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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Find out if buying in bulk at Sams Club, Costco and other warehouse stores really saves you money.  Couponing may be the way to go.

I get asked a lot: “What about warehouse clubs?” I fight the urge to answer back with a quick “you aren’t saving anything”.  Personally I haven’t found much that makes the cost of a membership worth it.  The biggest reason being that you can’t use coupons at most warehouse clubs (BJ’s being the one exception).

To learn about the best way to use coupons go here.

In an effort to put numbers behind my personal feelings, I went recently to my local warehouse club and got the price of 30 items from all over the store.  In case you are wondering, I compared prices for the same product and brand in each category.

Here are the prices broken down by price per size.

Item Regular Store
w/ coupons
Sam’s Club
Boneless Chicken Breasts $1.99 /lb $1.97 /lb
Split Chicken Breasts 99¢ /lb $1.78 /lb
Bacon $3 /lb $2.96 /lb
Canned Tuna, 5 oz 50¢ per can 78¢ per can
Ketchup 1.6¢ /oz 5¢ /oz
Mayonnaise 3¢ /oz 9¢ /oz
Mustard Free 8¢ /oz
Salad Dressing 3.7¢ /oz 12.6¢ /oz
Popcorn (microwave) 60¢ ea. $1.31 ea.
Soups, 15 oz 40-60¢ per can $1.31 per can
Soft Drinks, 12 oz can 18¢ per can 27¢ per can
Iced Tea Bags, family size 3¢ per bag 19¢ per bag
Butter $1.80 /lb $1.06 /lb
Cheese $2.50 /lb $2.66 /lb
Eggs $1.19 per dozen $1.44 per dozen
Milk $3.19 per gallon $3.32 per gallon
Sour Cream Free-1.8¢ /oz 8.9¢ /oz
Spaghetti Sauce 3-4¢ /oz 63.7¢ /oz
Spaghetti Pasta Free 96¢ /lb
Brownie Mix, 18-20 oz 40¢ $1.86
Cake Mix, 18-20 oz Free-50¢ $2.40
Cereal, 18-24 oz $1.25 or less $3.49
Sugar 32¢ /lb 69¢ /lb
Baby Diapers 9-15¢ per diaper 20.8¢ per diaper
Foil 1¢ /sq. feet 9¢ /sq. feet
Freezer Bags 4.5-6.7¢ ea. 4.8¢ ea.
Paper Towels, roll 43¢ ea. $1.62 ea.
Sandwich Bags .9¢ ea. 1.7¢ ea.
Toilet Paper, roll Free-29¢ ea. 55¢ ea.
Trash Bags 10-13¢ ea. 11.1¢ ea.
Dishwasher Detergent Free – .8¢ /oz 13¢ /oz
Glass Cleaner 4¢ /oz 9¢ /oz

 

A few things that stand out to me:

  • I remember at one point getting a membership just for paper goods, thinking that I had to be saving money getting a 40 roll paper towel pack.  The cost difference on paper goods was the most striking though!  Using store sales and coupons (normally in the drugstores) we are saving a ton over the “bulk price”!
  • The second reason folks get memberships… diapers.  Yep, not saving there either.
  • Dairy was the one department that did show savings.  I don’t know if you can eat enough butter and cheese to make it worth the savings and extra trip, but their prices were lower than the grocery stores.

I know for some of you looking at the price per ounce, you are thinking “that’s only 5¢ more and I don’t have to use coupons”.  Remember that’s 5¢ per ounce and really in the end will make the product twice the cost over using a coupon and catching the sale in the grocery store.

Okay all this said, there are some that love to buy in bulk versus watching sales and clipping coupons.  You are saving money over the full retail price in a grocery store, so I’m not trying to rock your boat.  I want you to see how much you could save though if you put a little time into figuring out the whole coupon “thing”.

Helpful Links:
Walmart vs. Grocery Stores
Learn to Coupon

(In case you are wondering, I am not affiliated with Sam’s in any way… that’s to make lawyers happy.)

    • Susanmaharaj2949

      What about meat products?  I shop at Sam’s just for the meat and wanted to know if getting them at say Publix for instance would be better?  From what I’ve seen the meat at Sam’s is cheaper but I never broke it down by pounds.

    • Elle

      I agree, Jenny!  My membership is free, or I would ditch it…about the only thing I buy at Sam’s anymore is trash bags!

    • Anonymous

      I do like the produce there, because they carry a lot of things I haven’t been able to find at other stores. We also have a membership to save on gas.

      What gets me is the prices for things like bread. I have coupons and can get it for under $1 a loaf at the grocery store. At Sam’s you pay $4 for two loaves, not to mention we can hardly use two loaves before it goes bad (it’s just the two of us). 

      It really amazes me how expensive the stuff at Sam’s is and the store is also filled with junk food.

      • Toni

        freeze your bread :)

      • Lisa

        I like their wheat Hoagie rolls.  Great price and much healthier than the white bread version.   Also, they have whole wheat English muffins at a decent price; those never seem to be B1G1 at Publix, only the no fiber white kind is on sale. 

    • Mbonanno1

      I second the meat question.  I can get chicken tenderloins for 1.99 /lb @ my local Sams, Boneless Skinless breast for 1.78 lb.  I get 2 Eye Round Roasts for what 1 costs ON SALE at Publix.  Even shopping the meat sales at my local Publix doesn’t get me anywhere near the everyday price of meat at Sams. 

    • Couponmama50

      I use BJs for their organics.  I can’t beat their organic meat prices anywhere else.  They even send you coupons for a lot of these products.  Their membership is also the best deal out there.  We pay $35.00 for an 18 month membership.  Also, if you buy big ticket items or even ink for your printer BJs has a better price and they will take coupons on anything.  I will say on paper products and such you can do way better at CVS and lunch box items at Publix.  It’s just another way to strategize your savings.   

    • Busques83

      I use SAMs for formula. It really is a great money saver for our family. Haven’t found anything else that really is a great deal. They have accepted my coupons on similac without any trouble. The $5 checks they send in the mail makes the 2.13 pound container 23.00.

    • Scorpiolcp

      The only ‘club’ membership I have is to BJs. That being said, I still watch prices, use the club q with man q. Getting a pack of 30 name brand hotdogs for $2. The prices alone only are close to sale prices, but when you add the coupons, plus strategic shopping, you can pay less. Clubs have sales too. I only buy meats, regardless of the store, when they are a price that I have agreed on. ( I only buy meats when they are on sale, usually my lowest price. 

