Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good Old Uncle Sam

(Just so you know, this is not my 4th of July post that will come later...tomorrow...or Monday...once the festivities are over and I sing some Patriotic Songs)

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, I love that. This past month I have been pursuing the happiness that living within the budget brings. And guess what, after all the receipts were counted I was only over by $10 on my food budget (for those of you who saw my facebook post about being $13 over, I returned some Otter Pops to Maceys.....they were 1 oz pops for the same size as 1.5 oz pops at other off...thus we returned them). It is my new obsession, trying to live within or below our means.

We have been Costco members for a few years, Ken signed up at work because you could get a gift card for signing up- we are big on discounts and gift cards. We are also big on Discover Card Bonus Awards. We use our Discover Card to make most of our purchases, we pay it off each month and we earn some pretty good rewards. This year we noticed that one of the things you can get is a prepaid Sam's Club Membership plus a $10 gift card. We talked about it, and decided it would be the most budget conscious way to go.....we would get the benefits of the Big Club Stores and not have to pay the Membership fee. If we liked it, we could continue to get the prepaid membership through discover card rewards, if we didn't like it we could go back to Costco, no harm, no foul.

Now, we don't buy a ton at Costco. We buy Diapers, Wipes, Milk, Romaine Lettuce, String Cheese, Fruit Snacks and Gogurt on a regular basis. (I am beginning to think they should give memberships to Babies, since all but the Lettuce is for Baby J.) There are other items that we buy every 4-6 months when the gigantic amounts you can purchase at these stores finally runs out.

We went the new Sam's Club in South Jordan and were very pleased at the super easy process of signing up for our membership, we had to use $2 of our gift card to pay the tax that Utah apparently collects on membership fees. We then started to check out the store.

40 inch Sony LCD TV- $878 (a few more months and it will be near $500 and we'll snatch it up)

Fruit Snacks- found for a great price, the same or less

Bread- found, good price, two pack just like Costco only you can choose two different types of bread to put into your two pack, I like that Idea.

Romaine Lettuce Heart- $3.88......what.....I buy these weekly for $2.99, they are the exact same brand but for some reason cost 89 cents more.... that is $47 dollars per year.....I felt the world closing in around me.....

String Cheese and Gogurt- pretty much the same price

Baby Wipes- more wipes for $2 cheaper....pretty nice.
When we got to the baby section we didn't see size 3 diapers but we soon discovered why, they were all in the As-Is section because they are changing the packaging and wanted to get rid of all of the older packaging before they started selling the new ones (I asked....because I really had to wonder about diapers being sold as "As-Is") They were $20.20 for 160 diapers- so we picked up 2 boxes.

Contact Lens Solution- same brand same price

Boston Baked Beans- Gigantic card....."Please Kate, can I have the Boston Baked Beans" Sure I said. (Ken has since hidden them from me because I ate half the gigantic bag.)

Milk- you don't have to buy two...but the price is $1.88, so if no one is having a sale that is not bad.

Now, we had about $5 left on our gift card by this point, and I was bemoaning the fact that I was going to be paying more for lettuce and I felt like having a hot dog. So we did. One Polish Hot Dog, One Cinnamon Pretzel and one VERY Large Root Beer would make me feel much better, especially since they would be free, i.e. paid for with the gift card. At this point my doom and gloom opinion of Sam's Club and their over priced produced changed. Because I found this beautiful thing...
That is right, I am a fan of the Kraut! I must admit that I was always a bit sad when there was no Kraut at Costco to go on my Polish Hot Dog. "I love Sam's Club" I proclaimed. We ate and made our way home, I was still a little annoyed about the Romaine but there was sunshine in the world again.

The next day I got online and searched the Sam's Club site for a place to make comments and or suggestions. I didn't find one, but I did find that out of the 8-10 Sam's Club in Utah, the South Jordan store is the only one that charges $3.88 for its Romaine, all the others charge $2.92! Are the People in South Jordan rich? I don't know, but what I do know is that I will be shopping in Murray or West Jordan from now on (they are both pretty close to Grandma's house after all).

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