Being retired does make one aware of the budget—–We were used to at least bi-monthly salaries with a monthly commission/bonus check as well.  Since neither of us ever was employed by Goldman-Sachs, these weren’t seven-figure amounts but we did all right.

Now the money comes mostly around the first of the month.  So there is a definite adjustment to be made to spending patterns.  And how one buys—-which brings me to Sam’s Club.  All I heard from friends here was “Ya gotta join Sam’s Club.”  Not being a Wal-mart aficionado, that was about the last thing I wanted to do.  We’d been members of those bulk buy organizations in the past.  There’s only two of us people and a plethora of dogs and cats but we sure don’t need bulk groceries.  Fifty pounds of rice at a time–spare me!!!!!

Then our government and the Arabs got going and gas prices went to hell (bet you never knew hell was in the up direction?).  Sam’s Club is consistently anywhere from five-cents to a dime cheaper per gallon than any other station in the area!  Given how we like to drive around our state, we figured the savings in gas alone would pay for the membership.  So we joined last October.

About the third fill-up we ventured inside the store.  We had entered to join, obviously, but a quick tour pretty much confirmed my impression of gigantic package quantities, albeit very low unit prices.  But if you waste half of it, or it spoils , what have you gained??  On this particular trip, dairy product prices had just gone up so we figured we’d do a little price comparison—-the prices at Sam’s were similar to good sale prices at the other supermarkets.  But, que milagro, our favorite “jug” wine was about three dollars less than anyplace else.  So we started venturing into the store more and more—now we are hooked.

While we eschew purchase of fourteen pound beef brisket and some of the other bulk grocery items, we do buy ground beef—only place we’ve seen around town where 90/10 extra lean is less than $5.00 a pound; actually, only place we’ve seen 10% or less fat ground beef!!!!  And stocking up on non-perishables we use almost daily isn’t wasting money—especially when it’s so much less expensive.  Brand name tomato sauce is cheaper than the generic brand from the local supermarket (about .80/can vs. .97/can).  Eggs are consistently cheaper and so is milk.  Combined with the harvest boxes we get locally, our food costs are greatly reduced and we eat much more healthy food!!!  Plus, given the packaging sizes, we make less trips, saving on those “impulse buys” and one large trip a month keeps us more than supplied with staples like dog and cat food.

Sorry for those of you who don’t have a club nearby.  Others of you might want to check it out.  I was always a cynic about these places but I’m converted…………Must have been the wine!?!?!?!