Costco vs sams club vs neither.

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kjvmartin
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 am

Angelus359 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:47 am
I love my Costco visa btw

4% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% Costco, 1% general, plus 2 years extended warranty on everything you buy
Don't forget price protection.

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Cycle
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Cycle » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am

I dropped our Costco membership. It was more expensive than Aldi. The time wasted going in and out of Costco was more than I could bear. One typically needs to drive several miles to one, which is wasteful of your time, money, and has a negative environmental impact.

Angelus359
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Angelus359 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:03 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 am
Angelus359 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:47 am
I love my Costco visa btw

4% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% Costco, 1% general, plus 2 years extended warranty on everything you buy
Don't forget price protection.
Most good cards offer that.
IT-DevOps System Administrator

squirm
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by squirm » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:07 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 am
Angelus359 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:47 am
I love my Costco visa btw

4% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% Costco, 1% general, plus 2 years extended warranty on everything you buy
Don't forget price protection.
I buy Arco gas cards at our usual grocery store with my AE card...gives me 6%. The two year extended warranty is compelling, I think AE Blue is only one year.

squirm
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by squirm » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:12 am

gloss151 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am
I dropped our Costco membership. It was more expensive than Aldi. The time wasted going in and out of Costco was more than I could bear. One typically needs to drive several miles to one, which is wasteful of your time, money, and has a negative environmental impact.
We dropped Costco ten years ago. We always had to fight with parking, then head all the way back to the store, only to find out they didn't have the produce we wanted half the time. Maybe you can look online now? I don't know, but it was a disappointment spending a half an hour. We picked up a few things while there, but I hate the bulk buying....don't need a 1,000 pills of Advil or a gallon of peanut butter, 2 gallons of salad etc.

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lthenderson
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by lthenderson » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:23 am

Iliketoridemybike wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:30 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:07 pm
I have neither within 150 miles of where I live. I also dislike any big box stores in general so it works out well for me.
I wonder why people post things like this that are generally not helpful in anyway?
Did you not read the original post? It was asking about Costco vs Sams Club vs Neither. I clearly fell in the neither category and expressed two reasons why I didn't shop there. It is not much of a discussion if people like yourself try to shame or shout down others with differing opinions.

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TeamArgo
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by TeamArgo » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:32 am

I belonged to Sam's for a year, about 12 years ago, and I was unimpressed. About 8 years ago, Costco built about 2 miles from my house, and I joined. Many good prices, led by the gas station, OTC drugs, groceries, and bulk paper products, kept me there until I moved to St. Augustine 3 years ago. Now Costco is 35 miles away, in a smaller building in Jacksonville with no gas station and a stocking policy that is slanted towards high priced "organic" items (stocked items do vary from region to region, and even store to store). Condo living has also made bulk purchases undesirable. I made my last trip there to stock up on OTC drugs yesterday, and my membership expires next month. I will not be renewing, letting Walmart and my Amazon Prime membership pick up the slack. So for me: "NEITHER"
"A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest" -Paul Simon (The Boxer, 1970)

atfelt
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by atfelt » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:58 am

I currently have a Sam's Club membership, but in the past have gone to Costco, and like it as well. Sam's is busy in my town, but Costco is chaos. Pricing is very similar on the items we buy, and for our family of 5, well worth the membership fee.

I am surprised nobody has mentioned it yet, but Sam's Club has a Scan and Go app you can put on your phone. I scan items on the phone as I pick them up. When done, I hit 'pay' and walk past all the checkout lines. The person at the front door scans the QR code that shows my list of items to ensure I paid for them all. Takes less than a minute total.

In my opinion it is the biggest failing of Costco that they have failed to develop a similar check out app. If I am in the mood to grill up some $7.99/lb Sam's club ribeyes for dinner, I can swing in on my way home from work, and skip the 20 minute lines.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:04 am

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:23 am
Iliketoridemybike wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:30 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:07 pm
I have neither within 150 miles of where I live. I also dislike any big box stores in general so it works out well for me.
I wonder why people post things like this that are generally not helpful in anyway?
Did you not read the original post? It was asking about Costco vs Sams Club vs Neither. I clearly fell in the neither category and expressed two reasons why I didn't shop there. It is not much of a discussion if people like yourself try to shame or shout down others with differing opinions.
You're right, I am wrong. Sorry.

michaeljc70
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:53 am

JBTX wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:44 pm
At some point I'll check it out but I have a strong suspicion that while there may be some nominal savings I'm not sure it will be worth the time and effort. I really dislike long lines. If I have to drive an extra 20 miles round trip and spend an additional hour driving, wading through massive aisles of stuff and then wait in a long line it definitely won't be. If I do all that and save $25 on a $200 grocery bill I don't think it is worth it.

