Warehouse Store Versus Regular Grocery Store – Do You Really Save Money?

I don’t know the answer, as I don’t shop at warehouse stores – which is why I am asking you guys in this post to help me out. The reason I ask is that I hear people talk about all the money they save by shopping at these stores, but when I have asked for examples they have a hard time coming up with specifics. I guess it’s because of the sizes you get when you buy things (especially food products) that shoppers assume they are saving money over regular grocery store prices, but do they really? When you buy 100 rolls of toilet paper at a store like Costco, are they cheaper per unit when you buy 25 at the grocery store? When you shop at these warehouse stores, do you assume you save money on the stuff you buy or have you made the line by line comparison on each and every thing you put in your cart?

Like I said, I don’t know the answer because I don’t even have a warehouse store where I live, so I cannot do any comparisons. (The closest one is 63 miles away, so I would have to save a ton to even bother) So, if any of you guys could be so kind, could you fill me and other people in on a few things about warehouse stores? Here are a few questions I have for those “experienced” warehouse store shoppers:

Do you do all your grocery shopping at your warehouse store?

Do you know for sure that you save on everything you buy?

Do you take advantage of the perks (travel arrangements, etc), and consider that part of the savings?

What do you save the most on? The least?

How much do you pay for a membership fee?

Please feel free to let us know anything else you think is pertinent. Bad experiences? Great ones? New member? Member since the beginning? I really am curious what you guys think about this subject, and I will explain why in a later post after hearing what everyone has to say!


Cheese Sandwiches For Kids Whose Parents Failed To Pay Their Lunch Tab.

What do you guys think about this? It’s been a pretty huge story here in New Mexico, and while on one hand I understand what and why the school system is doing it (we have no money), I cannot help but hate the fact that the kids are being punished for the parents lack of payment…

Faced with mounting unpaid lunch charges in the economic downturn, Albuquerque Public Schools last month instituted a “cheese sandwich policy,” serving the alternative meals to children whose parents fail to pick up their lunch tab.

Such policies have become a necessity for schools seeking to keep budgets in the black while ensuring children don’t go hungry. School districts including those in Chula Vista, Calif., Hillsborough County, Fla., and Lynnwood, Wash., have also taken to serving cheese sandwiches to lunch debtors.

Critics argue the cold meals are a form of punishment for children whose parents can’t afford to pay.

“We’ve heard stories from moms coming in saying their child was pulled out of the lunch line and given a cheese sandwich,” said Nancy Pope, director of the New Mexico Collaborative to End Hunger. “One woman said her daughter never wants to go back to school.”

Some Albuquerque parents have tearfully pleaded with school board members to stop singling out their children because they’re poor, while others have flooded talk radio shows thanking the district for imposing a policy that commands parental responsibility.

In Albuquerque, unpaid lunch charges hovered around $55,000 in 2006, $130,000 at the end of the 2007-08 school year, and $140,000 through the first five months of this school year. So…Is the school system right? Wrong? What do you think should be done?


Sunday Money Roundup – Denver, CO Edition.

I am spending a few days up in Denver, CO visiting some friends. It’s always nice to have a change of scenery! While I head out to explore Denver, here are some articles that really caught my eye this past week:

Gather Little By Little wants you to educate yourself on personal finance and money.

Five Cent Nickel has some tips for Surviving Income Tax Season Without an Audit.

Cash Money Life has some great tips for finding Free Stock Trading and Investing Tools.

No Credit Needed shares even more ways about How We Changed Our Family’s Financial Future.

Get Rich Slowly compares free credit report services with Want to See Your Credit Report for Free?

Remodeling This Life reminds us of what is important – seeing the beauty in the everyday.

Living Almost Large is talking about financial mistakes she made. Here is number 2 on the list.

Money Ning has an interesting post up titled “Layoffs or Not, How Some Ways Companies Let Employees Go“. Very interesting stuff here, and glad I work for myself now!

My Dollar Plan wants you to Get Out of Emotional Debt. Now!

Simple.Organized.Life asks “Is It Healthy To Feel Like You Aren’t Doing Enough?

My Two Dollars also participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance this week, with my article “Don’t Bury Your Financial Head In The Sand.”


Money Quote Friday – Money Itself Becomes The Problem Edition.

When money is seen as a solution for every problem, money itself becomes the problem.

– Richard Needham

Have a great weekend everyone.


Shop With These Geeky Money-Saving Tools.

Shopping online is becoming more and more convenient in terms of time and money saving – the key is to be up-to-date with new tools and hacks the web offers to us. Let’s have a look at most creative ways to shop on a budget. Couponing and budget shopping tools are numerous. They vary from cool free applications to huge services and portals. They key is not to try to keep up with every site you manage to find but to apply a smart approach: make the most of just a few cool tools.

Save Money with Your Email Box

You can opt in millions of mailing lists today and receive regular updates on recent offers and deals. Any coupon code site offers an email subscription option today. What you should always remember is that (1) you don’t want your email box to get full of automated updates and (2) with recently launched services you can use your email box much more creatively than just subscribing to anything more or less relevant.

Today you can customize your email alerts in multiple ways and aspects. One of the newest examples is “My Favorite Coupons” launched by FreeShipping.org. The service allows you to create a fully customizable page by adding your favorite stores to it. You will then receive updates either on regular basis or once one of your stores offers a new coupon code (depending on which option you choose). Naturally, some web 2.0 goodies are also available, for example, you can share your page with friends (they will be able to see it but not edit any settings):

Save Money with Your Mobile Phone

You can receive SMS alerts about your favorite deals and stores. First, many coupon directories and aggregators use Twitter as an alternative subscription option – and you can set up Twitter to send you SMS messages on updates. (Tip: you might want to create a separate Twitter account for that to avoid being bombarded with mobile messages).

Besides, a few new web tracking services offer to set up SMS alerts – Trackle being one of them. Trackle is a feature-rich online tracking service allowing you to monitor almost anything: Amazon deals, eBay auctions, Shopping.com portal news and even the product price changes over time:

Save Money with RSS Reader

I love my RSS reader because it allows to check for updates only when I want that: no full email box, no unsolicited messages or notifcations. All I need is not to forget to regularly check it for updates. Unsubscribing is also quick with no extra headache – just delete the useless feed and you are done.

Many coupon and money-saving blogs allow per-category subscription which is good because I don’t want to monitor shoes if I am rather interested in computers. So some sort of customization is also available here. Besides, you can preview the deal details before entering which saves your time immensely:

Save Money with Your Browser

There are a number of FireFox extensions that alert you of a deal while you are browsing. Tha advantages of using those addons are pretty clear: you are free to (dis)able them with one click of the mouse. Besides, they are tightly focused, so they do not bug you when you are not shopping. PriceAdvance is a good example of such add-on – it displays other sellers’ prices for the product you are viewing. The comparison is viewable in the small pop-up when you navigate to any product page. You are offered to compare prices across major shoping portals and resellers: Amazon, Buy.com, WalMart, BestBuy, etc.

Any more tools? Which one are you using?

The above was a guest post by Ann Smarty, an SEO consultant and blogger, you can follow Ann on Twitter.