Do you shop at what they call “Big Box” stores?
When I lived where there was a great many choices for shopping, I avoided Walmart at all costs. I went there twice, and I think that both times were to replace something that no one else had, and the situation was critical.
(I may touch one of those some other time.)
I have been in a ‘Walmart town” for 28 years and I go there fairly regularly. You have to when you are in a town Walmart has taken over; they come in, kill the competition and then you haven’t much choice unless you keep going out of town, but I digress.
At times I buy ‘in bulk’ from the Gordon Food Service store out of town. (Thank you, Monday Fox, for letting me know that they sell retail!) I buy large cans, cases of drinks, 5-lb blocks of cheese and big meat packages there at great savings, but not much else.
I have ordered grains in 3-5 pound bulk packages from Amazon since I feel better with more plant-based foods and I need to experiment with those that are gluten-free for my son and others.
I have had a lot of fun with those.
I heard that Costco was good, and also good to its employees, and that counts to me. I also heard that they will allow companies to give out samples of their products and if enough people then purchase the item(s), they will put them on their shelves. That is really nice, but I could never justify the yearly membership, since there were never any Costcos within 40-some miles of me.
I have always liked to 1) save money and 2) be well supplied. I covered the second in a post a while back, but I will again say that I have been caught with unexpected guests, lay-offs, weather-related situations, illnesses, injuries, and quarantine, yet we have always had what we needed in paper products, health and beauty items plus laundry products and have eaten well through it all as well.
So while listening to shopping videos, um, yeah, of groceries and food,
(“Hello, my name is Tonette and I am a Foodie”), I kept hearing about Sam’s Club and with my distaste for Walmart in general, I ignored it, until last week when they offered a membership for $8, with a $30 rebate if we applied for their credit card. (We will probably never use that card. We pay off our bills every month.)
We figured that we had very little to lose, even though the closest Sam’s is about 30 miles from us.
I think that I got in on the plan too late, as I heard that prices have jumped at Sam’s as it has elsewhere; I would have liked to have been there sooner and seen the ‘good’ prices.
There are some great buys. I found chicken thighs there for $.99; we eat a lot of those. (I switched from mostly breast portions because they stay moist and soft, which is not always easy with breasts.I debone them, too, and use the meaty bones to make soup. It works for us.)
I found 7-pound bags of powdered and brown sugars, cane sugar, for only around 30% more than the 3-lb bags at Kroger. I bought a box of Marie Calendar soup to keep on hand for an excellent price. I bought a big bag of rice for a great price; we eat rice a great deal, but I wanted extra. They bundle 3 1-pound packages of bacon together for a decent price, but I heard that that had just gone up a great deal. Oh, I found other things that I brought home, and I dropped in on another one in another city that I was passing nearby the other day, and picked up a few things that were also at good prices, (which for the life of me I cannot remember, so it was probably nothing terribly outstanding.)
For the most part, if I still had young kids here, especially those who took their lunches to school, I could make out like a bandit. All I can think of are my friends and relatives with large families. It would be more than worth their while to shop in these places. The Grandson still likes Quaker granola bars, but I got a bunch on sale at Kroger. I have gotten great buys at Kroger, little by little, on paper products. We were not scrambling during the potty-paper crisis since I had some extra; I have extra extras now. No Kroger sale goes past me. I have paper towels, too, so a gigantic package of those may have gotten my attention had I not had some extra, but I did get a package of Kleenex boxes at Sam’s for a good price, so, I’m good.
We had just hit a big sale on trash bags or would have been tempted at Sam’s on theirs.
Unfortunately, we seem to have missed the good pricing, and since I already have supplies of things that are a good value there…I feel cheated!
My sister loves to buy sales and use coupons. If she saves enough, she’ll buy anything. I often get calls or texts that ask, “Can you use oatmeal? Will anyone there drink Propel? Will you use garlic in oil? Does Joe like cream cheese with red peppers?”
I take it all and we give it a shot. (I am loaded with oatmeal because of her. I have it vacuum-sealed, and we are set if we ever have Scottish visitors who stay a while.)
Will I return to Sam’s? Yes. Will I renew next year? I sincerely doubt it. I doubt that it will be worth my while to pay for a full membership. If I have more people to feed and keep in paper products, I might try out Costco, but again, it’s generally only The Husband, The Grandson, and me, with the occasional odd family member or guest in for a meal, or an overnight stay.
So, have you tried Big Box stores? Are they worth it to you?