    • Lauram7

      Most of my savings are in coffee, which I get (really great coffee) for $5.50 a pound, cheese for $2.50 a pound, bread at half price than grocery stores, a 25 pound bag of flour for $6, and the bulk herbs and spices are just unbeatable. I get a 10.7 ounce thing of cinnamon for $3. I keep a membership at Costco for these specific things, and others as well. You can save so much more money using coupons on certain things and stocking up sales, but the things I mentioned above are a real money saver! Thanks for the article!

    • Anonymous

      The only thing I have found to be worth while for our family is baby wipes. We have a same membership but it is about to expire and I don’t think I will be renewing it. I get the generic/store brand at Sams and it works out to be like $ 0.1 a wipe without using any coupons and I only have to buy them very seldom which is nice, but its not worth it to me to spend 35-40 to renew my membership just for wipes. I save so much more just “DRUGSTOREING”!!! 

    • Ejnrzr

      red meat & pork compared to stores alwasy seems to better unless the store has it on sale.  Sams 90% lean ‘burger is always competative sale or no sale.  The post mentioned cheese – well let me say this, the “fancy” or specialty cheese/good quality cheeses are way better priced than any grocery store and these cheeses are never on sale.  The only issue is you have spend $10 or $15 because the larger abount but you get 30% – 50% more for your money.  Similar comments for alcohol.  You can maybe get a better deal from the “ABC” stores but usually by the case you can just as good and sometimes better (saving a dollar or 2).  This doesn’t take into the clothing or other goods.  (Of course when it comes to electronics, you should never buy anything untill you have looked at Amazon or Newegg first)

    • ValerieD

      My mil pays for our Sams membership as a birthday gift. The price of milk above must be for whole milk – which is more expensive than most grocery stores. The price for 1% is considerably lower, though. We save about $.75 per jug. We buy at least 3 jugs a week, so that’s over $100 savings a year. Also, I have searched and waited for sales on the type of ground beef we buy at Sams, but it seems the only ground beef that gets lower than Sams is the fattier meat. We also buy steaks and pork chops at low prices. If you are able to get the meat when it is marked down due to expiration, then you save even more. Additionally, since my husband has a tobacco habit, we save by buying his tobacco there. I guess it depends on what you buy as to whether a wholesale membership would be beneficial. For us, a membership is definitely worth it!

    • Tamcaster

      I save a lot on the Member’s Mark formula. I can always get it cheaper at Sam’s than catching it on sale and with a coupon. I’ve also noticed that my Sam’s gas station is usually 10 cents cheaper than surrounding gas stations. I also like there Pizza. ;)

      • Tiffanycholmes

        With a new baby, the last thing you want to do is have to chase down a good deal on diapers or formula. I used to coupon for these items until I realized the value of my TIME and SANITY knowing that they were available at Sam’s at any given time without question. That was worth more than the dollar saved.

    • Anonymous

      We just got a membership to Sams, and I could not be happier!!!  We go for the produce, box of tortilla chips, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and maybe a few other items.  We are careful to not buy the “junk”.  Obviously you will eat better if you have healthy options in house, so having the “salad fixings” in the fridge is great incentive to chose salads.

      I still use coupons, but not like I did a year ago.  I found that coupons encouraged me to buy more unhealthy junk than I wanted in my pantry.  Besides, half of it we didn’t even like, but I’d buy it because it was so cheap.  I decided that it was wasting my time money, and health of my family of 7.  Just not worth it.

      I agree that it is not worth shopping JUST at Sam’s, but there are definatly deals there that are worth the trip.

      • Donnanbox Merch1

        I definitely agree with the “junk”. I noticed when I first started couponing that nutritional value of an item seeded to be often overlooked. I had to stop and think just because it was “free” was not a reason to purchase something that was of poor quality. I am a dietitian and I would say that is one of my most signficant concerns with couponing especially with the growing waistline of the American population. I still love couponing and do it all the time. I just put nutritional value first and skip the free stuff sometimes.

        • Lisa

          It’s hard to not buy the “free” items, but I have finally started to say NO to some of them.  Like those frozen breakfast sandwichs or scrambles that were free or nearly free a couple weeks ago. I had all the coupons, printed out a bunch of them actually, but after I looked at the fat content online, I decided they would not be coming into my house! :)  Wow some of that stuff is horrible for you.

        • Anonymous

          I feel the same. What’s the point of “stockpiling” a dozen boxes of pop tarts, microwave dinners, and mini-pizzas? Is that that a good value, even if it’s free? I say not.

          I’ve limited my couponing to household goods, toiletries, staple foods, and the like. You aren’t saving much if you are trading a few bucks now for your health later.

    • Stephanie

      How about produce?  I would be interested in seeing those comparisons.  I used to buy everything from Sam’s and now that I’ve learned to coupon, the only thing I buy from there is produce and sometimes meat.  Other than that, I can get everything else cheaper from Publix and CVS.

      • Anonymous

        We were just there Thurs, if I can find the receipt later, I could give you some examples….

    • andrea

      Since really getting my coupon act together (thanks very much to Southern Savers!) I have not been to Sams Club at all! 

      We even used to buy my K-cups there but can now get them for cheaper at the Commissary with coupons. 

      I do love Sams Club produce though and we have gotten great deals on things like luggage and laptops. When my membership expires I won’t be in a hurry to renew though. 

    • Alexa

      We have a Sam’s membership primarily for their gas station, but it’s also very good for the baking supplies. I bake a lot, and things like powdered sugar and brown sugar, chocolate chips, cocoa, vanilla, spices, etc. are all significantly cheaper there. Yes, I have been able to get some really good prices for the sugars with coupons at the grocery store, but not nearly the amount I need.

    • I belong to one discount club. It costs $40 annually & I get a $15 gift card because my husband is a student. I buy only 3 things there but it is ABSOLUTELY worth it for:
      1 – 25 pound bags of rice for $7
      2 – 6 pound bags of baking soda
      3 – tires (and the free balancing that you get at Walmart…you never know when your tires need a balance and there is always a Walmart nearby!)

    • I belong to one discount club. It costs $40 annually & I get a $15 gift card because my husband is a student. I buy only 3 things there but it is ABSOLUTELY worth it for:
      1 – 25 pound bags of rice for $7
      2 – 6 pound bags of baking soda
      3 – tires (and the free balancing that you get at Walmart…you never know when your tires need a balance and there is always a Walmart nearby!)

    • Edistoshopper

      I use manufacturers’ Qs and Publix Qs for most of my “everyday pantry items,” cleaning supplies, etc. However, using Costco Qs has saved me $$$ over time. There are items at Costco that are not available at other places (I have gotten some great Christmas gifts for this year there– but I have to get them while they are there as frequently I won’t see the unique gifts again). Also, there are so items that just are never on sale and/or have coupons. Some of the bulk items at Costco are just too much of a supply for just the two of us retired folks. Bottom line: Shop where it is best for you and be happy with savings that you do get.

