OT as Hell - Sam's Club

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Just wondering if anybody really feels they get a bargain or really save even the 30.00 or more they plunk down for a membership. I got mine whithout looking around the store and the first thing I saw was a stack of apple pies - for 12.00 each. By the time I was leaving, I had this picture in my mind of food industry CEOs sitting around a swimming pool watching a bunch of ants swarming over a piece of watermelon, and the proverbial lightbulb going off - "We'll mesmerise the masses with mass quantities!"
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I go there about 4 times a year and load up on all of the things I can buy in bulk. Hey, I'm single and hate to shop. Soaps and stuff only need to be bought once a year. Frozen stuff about once a quarter. The membership doesn't pay for me in actuall dollars but the time I'm not in the local supermarket is well worth the $$$ to me. YMMV.

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John wrote:

The savings on diapers pays for the membership. Milk's also a lot cheaper than at the store.
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for diapers go to amazon.com alot of huggies "big paks" for $7.49 (free shipping over $25.00)

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (BUB 209) wrote in

I much prefer Costco, but since we only have Sam's here it has to do. We save far more than $30 a year on milk alone at Sam's. There's also at least one item we buy every month or so that nets at least that much in savings. We've been buying our tires there for about 15 years, some groceries, a fair amount of clothing, diapers when we used them, kitty litter, etc. etc. etc. Not everything is cheaper there, but if you pay attention you'll easily save the membership fee quickly-- often on a single item.
Costco, which I used to have when I lived in Oregon, is much better though-- it makes Sam's look like a super-sized version of Walmart. Costco has real books, real beer, real wine, real furniture-- Sam's has only bad religious novels, bud light, box wine, and pressboard furniture. The same comparison holds true for the food and clothing. But, as a long-time warehouse shopper I can't stop.
Two years ago we bought enough laminate hardwood flooring at Sam's to do three rooms in our house; the same product on sale at Menard's was 35% more. That's pretty typical.
-Derek
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I agree, only go to Sams/Costco if you know what things are supposed to cost. They have deals on big containers of stuff but if you don't use stuff before it goes bad it is not a bargain. I buy non perishables and things I use a lot of. They also have great deals on close out items but that is not predictable and it is easy to get a great deal on something you will never use if you get caught up in the moment.
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Yours is the second message noting milk prices - what do they run a gallon? (Assuming one doesn't have to buy it by the 55 gal. drum.)
In my little 'burg, inevitably one of the three grocery stores almost always has a weekly coupon for milk at $1.88 to $2.00/gal, vs. $3.65 or so regular price.
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On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 01:49:56 -0400, Fly-by-Night CC wrote:

Holly cow! (literally) Out here on Long Island we're paying about $4.50/gal at the grocery store, and that in a state with a massive dairy industry.
Chad
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For what it's worth, very little of that $4.50 makes it to the farmer, something like $12.00/cwt. Figure about 8 pounds to the gallon, that is about a dollar a gallon to the farmer; the rest is processing costs (pasteurization) and markup.
Out here, it runs about $3.85 at the grocers; at my grocer, the second gallon is only $1.00. So that's about 2.50 a gallon; not bad for the Bay Area.
scott
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snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

I may be waaaay off base, but I also think some of the pricing difference has to do with the economic base of the community - meaning, "what the market will bear" with an additional thought to making a basic staple of childhood nutrition available to segments that may not buy it if it were more expensive.
Here in semi-rural Oregon we have a relatively large migrant community that works the surrounding agriculture. I'm suspecting the commonly available coupon for a gallon at under $2 is aimed at this segment. I don't know for sure of course...
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On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 14:28:29 -0400, Fly-by-Night CC wrote:

well. I'm out in suburbia Long Island, so you could argue that my area is more affluent than a lot of NY City and can bear the $4.50/gal. But there are lots of low income families with children in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, etc, and the high milk prices are a burden on them.
I tend to think that right now a lot of the price is because of the dairy farms. The price here and in the city has gone up by more than $1/gal over the past year, and that's pretty hard to attribute to the distributor.
Chad
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http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/MD_DA210.txt
I don't think milk prices at the producer have increased substantially over the past few years. From the link above, western NY prices are lower than the northeast average.
scott

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In most areas of the country (and most definitely in the People's Republic of Pennsylvania) there are government mandated MINIMUM prices that milk can be sold for. Very seldomly is it sold for more than the minimum and NEVER for less. You will get fined heavily if caught selling for less than the minimum. The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board strictly enforces this law. A couple of years ago the School District I work for went to bid for its dairy and juice products. All vendors bid the state minimum prices for the dairy (and we use a LOT of milk) but there was some seriously competitive pricing on the juice. After we awarded the contract to the lowest bidder one of their competitors filed a complaint with the Milk Marketing Board alleging that the winner was effectively selling milk below the minimum by selling juice products below their cost. The Milk Marketing Board proceeded to investigate and 4 or 5 months later ruled that the company had "underpriced" the milk by selling juice below cost. They forced the company to increase their prices to us, forced us to pay the increased price for all products already purchased and consumed to date as well as all future purchases and fined the company heavily. This was for charging a public school district too LITTLE!!!! I could not believe it when I had to write that check. That is government in this so-called "capitalist" country ;)
Dave Hall
> I may be waaaay off base, but I also think some of the pricing

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Hi Scott, If I recall correctly, what you say is true up to a point. They (dairy companies such as Borden and others) do pay by weight, but I think they pay by the weight of butter fat that is in the raw milk. That is one thing that the inspectors look at when they come out to a farm and farmers keep an eagle eye on as well. This can vary greatly over the life of an animal with such variables as breed of cow, type of fodder, age of animal, and general physical condition, and yes, even the amount of rainfall in a year, or so I've heard in Biology and ag science courses. Anyway, the upshot is that the price the farmer gets for his raw milk is based on the richness of that milk in butter fat, cream if you will.

Those prices sound real attractive. If only you could trust the ground to stay where you found it. <G>
Later, Beej
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Well, isn't it preferable to have milk shaken not stirred? :)
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Yup. The butterfat content does get factored into the cwt price.

So far, so good. I've survived both Wittier Narrows and Loma Prieta with no problems (9 miles from the epicenter of the first, 20 from the second). Both in the high 6's. Thought they were following me around for a while.
scott
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We pay about $2.25 per gallon in Texas. How long will a gallon set in the refrigerator before it spoils? We get about 10 days on average.
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Leon wrote:

I presume you're talking milk? If so, freeze it. Don't know what the plastic jugs do but the paper ones take it just fine. Shake it up before you open it--freezing tends to separate it.
--
--John
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We never have any go bad, but I have heard that some states have different standards for the way milk is processed and it lasts a relative long time compared to 10 days. 21 to 30 days seems right. Some special milks do last a long time. I was wondering if the $4+ per gallon is a result of milk that lasts longer.

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I've switched brands of milk in the past because the newer brand didn't go sour as fast. The company explanation was that it was packaged differently allowing less light to be absorbed by the milk.
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