The Sam’s Workout

We buy groceries once a month, a third of which is bulk products from Sam’s Club. It’s easiest for me to do the Sam’s Club run on my lunch break so I tend to go into turbo mode. It’s a 15 minute drive from my office, and I usually have to stop at the credit union too (or Target or a gas station), which limits my shopping time to 30 minutes at the most.

Why would this be a workout exactly?

The “we need this every month” list:

  • Gatoraide (24 pack of 20oz. bottles)
  • Water (48 pack of 8oz. bottles)
  • Dr. Pepper (32 flat of 12oz. cans)
  • OJ (2 pack of 59oz. bottles)
  • Milk (2 gallons)
  • Apple Juice (2 2packs of 96oz. bottles)
  • Cereal (2 pack)
  • Diapers (148 count)
  • Wipes (768 count)

The “annual rotation” of needed supplies list:

  • Toilet paper (45 rolls; we buy every three months)
  • Kleenex (8 pack; we buy every two months)
  • Cascade (85 count; we buy every six months)
  • Garbage bags (33 gal 120 count; 13 gal 180 count; we buy once a year)
  • Paper towels (18 count; we buy every three months)

By the time I’ve picked up the drinks I’m easily pushing 50 lbs around in a cart at a safe but fast walking speed. Then there’s all the lifting involved too. The Dr. Pepper is usually stacked 4-5 feet off the ground and they prefer you place as many items as you can on the conveyor belt when checking out.

Then there’s the long haul back to the car, up a steep heel all the way at this particular location, then loading up the car too. I feel the burn after one of these workouts!

Interested in buying in bulk? I started out by setting aside $10-$20 each month and started a rotation. I would buy garbage bags one month, then toilet paper the next month, then Kleenex the next, and so on. It’s very rare that we need all of these items during the same month.

After that I started looking at what we were using the most. Milk is the real deal for sure. We were going through a gallon of milk a week. The Sam’s Club location I go to sold gallons of milk for $.50 cents cheaper than our local grocery store so I pick up 2 gallons every 2 weeks. The $2 I save on milk for the month more than takes care of the gas driving to the Sam’s.

Another big hit, my oldest takes a daily regimen of Claritin (and yes it had to be the name brand in his case) to keep his allergies and asthma at bay. I was shelling out $40 every month to Walgreens – at Sam’s Club I get a 40 day supply for $27. 

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