I want to start by announcing that my wife and I are expecting our first child in November! We’re both beyond excited for the opportunity to be parents. It will truly be an adventure because for one, I’ve never changed a diaper. I also have no idea what it’s like to have to comfort a screaming baby at 3 in the morning. That said, I’m going to approach this new chapter in my life by being humble, learning everything I can and committing to being the best father I can be.
As a new parent, I realize I’ll be spending a lot of time in Costco. Diapers, formula and baby wipes are just a few of the many things I’ll be buying there. I’ve heard that babies go through about 12 diapers a day when they’re first born. That means over 1,000 diapers in the first three months alone.
But the truth is, my wife and I have been members of all three national warehouse clubs (Sam’s, BJs and Costco) at some point during our marriage. Some of you might wonder why, as a two-member household, we would pay up to $55 a year for the privilege of shopping somewhere. There are several reasons, which I’ll discuss briefly below. I’ve also included the percent of the yearly membership fee, out of $55, each category would pay for.
- Prescription glasses. This is probably the best reason I have for why it makes sense to be a member of a warehouse club. Consumer Reports has consistently rated Costco among the best places to buy glasses
based on price, quality and service. You can get a complete set of glasses for about $150, compared with $200 or even $300 at independent shops. Percent of membership paid: 100%
- Contact lenses. I wear contacts once a week when playing basketball and usually go through a box of the disposable ones in about a year. While comparison shopping online recently, I found that the lowest price for the contacts I needed was $45 per box. I called Costco and asked for their price: $30 a box. Buying my contacts there instead of from an online seller saved me $15 per box, or $30 total. Percent of membership paid: 55%
- Low-carb shakes. My wife likes to drink chocolate-flavored shakes for breakfast sometimes because they fill her up and they’re convenient. The cheapest place outside of the warehouse clubs I can find them is Walmart, at $7.00 for a 4-pack. At BJs they were $16 for a 12 pack, saving us $1.66 per 4-pack. Assuming she drinks 120 shakes per year, we save $50. Percent of membership paid: 91%
- Allergy medication. My wife has minor allergies and normally takes an over-the-counter allergy pill each day. At Sam’s we bought a generic version of Zyrtec, which had a year’s supply of pills for $16. Compare that to drug stores, where you’d pay over $100 for a year’s supply of even the generic version. This one purchase not only pays your annual membership fee but saves you money every month as well. Percent of membership paid: 100%
These are just a few of the ways we’ve saved by having a warehouse club membership. We’ve experienced these savings even though we’re only a two-person family (for now). When the baby comes, we’ll save even more on the things we buy.
Are you a member of a warehouse club? Has your membership paid for itself yet?
Photo by frugalvillage.com