When I grocery shop I tend to by the same stuff and tend to focus on sales of things I usually get. Using the store reward card # I usually "save" 20 to 25% off of list prices on the total bill, according to their calcs. I occasionally go to Walmart and their list prices are cheaper but it usually is not cheaper compared to the discounts.
Just on the food items, you can get better prices where I live by waiting for good sales at local grocery stores. But if you are the type of shopper that just has a list and are going to get every item on it at one store, Costco will probably be much cheaper.

JBTX
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by JBTX » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:59 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:53 am
JBTX wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:44 pm
At some point I'll check it out but I have a strong suspicion that while there may be some nominal savings I'm not sure it will be worth the time and effort. I really dislike long lines. If I have to drive an extra 20 miles round trip and spend an additional hour driving, wading through massive aisles of stuff and then wait in a long line it definitely won't be. If I do all that and save $25 on a $200 grocery bill I don't think it is worth it.

When I grocery shop I tend to by the same stuff and tend to focus on sales of things I usually get. Using the store reward card # I usually "save" 20 to 25% off of list prices on the total bill, according to their calcs. I occasionally go to Walmart and their list prices are cheaper but it usually is not cheaper compared to the discounts.
Just on the food items, you can get better prices where I live by waiting for good sales at local grocery stores. But if you are the type of shopper that just has a list and are going to get every item on it at one store, Costco will probably be much cheaper.
I usually buy the same things but may adjust quantity or brand depending on the pricing. Depending on the item I may buy a store generic.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:05 pm

Thread has been an interesting read. I have never been to a Costco or Sam's club so I don't know what they are like.

>But if you are the type of shopper that just has a list and are going to get every item on it at one store, Costco will probably be much cheaper.

Since I am the precise opposite type of shopper, I have no regrets for the fact that the closest Costco is an hour drive away over the mountains.

michaeljc70
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:46 pm

One thing that has been touched upon a little is their return policy. Over the last 20 years, I have returned two items (they broke) that were over $500 each that probably no other store would have taken back. More than paid for my membership. I'm sure the policy is abused so I try to use it in a reasonable manner.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:22 pm

Interesting to me how folks that don't like Costco tend to wildly exaggerate downsides - statements like always waiting in checkout lines for 20 minutes, having to buy 1 gallon of mayo, or 1,000 pill containers of ibuprofen, etc.

I have been a Costco member for 25+ years in 3 different cities and we probably shop Costco once 3 times a month on average. I don't think I have ever waited in the checkout line for 20 minutes. Our average waits when it's busy on weekends most likely averages 5-7 minutes, but we mostly tend to shop weekdays and early when average wait is 2-3 min, and we do not show up to shop Costco at 2 PM on Saturday before Superbowl or similar events/holidays.

And shopping Costco we have saved literally thousands of dollars over the years buying high quality tires, eye glasses and contacts, wine, beer, prescription and OTC drugs, small appliances, clothes, shoes, light-bulbs, batteries, deli items, meat and fish, dried pasta, yogurt, bacon, bottled water, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

pgs59
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by pgs59 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:29 pm

Wine! If you like a great selection and pricing, Costco is the one to pick (at least here in S. Florida).

coffeehubcap
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by coffeehubcap » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:45 pm

I prefer Costco over Sam's. Costco has great employees and you can get in and out faster than at Sam's. It's also a cleaner store.

I do have one complaint. Once you love an item, frozen crab cakes for an example, you need to purchase as many as you can. Once an item is gone they don't replace it. I loved their crab cakes but once they were gone, that was it. I check every week when I shop and so far no crab cakes for several months. Same for their wine.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:53 pm

coffeehubcap wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:45 pm
I prefer Costco over Sam's. Costco has great employees and you can get in and out faster than at Sam's. It's also a cleaner store.

I do have one complaint. Once you love an item, frozen crab cakes for an example, you need to purchase as many as you can. Once an item is gone they don't replace it. I loved their crab cakes but once they were gone, that was it. I check every week when I shop and so far no crab cakes for several months. Same for their wine.
I have a customer who sells products to Costco and they told me part of Costco's sales strategy is to create a "treasure hunt" experience. Research apparently told Costco that consumers enjoy the hunt. So they swap out products to keep you trying new things. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't. The discounts on wine/beer are very good.

bta15
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by bta15 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:08 pm

We are a family of 5. Costco is the closest gas station, grocery store and 2nd closest liquor store to my house. We save a ton of money, our annual rebate checks are 3-4x the annual membership cost.

