Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warehouse Shopping

I know you've probably moved on, but I'm still thinking about grocery shopping over here!  :) 

Probably because yesterday afternoon my husband took us to a larger city, not too far away, where they have a Costco.  I have been a faithful Sam's Club shopper for the last twenty years, but I am new to the Costco experience.

My first impression??  Prices seemed comparable to Sam's, with a wider selection.  I especially liked the fact that they stock healthier items, such as whole grain pastas, natural peanut butter, and many organic brands.  I also liked being able to buy a ten pound package of rolled oats for making granola.

We decided to buy a year's membership and give it a try over the next twelve months.  The plan is to go there once a month and stock up, then fill in with the local grocery store sales.  I am excited about being able to obtain some higher quality foods in bulk quantities at a reasonable price!!

So, I'm wondering -- do you shop at Sam's or Costco?  If you have both available to you, which do you prefer and why? 

If you are a Costco shopper, can you tell me some of your favorite items to buy there, so I can be on the look out for them?  I'm starting on my Costco list for next month right now, so give me a heads up!  :)


Brandi said...

I'm a Sam's girl myself. I tried Costco once, but didn't like that I had to walk into a freezer to look for produce ;)

Rebecca's Refining said...

We don't have a Costco here. I shop a little at our Sams Club, but mostly for "specialty" items I can't get anywhere else. We like to get some "bulk" items when we visit Amish country in Eastern Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I use costco, we don't have a sams club... I can get many organic items from meat to vegetables, bread, pasta, cans of tomatos, eggs and milk. Also quinoa!
Costco saves us a lot of money and I don't even use a regular grocery store anymore. we do grab kale etc at our local veggie stand or milk if we run out.
Have fun!!

tlmalcolm said...

We have BJ's, Costco and Sam's in our area and I don't shop at any of them!! I just don't have the need to buy in bulk. But I have a funny story about bulk shopping...When my older son moved into an apartment with 4 other guys in college they went to one of these stores and bought ground beef at a great price. I think it was a 20 lb package! Great deal they thought, just think of all the chili, meat sauce, tacos,and burgers they could make!! Problem is no one thought about dividing the 20lbs into usable packages and freezing. They just put the whole thing in the freezer! It was like a 20lb frozen turkey sitting in the freezer! They tried breaking off chunks but ended up thrawing the all package. I'm not sure what they ended up making with it!! Lesson learned!!

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

All the way! We had Sams for years and a couple of years ago switched to Costco and are so thrilled! We get our membership for free! Do you have the executive membership? With a large family we more than make our fee back! Cleaner, nicer products, extremely good customer service.

Goats cheese
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Most of our produce
Organic carrots
Natural Peanut Butter
Organic pasta
Organic strawberry jam
NUTELLA (need I say more)
Cleaning products, of course is not a huge savings over coupons, but with free membership, I don't have to clip coupons!!
Office paper
Organic Butter
Organic frozen veggies
Delicious salmon and cod
And the basics, of course.

Bethany said...

We LOVE Costco! We have a Sam's, BJs, and Costco close by, but Costco is our favorite. Their return policy is amazing. Almost everything you buy has an unconditional return policy! (They just recently excluded most electronics from this.)
Their photo department has great prices on all prints. Ours sells packages that you can order in the store that include 8x10, 5x7s, so you can get all the pictures you want to share really cheaply! (I think they are about $5.)
We love their frozen veggies. The Organic Frozen Greenbeans taste just as nice as fresh once they are cooked up. They aren't soggy or limp!
We get our sandwich bread, meat, milk, eggs, wipes (the costco brand is great!), and much else that I can't think of from Costco.
I am glad you get a chance to try it out!

Mary said...

Costco!! It's our home away from home.
I agree with getting the executive membership. The money that you get back at the end of the year more than pays for the membership itself. Well worth it! After all who can beat a free membership?

Noel said...

My husband and I are considering a costco or sams club membership for the very first time. Groceries are getting really expensive! Do you have any advice?? Is it worth it for a family of 5?

busymomof10 said...
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busymomof10 said...

According to the March 2011 issue of All You magazine, "A family buying 2 gallons of milk per week could save about $90 yearly compared with supermarked prices -- more than enough to compensate for the basic membership."

This helpful article, which compares Sams Club, Costco, and BJs, says that you would have to spend $450 per month to pay for the executive or advantage membership with cash back benefits.

I find that some prices are hard to beat at warehouse clubs (such as spices!) while other items can be purchased more cheaply on sale and/or with coupons at the local grocery store. I think you will just need to give it a try for a year and see what works for you!

Personally, I LOVE buying in bulk at Sams Club and/or Costco! Also, they have some products that I don't see in stores that I really like, such as Sams Vidalia Onion dressing, which is a staple at our house and is the condiment of choice for meat as well as salads!

I should also mention that my parents have memberships at Sams/Costco and feel like they save money there even though they just purchase for two. (except for when my sister and I come for a visit with our families!)

I am more familiar with Sams, and I know that you can also get good prices on office products, cleaning products, pool chemicals, and electronics there. Oh yeah, and you can upload your digital photos to Sams photo dept. and stop by for good quality prints at a good price! :)

Gentle Revolution Homeschooler said...
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