Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sam's or Costco?

Over our ten years of marriage, Jason and I have always had a yearly membership to Sam's Club. That is until this past year. We chose not to renew our membership. Why?
My biggest reasons were...
1. They don't let you use coupons.
 2. I began to wonder if the $40 a year to use their store to shop in bulk was really worth the money.
3. We only buy Tide, Downy, Bounce dryer sheets, Cascade, paper towels, and toilet paper. I would occasionally pick up a few other items, but I pretty much only bought the basics because I could score better deals with the sales from other stores while using my coupons. 

So, this past March, we chose not to renew our club membership. And, we've survived. However, I am finding that I am needing to make several trips to the regular stores to stock up on the items that we use the most often. I've gone through more boxes of Tide these past few months than I have in a long time. I'm loving that I am able to use my coupons and when a sale comes along, I can score big. I joked with Jason the other day, and told him that my Tide runs reminded me of my old diaper runs. Every time I turned around, I was always stocking up on diapers at the store, and for the past few months, I found myself running to the store for more Tide all the time.

I love that I can buy my detergent in bulk at Sam's, but I don't really like the fact that I can't use my coupons. I also really wrestle with the fact that I am paying $40 to buy my regularly used products in bulk. With as many trips as I've made to the store though, I've probably come close to spending that $40 in gas and it definitely wastes my time.

I love that I we can buy gas at Sam's and that it is pretty cheap. I usually also buy our Christmas cards there because they have the cheapest prices and we can score a good deal.  Also, Sam's Club is close to our house and Jason can easily stop there on his way home from the office.

We also have a Costco in town, but we've never had a membership. I've only been in Costco on a couple of occasions, but I've never shopped there. When talking with friends, I find that many of them LOVE shopping at Costco as opposed to Sam's Club. I don't know how much a membership to Costco runs and I don't know if they allow you to use coupons. I haven't spent the time comparing the prices between the two stores on the few items that I like to buy in bulk. Costco is farther down the road than Sam's Club and I don't usually head down that far. It would still be pretty easy for Jason to run by there on his way home though. They have pretty cheap gas too, but like I said, I'm not usually down that far. I've also heard that Costco is on the higher end of things a little more so than Sam's Club.

So that's my debate. This is what I've had bouncing around in my head for the past few months. I LOVE saving money and I've been trying to figure out if I'm missing out on a great deal by refusing to renew a membership to buy in bulk. I've also wondered if I should give Costco a try and see if I like it a little more.

What do you think? Are you "partial" to either Sam's or Costco? If so, why?


Jess said...

I've been to Costco once and didn't see the big difference btwn it and Sam's. We've had a Sam's membership often but as of 2 years ago, went without. It isn't convenient at all for us to go, you can't use coupons, and I would impulse buy because "it was in bulk" or "a good price" and in the end spent money I didn't need to spent. That's me though. I still love Sam's and we've had some pretty cheap first married dates there. ;) Let me know what you finally figure out. I'm hoping they put a Sam's closer to where we live so it would be easier to buy bulk and shop at other stores for bargains.

Stefanie said...

We have had a Costco membership for several years, however, we havn't decided on renewing it yet. The membership is $50 a year. They do offer coupons about once a month, which is great. However, I find myself saving more money at the grocery store. With the exception of meat. Costco has great deals on meat products, especially roasts and steaks. So like you, I am still undecided.

Supabloggasuprememama said...

both. we have memberships to each! ;) (youth minister)