1.14.2012

Crunching Numbers...

This is my current facebook status:

Costco Shoppers: What things do you save the most on by purchasing at Costco vs. another store? Do you feel like your Costco membership saves you money as well as time? I'm in the midst of crunching numbers...Aldi + couponing vs. Costco...

I'm currently working on a price list to compare prices on items I regularly buy... I normally shop at Aldi, filling in at Walmart or Bi-Lo for items that Aldi doesn't carry. When I have time I try to use coupons matched with sales at grocery and drug stores to save on some food items, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Couponing requires a LOT of time, and I'm wondering about scaling back. So, I'm looking into joining Costco. It seems that with the coupons that they send out (the only ones they accept), they might be cheaper on SOME items... I'm also factoring in the membership fee, and the savings on gas.

I'll report back once I finish this looooong list to see what conclusions I come to... In the meantime, I welcome any feedback regarding warehouse stores vs couponing, etc.

5 comments:

Rachael said...

I have a Sam's membership, but it's paid for by church and I honestly have only gone a few times. Here is a link that might helpful: http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/06/is-it-frugal-to-shop-at-wholesale-clubs.html
I also am going to check out her tips here: http://moneysavingmom.com/31-days-to-a-better-budget-series
I know certain people shop there and know what to buy, but I'm the same as you..not sure what is cost effective when buying in bulk.

Rachael said...

Here is another coupon site's opinion: http://www.southernsavers.com/2011/10/does-buying-in-bulk-save-money-sams-club-vs-regular-store-prices/

Nae and Clara said...

Here's my 2 cents about Costco which we joined a year ago when we moved. (Prior to that we had a Sams membership. I prefer Costco because they carry several brands that Sams doesn't) First, we have the executive membership which gives you a certain percent cash back on everything you spend. We made enough through this to pay for our membership for next year plus extra. The initial joining fee was more than for the basic membership but I knew for the amount we would spend we would come out better in the long run. Also, Costco is 5 minutes from our house making it very convenient. There are some things that in a house with 7 people you go through very quickly and it's worth it to me to buy in bulk. For me these things include toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and Kleenex. I will also say that I am brand loyal for the above things so while Aldi brand paper towels might be cheaper, I only buy Bounty. Costco averages slightly cheaper but with a Costco coupon they are definitely cheaper. Does that make sense? A few other things that I have found to be cheaper are syrup, sugar, block cheese, bread, milk, eggs, sliced turkey and tortilla chips. I also buy all our diapers at Costco. When Nae was doing a lot of couponing, we could get diapers cheaper than the Costco price, however time is worth something. I buy diapers when they have the $6 off coupon and its usually good for 2 boxes. I also shop at Aldi and Walmart on a weekly basis and Costco probably every other week. The most important thing with Costco is, stick to the list! Don't fall into the trap of thinking everything is a good deal. If my choice was spend lots of time couponing every week or make an hour trip into Costco a couple times a month, I'd choose Costco any day!
Clara
(that may be my longest comment ever!)

Lauren said...

We joined Costco last month and I'm really loving it! I was never a hard core couponer, but did try my best to go to as many stores as possible for the great deals. Since doing that, I have a pretty good handle on what sale prices generally are, at their best. SO, I try not to buy things at Costco that I know I can get SO much cheaper elsewhere, with the coupons and sales (mostly toiletry items). Milk, butter, cheese are definitely cheaper, all the time, and meat mostly is. I do have the advantage of the commissary on base, so some meats I still just buy there. Best thing in my opinion is that I've started planning out my meals more 3 weeks at a time and this has helped me a TON with the time saving thing. Now that #3 is on the way, I was hoping to cut back on my errand running, and this is definitely helping. I still go to Wal-Mart during the week, but I'm hoping that as time goes by, i'll learn to do better at buying in bulk, so my in-between grocery runs won't be as frequent. Plus, if you aren't satisfied, you can always get your money back. Just look at the price per ounce, and you'll know how much you're saving.

lc1987 said...

I love Costco! There is one about 10 minutes from us and I make a weekly trip there. Mostly for basic items like Milk, Cheese, butter, and toilet paper. They also have amazing prices on cream cheese, and bags of shredded cheese. I've found that (without coupons) the cheese prices are half of what I would normally pay. I can get a 2lb brick for $5.25. Milk runs about 2.99 per gallon (Prices are probably a little bit different). I DO have to be careful not to blow my budget there, it is easy to do! But I've been really pleased with my membership. They also send you monthly coupons to use, and sometimes you can score some good deals. Hope this helps! Lydia

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