Costco or Sams?

davestexasApril 28, 2013

Wondering which to join. Have local Sams. Sams wants $45 to join. Costco is about a 20min toll road drive and is $55 to join. Either better than the other as far as quality or selection goes? Thanks

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LuAnn_in_PA

I much prefer Costco.

Try them both and see which one YOU like!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:39PM
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sushipup1

And you don't have to join to just wander around and look.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:15AM
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grainlady_ks

You can also go on-line and take a look.

We only have a Sam's Club and I think you can get a one-month trial membership.

What we save the most on is buying gas there, and hubby buys a lot of his clothing items there. Sometimes it surprises you what you DO purchase.

Overall, I can save more on most grocery and personal care items by shopping elsewhere, with a few exceptions. So it depends on your shopping habits and whether you are brand loyal. I keep a Price Book to track prices of things I buy on a regular basis, so I know what I pay for things so I can compare prices.

Another savings we experience is buying Augason Farms foods (dried and freeze-dried foods - we practice home food storage), but they have to be ordered on-line and are dropped-shipped to our home - they are not available at our store. I've purchased Augason Farm's Morning Moo's Whey-Based Milk Substitute for 20-years and generally purchase enough for a year at any one time, and oddly enough, I can get the best price for it from Sam's Club. So, on-line shopping is another option.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 5:09AM
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emma

Sams will let you go in and look around without joining. You just can't purchase anything until you join. I will be Costco will also.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Cynic

They're similar in concept, but different in things they carry. I don't like having to pay to spend money someplace so I dislike the concept but old Sammy knew that if you give people the illusion of saving money, they'll pay any price.

Many many things there are *not* cheaper. Some things are downright cheap. As Grainlady said, if you know your prices you can generally do just as well elsewhere.

I have a membership through my sister. I haven't used it in years primarily because I hate the long lines and then having to check out twice. I started using it because of gas. Last winter they were 10â to as much as 25â-27â cheaper on gas. That made it worth the drive. However now, they're not even cheaper at times and last few times I looked they're about 5â cheaper per gallon. That's not a big deal unless you use a lot of gas and you can use coupons at many stations to match or beat that. I just looked and they're 2â cheaper than the competition.

If you're a baker, you can save money on powdered sugar, brown sugar, possibly on flour and yeast is very cheap. They have some aluminum disposable pans that are about 30â each that is much cheaper than other stores, though I'm not sure about restaurant supply houses. Parchment paper was quite cheap. I bought a couple baking pans that were a good price. Produce has been quite high. Meat is debatable. Many people talk about the rotisserie chickens but they're nothing special. Not really cheaper nor any different. Nuts are a good price.

Go in and log some prices. Compare them and see. Whether one is "better" than the other is totally subjective so anyone that says that isn't being objective. People have preferences.

I don't like the size of the places. It's not a quick trip in and out very often. Most all items are name brands so you don't get generic price benefits like other stores and their own brands aren't always good deals. Soaps, shampoo, etc for the most part are not good deals. Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates) are not a good deal. Cat litter is downright high priced. Most cleaners are quite high priced. But they put out a big jug and fool people into thinking it's big, so it must be a good deal".

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 4:29PM
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graywings123

I love Costco, but a 20 minute drive on a toll road would cause me to go there less.

The savings on the Nature's Domain grain-free dog food alone pays for my membership. It is made for the Kirkland label by the company that makes "Taste of the Wild" dog food. I buy all my gasoline at Costco. The Pharmacy sells one generic medicine much, much cheaper than I can get elsewhere. Their eyeglasses get very high ratings from Consumer Reports. I have been happy with mine and the price was cheaper than Lenscrafters.

The rotisserie chicken is excellent and cheaper than many other places. I like the frozen wild salmon.

There is a lot I don't buy there because of the large sizes, but for the things I buy, Costco is great.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 8:57AM
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adellabedella_usa

I've never been to Costco so have no comments there. We have a Sam's membership that I may cancel soon. I need to go back and do my math again. I had a membership for a few years and cancelled it when it became less cost effective. Went without for a few years and then got a free trial membership to rejoin after I did a cost analysis between my usual stores and Sam's. I found Sam's had better prices on food items needed to cook my 'from scratch' foods. I stocked up and really have not bought flour, sugar, butter, and spices for a while. I've found that I'm not really interested in the impulse buys like I used to be. I usually avoid half of the store unless I have a specific item in mind that they might carry.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:52PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

" I usually avoid half of the store unless I have a specific item in mind that they might carry."

Same here!
I go right back to the meat/fruit/veggies... not even looking at the aisle and aisles of electronics and household goods. (unless we are looking to replace something specific)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:16PM
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emma

We got a membership at Sams for a little of nothing for awhile through an employer, but later it was $35. Some people think it is so cheap and I could save more money using coupons at reg grocery stores. It was a fun place to look around especially Xmas time. There were a few things that I liked there, CDs were very cheap, some specialty food items. Toward the last I converted my Sam's card to a charge card and charged one item. When I moved to a new home in the excitement I didn't think about it and they did not forward the bill, so it was sent to a collection agency. Oops.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:15PM
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stir_fryi

I say join the one that is closest to your house -- you will be more likely to use it.

I also agree with the person above that said many things are not cheaper at warehouse clubs. This includes soda and shampoos.

Many things I used to always buy at Costco can now be bought cheaper at the grocery store with a coupon. Their cat litter has gone up so much in the past few years that it is cheaper or the same elsewhere. So has the canned cat food that my mother used to buy me at Sams Club.

The only reason I keep my membership is because it was a gift.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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sleevendog

I've had both. Sam's through work. I feel Costco is a better company overall. Better quality, happier employees. A few things i use consistently have paid for the card cost. They are now stocking more and more organics. Yogurts and fruit. Dog food,
some good quality meats and fish. And it is ten miles away.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:11PM
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lazy_gardens

We have both within a few miles ... but after visiting both we found Costco had better deals on enough items to make it worthwhile.

Your experience may be different.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:31PM
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christopherh

One of these days I'm gonna go into these places. But there are no Sam's Clubs and only one Costco in Vermont, and that's 3 hours away. And with only 4 Walmarts in the entire state, big box shopping is not a regular thing.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Sandy16

We have both Costco and Sam's Memberships. My husband prefers Sam's for office supplies and there are more Sam's Clubs in the areas he travels. Our Costco membership is Executive and we share it with a friend and use the rebate for the renewal fee. Dog food, eye exams and glasses, softner salt, vitamins / medicines savings make it worth the trip. The majority of their private label foods are organic and of very high quality. The produce at Costco is well priced and better quality than what I get anywhere else around here. Costco sends out coupon books. Those items are generally the best deals.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 10:22AM
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jcmjcm

Sams, Costco and BJs are all wholesale clubs. They all offer some type of basic membership and an advantage plus or executive upgrade. The difference is that with Sams, the upgrade membership gives you a few dollars off items, they claim you use regularly(not necessarily). With Costco and BJs they send you actual money(credit), which you can use to purchase anything in the store. At Sams your locked for example to $4.00 off the Arm n Hammer laundry detergent, but today you didn't come in to buy detergent. My most recent credit @ BJs was a gift card of 32.00. I used it to get deodorant, vanilla, and toothpaste. Some people I know, use it to pay the yearly membership.
I would get the trial membership and visit both. Even if Costco is further away. Wholesale clubs are not a daily shopping place anyways. Its all about which one you like better and where you will get the best deals. Keep us posted and happy shopping!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:38PM
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