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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Membership Fee for Extra Savings?

We used to have a Sam's Club membership... before we had kids. While we could find good deals, we could also count on spending $100 or more at every visit. Once we had children, we simply didn't have that much excess cash to add to our normal grocery budget and decided to let our membership lapse. We have found that places like Aldi's do not require a membership fee and yet offer good savings over normal grocery stores and discount stores, such as Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart.

At some places, the membership fee is negligible in comparison to the savings you will receive. Take, for example, DirectBuy. This company is a showroom type of company (you cannot order from them online) that offers their members a wide variety of products at manufacturer prices. Their products range from home furnishings (such as mattresses, window treatments, and furniture) to home improvement supplies (cabinetry, large and small appliances, wallpaper, and the like) to entertainment and outdoor equipment (home theatres, outdoor furniture, grills, and more). Being able to purchase such items at manufacturer prices would certainly result in savings that would far outweigh what you would pay for membership.

So what do you think? Do you love membership clubs? Hate them? Why? Have you seen any real savings from your membership?

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Joyful Days said...

We have kept our Sam's and Costco memberships, but I use them with a few rules:

1. Buy only what is on the list.

2. If there is an item I think I cannot live without, I write it on my list and go home and ponder it--no impulse buying.

3. Know the competition's prices. Costco, especially is notorious for not being cost effective. I only buy certain things that I know will be used in a certain time frame.

4. We don't have much storage, so if I can't store it, I can't buy it.

5. Shop alone if possible. I make bad purchases when I'm distracted.

If those two stores were not so close to me (and so close to each other) I would live without them. I only go about once a month and not "browse."

Great post!

Revka said...

Hi, Joyful Days! I'm glad you enjoyed this post. :)

I think your way of using your memberships is great and would keep you (or anyone who applied said rules) from overspending - like we always did. Thanks for sharing!