    • Clevercassie7

      We have a membership @ Sams Club here in FL.  To save on the membership, I split the cost with my mom…so we only pay $20 each a  year.  You get 2 cards per family…so I just put one in my moms name.  I dont buy anything there that I can get with coupons anywhere else.  BUT there are a few items that I just cant beat…eggs, milk (only 2.89 $ 3.03 here) meats, and GAS!!  I am sure that we pay for our membership with the savings in gas alone (except when I finally earn enough perks at winn dixie.

    • bingmom

      For those of us who make our own bread, the yeast alone will more than make it worth it to have a membership — 2 lbs. of yeast is less than $5.  One time I figured it out that getting 2 lbs. in the little strip of packets it would cost about $60 (without coupons) at a grocery store.  Also the bread flour is between $7-$8 for a 25 lb. bag compared to $3-$4 for a 5 lb. bag at the grocery store.  Butter is usually cheaper at Sam’s too.  Some clothing items and furniture are big money savers as well.  Pretty much everything else is cheaper at grocery/drug stores using sales with coupons.

      • guest

        Just an fyi, bread machine yeast is less expensive than the little strips and I learned by accident it works just as well! as the strip for regular bread

      • Anonymous

        I agree about the baking supplies.

        Only thing is, they don’t sell yeast at Costco! Can never ever find it and the stockers never seem to have a clue. I think the yeast is a deal unique to Sam’s Club.

    • Tracie

      I used to shop Primarily at Sams for the simple fact that I hated Coupons.  Now I LOVE coupons and only buy the things my gold membership apply’s to mainly prescriptions. We pay $70 (normally 100, but I used a ecoupon) a year for Gold membership and get 40% off prescriptions that my kids take daily.  So for me the membership is good and with it I get ecoupons attached to my card that save me more money.  With the upgraded membership I get other discounts on things too that the regular memberships don’t get.

    • HopeMomma

      My weekly grocery shopping usually consists of a trip to the grocery store, and a trip to Sams.
      But I am shopping DIFFERENTLY at Sam’s these days. Bulk is a good idea for my family of 5 (soon to be 6). We save well over the cost of membership on milk alone (It’s $1 cheaper than the grocery store, .50 – .75 cheaper than Walmart, and we use 4-5 gallons a week)! That’s not something you can fully stock up on at the grocery store when it goes on sale.
      I use Sam’s cost as my “high water mark” when comparing prices. I’ve not been able to get many of the super deals listed. So, whenever I find it less than what I’d pay at Sam’s I buy it. To put that into perspective, I’ve only had to buy Sam’s TP once since I started couponing… better than paying full price at WalMart.
      I do buy fresh produce and dairy at Sam’s, and meat if I “need it now” (which is rare).

    • Mrs. Howard

      We haven’t been able to beat the store brand formula from costco. Since I have newborn twins and we’re going through formula like crazy, that alone is worth it to us. Also, costco has monthly coupons and we stock up on a lot of things with those; for us, we’ve found that those coupons make the prices better than our local stores (not for everything…but for a lot of our non-food items). There’s also something to be said about saving time by not having to coupon as much. I’m all for couponing, don’t get me wrong. But even if couponing and shopping at different stores takes you two hours a week, that’s still an hour more of my time away from my family (and I’m a full-time working mom of newborn twins and a toddler…and a husband *wink wink*).

      • Kate in DC

        We have twins as well and found the CVS store brand has the same formulation and is cheaper than the Costco store brand formula, plus CVS puts it on B1G1, B1G1 50% off, or just plain 25% off very, very frequently.  When you factor in ECBs, it can be almost 75% cheaper than the Costco brand.  I’ve also got a singleton (and a husband as my 4th “baby” too LOL!) and work f/t, but found that the CVS route for baby stuff was much easier and much cheaper.  Plus they’re open late so I could go after the babies were asleep and not have to worry about bringing three kids under 3 to Costco (although their carts are perfect for twins and a singleton!) Congrats on the twins – it’s amazing, isn’t it?! :) :)

    • Anonymous

      My Sam’s Membership is a perk of my job otherwise I would never buy one since I am a family of 1.  However what I tend to buy at Sams are things that I just can’t find at other stores.  Which are almost always nonessential items.  I love to look at their holiday stuff too..

    • Kandbcobb

      I agree with you on these items. The main reason I pay the $40 to maintain my Sam’s club membership is because I purchased my tires there, I go every 6000 miles to rotate my tires at no additional cost.(Plus I can walk around and look at stuff instead of sitting in a car shop:) Also, the birthday cakes/cookie cakes etc are much cheaper than grocery stores and I need those several times a yr. Nothing beats going to sample foods and the food bar is a really cheap lunch occasionally.

    • Woodsonsj

      Can’t beat Costco for car insurance, glasses/contacts, car care, gas, eggs, milk, cheese, many meat items, and anything I need right now.  My time is worth something and if I don’t have all the coupons needed to stock fully on a grocery item I am not getting killed at the store. You have to consider your whole budget – not just grocery items.

      • Lisa

        I really agree!  We get our glasses at Costco…nice glasses for much cheaper than you can get elsewhere – easily pays for the membership and then some!  Besides your list, I also love that they have great prices on organics – fruits, vegetables, broths, etc.  I also get some clothing there – top name brands for great prices.  Love Costco! :) 

      • Anonymous

        Love your whole budget point. I expand on it below.

    • keith

      O I agree!  There are some things at Sams Club that is worthwhile!  However, those Items have just went up!   I have noticed in some instances $3 and $4.  Nutri Grain Bars, Butter, Berries, Frozen Fruit Bars, Ecos Laundry Detergent (my dad is allergic), Some Veggies (brussel sprouts this time), all seem to be great saving for me, unless I have coupons. 

    • jj jayne

      I use for meat,spices, pain relievers, water bottles & almonds. We also get our pool chemicals there so I know we save over the membership price.  Have gotten tires there & use gas station when we go by. Can’t beat a lunch deal either. Have found several pieces of clothes for different family members.

    • Morsel87

      Just to add a note, buying your burger, chicken, bacon and eggs is cheaper than you have listed. Many people don’t realize that at Sam’s club you can buy those by the case from the butcher (not what is out in the coolers).  This makes them even cheaper per pound.  We have several families who will go in on the cases and then we divide them out.  It makes the Angus beef 90/10 as low as $1.87 a pound and the skinless boneless chicken as low as $1.56 per pound.  You can’t get these meats even with coupons for those prices.  The price can vary a few cents based on the actual case weight and price, but after 6 mo of doing this…I won’t go back to buying those items at the regular store and the saving more than pays back the membership cost.  Check with your local store first as pricing does vary in different cities.

