: Will a Costco or Samís Club membership save you money on gas?



Jesda
04-07-11, 07:20 AM
The short answer is: no, not really... if you assume standard annual mileage and accept the prices in my neighborhood as a reflection of the normal discrepancy between member and non-member gas prices.



SCENARIO ONE: REGULAR UNLEADED

2010 Malibu I4 Auto – 26mpg combined

Regular unleaded gasoline
12,000 miles/year

$3.69 per gallon at Shell, 87 octane
Annual fuel cost: $1703.08

$3.59 per gallon at Costco, 87 octane
Annual fuel cost: $1656.92 + $50 membership = $1706.92

Annual Loss: $3.84 <—-



SCENARIO TWO: PREMIUM UNLEADED

2010 Cadillac DTS Performance V8 Auto – 18mpg combined

Premium unleaded gasoline
12,000 miles/year

$3.96 per gallon at Shell, 93 octane
Annual fuel cost: $2640.00

$3.79 per gallon at Costco, 93 octane
Annual fuel cost: $2526.67 + $50 membership = $2,576.67

Annual Savings: $63.33 <—-

http://jesda.com/2011/04/07/will-a-costco-or-sams-club-membership-save-you-money-on-gas/

Submariner409
04-07-11, 08:28 AM
Not all that wonderful, BUT - my step daughter has a 5 member family and does a LOT of bulk shopping at COSTCO in Norfolk, VA. The savings on stuff from coffee to printer ink cartridges to car tires is significant. A Logitech keyboard-mouse-transmitter which sells for 114.99 on Tiger Direct (plus shipping) is $69.99 at COSTCO, and even with 6% VA tax that's a large difference.

My Citi Shell VISA still rebates me 5% per gallon of Shell - so that beats COSTCO, too. Here on the Island Shell 87 is currently $3.70 for 87. That works out to a rebate of $0.185 per gallon....... if I can wait 'till thirsty Thursday (another 5 cents off), that's $0.235 per gallon discount/rebate.

csbuckn
04-07-11, 09:07 AM
You cant add the membership fees unless you all you buy is gas. Besides, how much can you mark off gas and still make money? One thing I can say is that Sams doesnt increase there price as soon as possible. If there is a big increase in price, The Sams I work at will leave the price down until the next day so you get a chance to get in. We have a procedure in place for long lines when this happens.

dkozloski
04-07-11, 10:16 AM
Around here both Fred Meyer Stores and Safeway offer deeper discounts than Sam's club depending on the amount of grocery purchases you make. Fred Meyers gives additional discounts for prescription purchases. Us old folks that live on chemicals do pretty well at the gas pumps. Forty to fifty cents off per gallon total is pretty standard. Gasoline as a loss leader is standard at all the grocery stores here.

concorso
04-07-11, 06:18 PM
Interesting, Jesda. This assumes, tho, that the member wont avail himself of the cheaper prices on other items. If you buy many different items at these places, the membership cost is much less substantial...

ThumperPup
04-07-11, 10:02 PM
sames club no way could never save on gas there friend works at the closest one to me wich is 15 miles from me each way i can go and shop for free he gives me day passes when ever i come in

Costco yes since its 2 miles away from me and i get a free Membership from Dad each year he adds me to the business account so i can stop there if i do choose to and save .10 Cents per gallon if i choose

gdwriter
04-07-11, 10:10 PM
I let my Costco membership expire in 2004 or 2005, but it wasn’t until 2009 that an expired membership was flagged at the pump. Since my ’91 DeVille required premium, I gassed up at Costco whenever possible, and on average, the price for premium at Costco was about the same as regular everywhere else. Now, I mostly fill up at Safeway. Not only are their prices usually lower than most other places besides Arco (which I won’t use), I get a 3-cent discount with my Safeway Club card, which is free. So I only pay a few cents more at Safeway than I would at Costco.

I don’t need anything in bulk and wouldn’t save enough overall at Costco to make the membership worthwhile. At least not right now.

Jesda
04-08-11, 12:20 AM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xo_CbfKKZmk/TWCML8SZoHI/AAAAAAAALjI/X0ssegpjxTM/s1600/costco_morning.jpg

AWWW YEAHHHH

Spyder
04-08-11, 12:58 AM
But you don't need a membership card for deli food or booze!

I buy a lot of jerky/non perishable snack foods/yellow Rockstar at Costco. A 24 pack of the good tasty yellow Rockstar costs 26 bucks. Buying them anywhere else they go for 2 bucks a pop.

