Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Can you shop real food at a wholesale club and still save money?

For almost 4 years, we've had a membership at a local wholesale club.  We've used our membership for various things. In the beginning, it was certainly for gasoline, and various paper products.  We still use it for that today.  I previously used it on different food products like cereal, milk, juice or sports drinks, and other packaged or frozen snacks.  Throughout my gradual progression into real food, though, I obviously buy less and less or none of those products anymore.  We have kept our membership because we feel like the savings on bulk paper products and the gasoline was worth it, but I hadn't perused the store in quite a while until yesterday.  (Things had to get majorly simplified for me for a while after adding a 2nd kidlet.)
Shopping bulk also means bigger carts!
We went yesterday during the non-event of Tropical Storm Isaac here in southern Florida.  First of all, my kids were mesmerized. I don't know that Gabe has ever set foot inside BJ's, but he was entranced by the lights and all the items.  Mia thought all the displays were pretty interesting.

Once we got what we were looking for, we walked through the aisles checking out various products.  I was happy to see more natural or organic products stocked on their shelves.  I tried to capture both the product and the price in the picture on my smartphone (remember I was also pushing 2 kids in a cart), so hopefully you can view what it is and the price....

Honest Tea, 12 pack for $10.99
(Honey Green Tea; White Peach Tea;
Half Lemonade-Half Tea)

Applegate Farms nitrate-free
Center-Cut Bacon (3-12 oz packages bundled for $11.29)

Applegate Farms deli meats & cheese
2 packages bundled for $6.99

Daisy Sour Cream, 2 lbs for $2.99

Organic Butter (salted or unsalted),
2-1lb packages for $6.99

Brie, 12.3oz, $5.99 (this was for my friend Mo)

Organic juices, $3.49-$3.99

Organic lemonade, $3.29

32 oz. Grade A Maple Syrup, $13.29

Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate, 3lbs, $8.99

Huge bag of baking soda (13.8lbs), $6.69

Organic Basil 2.8oz, $3.49

2-pack (44oz. each) Heinz Organic Ketchup, $6.79
(might still contain MSG, but no High Fructose Corn Syrup)
Newman's Own Organic K-Cups, 80 for $39.99
Would I normally buy all of these? Maybe, maybe not.  But at least I know that these are an option should I ever want to buy some of these products in bulk and just down the road from my house.  I'm all for finding the best prices on items, but occasionally convenience and proximity to my home win out over lowest price.

Note: I did not capture the prices on organic produce or dried fruits or nuts. Maybe next time!

These may not be the best prices on everything as compared to your traditional grocery store or natural health-foods store, but I know that there were some deals among those items, like the sour cream, the Brie, the basil spices, Grade A Maple Syrup, and the Applegate Farms products.  Compared to a very popular traditional grocery chain in Florida, and my local healthfood store, I know these were definitely better prices.
Also available are Newman's Own Organic K-Cups for $39.99, which can be used in Keurig Brewers.  That's a pretty good price considering you're not paying shipping ordering from the Keurig website.

What about you? Do any of these stick out as "deals" to you, or are you able to find many of these products at lower price at other stores?  If you are not part of a co-op or buying club, where do you purchase similar groceries?

1 comment:

Jamie and Trey + One said...

We have Costco in Nashville and they have awesome deals on Organic fruits and veggies. I still try and get all my meats from my local farmer, but the produce is just too expensive so I get it at Costco. That was an awesome deal on the Applegate meats. I spend $5.69 for their bacon at Publix and I only get 1-12oz package.