      • SarahD

        who do you talk to to find out about this? The store manager? The meat department manager? How big is a case? I’m VERY interested in doing this!

        • Jjwoods

          anyone in the meat dept, they have case prices listed under the regular price on the signs in smaller print, so anybody is eligible for it.

      • Pandabear

        Do you talk to the meat manager? How much comes in a case? I would love to do this!!!

        • Morsel87

          The beef is an 80 pound case, the chicken is a 50 pound case, the bacon is a 10 pound case and the eggs are 15 dozen (this is why we share the eggs especially).

          I agree with Liz, my list at Sam’s is not huge but there are things you can buy there that don’t have regular coupons or ever have coupons and if you can save the money it makes the small membership worth it.  The cakes are a great deal and they taste really really good, get lots of compliments on them when we have purchased them.

      • Liz

        my husbands family does this about twice a year.  At our Sam’s, you have to buy 80 pounds of the Angus 90/10 to get the $1.87 price.  It comes in 10 pound rolls.  We just divide it out into freezer bags (2lbs per bag) and flatten them out and write the date on the bag.  Between 5 families, it’s a great deal and worth the extra time for one day to save for several months!

        • Liz

          Oh and it’s also a good deal for specialty cakes.  No one can beat their price (full sheet cake for 80 people) at $34.  I’m a teacher, and we order several times a year for different occasions for other teachers or the students. 

          The snack bar is great, and I’ve noticed you don’t need a card to get the cheap snack food.  They just ring it up at the register without scanning your card.

          My lists and trips to Sams have gone WAY down and few and far between since I’ve been couponing.  But, for $30 a year (for my family), it’s worth it for the savings on the meat and bakery goods.  I had never heard of BJs and now I wish I had one since they take manu. coupons!

    • Kathy

      We very recently re-joined Sams Club and keep our trips to once a month, and a list that is carefully followed. Yes, cheeses are way below the supermarket prices so I get that, pet food, the microwave ready bacon, and OTC meds have more than paid the membership fee. Fortunately, large items such as the toilet tissue and paper towels, we have garage storage space for, so we save there also.

    • Kristensmall20

      My husband and I joined BJ’s a few months ago & our membership was only $40!  We have made that back and then a lot more! Their gas is super cheap & we have a new baby, so the money we save just on diapers and formula alone, is totallly worth it!  Plus, the coolest thing is that you can stack their store coupons with manufacturer coupons, on top of their already low prices! I am VERY impressed!

      • Bloom24_2001

        Kristen, my family and I also go to bj’s and I use at least $50 of other coupons, then like $50 of bjcoupons so I save almost 100-200 a month just there. i love it!

    • Crystal

      It really is worth it alone for the gas prices, esp. if you have 2 cars in household to fill up.  Our Sam’s gas prices are always at least 3 cents cheaper but I have seen it many, many times 10 cents or more cheaper.  That adds up for a 2 car household, esp. when one of the cars takes $80 to fill up :-)  Plus, I love their pharmacy – It’s easier to develop a personal relationship with the pharmacists there as opposed to Wal-mart or other drugstores.

      • Katiekirklandcoupon

        What about with the Kroger fuel points program?  Then you can coupon at the store and save on gas too.

        • Crystal

          Unfotunately in my area (Paducah, KY), none of our 3 Krogers has a gas station.  Kroger did partner with one local Shell station but it is not near my house so Sam’s just works better for me not to mention clothes and other stuff I get there.

        • AlabamaMom

          Some states don’t allow the Kroger fuel points program even if the Kroger has a station.  Mine is one of them, so we use Sams’s primarily for the gas.  It pays for the membership and then some. 

    • Stephanie_mizutani

      You can use coupons at Costco.

      • Kate in DC

        Not at our Costco – they only take their own Costco coupons that they send you in the monthly booklet, which are usually a dollar or two off and not as good as couponing at a regular grocery store.

      • Marywkaplan

        Not at ours either.  They only take the Costco coupons.  I’ve been a member for 7 years, in both GA and FL, and they’ve never taken manufacturer Qs. 

      • MFamilyMom

        ONLY COSTCO COUPONS WHICH ARE MAILED TO MEMBERS PERIODICALLY

    • Nancy

      I always assume there are good reasons for SOME people to pay to shop at Sam’s.  Not me though.  I did join once.  Because everyone told me what a great deal tires were there.  Stupid me, I didn’t price check before I joined.  After I joined and before I bought tires I just wanted to know how much I was going to save.  I called Sam’s, NTB & a local place.  Both NTB & the local place were cheaper.  Quite a bit cheaper in fact.  And, for those raving about getting free rotation…..  I believe EVERY tire place gives free rotation.  

      So, I had a membership for a year and I did go but soon found that I often got things cheaper at Target and Kroger.  I did not rejoin when my membership expired.  If I have to pay to shop somewhere I shouldn’t have to continue price comparisons.

      I have not tried Costco.  There hasn’t been one near me until recently.  So, I might give it a one year try.  

      • Crystal

        FYI future ref.- Sam’s will refund your membership cost at any time if you are not satisfied

    • Marywkaplan

      For all who said they save on produce at Sam’s, do you have to buy a huge bulk package?  I used to shop at Costco but most of the produce was in huge packages that there was no way we could finish before they went bad.  If I knew I could save on both meat and produce (and use all of it), I might consider a Sam’s membership.

      • Crystal

        Just freeze the meat – worth the savings in my opinion

      • Morsel87

        Yes we buy our meats by the case (we have several families who do this together so my membership is the one we use and we share the cost of that as well).  Beef is an 80# case, chicken a 50# case, bacon a 10# case and eggs are 15 doz, you can see why we share on some of the items.  We then go to my house and split it all up and put into freezer bags with the date on it.  If you have a friend or two who would buy with you, you can even share the membership cost.

    • suzanne

      When it says regular store w/ coupons is that with doubled coupons because no stores in my area (north houston texas) double at all so I can never get my items that cheap so is it worth buying bulk?

    • Terric

      I both coupon and shop at Costco. I use the Costco prices as my base… If I can beat it with coupons elsewhere, then great. I get my basics at Costco, plus some specialty items like sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. I make 1-2 trips a month, with a list. I fill in the rest of the month with my couponing trips to the grocery store. AND my Costo membership actually pays for itself because I have the executive membership — they give me back 2% of what I spend each year right when my membership is due. It is usually enough to pay the next year’s memebership! Blessings.

