I am glad Sam asked.
First when I look at taking a membership or subscription I ask myself these questions... does it save me money? does it save me time? Do I learn something from this? Is this helpful in any way, shape or form? (more of this at end)
Our Sam's club is 45 minutes away.
If we walk through the store we end up with 3 flat bed carts. We buy the OH LOOK AT THAT... stuff that should be OH WE DON'T NEED THAT stuff. Junk food to be sold in other stores in my pantry LOL.
We did 2 curb side pick ups during pandemic. There was limits and somethings were out of stock. SO basically I paid around $25 each trip as my membership is $50 about. At that point it was worth it to kept us out of the stores as neither of us was vaccinated. Our Walmart and Kroger's (Kroger's is now closed) didn't have anything of my list. I did use instant cart a couple times.
Membership renewal was coming up so I looked to see if it was worth having.
45 minutes away along with at least an hour and usually two shopping and then 45 minutes back. ADD the cost of gas/wear and tear of vehicle to get there and back. My time is based on $5/ hr. with mileage to cover truck is $1.75 (yes that is more that gov't allows on tax return but it reflects the true cost for this area AKA $5000 for entire brake system of truck)
I compared what I was buying:
25 lb. flour (bread and all purpose) was actually more at Sam's than Walmart or GFS (Gordan food service, no membership required, 30 minutes away).FIGURE THAT ONE OUT of Walmart cheaper than Sam's.
25lbs sugar ... same thing , more than Walmart's or GFS
Yeast at 1 lb. was a bit cheaper at Sam's but cheaper at Amazon and could not get at bulk store.
SO I started comparing... where is my money best spent... I was NOT saving enough to cover the cost of going there let alone the membership.
The Amish bulk store 15 minutes from us has it but they are higher priced than Sam's club and limited on what they have. But I can pick up some items that most regular stores don't carry. Like gelatin in bulk that I can store in old canning jars. Especially peach gelatin that is hard to find.
GFS , my brother's favorite place for getting stuff for family gatherings (he is a retired school principle) is closer (30 minutes) and lower prices, generic for most items.
Walmart and Save A Lot are the only grocery stores here. Both with in 10 minutes. Save A Lot has decent meat. Both stores acknowledge that Amish shop there and have items in larger amounts that those families would need to buy.
Then I priced Amazon. The amount of tv shows Hubby watches covers the cost of the membership against the cheapest satellite tv shows we could find as cable is not out here. Add the fact I saved over $600 on shipping last year and get 5% back on my credit card.
IF we had a Meijer's here I would shop there. But the closest is 50 minutes from us.
We shop Kroger's and Aldi's biweekly if needed when already there for doctor's appointments.
We shop Save A Lot and Walmart here.
I order from Amazon and some spices (not much herbs as I pretty much grow what I use) from .
We have memberships or subscriptions with the following
Amazon, shows for Hubby who zones out in front of the tv (finally is setting a timer to turn it off) , unlimited kindle for me as I am a read-alcoholic , free delivery most times.
Seed Savers not only can I find heirloom seeds but it's a tax deduction for the membership.
Real Simple magazine. Recipes, time saving tips and I pass this to Daughter 4 who passes it to her daughter who passes it to a friend etc. I do not do auto renewal. I wait a couple months to find a good deal on it.
Milk Street magazine. This is Hubby's. He watches the shows, loves the recipes and gotten a few more quick meals that were really good on the table.I think this is one of the few things he reads
AARP... lots of tips, great brain puzzles, discounts not so much in this area but was great where we lived before . We are looking at going that way with our taxes. Keeps me up to date with changes in Medicare etc.
MS 365. I tried open office and several times could not get it to work with things coming from Hubby's employer.
We are thinking strongly of Norton 360 with LifeLock as we have free AVG. Three of the kids have it and it has been a blessing. Since I just dealt with my credit card number being stolen I know how bad it can be. This would fall under peace of mind.
We thought about a membership to Anytime fitness or YMCA , that's all that is here. BUT we know we won't drive 15 minutes (both on west side in town and we are east of town). The price was on the high side. Wished there was a planet fitness as I would have done that. We decided we would just wait until we qualified for silver sneakers. I picked up a Fitbit which paid for it's self when it caught I was having heart issues(again, some more , what ever). I have a Fitbit Sense with membership.
We have a GFS (Gordon Food Service , they also supply restaurants) that sells to public 30 minutes away, no membership required. T