question about costco/same's club memberships

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by jash, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    Hello all,

    I am new to all of this, but want to become prepared for an emergency situation, and have been stocking up on supplies for a few months now (it only took me and a few years and Jericho to convince my better half!). Is a Sam's Club/Costco membership worth it? I would only be able to get to one of those stores 2-4 times a year. I heard that if you do not go often enough they will revoke your membership and make you re-up. Is this true? And are the prices good enough to warrant purchasing a membership? I will greatly appreciate any advice.
  2. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    This is just my humble opinion: it depends on what you need or buy at Costco/Sam'sClub to make it worthwhile. If you have a list of items that you will buy and the amount is over what you will save (factoring in the yearly membership fee), then go for it. Also note that they have on-line shopping too.

    There was a book from James Rawles (from that discussed a shopping trip through Costco. It's a dialog between JR and another guy discussing the pros and cons of many different items in several sections of the store. There is some great info there...
  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I have had a Sams membership through one business or other for the past 8 yrs. I'm not a huge fan of Sams in 95% of my shopping trips.

    I think you buy more than you really need if you shop there on a regular basis. If you have more you tend to consume more. The products that are in stock change weekly and that creates a 'quick, buy it while you can' hype. I have used it for small prep purchases in the past. Last week I picked up 24 packs of Ramen and 5 packs of Tuna pouches. I wanted to stock up on Diapers but they only had 2 sizes and they were slightly more expensive than Babies R Us. Same for dog food. wasn't really a deal, wasn't my brand and wasn't on a pallet.

    I know some swear buy them (Sams) but I don't see the value. If you buy a membership, it will last the entire year even if you only go once so don't worry about that. I'd take a drive to one and tell the desk that you want to take a tour before signing up. Write down some prices of things you might be interested in and then do the math at your local grocery or WM.

    I should look into a SM group membership
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Costco is 40 FRNs per year, no matter how many times you visit. Like Sam's, they do not have the same thing every time you go, but there is some regular stuff that is always there. The hook is the quantity you are stuck with if you get something you don't like, and storage of the stuff you do. I love Cheerios, but only once in a while, and those 4 lb boxes take up a lot of space.

    But there are savings in quantity, if you use a lot of whatever it is. EL and melbo are buying TP by the pallet these days --
  5. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Speaking of Costco, they're closing out their "Emergency Food Suppy" 5-gal bucket. [Sorry the pictures aren't that great.] They were over $100 last year, but they're down to $50 right now -- IF there are anymore at your local store.
    3849small.JPG 3850small.JPG 3851small.JPG
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm thinking a Sams card is about 25 bucks/yr, and good for a year, no matter whether you use it once or everyday.

    As to whether it's worth it ? Hard to say unless you price compare. They just opened a new one here, and it's right in town, so I'll be able to do some price comparison easier now.....the old store was about 1/2 hour drive from us, and we only went about 4 times a year, mainly to stock up on dog food.....I like the cases of Alpo for our mutts, and we'd get a dozen or so, and several large bags of the dry.

    What I tend to see is like is like what ghrit said.....lot of the stuff is BULK food.....unless you are doing a large chili cookoff, for example, a #10 can of tomato sauce or whatever is pretty useless around the house.

    By the way.....there was some discussion of those "emergency food" buckets floating around the net....something about them not containing near the nutrition value they claim or something.....ya'll might do a Google for them before you buy any to see what the controversy was...
  7. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    There was a lawsuit concerning the product, but it had to do with claims of being a "full day's worth of food". Seems that the meal was about 450 calories and people require 1500 to 2000 calories (probably FDA requirements or such) -- thus the lawsuit. There was a discussion on a few months ago also.

    It appears they've re-labeled their packaging because it doesn't say "3-month supply" anymore.

    To me it's a great supplement (with a lot of variety) to my small amount of other food-stuff storage. At $50 a bucket it's not a bad price and my wife didn't even complain....

    I'm not trying to sell the stuff -- it's a great deal because Costco is closing it out and won't be carrying it anymore when the current supply is gone (and it's priced to sell right now).

    Lawsuit link:
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Yeah, I wasn't cutting them down or anything.....I just remembered some deal about them from surfing somewhere a while back. For the money, they may well be great, I was just passing on a "buyer alert" to check them out. We don't have a Costco around here, so I have no chance to actually check them out.
  9. Sojourner

    Sojourner Silverback

    We make a trip to Sam's and Big Lots once a year to restock on the things we use a lot of. Big Lots is where I get the regular canning jars at a reasonable price. As was said before, compare prices because some things are more economical at your local store. I get the #10 cans of some things and repackage (if the price is right). A #10 can of tomato sauce and 6 lb. of ground meat will make about 10 pints of chili or pasta sauce, so it pays to do that for us. Around here, the sale items are usually just the junk type "foods". The staples are what we usually get.
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Yeah....tomato sauce is one thing I do buy in #10 cans for the exact same make chili, stew, and spagetti sauce in bulk, then can it.
  11. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    thanks guys-I appreciate the info
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