    • Talia Quinn

      You also have to watch large packs at places like Walmart too. I’ve noticed on several occasions that larger packs aren’t always cheaper (i.e. Cadbury cream eggs mulit-packs & Little Debbie “Big” packs). As with the Little Debbie “Big” packs, the ones that have 12 per box as opposed to the regular box of 6, it’s actually cheaper to purchase 2 of the regular 6-packs ($1.70 each x 2 = $3.40) than it is to purchase the big box (1 @ $3.50). This same thing happens at grocery stores too, like Kroger, where it’s often cheaper to purchase 2 regular packs of Toaster Strudels than it is to get the larger “Family Pack” of 12. All this is even with regular prices! Add in coupons and sales and they get even cheaper!

    • Melissa H.

      I definitely think it depends on what you’re getting.  My husband loves a specific brand of almonds and eats about a cup of day per his diet plan.  We can’t always wait for coupons and the Sam’s club price is so much cheaper.  Also on broccoli we get a 3lb bag for $5.  We aren’t paying for the stalk (which annoys me to no end at grocery stores) and it’s a better price since he eats so much of it.  Oh and it’s one of the only places I have found my favorite brand of apple cider.

    • Ezitt

      After reading through the comments posted, I would like to put in my two-cents worth.  I primarily go there for OTC medicines.  They are much less than Wal Mart or drug stores.  If you buy the Sam’s brand, some are less than half price. 

    • skvanm

      Is this comparison done with coupons that are available throughout the year or those once in a while coupons that you have also to catch a BOGO sale at the same time to get the above prices?  Sometimes you just need to go and buy a product without a coupon and a membership store can really save in those instances.

    • Sonia Woolf

      I shop at BJs once a month and I stack their coupons with MQs…and I got the membership b/c of baby formulas – their brand was larger and the same as infamil and cheaper even with the checks..but that was long ago…BJs also has a quarterly rewards program where you get paid back if you get the gold membership – not sure if its worth it yet…but I tend to get dog food/cat food at BJs…and meat since it can freeze, but I watch it very carefully – I save around 50% each time using my qs.

      • Natalie

        Amen!  I love BJ’s!  At BJ’s, you can stack a store coupon with multiple manufacturer coupons.  For instance, if they sell a 6 pack of refried beans, you can use a store coupon (always for the whole pack), plus 6 man. coupons (if each can has it’s own barcode).   It is hit or miss with the store coupons that come out each month, but I have gotten TONS of free or close-to-free stuff stacking coupons there (Childrens Advil, huge boxes of hot cocoa, pillsbury cookie dough, etc.).  It’s awesome! 

        I love Kroger on a weekly basis for most things and most of my couponing, but I love me some BJ’s for some sporadic but AMAZING steals.

    • Tam

      I still buy my tide, downy and cascade at Sam’s. I find that purchasing the bigger bottles will last on average 3 months for my family.  You can’t beat their prices for birthday cakes.  What you would pay for 1/4 sheet cake at the grocery store you can get a 1/2 sheet cake cheaper at Sam’s. I did just get a 60 day free trail membership to Bj’s so I will see how that works.  I like the idea of being able to use and stack coupons there.

    • Moore102001

      I do shop at Sams Club but will admit you can get many things cheaper at drugstores and such. My problem is when I do get really cheap toilet paper or diapers that’s great but I never have enough to last until the next great sale. I do admit I am not the same type of couponer that most of you are, I never get out of a store making money:) I also enjoy buying in bulk so I don’t have to shop as often.

    • Julia

      We do Costco but definitely not for everything.  Their gas is much cheaper than anywhere in town (a savings that makes the membership worthwhile in and of itself) and then there are lots of items that rarely go on sale in the stores which I buy at Costco.  Also – chips are cheaper… or that is what I’ve found.  I never buy diapers at Costco, but occasionally they put out a coupon for wipes that makes them a better deal than drug stores.  
      Thanks for the comparison though – I used to buy everything in bulk at Costco but now I save a TON because I know how much things should cost and only buy when it’s a good deal :-)

      • I just recently made the switch to only getting gas at Walmart. The one closest to me (5 miles) has a Murphy’s USA. I know not every store has one. Point being, it’s 10 cents off the gallon when you use a WM giftcard of credit card, . So, current example, gas around town is about 3.25/gallon. Yesterday it was 3.22/gallon at Murphy’s – so with gc made gas 3.12/gallon. The gas at Costco is currently 3.20. While it’s a few cents cheaper than the other better priced gas stations in town (some where at 3.33), It is always better for me to go to WM to get my gas. Not sure if you have this option, but if you do, check it out the next time you make a trip to both. -BTW, total advocate of costco, I have my membership to get their wipes alone, love them, current ad has the wipes coupon! Also, birthday cake for bigger parties, cheaper there then anywhere in town. They just have a higher quality of product and some items are cheaper there, especially if you go the online route in some cases, than anywhere else. (Condoms for example!!!)

        • Shon

          10 cents off per galloon is a GREAT price, yet where I live we only receive 3 centss off, so not really worth driving out of the way for the 3 cents.  Wish ours would switch to 10 cents.

    • Secret Couponer

      I 99% agree with you…not this time…

      I have a fairly bigger family (2 adults, 6 kids)…I’m sick and tired of getting a “hang up” at the store of perfectly legit coupons…most stores around here seem to limit it to 4 like coupons (not just P&G)…well we eat about 6 boxes a week of cereal…gets to the point I now just shop sales and forget coupons…So do you know if it is cheaper WITHOUT coupons to shop just sales at stores vs. Sam’s (which is 1 hour away here…haven’t been there in 3 years).

      • Edenfieldf

        I have been couponing seriously since April. Before couponing, I purchased about 60%+ of my groceries at Sams Club (no other clubs near me) and the remainder at Walmart. My monthly budget stayed in the $600 range, which included paper products and health & beauty. At the time, I was happy with this, also milk had been about $0.80 a gallon cheaper at Sams (we go thru 3 to 4 gallons a week) but had been consistently going up and was within $0.05 a gallon of the local grocery stores. I started following the drug store ads and grocery store ads while keeping my budget the same. As of now, I have a completely stocked pantry and freezer, and enough health and beauty items (including allergy meds, contact solutions, fem products) that I have started passing along free items to my family and neighbors. I still use SAMs for my produce and meat that I may need unexpectedly and fish but I am really debating on whether I will renew it next May. I do purchase items outside of grocery at SAMs (clothing, holiday items, etc) but I’m starting to wonder if it is worth $40 to me.

