Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rebels without a Card

Ever feel like you are the last person on the earth to try (or give up) something? Well, I'm here to tell you that, yours truly, Goofy Girl is the single last holdout.

Q: For what?
A: Membership to one of those super-duper wholesale club stores.

We do not belong to Costco. We are not welcome at Sam's Club. Price thanks. And we do not miss it.

Q: Who really needs a 5 pound bag of cheese curls? Who needs a 24-pack of sweatsocks?
A: Obviously, everyone else in America except for us.

You should see the faces when I tell people this. And (trust me) it comes up in casual conversation nowadays.

Co-worker: Oh I had the best cheese last night!
Me: Really? What kind was it?
Co-worker: Oh gouda or something....I got the 10 pound sampler from Costco. You should go pick it up!
Me: Er. I can't. I don't belong to Costco.
Co-worker: (shocked silence)

It's not like I'm bragging or anything. I just really don't feel like I would get a big value out of it.

I really don't buy books much at all anymore (library serves to whet my bookworm appetite). Music CDs have been replaced by iTunes downloads and movies come via Blockbuster Online.

And we buy groceries using the JIT (just-in-time) method. As in "Honey, what's for dinner tonight?" "I don't know, let's run up to Price Chopper and get something". There's no stocked-freezer in the Goofy house, that's for sure.

And we are surviving. Really!

So readers...tell me: Are we missing the boat? Should we rush over to Sam's and plunk down our 35 bucks a year? Or are we okay sticking with our "alternative" lifestyle?


Jane said...

Nah, you're really not missing much. We use our Costco card when we entertain (which is basically once a year) and I like to Christmas shop there in my quest to go to as few stores as possible in the process. Otherwise, two people cannot really shop there effectively unless they're buying staples with long shelf lives.

CraftyLissa said...

Agreed - not missing anything. We only shop there for stuff we really use in large quantities or that don't expire - like diapers, TP, water, kleenex. It really is the cheapest way to get that sort of thing (I've done some serious calculations on that one). I will say they do have great produce and meats though - again, in large quantities but that can be okay sometimes.

michael said...

Yeah, you're not missing a thing, except money from your bank account. Those places thrive because they encourage you to spend more than you normally would, under the banner of "incredible savings". Thing is, you convince yourself its good to buy in bulk so you save money in the long run. Not a bad idea if you actually saved money worth worrying about. But think about the time spent shopping there, loading and unloading all that crap (I hate buying soda for that reason, you gotta carry the crap in the house), and then the big hit your budget takes all of the sudden. Forget about it. I was a member for a year and miss some of the items found there, but not the experience of seeing all that money going away. Ive tried to downshift and buy in small quantities. Its counter-intuitive, but cheaper in the end for me.

lorib said...

I became a fan of Costco when we entered the world of diapers and formula. Having a constant supply of TP at the house is also good for our marriage (ask D about that one) and supplying D's Coca Cola habit is much cheaper in bulk. But Michael is right, you have to be very careful shopping there or the money flies out of the window. Stick to your alternative lifestyle and ignore the stunned silence of the masses.

Cagey said...

It depends on YOU and the STORE and what you would actually USE. For us, Costco works because we happen to use the brands that they carry. Also, if there is a storebrand version (Kirkland is the name of it) then I will try it - Consumer Reports lists their detergent AND fabric softener as a "CR Best Buy". You save boatloads using their storebrand (their baby wipes are awesome, too).

Also, they carry the diapers we use - Huggies. I am spending around $25/month on diapers.

We rarely, rarely buy food there because we don't eat "boxed" food. However, we do get their fresh produce (their fresh mango slices ROCK), the Carr's crackers, and Kansas City Roasterie coffee beans. Also, we buy our gas there. So, for us, they sell the things we would buy ANYWAY and that's where I think the question is - Are They Selling What You Would Buy Anyway? If the answer is "yes", then Costco makes sense.

SO, it really depends on YOUR family's needs. I recommend just visiting there sometime and seeing if they carry the brands that you would use anyway.

Me said...

I actually have cards to both Costco AND Sam's. They're paid for by one of my jobs, but I would fork over for at least one if they weren't.

When you shop bulk you have to have an idea of what your family will use and stick to a list. We have wasted our share of the uneaten remainders of bulk packages. However, we have figured out what we'll use and we save on the pricing and trips to the store.

Plus, Coscto has a kick-ass returns policy. They don't advertise it, but as long as you have a receipt, they'll take ANYTHING back. A friend took back the bouncy castle they bought that the kids put a hole in. For this reason, we bought our new TV there, just in case little hands manage to push it over & destroy it.