The Sunday Diary – Our Sam’s Club Closed, Free Furniture & Student Loan Horror Tales

Just as the title suggests, this is a wrap up of everything that was mildly interesting this week.

Our Sam’s Club Closed!

Walmart announced 60 store closings of their wholesaler club chain. Hubby and I were surprised to find our local club on the list!

It seemed to get pretty decent business although the increase in property tax, new minimum wage hike, Walmart’s feud with Amazon and the fact that there’s a Costco less than 20 minutes away probably gave away any chance at survival.

Kirkland, Washington on the east side is the birthplace of Costco’s brand and Seattle cradles Amazon. Ironically, Walmart / Sam’s Club did manage to exist this long in the hotbed of both nemesis is something I find as a feat.

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me-in-sams
That’s my 2-year-old Rosler cart and it’s AWESOME.

Sam’s Club = Meh

There’s a tinge of sad from most employers of any large, evil conglomerate but besides that, their stuff just wasn’t as good.

It’s not exactly news that Costco quality is better than the Walmart subsidiary. Did you know that 70% of Sam’s Club closures are all within 20 miles of a Costco? Sam’s may use the same hot dogs as Costco but they cheaped out big time on the bun. They have a salad option but it’s 40% more in price for half the size of Costco’s salad. I can go on and on, but basically, most consumers are more discerning than you would think.

Sam’s closing isn’t fantastic news for us. But it’s not that bad. Sam’s Club was close by for a quick bulk run. We organized our life with living car-free in mind. So far, half of last year we didn’t even need to rent a car because we had everything we needed nearby us. Walmart will likely turn the club into an e-commerce facility in Amazon’s backyard. Maybe that’s part of the plan.

The silver lining is…WE GET TO GO TO COSTCO NOW.

Hello, a summer vacation of lounging in the A/C-ed warehouse full of comfy sofas and books. WITH FREE SAMPLES. :p

Costco was my first choice but it came down to convenience rather than quality. We never looked heavily into the bus route to Costco because Sam’s was so nearby. Turns out there is another bus right next to us that will drop us off right in front of Costco. The entire trip to Costco will take 20 minutes including walking and busing. Sam’s Club took around the same time on foot.

I highly recommend anyone daring to live car-free to get a Rosler shopping trolley. My own Rosler is what has been assisting me with rolling back a week worth of groceries at a time.

Membership Refund?

I had scored a $10 gift card after renewing my Sam’s membership. Now that they’re closing, I need to make sure Sam’s will refund me for the membership and spend the $10 gift card before the physical club closes it’s doors forever.

I went over today to do just that, grab a lunch and find there’s a huge line out the door and looping the giant parking lot.

line-sams-club
That line!

What in the world…?

Jared and I planned on making a quick stop for lunch but curiosity made us wait in line. It seemed like people knew something we didn’t.

Good news, it was 25% off the entire store. Even discounted sales already marked down.

They’re clearing out inventory!

OMG, this is Black Friday 2.0!!

empty-shelves-store
Gone!

Didn’t I vow not to do something like this again?

Well, I didn’t!

The hard part was walking past the jewelry counter knowing we could afford it and for a married couple…maybe we should get actual rings. That thought nearly did me in. A bunch of ladies was crowding around there and everything was so sparkly. But then again, a dead rock on my finger would never be as good as $800 in the portfolio. So I ran and caught up with Jared who was looking at TurboTax like a responsible person.

I was impressed only 20% of the carts we saw hauled an unnecessarily large 80-inch flat screen TV in it. I figure for that size of a line, people would be more greedy. Everyone was helpful and polite to each other. No screaming, ripping open or playing “lady I saw it first!!!” with merchandise. Most people were stockpiling for items they needed eventually.

I heard things like “what’s the pound per price after discount? Is it a good deal?” and I felt a bit proud for some reason 🙂

In a jumbo warehouse where there’s everything and anything, there were people being smart with their money. No sale is worth having to finance something, right? Right!

Now had I been in the electronic or jewelry section up front, maybe my miles would have varied. But it didn’t seem like my lot were overbuying for the sake of a “special” store closing sale.

Our usual grocery trip comes down to $35. This trip we hit $90 dollars which isn’t a bad haul for 25% off detergents, soy sauce, toilet paper and rice. We needed to buy those for the home anyway.

We Found Free Stuff!

free-mid-century-table
Table + mirror (+ doggy)

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free-mid-century-table2
Excuse the messy living room full of jackets and scattered dog toys.

It’s been a bit of a free stuff drought in our neighborhood due to the cold weather, rain, and snow. This weekend has been pretty nice and mild and when my husband was coming home from the dog park with Grace, he comes to find…a gorgeous dining table and mirror in great condition.

mid-century-etagere

First of all, we’ve been needing a bigger table AND a decorative mirror too!

Secondly, both the table and mirror runs along with a mid-century modern style which is exactly what I’ve been waiting for!

Third of all, it was free! Thank you neighbor who so kindly helped us take it away! Now the majority of our living room is essentially composed up of second-hand furniture.

Four – it matches our etagere!!! AHHHH! 😍😍😍 The universe does prize patience. I couldn’t have found a better dining table for the price ($0).