    • Jjwoods100

      I only buy certain things from Sam’s that really never go on sale regularly with coupons – like dried beans, dried milk, high quality maple syrup that does not contain corn syrup, good quality yeast and 25 lb. bread flour b/c I do a lot of bread baking, large bottles of vinegar, gourmet cheeses like fontina and gruyere, gorgonzola, etc.   Also, their prices on large cans of crushed tomatoes and whole tomatoes are a lot cheaper.   If you don’t buy processed junk food for your family and like to cook from scratch, then Sam’s club is a better option for many of those ingredients. 

      • Trista

        Yup, this is exactly us–we’ve shifted our diets and lifestyle a lot from the things listed in the article and eat a lot more of things you listed–good cheeses, syrup, lots of “from scratch” goods, homemade cleaners, and our Costco has lots of good organic produce at a good price if I can’t find it at the farmer’s market.  So it definitely pays off.

    • Garyswife96

      We have a membership with Costco, and the *main* reason we still have that membership is for their tires. Our cost is $50 a year. My hubby says it’s well worth it in the savings for our tires. We are ones that *do* see at least a $50 year in savings for milk butter and eggs(yes we eat a lot of dairy :) ), but also they are often cheaper in produce. For example, I can get a huge thing of pre mixed salad for $2.50, which is what I would pay for a much smaller bag at Kroger. Everything else though it is cheaper to coupon and sale shop. I am just lucky enough to have just about every store very near me to be able to take full advantage of each sale .

    • Anonymous

      We have a sams membership for coffee, our Keurig pods are the cheapest I’ve found there at .40 cents a cup vs. .42 or .46 cents at Bed Bath and Beyond or Kohl’s with coupons. Also, milk was $3 vs 3.89 at the grocery store. I thought that was a great deal! However, I don’t go very much because I have a hard time with self control at warehouse stores and I often blow my budget :/

    • Thechapleigh

      I don’t shop warehouse stores, but I would say that the above list of grocery prices truly depends upon which grocery stores you shop & your geographic location. For instance, I have NEVER been able to get dishwasher detergent, TP or mustard for free. But I know there are places where you can… just not here. And, I would presume the above comparison prices would depend upon how much you are monitoring the grocery store sales & what kind of coupon stash you have, to be able to “jump on that deal”. I primarily shop once a week at one to two grocery stores, depending upon which week of sales plus coupon match-ups are better. I haven’t shopped drug stores this past year, primarily becuase I have a great stockpile of HBA & cleaning supplies, but also because I am also very involved in other areas of family life requiring my “brain focus” & can’t be expending it all on coupon deals. I think I’ve found a good balance after a year and a half of couponing, but I don’t get every deal, and I do pay money for items when perhaps others are getting it for free.  But, I am happy with the balance i’ve maintained, & the savings & also the balance of getting HEALTHY stuff (cheaper now with qs) — even if I’m paying more than what I might with coupons on other items.

    • Staci_marie

      Can you tell me how you came up with the ketchup cost?  (Store, price, coupon?)  Saw Publix has Heinz @ $1.99 now for 40 oz, thought this was good until I saw your 1.6 c per oz listed above.  :)

    • Willes1985

      Wow!  Great comparisons!!  I have a Costco membership, but my company pays for it.  I use it mostly for gas, and generic Zyrtec.  The only reason my husband and I have a Sam’s membership is for cheaper meat.  He gets a really good deal because he used to work there.  Other than that, it’s sales and coupons at Publix for me! Thanks for the work you did to put this together!!

    • Shannon

      I do find that sometimes BJ’s is worth the membership, especially if you live or work near enough to a warehouse to use the gas station on a regular basis. I like to buy Chobani kids’ yogurt (rarely on sale here, coupons are even rarer), Uncle Matt’s organic orange juice ($1.50 cheaper than Earth Fare, and the cheapest organic orange juice I’ve seen around here), and $3.50 for their organic apple juice is a steal. I got 2 jars of Olay Regenerist night cream for $15 after a $10/2 MQ and a $5 BJ’s coupon, which is less than 50% of the cost for even the generic version at Target. I think if you’re in the market for organics, you can save at a warehouse store, but you do have to comparison shop. Wipes and diapers are way cheaper at CVS, Harris Teeter and Target when you use your MQs.

    • Anonymous

      I used to have a Sam’s Club membership and the only thing that I found that I really saved money on was my allergy meds and my heartburn meds, otherwise, you do end up paying more and always end up getting things that you really don’t need

    • PaulaB

      I definitely get my money out of Sams.  But there are only a handful of things I buy there anymore.  The meat is fantastic, especially the beef, and the price is about half of the grocery ($4.64 for sirloin that’s an inch thick!).  Also cans of V8, birthday cakes, and nutella ($9 for 50 oz).
      Other than a few things, I’ve followed your example and shop sales with coupns and have saved tons of $$$.

    • Lauren

      Thanks for this!! I was just wondering about this as I shopped Sams this weekend! SAMs is great for things like juice boxes, goldfish, animal crackers….I paid .19 a juice box (Apple and Eve brand) where I would normally pay .27 with a coupon in the store. For snacks and meat dept I find Sams saves me money!

      • Anonymous

        FYI. Adam and Eve juices will be BOGO at Publix next week. Pair that with the $.75 blinkies and you may find a better deal! :)

    • Anonymous

      Our family is mostly vegetarian and live in a smallish house without much storage, so the price clubs aren’t too tempting. We do just fine between the farmers market and grocery store deals.
      By the way, what’s going on with Disqus — sometimes it doesn’t display and when it does, the comment/like calculations are fluctuating wildly?!!

    • Mccval

      I purchased a membership to Costco well before my wife and I started couponing and have purchased anything since (we started couponing).  The only thing I use the membership for now is purchasing photos from their photo department.  It is very easy, convenient and you can get them either glossy or Lustre (Matte – which I like).  I upload the photos online and can either pick them up at the store in an hour or have them mailed to me. They do a great job and their prices are great.  I print a lot of 8×10’s and at $1.48 per, you can’t go wrong. Walmart is about the next cheapest at $2.84 but their quality is not as good (I like they they are printed in Matte finish). Most places charge between $3 -$4 a piece so it would take about > 30-40 photos for it to be worthwhile……which I do!

    • Sandym25713

      It’s time to renew my membership at Sam’s club and I’m considering not renewing…my sister and I “share” a membership at $20  each and now that I coupon I just don’t get much there. I have a problem picking up random items that i don’t need so any savings are probably lost anyway….

