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Old 12-13-2012, 11:25 AM   #1
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Is Sams club worth it?

Our family has grown but our budget hasn't. Is a SAMs Club membership worth it? Anyone have one and experienced significant savings? I'm having trouble keeping our food budget under 1000 a month for a family go seven and hoping a membership and buying in bulk is the answer.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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I think it's worth it IF you can afford to buy in bulk instead of shopping weekly. We had both Sam's and Costco, and we definitely saved at least twice the cost of membership every year.

Biggest savings were on meat and dry goods, not so much on convenience foods (though you can find deals if you watch).

For our family (2 adults, 1 toddler), $400 gets us enough meat/poultry for around 6 months, longer if we don't have meat every day. That's less than $2.50 a day, and we buy quality cuts, we could go cheaper if we didn't mind tougher/less desirable cuts.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Is Sams club worth it?

my work has a membership and i pop in occasionally to get pinesol (the huge container is less than $8) but i dont see a lot i would buy on a regular basis. most of their prices break down to generic walmart brand pricing. their produce, meat and dairy dont seem to be any cheaper here. i can see myself losing money because i would be buying stuff i didnt really need.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Is Sams club worth it?

Depends entirely upon your area.... i actually save my entire membership cost in less than 6 weeks simply by buying my milk there because its at minimum $1 less per gallon than walmart/grocery stores and we drink roughly 23 per month.... so my membership costs $40.... i "save" that in about 6 weeks just buying milk.

For my area i have found sams rocks the house on dairy prices, meat, certain produce, pantry staples like sugar/flour/rice/pasta, and other misc items like kids socks and books

I definitely know my cost per units on what we buy.... so i know what we are getting a good deal on. Cereal for example is not a good deal for us..... In our area i actually found Walmart was slightly MORE when buying generics versus buying name brand large bulk at Sams.

I actually made an entire list of everything we buy regularly and priced it out at walmart, sams, target, and aldi.... i was REALLY shocked at the results. In order the cheapest was 1. sams 2. aldi 3. target and in last place was walmart. Yep - not the home of low prices

So look at sams online, they have all of their items online for you to see your local prices and then compare them to what you pay for that same item/quantity at the grocery store.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Is Sams club worth it?

I have always wondered what Sams club offered to make a family want both sams and costco. We have costco and Dh was jsut asking the other day if Sams was worth the purchase. We would NEVER give up Costco and love them, but what does Sams offer?
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Is Sams club worth it?

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I have always wondered what Sams club offered to make a family want both sams and costco. We have costco and Dh was jsut asking the other day if Sams was worth the purchase. We would NEVER give up Costco and love them, but what does Sams offer?
Its a lot like costco - but different in the sense that they sell different brands and are aimed at a different market.

Sams is more small business oriented from what i hear - we don't have Costco in OK due to our liquor laws, and unless they change those laws we never will. But what i hear is that Costco is aimed at the everyday family and Sams is geared towards small business with both offerings things that overlap. I know Costco has a huge organic section whereas Sams does not. I would think for everyday things they would be similar, but Costco just offers more options for grocery shopping. I have never shopped there though so i cannot speak from personal experience. I would go and check it out - they will let you walk around and see what is in there contrary to popular opinion
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Yep, Sam's is definitely aimed at small business owners. It's a great place to find cookware, linens, catering supplies, etc. for cheap. You can get an entire case of sheets for the price of one bedding set at Target.

They also have a better selection of gift items around the various holidays.

Costco has a great grocery selection, including really great fruit and seafood. Their rewards program is also excellent - we get around $60-80 back each year.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: Is Sams club worth it?

I currently have memberships to both Sam's and BJ's (only because my friend put me on her Sam's membership and I put her on my BJs one). I tend to rejoin BJ's when they are offering membership promos (usually in Nov. and June, and they give an extra 3 mos. or a discounted rate for the yearly membership). I prefer BJ's because I find that their store lines (Berkley Jensen and Wesley Farms) have a bigger variety than the generic at Sam's. They also have a larger organic section and they accept coupons (both store and manufacturer and you can stack them). But, they are on the opposite side of town from where I normally run errands, so I stop at Sam's some too.

I find that fresh produce is better quality and often cheaper than my local grocery store. And cheese and milk are cheaper. And my splurge of Chobani yogurt, its slightly cheaper than buying the singles at the grocery store. Other things I buy in bulk because its just easier and we go through them so quickly (toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, oatmeal, cereal, pretzels). Not sure if there is much significant savings, but it ensures that I don't run out so fast Its also cheaper to get my glasses and contacts (Sam's is slightly cheaper than BJs) there rather than through my eye doctor. And I try to get gas if I'm near one of them, as the gas is always at least 6 cents cheaper than area gas stations, sometimes more.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Everyone has been super helpful. I thought about BJ's but it's not real close. I'll have to see if costco's is near me. The one thing that was super appealing to me about SAMs club was the option to do your shopping online and have it ready for pick up the next day! Everything boxed,bagged and ready to load. I've been terribly sick this pregnancy and sometimes I can't avoid taking all my little ones shopping..... I absolutely dread dragging 5 kids around a huge store. Love that option at SAMs Club.

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mags462 View Post

Its a lot like costco - but different in the sense that they sell different brands and are aimed at a different market.

Sams is more small business oriented from what i hear - we don't have Costco in OK due to our liquor laws, and unless they change those laws we never will. But what i hear is that Costco is aimed at the everyday family and Sams is geared towards small business with both offerings things that overlap. I know Costco has a huge organic section whereas Sams does not. I would think for everyday things they would be similar, but Costco just offers more options for grocery shopping. I have never shopped there though so i cannot speak from personal experience. I would go and check it out - they will let you walk around and see what is in there contrary to popular opinion
What do you mean bc of liquor laws? Here in pa we have both cotsco and Sams and we (until just recently) pretty much don't sell alcohol anywhere but beer distributers and state stores. Just curious...
We belong to just Sams, I buy chicken breasts there because I never see them lower at any of the other stores mentioned, bulk nuts, fruit cups, diaper wipes, and I'm sure more if I thought about it more.
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