That being said, if it's not convenient to get to or you are feeding a decent # of people, warehouse stores are not for you.

squirm
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by squirm » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:37 pm

Do you really save money at Costco? When we use to shop at Costco I found that we would end up throwing what seemed like half the food stuff out eventually. Running into everyone in the isles, feeling like I'm in a middle of a zoo and fighting over parking wasn't worth whatever is supposedly saved. It's bad enough making a monthly trip to Wally World for paper towels and the likes, but at least we don't have to buy a cart of it. Most of our grocery shopping is done locally in a much smaller scale store, they have a lot of fresh produce, best of all I can push a cart down the isles without getting run down. Do we pay more? Maybe up front, but at least I can buy the smaller quantities. In the end, it probably all evens out and I save myself and wife a lot of shopping frustration. And yes, the lines were 20 minutes in wait time at Costco.

If my wife and I thought we'd save substantial amount of grocery money or even a noticeable amount, we'd shop at Sams. The once is month run to Wally World (where I feel like I'm in the middle of gang of street pharmacists with the occasional floozies) takes care of the TP, towels and knickknacks.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:35 am

squirm wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:37 pm
Do you really save money at Costco? When we use to shop at Costco I found that we would end up throwing what seemed like half the food stuff out eventually. Running into everyone in the isles, feeling like I'm in a middle of a zoo and fighting over parking wasn't worth whatever is supposedly saved. It's bad enough making a monthly trip to Wally World for paper towels and the likes, but at least we don't have to buy a cart of it. Most of our grocery shopping is done locally in a much smaller scale store, they have a lot of fresh produce, best of all I can push a cart down the isles without getting run down. Do we pay more? Maybe up front, but at least I can buy the smaller quantities. In the end, it probably all evens out and I save myself and wife a lot of shopping frustration. And yes, the lines were 20 minutes in wait time at Costco.

If my wife and I thought we'd save substantial amount of grocery money or even a noticeable amount, we'd shop at Sams. The once is month run to Wally World (where I feel like I'm in the middle of gang of street pharmacists with the occasional floozies) takes care of the TP, towels and knickknacks.
1. Sounds like you over buy. We buy only for two of us and rarely if ever throw things out. Fresh items are consumed first, then frozen.
2.Don't shop on the weekend if the crowds bother you. I stop on my way home from work during the week and encounter no crowds.
3. Compared to shopping at a regular grocery, sales include, we feel we save $150-$200 a month by using Costco. Throwing in the occasional rental car or eyeglasses and a membership for us is a no brainer.

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Chicken lady
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Chicken lady » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:13 am

I have had both for years. Our Sam's meat is of excellent quality and price. This is the primary reason I've maintained membership.

I'd say Costco's clothing is of higher quality if you tend to purchase clothing at a big box stores (jeans, socks, jackets). We shop carefully for price and product and find that both stores try to match prices on the items we purchase repeatedly though Sam's tends to be cheaper overall. Costco's fairly broad supply of organic items keep me shopping at there more though I noticed that Sam's has introduced it's own label organic milk recently which is more competitive with Costco's private label milk. The number of items that we routinely purchase that Sam's carries in organic form is much smaller than Costco.

Costco is always more crowded than Sam's though checking out is never a problem. Costco has a lot more free samples than Sam's. I purchase everything that is more competitively priced at a local grocery store.

Cheap gas is a plus. So is the price and quality of glasses.

We consistently rent our cars through Costco's travel which we've found to be very competitive in price with the other vendors that we've used. And the extra fee for an additional driver is deferred. If you purchase with a Costco citi card you earn points on the credit card ($$$).

coffeehubcap
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by coffeehubcap » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:38 am

Iliketoridemybike.....the hunt kills me. The aisles aren't marked as to what's in them. You can't get a map because they keep moving things around to keep you on the hunt. I'm a shopper who knows what I want but if it's not in the same the next time I get frustrated. I think they buy items in large lots to get the cheapest price. Once the item is gone, they move on to other things.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:18 pm

coffeehubcap wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:38 am
Iliketoridemybike.....the hunt kills me. The aisles aren't marked as to what's in them. You can't get a map because they keep moving things around to keep you on the hunt. I'm a shopper who knows what I want but if it's not in the same the next time I get frustrated. I think they buy items in large lots to get the cheapest price. Once the item is gone, they move on to other things.
I don't disagree about the moving things around part. Sometimes things are hard to find, but I put up with it for the $1.50 hot dog and soda at the snack bar. :D

stoptothink
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by stoptothink » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:29 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:53 am
JBTX wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:44 pm
At some point I'll check it out but I have a strong suspicion that while there may be some nominal savings I'm not sure it will be worth the time and effort. I really dislike long lines. If I have to drive an extra 20 miles round trip and spend an additional hour driving, wading through massive aisles of stuff and then wait in a long line it definitely won't be. If I do all that and save $25 on a $200 grocery bill I don't think it is worth it.

