Saturday, September 6, 2014

Is a Sam's Club Membership Worth It?

We don't have any warehouse stores in Minot.  Sam's Club is the nearest one, and it's located in Bismarck.  That's about 2.5 hours away, and a place we don't have reason to go very often.  Recently there was a Groupon available, though, with a Sam's club membership, $20 gift card, and some coupons for free food.  We actually did have a trip planned to Bismarck in the next 2 weeks anyway, because we had to have some title work done on one of our cars.  So we decided to go ahead and try Sam's Club.

We spent about 2 hours looking around at Sam's Club.  We found some great deals, some okay deals, and many things that we could get cheaper elsewhere.  One of Elliott's favorite finds was a 6 lb bag of gummy bears that were dye free.   I have a feeling we won't make it through the whole bag of them, but they were cheap enough that it won't be a big deal.  Dye free gummy bears are usually really expensive.  He was also excited to get a box of individual bags of Funyuns.  We don't eat a lot of chips at our house, so that added to the excitement.

We found a good deal on Schick razors for women. Elliott found some good prices on books.  And we got a good deal on a few supplements that we take.  Several of the supplements weren't a good price, but a few were.  We also bought a few giftcards that were discounted, so they were obviously a good deal.

The best deals were in the baking and fresh produce departments, though.  Because we weren't going straight home, we couldn't buy as many fresh things as we would have liked, though.  We had soccer that evening and we knew we wouldn't make it home in time to drop everything off and still make it back to base on time, so we had to stick with what would fit in our cooler.

We still ended up buying mushrooms ( a family favorite at our house, we consume pounds of mushrooms every week here), a veggie tray, and a few fruits.

In the baking department, we bought yeast, vanilla extract, and lemon extract, all significantly cheaper than what I've found elsewhere.  When it's not too hot outside, I do almost all of my baking from scratch, including breads, buns, muffins, cookies, etc.  So I use a lot of yeast and vanilla extract.

Over all, for our family, I would say our membership was worth it, just for the savings on the baking stuff.  I'm not positive we will renew right away when our membership expires, though, just because of the drive time.  We usually only go to Bismark 2-3 times a year, but will probably make it a point to go at least a little more often while we have the membership, especially if there is anything else we want to do in the area.


Theresa Mahoney said...

We've browsed around our Sam's Club a few times over the years, but never bought a membership. Costco will be open here in the next month and we DO plan on getting a membership there.

JRFrugalMom and Family said...

I've often wondered the same thing about the warehouses. We have several around us, but I the few times we've been with a free membership or with friends, I've never been too impressed. One thing I do love is the prize on big birthday cakes, which is quite nice.

Carla said...

We saved more than the price of the membership in one trip on the things I mentioned above, including the free $20 gift card. But if you aren't a baker, that would significantly lower the amount you can save. Then if you have somewhere cheap to buy produce elsewhere, that hurts it even further. Living in the middle of nowhere, our options are limited and fresh produce is one of our biggest expenses every week.

mail4rosey said...

I don't like the idea of paying to shop. My husband thinks it's worth it though. :)

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