Ready for some crazy talk?
Over a year ago, I lamented the expiration of my Costco membership. I was torn. Do I pay the $50 and continue on like everyone else or abandon my membership? I chose the latter and it has turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
Costco's wholesale prices were costing me a lot in the long run, mostly because I found myself throwing away a lot of food. A small family of four (like ours) does not need 3 pound bags of lettuce and giant loaves of cheese.
This is the crazy talk part: I shop at cheap and scary grocery stores now. Vallarta and Winco are extremely cheap. (Contrary to what you might believe, you don't need to speak Spanish to function in Vallarta.) They have great prices on not just Mexican food, but also meat, dairy and produce. Winco is often cheaper than Costco when it comes to canned goods, bread, cheese and butter.
Paper goods at Smart and Final are just as cheap as Costco. Also, since I usually use cash for everything, the change I collect during the month is exchanged for an Amazon gift certificate at a Coinstar machine. I then use that gift certificate to purchase diapers on sale. Now that I don't shop at Costco anymore, I am actually coming in below our food budget. Who would have thought that avoiding the "cheap" prices would be so beneficial?
I told you, this is crazy talk.