I used to have a membership to a particular warehouse club. I currently have the opportunity to join for free, but I’ve decided against it.
When I was a member, I would usually renew every other year. At the end of my membership year, I would buy a little more than usual to last another year so that I could skip a renewal fee. Of course, I didn’t visit the store too many times during my membership year anyway because of the product sizes. In fact, I haven’t been in a couple of years, and I still have enough of certain items to last at least another year.
I only bought certain products because most items had a higher unit price (i.e. per ounce) than the sales at other stores. The membership fee made everything even more expensive than other places. I mainly went because of certain items that I liked that weren’t sold anywhere else. Over the last year or so, I’ve found replacements for most of those things. I’ve also made several changes in my lifestyle, and I no longer use or eat some of the stuff that I used to buy there. I’ve noticed that blogging about saving money has actually helped me spend less.
A couple of times, I had a coupon for a half-price membership, and that was nice. When I signed up as a new member, I received a gift card for about half the cost, and I could use it that same day. The current coupon for a free membership works differently. Instead of a gift card, I get a discount loaded onto my membership card, and it’s not available to use on the same day. I would have to go back on another day to actually buy anything since I might not need to return for anything else during the year. All of my regular stores are within two minutes of my house, but I’m about fifteen minutes away from the warehouse club. I’ve decided that the free membership isn’t worth my time or the cost of fuel. There is nothing that they have that I really miss or need.
Are you a member of a warehouse club? Does it actually save you money? Are you sure?