Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club Members - Listen up!
If you typically find yourself shopping at Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club, then you probably like buying in bulk. Hey - we don’t blame you, we love buying in large quantities too! It’s usually an economically smart decision to buy items in bulk and it’s much more convenient when you already have food on hand. But, buying from wholesale clubs can cause you to spend more than you think.
NPR’s podcast, “Planet Money” published an episode in 2015 where they interviewed the owner of Price Club (which later merged with Costco), Robert Price. When these wholesale club's first opened, their goal was to actually make shopping harder... and it was profitable!
This episode on wholesale stores is called “The Anti Store” and here’s why…
If you’re a member of Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club, you know that you have to purchase a yearly membership costing around $50 - $120 a year just to shop there. Robert first came up with this idea because he wanted to create a store that felt like an “insiders club”, similar to a speakeasy.
No, I’m serious, he really wanted it to be like a speakeasy.
Since members have already spent money just to shop there, they end up returning to the store and spending more and more money to make the membership worthwhile. The psychology behind the membership worked and wholesale clubs became more and more popular.
The Lack of Signs
Ever realize how there’s no signs in a wholesale store? That’s not done by accident…
When Robert was asked why there are no signs in Costco he explained “I was adamant that we would not have signs telling people where things were, because that would make it likely that they would wander through all the aisles and find other things to buy.”
Do you ever find yourself down an aisle you didn’t need to go down and end up picking up a couple extra items? You fell right into Robert’s plan to boost impulse purchases!
Impulse buys here and there are okay, but when you’re doing this at a wholesale club, your grocery bill can skyrocket! You end up picking up a 32 ounce bin of hummus, 30 oranges and 5 lbs of cheddar cheese for an extra $25, all of which go bad before you can finish them. Sound familiar?
But to be fair, wholesale clubs aren’t the only stores that try to get you to walk around more to make impulse buys - grocery stores do that too! They usually put the staple items like bread, milk, eggs and meat in the back of the store so you’re forced to walk through other aisles and hopefully fill up your cart.
Check out these other alarming facts grocery stores don’t want you to know about.
The Lack of Options
In a normal store you have options. There’s 85 different kinds of soup, 100 different candy bars, and 20 different types of granola bars. In Costco, you usually only have one or two options. Ever wonder why?
When you have more selection in the grocery store, you have more labor. A grocery store employee needs to manually stock the shelves, whereas in Costco, the employee drops off a crate using a forklift instead of manually stocking shelves. This saves the employee time and therefore saves Costco money on the cost of labor to stock the shelves.
How Five Star Compares
No Membership Fee
Alright, so being a customer of Five Star might be like being in a cool “insiders club”, but we don’t charge you for simply being a member - that’s just silly! We retain our customers by providing them with high quality affordable food and excellent customer service, not a membership fee.
Go ahead… jump around and celebrate!
No Signs? No Problem!
Since we’re not a brick-and-mortar retail store, we don’t have signs either… but we have something even better.
Your own personal culinary consultant!
Our culinary consultants are trained to listen to your needs and provide you with a menu that’s custom made for you. When they put together your seasonal order, your consultant will ask about your family’s:
- Food allergies
- Preferred types of meat
- Eating behaviors (how often you eat out vs. eating in)
- Preferred portion sizes
- And much more!
They want to be sure your order fits your family's specific needs and that you will absolutely love every item in it.
Options, Options, Options!
Five Star has nearly 300 different items available with new products arriving seasonally! We have both prepared and unprepared foods. So whether you want to season your own boneless skinless chicken breasts or take advantage of the convenience of marinated lemon pepper boneless skinless chicken breasts on your busy nights, we have meals to please everyone!
No More Repackaging Your Meats!
Are you tired of portioning out the meats you bought in bulk and freezing them when you get home from the store? With Five Star, you can say goodbye to that entire process!
Our meats are pre-portioned, individually wrapped and already stored in your freezer. Just take out the portions you need and keep the rest frozen. No more repackaging!
Plus - all of our food is flash frozen, which is a 100% natural way to preserve food without the use of artificial preservatives. This process freezes the food very quickly at an extremely low temperature so it actually locks in all the nutrients and flavors that you would normally lose by freezing food in your home freezer. Your home freezer is not designed to freeze foods, it's designed to keep frozen foods cold. Let Five Star flash freeze your meats so you can enjoy all of the health and convenience benefits.
Buying non-perishable items from a wholesale club might still be the best way for you to save money in the long run since those items don’t go bad, but just keep these tricks in the back of your mind and don’t fall into the wholesale club trap! Limiting the number of times you go to your grocery store can greatly cut back on the amount of money you spend on impulse buys. Choosing to buy your beef, chicken, pork, and other meats from a company that specializes in providing high quality food for their customers might be your gateway into smarter grocery shopping.
Learn more about how you can save money with Five Star Home Foods.