Store Review: I Went Clubbin’ at Sam’s

Last week, I blogged that my husband and I finally purchased memberships to Sam’s Club and that I was looking forward to seeing if membership really does have its privileges….

Entering Sam’s is like entering a whole new dimension where time and space cease to exist. It is literally a giant metal and concrete box with shelves and shelves of the most ginormous packaging ever! Some of the boxes of food looked like they could feed a small country for weeks. Really, who knew you could buy a box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal with 55 packs? And in multiple flavors?

So my main goal for this exploratory visit was to get a lay of the land and figure out the savings. I mostly wanted to focus on things that my family consistently runs out of rather quickly – breakfast foods and detergents.

I ended up spending $121.95 on the purchases in the picture, which included:
*Lipton Decaffeinated Tea – 2 boxes, 72 servings
*Kellogg’s Pop Tarts – strawberry flavor, 36 servings
*Quaker Instant Oatmeal – variety pack, 55 servings
*Bisquick Pancake Mix
*Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal – 37 servings
*General Mill’s Lucky Charms – 46 servings
*Welch’s Grape Jelly – 90 servings
*Jiff Extra Crunch Peanut Butter – 70 servings
*Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup – 64 servings
*Minute Rice – 37 servings
*Sam’s Brand Liquid Laundry Detergent – 110 loads
*Family Pack of Ribs – 2 packs, approximately 6 servings each

Of course, this isn’t enough to feed my family of 6. Did you notice I didn’t purchase vegetables, meats, starches or any of the other little things that keeps a family going between meals? Well, there’s a method to my madness. I want to know how long this will last my family. Each time I make a trip to Sam’s I want to purchase from a different section of the store and see how it compares in price and servings between shopping trips.

Here are some of the things I liked about the shopping at Sam’s:
*the store was neat (for me, neatness counts, especially if I’m buying my food at that location)
*everything was organized for easy browsing
*if you go there hungry, you will be full by the time you leave (they offer samples of just about everything)
*the cashier was incredibly nice and explained everything to me (this was my first time shopping there)
*the line moved very quickly (even though there were a lot of people in the store)
There were a few things that I did not like about shopping at Sam’s:
*there wasn’t a wide variety of food products (for example, my kids love Cookie Crisps and it would have been a major score if I’d brought home a 72 serving box, but they didn’t have any – not sure if they were out or what, I’ll check again next time I go)
*I didn’t know I had to do my own bagging and that I should bring my own bags (while a positive for the environment, a negative if you’re not prepared – although they do have a large supply of boxes if you need somewhere to stow your purchases)
*You have to show your receipt as you’re leaving the store (didn’t know this and the greeter nearly knocked me down to see the receipt which I had stuffed in my purse – hint, treat all customers as if it’s their first visit and they don’t know the rules)
Overall, I’d say this was a productive first trip. Yes, I spent a little over $120 on what seems like a few items, but when you consider the amount of servings and what it would cost for me to purchase the same thing at a traditional store, I’d say Sam’s is worth the initial membership fee (especially if you have a large family).

For a chance to win a free membership to Sam’s, head on over to The Diary of a Poshpreneur

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