Totally Skewed Economics: Buying from wholesale clubs

Wholesale buyers’ clubs



Does it make sense to buy in bulk when you have a small family? I’m often forced to debate this question, especially when my Sam’s Club or Costco membership needs to be renewed. And the answer is this; it depends. 



On a recent trip to one of these stores I found myself staring at a 2-lb. tub of hummus and debating the pros and cons of its purchase. The expiration date was only two weeks away. (Yes, I’m one who actually pays attention to such obscurely marked information.) So I had to question whether I would consume that much hummus within such a short timeframe, and, perhaps more importantly, if I should. Additionally, I wondered if chickpeas, like other legumes, cause intestinal gas.


Wholesale buyers’ clubs often have good deals on more than foods. They also offer clothing. Call me cheap and tasteless, but I acquire some of my casual wear from them. I’d probably be cheap and tasteless, even if I didn’t. So why not?


Earlier this week, I bought a sweater. Yep, I know. It’s July, and it’s 103 degrees outdoors. But, hey, the knit top was embellished. It was pretty. And it was there. It won’t be available in November, when I’m ready to wear such a garment. That means that, next fall, when friends ask where I found this gorgeous green pullover, I can smugly reply, “Don’t even bother to look for one, now. They’re all gone.”


But, like I said, there can be drawbacks to visiting big discount stores. When I buy foods in mass quantities, I’m forced to confront the “law of abundance.” The more I have, the more I’ll eat.


If I have a package of a dozen Rice Krispies Treats then I will parcel them out, one here and there, prolonging my sugar bliss. But give me a briefcase-size box of 90 of those suckers and I’ll have one for breakfast, another at midday, and yet another before bedtime. For me, buying in bulk leads to bulk.


At my house, warehouse shopping causes bacon binges, too. What are they thinking, packaging breakfast meats in convenient 72-slice containers? I’m having bacon sandwiches, bacon garnished burgers, bacon crumbles on my salads, and bacon-wrapped chicken breasts. I’m even feeding bacon to my cat, it’s so cheap! (The strips, not the cat. Ms. Kittty is REALLY expensive.)


So now, after all that pork, I’m forced to buy hubby’s cholesterol-lowering drugs in larger containers. Fortunately, the pills are sold in Sam’s.


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