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5 Clear Signs Your Sam’s Club Membership Is a Waste of Money

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Breaking up is hard to do, even with a retailer. This is especially true if you’re a long-time customer — or, in this case, a long-time member. Still, the day may come when you decide you’re wasting money on an annual Sam’s Club membership. If any of the following signs feel familiar to you, that day may be today.

1. You rarely make a Sam’s Club run anymore

Whether your nearest Sam’s Club is a fair distance from your house or you rarely feel inspired to shop there, you may have already considered allowing your membership to lapse. After all, a Sam’s Club membership makes the most sense for those who shop there regularly. If you find yourself heading to Sam’s once a month or less, consider whether the amount of money you save making infrequent trips is worth the cost you’re paying to be a member.

2. You consistently overspend when you visit

One of the coolest things about Sam’s Club is also one of the biggest traps. There are so many new things to look at on each Sam’s run that it’s tempting to bust your budget by picking up items you don’t need. If you (like many people) consistently feel frustrated with yourself because you bought all kinds of things you could have lived without, it may be time to weigh the value of membership. Do you end up spending more than you would spend if you weren’t a Sam’s Club member?

3. You know you can find better deals elsewhere

Price comparison apps have been a game changer for millions of shoppers. You no longer have to assume you know where to find the lowest prices on the items you need because a price comparison app will show you precisely where to find the best deals.

Let’s say you regularly pick up soft drinks while at Sam’s Club, but your local grocery store routinely runs a sale on your favorite drinks. Take a closer look at your “regular” Sam’s Club purchases and decide how many of those can be purchased elsewhere at a lower per-unit price.

4. Your savings no longer keep pace with membership fees and perks

There’s more than one potential savings when it comes to a Sam’s Club membership. Before determining whether your membership is still worth the price you pay, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  • Am I routinely getting the lowest price on the everyday items I need, or could I protect my finances by snagging a lower price elsewhere?
  • Am I using membership perks — like travel discounts — regularly enough to justify membership?

If the answer to both questions is “no,” it could be a sign that you’re wasting money.

5. Your nerves are shot by the time you leave

Each shopper is unique. While one may love the thrill of the hunt inside a Sam’s Club, another may truly dread everything, from crowded parking to oversized shopping carts and crowded warehouse stores.

Only you know which camp you fall into. If the thought of spending time inside a warehouse store makes you shudder, it’s definitely time to rethink your membership. On the other hand, if you find the entire experience (or most of it) delightful, you know you’re in the right place.

The nice thing about allowing a membership to lapse is that you always have the option of renewing it if you decide you miss the Sam’s Club experience.

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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 comment
  1. To be fair, the same criteria could be applied to see if you’re wasting your money on a Costco membership as well.

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