Are big box warehouse stores worth it?

April 23, 2007

The question I have been pondering lately is “Are big box warehouse stores worth the cost and trouble?”  I have long known that unless you buy a large amount of stuff, your cost of membership offsets any savings you may find.  However, we did join Costco a few months back and have found a few significant savings….we bought a new bed for $400 less than it would have cost us anywhere else.  That is a savings.  But generally, are we saving money and more importantly, are we simplifying our lives?

In general, adding Costco to the list, I now visit the farmer’s market for all produce, honey and so forth.  I won’t give up the farmer’s market, it encompasses all of my values of buying local, saving the environment and eating healthy organic food.  And it is pretty fun and very kitchy considering my city – a very unique and weird (proudly so) city.   Then I visit the regular grocery store for bread and essentials that I cannot get at the farmer’s market.  Finally I visit Costco to pick up those things that I get cheaper.  This isn’t simple.   This is insane.  My grocery days that include Costco have increased by 3 hours.    I want more time, not less.  And with gas prices what they are, I am certain there aren’t many savings to be had by driving to three different locations.

I think I will let my Costco membership lapse.  I may ultimately spend a bit more in groceries but overall, I will regain my time and that is most important.  

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