RightTurn
04-08-11, 02:46 AM
Costco lunch FTW!!

ben.gators
04-08-11, 04:29 AM
For some reason the food at giant stores like IKEA tastes different and wonderful! I can not say how much I love the hot dogs at IKEA! It tastes great and it is very cheap too!
Two hot dogs with chips and drink just for 2$!!!! I wish IKEA was near to my home or campus, if it was I would always eat there! :D

Jesda
04-08-11, 05:47 AM
Ikea meatballs are awesome. I bought a big sack of frozen ones in Chicago.

ben.gators
04-08-11, 06:34 AM
^
wow, that is wonderful! Where and how could you buy those frozen meatballs? From the IKEA store itself? I have heard those swedish meatballs are wonderful, but haven't tried them yet.

Jesda
04-08-11, 07:31 AM
They seem to go well with mashers and gravy. There was an Ikea right behind the hotel in Schaumburg. I also picked up a jug of lingonberry juice concentrate, but it doesn't taste like the stuff from the fountains at Ikea. The concentrate tastes more like grape.

orconn
04-08-11, 11:50 AM
Having been a Costco member since moving to Virginia 15 years ago, I am sorry to say (?) I have never eaten there. There bags of frozen meatballs are good, their produce and meat is excellent, their tires are priced well also!

dkozloski
04-08-11, 07:45 PM
Cosco shopping is a 700 mile round trip so I don't indulge. If I'm going to drive that far I'll go to Wal*Mike's. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ak_av8tor/3557633881/in/photostream/

EChas3
04-08-11, 09:49 PM
Here in Wisconsin, it is illlegal for any gas retailer to undersell the market. Costco, Sam's Club or Mejer sells gas at the same price as anyone else. If they priced their wares a penny lower, other gas retailers simply complain to the Secretary of Agriculture and a fine ensues.

Consumer Protection? Haaa!

Supposedly, the law protects a Mom & Pop operation from big corporations. It doesn't even do that. It just ensures all stations sell at the same high price.

dkozloski
04-08-11, 09:58 PM
They don't need a law to do that here. All it takes is a bunch of guys having a conversation over morning coffee.

Playdrv4me
04-09-11, 01:27 AM
God I love Dkoz.

As for the original thread topic, I think the point of the article, as I took it, was less about Costco memberships than the act of feeling like you have to "beat the system" by going to the cheapest gas station you can find when you need it. At the end of the year, it ends up amounting to pennies. Unless a station is very obviously gouging, or unless you dislike a particular brand, just fill up when and where you need to fill up.

I am very guilty of passing a station that might be 10 or 20 cents higher just because it frustrates me out of principle knowing the station 10 blocks down has it cheaper. But now I realize it just plain doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Jesda
04-09-11, 01:53 AM
I pick the station with better service and coffee and snacks. QT has the best sandwiches.

Aron9000
04-09-11, 02:51 PM
God I love Dkoz.

As for the original thread topic, I think the point of the article, as I took it, was less about Costco memberships than the act of feeling like you have to "beat the system" by going to the cheapest gas station you can find when you need it. At the end of the year, it ends up amounting to pennies. Unless a station is very obviously gouging, or unless you dislike a particular brand, just fill up when and where you need to fill up.

I am very guilty of passing a station that might be 10 or 20 cents higher just because it frustrates me out of principle knowing the station 10 blocks down has it cheaper. But now I realize it just plain doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

I disagree with that assessment. I always fill up at this one particular shell near my house, its cheaper than the other gas stations at the next exit by $.10-.15 cents on average. Plus you can use your kroger plus fuel discount at shell, so that's usually another $.10 off a gallon(buy $100 of groceries, save $.10 a gallon on your next fillup). So I am saving usually $.15 a gallon, times 18 gallons to fill my car up= $2.70. I usually do three gas purchases a month, so that's $8.10 a month, or $97.20 a year.

And if your Home Depot has a gas station in front of it, they give you huge discounts on gas. Spend $100 at Home Depot, save $.10 a gallon on fuel. I spent $200 there over the course of the past few months, filled my car up, it was $.20 off a gallon. If you are a contractor who does thousands of dollars of business with these guys a month, that's a huge savings. Plus they have the best snacks/sandwiches/biscuits in their gas station, and you can run your dually flatbed contractor truck through their carwash.

dkozloski
04-09-11, 03:07 PM
Here Safeway got hauled into court, got sued, and lost for pirating Kroger's/Fred Meyer software for managing a 10 cents /gal for $100 purchase. The guys selling the software installed a demo software package at Safeway but never quite finished the install because Safeway didn't want to foot the bill for debugging. The vendor sold a finished package to Kroger/Fred Meyer and got it up and running. Safeway hired some guy off the street to get their system going and never paid the vendor a dime and boy did they get mad.

ben.gators
04-09-11, 03:38 PM
Here in Wisconsin, it is illlegal for any gas retailer to undersell the market.
The last time I checked we were still living in a country with free market economy! Isn't such state regulations against the constitution?

orconn
04-09-11, 04:04 PM
The last time I checked we were still living in a country with free market economy! Isn't such state regulations against the constitution?

