I have been a member of Costco or BJs for years, but I always have wondered Does it save money?
For me it does not save me money any more, because in the last three years I have switched to most things organic and environmentally friendly and those shops have few alternative for these products, at least in my area.
Does the membership saves money for most people?
I think it may save money depending on how much the person spends every month in these shops. Another consideration is if the person pays cash or puts the payment on credit cards that will not be paid in full at the end of the month. In the latter case you have to add the interest on top of the monthly amount.
Usually those shops sell big brands instead of store brands and the price of the big brands is similar or higher than the supermarket brands.
The sizes of the products sold are also an issue. If you are not going to use all the contents before they go bad it is like putting money in the trash.
Some supermarkets are very expensive, and in this case, the mega stores are probably a good choice to save money, but if you shop in supermarkets with lower prices perhaps the mega store does not save money. After a little research I found out that while Stop & Shop is somewhat expensive, a great alternative is Market Basket in my area. I am sure if you check out a few grocery stores in your area or simply ask around, you can get a good idea which store is the cheapest.
For me, as I said above, there will be no more BJs in a few weeks as my membership is expiring and I have no plans to renew. I will miss their cheap gas, but the membership does not cover the savings in gas price and there is little I can buy there anymore. I wish they will sell more organic products and environmentally friendly products.