    • Kbapatrick

      First off I would like to thank Jenny for all the work she does for us. I have saved a ton of money with the help of this website. I still shop at sam’s. I have a tablet with local store prices and sams price with the appropriate breakdown. The prices above do not accurately reflect my area. I have stopped buying alot at sam’s because of following coupons more but It is the cheapest on alot of items if you don’t get enough when the sales come around or if you don’t have the right coupons. It has gotten so bad lately, I never have the right coupons for the sales. If I do happen to have the right coupons, I don’t have enough for all that I need. I am not greedy and I will not get more than 4 like items at a time. I also dont do drugstore sales because you have to pay now and wait forever to get the money back. Every time I have tried to go the drugstore route it has been a disaster. The staff doesn’t know the policy, they are out of stock or I never get the “rewards” back. My family is one of the ones that can justify the $40 membership. WE go through a ton of dairy. I can save $.40 a gallon on milk. Publix meat prices are ridiculous. The toy selection at christmas is great. They discount everything the closer you get to christmas. They also have special buy prices on random objects. While frustrating because you never know which ones, they are great prices. If you are careful and pay attention, you can still save money at Sam’s.

    • I concur with the the membership for Gas alone. Since none of our surrounding stores or gas stations do any kind of partnerships, Sams is the best price in town. In addition, they often have items that we cant find at local stores!

    • Leah

      I have a Costco membership that is worth the money based on gas and tires alone. The other things we purchase regularly at Costco are: special occasion decorated sheet cakes (17.99), Gogurt simple (only regular gogurt available at most grocery stores here), the double pack of JIF, and rice. Also, I share a membership with my mom, cutting our membership cost each in half. 

      Like anything, it all depends on what you buy. I’ve never been able to coupon many grocery deals because I’m a picky eater and most of the things regularly on sale with coupon are gross to me, but I’ve done well couponing non-food items. 

      • Anonymous

        yes, i forgot tires! I haven’t bought yet, but I have price compared, and we plan to use our cash back rewards from our cc to purchase 4 new (and greatly needed) Michelin tires at the $70 off wyb 4 promo. So we are getting a good deal, with very little out of pocket.

    • Terry

      Some of the readers, are using their Sam’s card for gas. Well, here in Ocala is Sam’s not always the cheapest in gas. I’m a Sam’s member also, buy milk and wine(!!!). The 3l. box Zinfandel is almost $2 cheaper than Publix.
      Most of the time, I fill up on gas at Walmart. Buy a giftcard and get 5ct extra discount per gallon. They extanded this offer till the end of the year.

    • Anonymous

      I do both, I buy some things in bulk at Costco and I watch sales and clip coupons religiously. The only things I found on the above list that I buy (mostly) cheaper in bulk is cheese, eggs, milk, and bacon. If I ever find cheaper at the grocery store, I stock up. Costco has their own coupons, which are mailed out about monthly to members. With these coupons, I can sometimes really save. The only reason we got our membership was b/c of a promo we found where you get an Amex with no annual fee with paid Costco membership, and the Amex comes with cash back rewards, which over 1 year, covers the cost of the membership plus a little more. We come out ahead this way. We use the Costco coupons to get Breath Right nose strips, vitamins/certain meds, Pam, coffeemate, splenda, and occasionally coffee, cheaper by unit than other stores. We also buy our dog food at Costco, along with Goldfish ($0.028/oz), Bananas ($0.49/lb), coffee filters ($0.38/100ct), Organic frozen veggies and fruits, liquor, Almonds ($0.22/oz), Parmesan ($0.27/oz), Mozzarella ($2.56/lb, Cheddar ($3.20/lb), sliced Turkey Breast ($3.80/lb), 88% beef ($2.99/lb). AND, the quality of these perishable foods from Costco are noticably better than from grocery store. I understand some people don’t have the time to keep up with all of this. I have a price book in my purse at all times, for all the things we use, broken down to price per unit, so I have a quick reference to see if something is really a good deal or not. We also save (most) of the time at Costco gas centers too. Occasionally, I can get better with my $0.10 off Kroger fuel perks at Shell. Thanks!

    • Dbaeimers

      I coupon, but there are times when Sam’s club is cheaper.  Gas is about $.20/per gallon cheaper.  Milk is also about half than any that I have seen in a regular grocery store.  In addition our news paper rarely has the coupons on this site, so it is not possible to get everything.  There is no way I can get everything my family needs just on what coupons I can find.  I do shop the sales/ use coupons every week but still find there are things I need.

      That said, I do so appreciate all you do and love this website.  

    • Kouponkeri

      Dog food is the only thing i found to be cheaper.. we only feed our pup one kind and even with coupons, and stacking the occasional store coup on top, Sams is way cheaper when I buy the largest size! Our Sams has a liquor store too so that is nice as well! and like everyone else … gas!

    • Libby

      I appreciate all the work you do Jenny, and use your site regularly.  However I still keep my Sam’s Club membership.  My family eats LOTS of produce…and it’s hard to find produce coupons.  Sam’s Club carries huge tubs of organic salad greens for about half the cost of Kroger.  We buy lots of other fruits, vegetables, butter, milk, Craisins, and basic staples like that at Sam’s, and we DEFINITELY save money doing it.  We also save a few dollars each time we buy beer.  But you’re certainly right as far as drug store items and diapers…you’d be crazy to buy that stuff at Sam’s!    

    • Just like everyone else said, I like Sam’s Club for certain things.  I don’t agree that it’s always cheaper at the grocery store.  In order to get 50 rolls of paper towels or toilet paper that cheap, you have to have A LOT of coupons – which means that you have to buy extra newspapers, buy coupons of ebay, etc.  Once I consider the price of acquiring coupons, a lot of my savings is gone.  Do you consider the price of acquiring the coupons when you say the “regular store w/ coupon” price?  The only coupons I get come free once a week in the mail – they are the same ones in the Sunday paper but don’t come until Wed or Thurs.  Much of my household cleaning/toiletries I make myself, and we don’t eat much processed food, so sometimes there are only 3 or 4 coupons I’d use.  If I bought the newspaper every week just for the coupons, the cost of the paper would cancel out the price of the savings!

      • Rrbarr

        I’m glad you have found a way to save that works for you, but it is absolutely not true that the cost of buying coupons cancels out the savings—–not if truly understand how to do the couponing and you do it correctly.

        • Anonymous

          I think you missed the point – most of the coupons are for junk food or garbage, and so if you “do it right” i.e. stacking, double and triple coupons, rolling your ECBs, et cetera, you might only break even because some weeks there are 3-4 good coupons for non-junk and non garbage, and some weeks there are NONE AT ALL. Some weeks the store is out or the cashier screws up you coupons or your ECBs fail to print.