Hey, your talking about the state that for many years made colored margerine illiegal and made cheese with every restaurant meal mandatory. But the state does have its' benefits; remember that Wisconsin ends in sin, and the drinking age for 3.2 beer was 18 and beer was served at the U of W Madison student union (back when there were still "Blue Laws" in many states), this was probably why 2/3 of the entering freshman class never reached their junior year!

EChas3
04-09-11, 04:54 PM
My Roadmaster hated QT. My closest Top Tier is Tri-Par (1 mile). I also like Shell & Mobil.

Playdrv4me
04-09-11, 07:34 PM
I disagree with that assessment. I always fill up at this one particular shell near my house, its cheaper than the other gas stations at the next exit by $.10-.15 cents on average. Plus you can use your kroger plus fuel discount at shell, so that's usually another $.10 off a gallon(buy $100 of groceries, save $.10 a gallon on your next fillup). So I am saving usually $.15 a gallon, times 18 gallons to fill my car up= $2.70. I usually do three gas purchases a month, so that's $8.10 a month, or $97.20 a year.

And if your Home Depot has a gas station in front of it, they give you huge discounts on gas. Spend $100 at Home Depot, save $.10 a gallon on fuel. I spent $200 there over the course of the past few months, filled my car up, it was $.20 off a gallon. If you are a contractor who does thousands of dollars of business with these guys a month, that's a huge savings. Plus they have the best snacks/sandwiches/biscuits in their gas station, and you can run your dually flatbed contractor truck through their carwash.

This is exactly what I'm talking about though... $97.00? I spend 97.00 on two dinners and a movie. Yea you can throw in all that buy your groceries here buy your contractor supplies there crap, and if you really do all that and you save a ton of money then that's fine... but at the end of the day most of us don't buy gas with all that custom complication on top of it, we just stop where we THINK it's the cheapest. My point is, driving around to find cheap gas isn't worth my time for 97 measely bucks in an entire year. I'd need to see savings over $300.00 or so before I really took notice, and I can save WAY more than that with more practical changes, like switching from ATT to Virgin Mobile for $50 bucks a month less x 12 months... that's $600.00 (and I am probably going to do it).

Aron9000
04-09-11, 08:43 PM
This is exactly what I'm talking about though... $97.00? I spend 97.00 on two dinners and a movie. Yea you can throw in all that buy your groceries here buy your contractor supplies there crap, and if you really do all that and you save a ton of money then that's fine... but at the end of the day most of us don't buy gas with all that custom complication on top of it, we just stop where we THINK it's the cheapest. My point is, driving around to find cheap gas isn't worth my time for 97 measely bucks in an entire year. I'd need to see savings over $300.00 or so before I really took notice, and I can save WAY more than that with more practical changes, like switching from ATT to Virgin Mobile for $50 bucks a month less x 12 months... that's $600.00 (and I am probably going to do it).

I know for a fact this gas station has the cheapest prices in town, along with the other 3 on that exit. If you have an I-phone, there is an app called gas buddy, it has confirmed my hunch that this place always has the cheap gas. Not to mention you gotta buy groceries, so its an easy no brainer way to save a little bit of $$$$ with the fuel discount. This station is super conveinet because its on the way to work for me, but I get your point that its lame to drive all around town to look for cheap gas.

Yeah $100 a year isn't a lot, but its $100 less to the oil barons. I hate overpaying for shit, so I plan my trips and fill ups to where I am never stuck on the wrong side of town paying $.40 more a gallon for gas(yeah it varies that much around where I live).

Jesda
04-09-11, 08:51 PM
The gas stations in the ghetto have interesting stuff.

http://nmisscommentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Chicken-Cracklings1.jpg

EChas3
04-09-11, 10:07 PM
Hey, your talking about the state that for many years made colored margerine illiegal and made cheese with every restaurant meal mandatory. But the state does have its' benefits; remember that Wisconsin ends in sin, and the drinking age for 3.2 beer was 18 and beer was served at the U of W Madison student union (back when there were still "Blue Laws" in many states), this was probably why 2/3 of the entering freshman class never reached their junior year!

When I was in high school in Rockford Illinois, the state line was only 12 miles away. Our road trips usually had somebody buying hard liquor. It's a miracle so many of us survived the 70's.

Even today, minors can drink beer in Wisconsin bars as long as they are within sight of their parents.