My Journey out of Debt

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Wine Club Discount Card

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Wine Club Discount CardMy wife called on her way home from work to tell me she was dropping by the local liquor store to pick up a couple of bottles of wine to bring along to a dinner party with friends we were attending that evening. When she got home, she put the three bottles of wine on the counter and notified me that she had renewed our wine club membership at the liquor store because it had expired.

Cost: $20.

Enrolling in the wine club is essentially purchasing a discount card that is valid for 12 months from the time of purchase. Truth be told, we actually hadn't renewed it in a couple of years because I questioned whether it was worth it. 

I decided to do some math to determine whether the $20 discount card was really worth purchasing.

Wine club members get several discounts, but the one most commonly used is 10% off all wine purchases. In order to recoup our $20 membership fee, we would have to purchase $200 worth of wine in the next 12 months (10% of $200 is $20), or about $17 of wine per month. Thinking about the types of wine we usually purchase, I estimated that the cost of an average bottle of wine for us is $10.

If we purchased two bottles of wine each month, we would save more money than the cost of the membership. We generally purchase at least two bottles of wine over the course of a month, so we shouldn't have a problem there.

The wine club membership has other benefits which, if we took advantage of, could save us even more money and make purchasing the card a great idea:

1.)  20% off any regular priced wine with the purchase of 12 or more bottles: We have several friends who love wine just as much as we do. If we could plan a group trip to the store with our friends and pool our wine needs into a single purchase, we could exceed the 12 bottles and double our discount.

2.)  5% off liquor purchases with a two bottle wine purchase: If we could coordinate any liquor purchases when we do #1, we could save a little on those items, as well.

3.) Two free home deliveries per year: To be honest with you, this one does me no good. I end up driving by this business at least every other day. Even if I have to make a special trip, it's literally two minutes away.

4.) Discounts on selected tasting events: I'd never noticed this discount before. We have attended wine tasting events in the past, and could have taken advantage of this. 

With just a little effort, we can definitely save ourselves some money on our purchases using the wine club membership. 

The key here is that the discount card is worth it for us because purchasing wine is something that we would do whether we had the discount card or not. It is already part of our lifestyle. If we had to modify our normal spending habits to recoup the membership cost, it would have been a waste of money.

Have you ever purchased a discount card? Was it worth it?

Related Links:

Can You Save $1.00?

When Coupons Cost You Money...

The 3 Cs to Grocery Savings: Coupons, Clubs, Creativity


Travis Pizel, My Journey Out of Debt Customer Blogger for CareOne Services, Inc.Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • Great post Travis! I actually do this a lot whenever I try to think of purchasing a discount card. At Sally's Beauty Supply Store they always ask me if I want to purchase a discount card for $5 a year. I always buy my hair dye stuff there and maybe a nail polish or two, and my BF buys gel there. I checked online and checked with a friend regarding what specials you can use the card on. My friend basically ends up buying whatever they have on sale (with the card) but it seems to be mostly psychological - "It's on sale only if you have the card, so I will buy it! Yay me!"

    I don't want to fall into that trap so I always say no at the register and they don't give me crap for it. Now in terms of other things such as my Chase credit card that I pay a yearly fee of $95... I think it's worth it due to all the perks and rewards I get. I calculated how much I use and the rewards I get, and I surpass the $95 in rewards each year. When I go back to school I think I may have to cancel this card though since I don't want to pay the $95 when I'm not using it for anything.

  • Hi Erika (From Shopping to Saving)!  You're very wise to not fall into the trap of buying things just because the discount card puts the item "on sale."    You must get some pretty sweet perks to exceed the $95 yearly fee on that Chase card,  but good for you for realizing that you may have to say "goodbye" to it while you're back in school.  Good luck, and thanks for your comment!

  • When the card or warranty saves you money it is worth the purchase.  

    I need new tires on my car and so I called and made an appointment for the tires I will be purchasing as well as paid for them in advance.  This way I go in without my debit card and they can't tell me I need a bunch of other things as I don't have my card to purchase the items.  When they had me on the phone they asked if I wanted the warranty for $11 per tire.  I almost did it so that the tire would be covered for a nail etc...  Of course then I thought about it the last time I got a nail in my tire the auto mechanic where I work took care of me without cost.  So in reality it would not have saved me in the long run.  I am glad I declined the offer.

    For you and Vonnie you will actually save in the long run so it is well worth it.  I still love your posts :-).

  • Paying before you even get to the store?  That's simply genius, Monica! (mdavis1964).  Can't impulse buy if you don't have the means to pay for it!  As always, I appreciate your comments.....great to hear from you - hope you are doing spectacular!

  • Thanks t_pizel.  It really worked in my favor as they ended up not having the tire I wanted in stock so they upgraded me to a more expensive tire for the same price.  At $20 more a tire that is a savings of $80.  Gotta love that one!!

  • I just purchased a Club Card (for Summerime savings on entertainment, restaurants and play spots for the kids) I am still trying to figure it out.  I want to say yes, but I haven't started using it yet.  It will be interesting to see if it really is a good savings tool.  Thanks for the post.  It gave me something to think about.

  • Oh that's fantastic, Monica (mdavis1964).......their mistake shouldn't cost you!  Sounds to me like you found a Tire Shop that values their customers!

  • Hope it turns out to be a good deal, Motherofone!  My daughter just brought home a fundraiser coupon book.  At first glance it looked like it had some good coupons in it.   I then realized that probably 80% of it was "buy one, get one free" fast food coupons.  For someone (me) that's trying to get and stay lean while marathon training, and trying to keep our eating out costs as low as possible, having a bunch of fast food coupons laying around probably isn't the best choice.  Even though it was for a good cause (school PTA), I said "no thank you!"

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