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Membership rates at Costco, Sam's Club comparable

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In just a short week, we will have a new store opening in our area.

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** FILE ** An exterior view of a Costco Wholesale store is seen in a Mountain View, Calif. file photo from May 31, 2006.  Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. declined Wednesday in pre-market trading after the wholesale club operator said it won't meet earnings guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year.  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)  PAUL SAKUMA
PAUL SAKUMA
** FILE ** An exterior view of a Costco Wholesale store is seen in a Mountain View, Calif. file photo from May 31, 2006. Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. declined Wednesday in pre-market trading after the wholesale club operator said it won't meet earnings guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Costco will finally be opening its doors to the public on Wednesday. My family was curious to see the store, so we hopped into the car and decided to go exploring. When we got there early Saturday evening, we were surprised to see a large group of people gathered around a tent near the tire center. I had already known that they were accepting early registrations for the store, but I was surprised to see so many people signing up.

So what is the difference between our two local warehouse clubs? What’s the same? Is using a wholesale club worth it to a savvy couponer?

My interest in Costco began when I received a booklet from Costco in the mail. Two things caught my eye. First, if you sign up before Jan. 2, Costco is giving a $10 Gift Card when you sign up to be a Gold Star Member, which is the basic membership level and costs $50 for a year.

You can receive a $20 Gift Card when you sign up for an Executive Membership, which costs $100. The stand out feature of the Executive Membership is that a person at this membership level actually earns a 2 percent reward (up to $500) on qualified purchases, which is paid out as a gift certificate for store merchandise. Secondly, I was impressed by the number of coupons it contained.

So how what are the differences in Costco’s and Sam’s Club? Well, a basic yearly membership to Sam’s only costs $40. After the rebate, Costco is comparable. Both places do not accept regular manufacturers’ coupons and do not have printable coupons available on their Web sites.

A free coupon class with Carol Gunter, above, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Augusta Chronicle News Building, 725 Broad St. Seating is limited; to reserve a spot, log on to smartshopper 1115.eventbrite.com.

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Just My Opinion
5627
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Just My Opinion 11/14/11 - 05:44 pm
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I'm glad that Costco is here,

I'm glad that Costco is here, but I'm just not a warehouse kind of guy. I just don't go there often enough to warrent the supposed savings..in other words, the $40 membership I pay doesn't do me any good when I only go there a couple of times a year! Now, I will say this about Sam's..the parking is always terrible whenever I've gone over there. So, I hope Costco's parking lot is larger.

Little Lamb
46009
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Little Lamb 11/14/11 - 05:52 pm
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Sam's would do well to build

Sam's would do well to build a parking deck. It would be cool if they made the exit from the deck a fly-over directly to Bobby Jones.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 11/14/11 - 07:22 pm
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Me either JMO. Long ago I

Me either JMO. Long ago I decided Sam's wouldn't save me the cost of membership, so I know for sure CostCo won't at $10 more.

KSL
129418
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KSL 11/14/11 - 08:05 pm
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We saved a ton of money on a

We saved a ton of money on a flat screen tv at Sams when lightning took our old tv out. We buy a lot of cheese and Sams affords us a huge savings over grocery stores.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 11/14/11 - 08:15 pm
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KSL, I'm kind of persnickety

KSL, I'm kind of persnickety about brands of big ticket items I buy. I could go to SAM's with a family member who has a card, but I've never seen anything there I wanted to buy as far as hardware/houseware is concerned.

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