Recently I was at Sam’s Club to purchase diapers and wipes for my 2 year old. When the total was $45.00 more than I expected I questioned the cashier as to the reason. Smiling she looked at me and said, “Oh, that’s your membership renewal.” As I politely explained that the extra $45.00 was not in my budget, and would she please wave the fee this time around and I would pay it my next trip in, I knew they would do it because they have done it for me in the past. That’s when her co-worker strides over to what I only imagine in his mind was “to save the day”. Looking at me with a smug expression on his face that said I’m 19 and have all the answers said, “Just put it on credit.” After a long and painful conversation where I tried to convince that arrogant kid that not everyone lives on credit cards I was thankfully rescued by a manager and taken over to the service counter where I was allowed to proceed without further interruptions.
Now I know for some of you that $45.00 is a drop in a bucket but for me it was a moment of clarity. We had been driving an hour one way about every six weeks to go by the things my son’s needed as well as other household items. We never get out of the store for less than $150.00! Then there was the added cost of the gas (averaging $3.56/gal), over time and wear and tear on the van. Was a warehouse membership really worth the cost?
I was also aware that not everything at Sam’s Club is a great deal, you really have to be selective in your purchase. More doesn’t always mean less, money that is. In fact, by creating a grocery price book, watching the sales cycles and using coupons and grocery apps, most of the items we bought at Sam’s Club were actually cheaper at my local grocery store. For my family I could no longer justify the expense both in cost and in time of a warehouse membership.
What about you, do you have a Sam’s Club or Costco membership?
Is it worth the cost to your family to keep it?
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