Student Loan Horror Tales

On a darker note, I’m not sure how many readers out there are aware of this website that collects student loan stories from real life contributors but it can be a very enlightening read.

I use to visit this website back when I was still in university, almost 6 years ago. Back then, I was feeling pretty miserable because my future income and the loans I acquired didn’t land in such great ratios in relation to each other. These stories resonated with me but it also pushed me to be more active in snowballing my student loan debts. I think this website started out as a Tumblr and evolved into its own website eventually throughout the years.

There are a lot of stories now compare to 6 years ago. It blows my mind now, in fact, my mobile browser crashed twice trying to load this page of student loan horror stories. It’s that much. Scroll through and read a few random ones, go ahead!

It’s like a web version of a Dementor from Harry Potter.

Dementors are dark creatures that consume human happiness, creating an ambiance of coldness, darkness, misery and despair.

Yup, that’s definitely a good way to describe unsurmountable student loan debt. If you want to feel thankful and gain perspective on the landscape of these debt-ridden, well-meaning Americans, head over and read their sad tales.



27 thoughts on “The Sunday Diary – Our Sam’s Club Closed, Free Furniture & Student Loan Horror Tales”

  • Hah, seems like hope after all! +1 to the good guys!

    Seriously, America’s debt scares the @#*” out of me. We were also discussing Canadian fees, even that’s still difficult. Unfortunately, I can see the UK following a similar path, the cost of education just gets higher and higher.

    Awesome that you managed to score some deals at Sam’s. We’ll see how this effects my shares later. 😁

      • I like WMT as is has a good company philosophy, and seems to look after its employees.

        No I’ve got no Costco shares. I normal just choose one leading company in each sector. Medical, Tech, Commercial etc.

        But right now I’m just riding the Cannabis craze. Cryptos is just money, however lots of people who recently dropped in have experienced 50% haircuts.

        Cryptos just pays for mine and my brother’s PC parts and house refurbishments

    • We waited 15 minutes compare to what I read online which was over 1 hour. We thought we would be able to get our free pizza slice coupon and $10 gift card before cancelling the membership. I thought it would be worth it but turns out we couldn’t do anything. That part was lame! 😫

  • I can’t leave Costco without filling our trunk with food (mostly cereal)…I don’t know if I would be able to bring it on a bus without dirty looks from everyone!

    I really need to find or write a program that launches my calculator app every time I walk into a Target or Costco. 😄
    Budget on a Stick recently posted…2018 Goals, Not Resolutions

    • I’ve never been to a BJs! It’s a terrible name. Piggly Wiggly is the cutest store name. The line was 15 minutes for us 🙂 on a lazy Saturday, I’ll take it 🙂

  • I always find it interesting how people will line up for something when there’s a sale. It’s all well and good if there’s something you need but I doubt that’s the case with most of these people. It’s off 25% but if you buy something you don’t need, it’s still 100% more expensive than it would have been if you didn’t buy it at all.
    timeinthemarket recently posted…The Time in the Market expense and savings report – December 2017 – the uncle Dave told me to save edition

  • I think I would have been one of those people hauling stuff out of Sam’s club at 20% off. Costco and those stores are evil in that they make you spend on cheap stuff you don’t need! Glad to see you have another alternative to the Sam’s club that is closing!

  • Your table story reminded me of our first couch set! We weren’t trying to be frugal, we just couldn’t afford to buy anything new (And I refused to use credit cards). It was like Christmas when I found it 🙂
    I go to Costco regularly but I am more mindful of what to buy there since I try to reduce my grocery budget. It’s the quantity that gets you!
    Caroline recently posted…Being 21 With $30,000, Who Wants To Play?

    • Haha, yeaaaaaaaaaah it was pretty much another Xmas when we saw it. It’s perfect!!! And didn’t even cost transportation!

      Everytime we go to a wholesaler club, 3 items in and we’re at $50….I’m like…how…oh…

  • I highly considered a rosler shopping cart as I also lug groceries car free most days esp now as I try to significantly reduce my car2go usage. At the same time, I was very self-conscious about looking like an old lady. I only used it once and boy did it make a difference in the world. Luckily, I’m only 2 blocks from the closest grocery. I snapped my place up when it was next to the train station and 2 blocks from a reasonable supermarket, and 3 blocks from an Asian corner grocery store. Look at that line of frugal people. I bet a lot of them are multi asset millionaires.
    Financial Orchid recently posted…Finding Your Financial Match

    • Aw you are so lucky to be so close!!! We are…10 streets off from our grocer.

      A lot of people in the line were contractors, they were buying toilets and flooring.

  • Yes for Costco!! I go there twice a week, one for shopping/samples and the other time to eat more samples and eat at their food court. ha!! Hopefully you two can find ways to get around walking and busing to/from Costco with those bulk items they sell. That Rosler cart should help!
    I just checked that student loan horror story link, so many of them!!
    Kris recently posted…Give Me a High Five – My Five Goals for 2018

    • I figure the fees justify the samples if I have my weekend meals there (kidding!!) I won’t buy too many things. I only have to feed myself really since Jared eats mostly at work.

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