs and out saves that expense! I’ve done the comparison by week and I will spare you all of the math, but it is around $25-$30 a month ($360 a year). So after the membership fee, we save around $315 per year!
Do you shop at a warehouse box store? Leave a comment and let me know your favorite thing to save one.
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Comments & Reviews
Always interesting to see what other people buy. We never buy juice, Clorox wipes or bottled water. I buy about 2 rolls of paper towels a YEAR because we just use rags that we wash. Of course we buy toilet paper but I can’t stand the ones they sell at Sam’s. Where I find the best values are for organic produce, the Farmer George (I think??) chicken (especially if I can find some on clearance!), frozen fruit, and dairy products. I can absolutely agree that breaking down the membership cost per month is what helps to determine if the membership cost is worth it!