When I grocery shop I tend to by the same stuff and tend to focus on sales of things I usually get. Using the store reward card # I usually "save" 20 to 25% off of list prices on the total bill, according to their calcs. I occasionally go to Walmart and their list prices are cheaper but it usually is not cheaper compared to the discounts.
Just on the food items, you can get better prices where I live by waiting for good sales at local grocery stores. But if you are the type of shopper that just has a list and are going to get every item on it at one store, Costco will probably be much cheaper.
This is regionally dependent. It certainly isn't the case where I live (Utah), and I didn't find it to be the case in the previous two areas I lived in as well (Southern California and Houston). Then again, I am one of those who takes price comparison pretty seriously. I buy the exact same things every week and I spend a significant amount of time upfront finding the cheapest place to get them, and for not a single one of those items is that place Costco. I ditched my Costco membership several years ago and my mother and brother have moved near me in the last few years and ditched their Costco memberships for the same reason.

So, neither for me.

wrongfunds
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:42 pm

There is a whole science devoted to re-shelving of the products! Our grocery store does that all the time and it drives me crazy but I bet some PhD employees are earning their big paycheck for suggesting re-shelving. What is surprising is that they are always busy, so I can not figure out exactly when do they find time to move the stuff from one isle to another.

michaeljc70
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:45 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:42 pm
There is a whole science devoted to re-shelving of the products! Our grocery store does that all the time and it drives me crazy but I bet some PhD employees are earning their big paycheck for suggesting re-shelving. What is surprising is that they are always busy, so I can not figure out exactly when do they find time to move the stuff from one isle to another.
I've been going to the same Costco for 20 years. They have only done a major reconfiguration 1 or 2 times. The meat is always in the same place. The veggies in the same place. The frozen section same place. The household products same place. Maybe every product isn't in exactly the same spot over time, but pretty close.

I saw another comment about Aldi being cheaper than Costco. I shop frequently at Aldi and Costco and the same products (obviously not the same label since most is private label at Aldi) are almost always more at Aldi. Of course, you have to buy a bigger quantity at Costco. Go compare almonds, cashews, granola bars, prosciutto, napkins, garbage bags, olive oil, rice, etc. The exception may be produce.

michaeljc70
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:54 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:29 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:53 am
JBTX wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:44 pm
At some point I'll check it out but I have a strong suspicion that while there may be some nominal savings I'm not sure it will be worth the time and effort. I really dislike long lines. If I have to drive an extra 20 miles round trip and spend an additional hour driving, wading through massive aisles of stuff and then wait in a long line it definitely won't be. If I do all that and save $25 on a $200 grocery bill I don't think it is worth it.

When I grocery shop I tend to by the same stuff and tend to focus on sales of things I usually get. Using the store reward card # I usually "save" 20 to 25% off of list prices on the total bill, according to their calcs. I occasionally go to Walmart and their list prices are cheaper but it usually is not cheaper compared to the discounts.
Just on the food items, you can get better prices where I live by waiting for good sales at local grocery stores. But if you are the type of shopper that just has a list and are going to get every item on it at one store, Costco will probably be much cheaper.
This is regionally dependent. It certainly isn't the case where I live (Utah), and I didn't find it to be the case in the previous two areas I lived in as well (Southern California and Houston). Then again, I am one of those who takes price comparison pretty seriously. I buy the exact same things every week and I spend a significant amount of time upfront finding the cheapest place to get them, and for not a single one of those items is that place Costco. I ditched my Costco membership several years ago and my mother and brother have moved near me in the last few years and ditched their Costco memberships for the same reason.

So, neither for me.
I'm sure it varies by area. I am in Chicago. We have Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Jewel, Mariano's, Aldi, Tony's, Cermak, Pete's and Fresh Thyme. And those are just the chains. There are a ton of independent Mexican type stores as well as other stores that cater to certain ethnic groups (Korean, Indian, etc.) and sometimes have very good prices. It is very competitive here and that probably helps keep prices down.

I tend to mix up my grocery shopping between whatever store has the best deals that week and supplement with Aldi/Costco. Most of the stores listed above are within 3 miles of where I live. I may buy more electronics, OTC drugs, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. at Costco than food. I bought my vacuum there, the tires for my car, the battery for my car, tablet, my wine chiller, LED bulbs and luggage at Costco.

I find buying the same thing every week interesting. Do you eat the same meals every week?

meebers
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Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

Post by meebers » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:10 pm

At one time I had all 3, costco, sams and BJ's. The had "special" offers on the memberships. I let Sams and BJ's expire and only use Costco now. I just like it better and so does the wife. We are there at least once per week, distance about 5 miles.

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