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Costco vs Boxed.com
*This is not a sponsored post, but I kind of wish it was… Also, share this post on social if your version of “hitting the clubs” involves buying toilet paper in bulk.*

If you’ve never heard of Boxed.com before, it’s an online wholesaler—sort of like Costco or BJ’s— where you can buy products in bulk, but there’s no annual membership fee, and orders over $30 qualify for free 2-day shipping.

I first learned about Boxed.com a few months ago, and made a mental note to check it out in the near future.  But, like most mental notes, that idea was quickly forgotten.

Then, this past weekend, my boyfriend and I started working on our bi-monthly Costco list.  My phone must’ve been listening, because after that, I started to see ads on Facebook promoting Boxed.com.

And when I saw the ad below yesterday, I decided it’s time to check out the site and see if we could save some time by eliminating our Costco pilgrimages (also, doesn’t that flour sound amazing?).

Boxed Facebook ad

I finally explored Boxed.com, and here are my initial thoughts:

1. I LOVE that they offer free 2-day shipping.

This is a huge deal when it comes to shopping at clubs— when it comes to wholesalers, we only shop at Costco, and they don’t offer much in terms of online shopping options.  For the most part, if you want to buy something from Costco, you’ve got to visit the store in person, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same could be said for BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and any other clubs I’m forgetting.

(Comment below and let me know if I’m wrong.)

2. Not charging a membership fee is nice, but most grocery item prices aren’t comparable to what you’ll find at Costco.

I guess that’s the inevitable tradeoff of getting free 2-day shipping; costs have to be absorbed into the individual products’ prices.

Also, from what I could tell, Boxed.com doesn’t carry nearly as much variety as you’d find at your Costco store, but there are a few identical products whose prices I was able to compare: namely, Scott toilet paper, Bounty paper towels, and feminine hygiene products (three things I can’t even imagine buying at the regular grocery store).  At $19.99 for a 12-pack, the name brand paper towels cost about the same as what you’d find at Costco (though the Kirkland brand works just as well and works out to be an even better deal).  On the other hand, the 36-pack of toilet paper for $23.99 is a few dollars more than we’d usually pay when we shop at Costco, as are the feminine products, which are identical in size and quantity.

I also found a 24-pack of Poland Spring water bottles, which I’ve seen at Costco before for around $6; Boxed.com wants $8.49 for it, so again, Costco has the better deal if you’re already a member.

But the tradeoff of getting free 2-day shipping and not having to spend time parking, shopping, and unloading the car could make the extra expense worthwhile if you find yourself in a situation where the pantry’s running on empty and you can’t free up time to run to go hit the clubs.

3. Everyday staples seem to be hit-or-miss.

In general, you won’t find nearly as much variety at a club as you would at, say, Target or Walmart.  And while I can’t speak for everyone, at least in our case, we prioritize saving money over buying particular brands; shopping at Costco is how we avoid breaking the bank without feeling like we have to resort to buying cheap crap.

Like Costco, Boxed seems to sell a lot of really nice brands (I noticed tons cool stuff from Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, if you’re into that sort of thing), but if saving money is your top priority, I’m not sure Boxed is the place to shop.  If you look at items like the hand soap and body wash, the bottle sizes aren’t nearly as large as what you’ll find at Costco, despite the fact that the prices are higher—but again, I realize this isn’t a true apples-to-apples comparison, as the brand selection between the two retailers varies.

If your goal is to get the most bang for your buck, you have to be careful when you’re shopping at Boxed.  My guess is that as time goes on and the business continues to grow, they’ll probably bring in more inventory and expand their own private label, Prince & Spring, to offer even more competitive pricing.

4. The snack selection speaks to me on a spiritual level.

I don’t consider snacks a necessity, because I’m not a fatso or a busy mom.  That said, I do enjoy a good bag of chips every now and then, just like I’m sure you do.

And I don’t care how many celebrities/ social media influencers want to recommend healthy snacking; when I want chips, I want potato chips.  Not Veggie Straws.  Not snap pea crisps.  I want greasy potato chips loaded with salt—I want a snack so unhealthy, Dr. Oz has an episode about it.  Or at least, it should taste like it’s something sinful.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, I thought I’d show you the snacks that I’m most excited to order in bulk from Boxed.com:

 

Boxed.com Utz Snack Pack

Source: Boxed.com

Boxed.com Nabisco Snack Pack

Source: Boxed.com

Boxed.com Chex Mix Snack Pack

Source: Boxed.com

Boxed.com Combos Snack Pack

Source: Boxed.com

Boxed.com Little Debbie Snack Pack

Source: Boxed.com

And funny enough, as I was browsing Boxed.com to write this post, I even noticed they happen to sell a few items from Costco’s Kirkland brand—I’m not sure what that’s all about…

In conclusion, Boxed.com won’t replace your Costco membership, but it is a great site to check out for even more products you can buy in bulk.

I don’t see us choosing Boxed.com over Costco any time soon, but it is a nice option for supplemental shopping (or saving time running to Costco for one-off items like toilet paper).

And with that in mind, I don’t know how frequently I’ll end up shopping at Boxed long-term, but it is nice to know there’s another club we can check out without paying membership fees.

Have you checked out Boxed.com yet?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


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