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How to Decide if You Should Join a Box Club or Amazon

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Are you on the fence about joining a box club or Amazon? I don’t have a membership to a box club (and probably never will). Box club memberships don’t appeal to me. Here’s why:

  • You have to buy everything (even produce) in huge quantities.

Eventually, I’m going to run out of room in my house. Don’t get me wrong. I love finding great sales and stockpiling. However, if I don’t need to stockpile, I’d rather not clutter my home with something that I could’ve gotten in a smaller quantity for the same price.

I always calculate the per unit cost and then decide if I can find the item at a cheaper price (especially in a smaller quantity). If you can’t find the item in a smaller quantity for a cheaper price, how are you going to store it? Especially for things like produce, you may not be able to use the entire product before it expires. If you can’t freeze it, store it, or use it before the expiration date, it doesn’t make sense to buy large quantities.

  • You’re stuck lugging everything home.

I don’t even like buying bulky items at a grocery store, let alone the huge quantities of bulky items at a box club. Trying to cram everything in the back of a car requires an engineering degree (I’ve actually proudly taken pictures of my trunk to show the farmer after I spent 20 minutes rearranging my groceries).

  • The nearest store is 45 minutes away.

Maybe you live next door to a box club. If that’s the case, it makes sense to get a membership. For me, by the time I drive to the store, load up my car (and they don’t accept every credit card, which I love to use for large purchases so I can get points), and drive back home, I’ve wasted a ridiculous amount of time and money.

  • You can’t share a membership.

We’re taught to share as little kids, but most box club memberships don’t allow you to share. You could buy a membership together with another person and bring them along on each of your shopping trips, but you lose the convenience of shopping when it’s convenient for you. Also, you’re stuck splitting costs and trying to cram even more items into your trunk.

I have an Amazon Prime membership instead of a box club membership. Arguably they’re the same concept (other than the fact that I get free shipping from Amazon). Box club memberships are about half the cost of an Amazon Prime membership, but you can’t share a membership. With an Amazon Prime account, you can share a membership with another “household,” cutting the cost in half. Also, with an Amazon Prime account, you get access to so much more than just free shipping.

You don’t need to get a Prime account in order to use the Subscribe & Save program. However, you do need to have a Prime membership in order to use the Amazon Mom program, which allows you to save 20% of diapers and wipes. I figured out that my Prime membership would pay for itself after I bought a five months supply of diapers. You can also use your Prime account to use the Prime Pantry program, which ships groceries to your door at the same price (or less) than a grocery store. While you have to pay $5.99 for shipping for Prime Pantry boxes, there are typically promotions for free shipping, discounted items, and “promotional credits” if you choose delayed shipping. You can also use your Prime account to use the Kindle library, stream movies, music, and television shows for free, and store photos.

It was easy for me to make the decision to choose an Amazon Prime account instead of a box club membership, but you may want to consider the following factors before making your decision:

  • Location (how close is the nearest box club)
  • What items do you buy (are they available in small quantities for a cheaper price)
  • Are you able to transport the items with ease
  • Are you able to share the cost of a membership with a neighbor or relative

If you are interested in trying an Amazon Prime membership, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial. I signed up for Amazon Prime after using a free trial and never looked back! 😉 Many box clubs also offer trial memberships and promotions for joining, so check online or call your local club’s membership services before joining.

Do you have a membership to a box club or Amazon? Leave a comment below and share what you like (or don’t like) about it.


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