          So yeah, you can “do it right” , you can truly understand how it works and do your part correctly, and still not come out ahead in the long term budget.

        • I didn’t say that the cost of buying coupons cancels out the savings for EVERYONE, but it does for me.  I only buy organic produce, no frozen or canned foods, and make most of my own cleaning products (which are considerably cheaper than anything you can even get with a coupon).  So there are very few coupons in the paper that apply to me.  So it’s not worth it for me to buy multiple papers in order to get a few extra coupons for paper towels or toilet paper. Maybe the cost doesn’t cancel out the saving for YOU, but how dare you suggest that it’s because I don’t coupon “correctly”.  If it works well for your family, great!  It doesn’t work for mine and I was just bringing up the fact that the post isn’t accurate for everyone. 

    • Jan Taunton

      Jenny, I love your site and you’ve helped me save a lot of money at the grocery store; BUT, I do love Sam’s and have to defend why! I feel like my membership (I’m a $100 Advantage Plus member) more than pays for itself every year in purchases in the pharmacy, gas, dairy, bakery, meat and produce…items where coupons are very rare! With the Advantage Plus membership, I get eValues (electronic coupons); I get to shop as early as 7AM; I get flat tires fixed for FREE (I’ve used this service twice this year); Click ‘n’ Pull® – Order ahead online by 5 pm, and Sam’s has my order ready for pickup the next day; Service Plans – Save on premium plans that start after the manufacturer’s warranty ends. Plus Members also receive an additional 12 months of coverage with purchased service plan at no charge. Yes, I definitely get my $100 worth EVERY year!

      • Anonymous

        Discount Tire fixes flats for free even if you did not buy your tires there.

        • Jan Taunton

          Not sure we have a Discount Tire in Auburn AL….worth checking out!  The last time me son had a flat fixed at a local tire store, they charged $18 so I was pretty happy to get mine fixed at Sam’s for free!

      • I agree with you that Sam’s Club saves me money, but I just wanted to point out that anyone, not just members, can use the pharmacy, so you shouldn’t include savings there in what you save. 

    • Leah

      Thanks so much for this. I’ll have to show this article to my mom before she decides to buy a membership. :)

    • Abby

      I agree that Sams offers you little to no savings if you are a couponer, but BJ’s does.  It’s amazing and well worth the price for member ship (we got our for $40 for 14 months).  The last time we went we spent $21 and saved $67.  They quite often pay us to take many items (shampoos, deodorants, and soaps mainly). 

      • Fourisit

        We go to BJ’s too. Do you stack coupons at BJ’s – I was not able to find if they allow their printed coupons and a manuf coupon also? Thanks for any help. I do love their milk prices – we drink 4+ gallons a week so BJ’s milk prices really help save.

        • Rita

          I was just in BJ’s last week on their free 60 day guest pass.  They told me that they do allow stacking of their coupon and a manuf coupon.

        • Cheryl

          Yes you can stack at BJ’s! :)

    • Jio1685

      I agree on most things you find a better deal at the grocery with coupons. I will say that on PERSCRIPTIONS AT THE PHARMACY you can’t beat Sam’s prices. I pay $45 a month at Sam’s Pharmacy instead of $225 a month at CVS. This really makes the membership more than worth it for me.

      • Laraanne1

        By law, Sam’s has to offer their pharmacy to everyone. You don’t have to have a membership to fill your prescriptions there.

        • Ba

          Yup, the only time I go to Sam’s is for their prescriptions and I don’t have a membership – if the greeter asks me, I say I’m going to the pharmacy

          • Lee

            I think Costo’s Rx prices might be even cheaper.  I switched all my family’s prescriptions to Costco, and it literally cut our rx expenses by about 60% !!!!!  When I started researching the actual out-of-pocket rx expenses and comparing store-to-store prices for the exact same medication, the differences were ASTONISHING.  I had been flushing a decent amount of money down the toilet every time I went to CVS, Walgreens, or Publix pharmacies.  

          • Jan Taunton

            So true! You don’t have to have a membership to use the pharmacy….but members get 8% discount on name-brand prescriptions and 40% on generics not part of the $4/$10 generic prescription plan.

            • Srgordon

              Wrong that is only for Plus members which is an addtional cost to the membership

    • dawng

      we have sams and costco memeberships. we got sams b/c the memebership payed for itself by buying 1 item that was $50 cheaper there than anywhere else at the time. And for us our costco membership has paid for itself with what we save in milk. There have been multiple times where I was paying $2.50-$2.60 a gallon and all my local grocery stores were $3.99- $4.09 a gallon! Some weeks we go though 4-6 gallons of milk. Friday I paid $2.85 for skim milk at costco and I know food lion was $3.99 gal here so that adds up. but i can agree that most items it is not cheaper buying in bulk. ( ive also bought sugar and flour at costco b/c i didnt have coupons or there wasnt a good sale and that was cheaper bulk than reg store price.

    • B_Es

      I use both the regular grocery store and Costco. Costco sends me a coupon book every month and I choose whether to go in this month or the next. For example, this month, they have a BOGO on canned organic diced tomatoes. I’d rather stock up once every few months when they have a sale rather than running all over town every week trying to get the best deals – saves me time and gas. About gas, it’s about 10-20 cents cheaper per gallon. I bought 1 box of trash bags 1.5 years ago, and I’m still using them. Perdue chicken breasts (no hormones/additives etc…) in 10 lb bags, yes please! For me, if something is on sale at Costco, I choose better price + convenience, rather than best price, dealing with empty shelves, different stores, coupons, etc…

    • Anonymous

      We keep our membership for the tires.  It’s great…as long as you are one of the first in line!

    • Anonymous

      Sam’s Club website has a printable day pass.  If you live in the state of South Carolina they cannot, by state law, charge an upcharge.  You can use a printable pass every 90 days.

      One thing to point out about purchasing tires at Sam’s.  You have to purchase a membership EVERY year in order to use the tire package that you paid for.  Those tires end up costing a fortune to maintain!  The techs in the tire shop have very little training and make mistakes.  A set of tires we had that were made to roll only one direction were put on to roll the wrong direction.  For a year we could not figure out why we could not keep that car driving straight.  We took it and had the alignment checked among other things and all along it was poorly trained techs at Sam’s.  The tires were ruined after rolling the wrong way.  They did sell us a new set of tires for only $140 but now we either have to keep up the yearly membership or pay for maintenence somewhere else.

    • Amy B

      Thanks for posting this information, Jenny! Several friends have tried to talk me into a Costco membership, but thus far I have resisted. It’s not so much the amount of savings I may or may not get there. I just don’t want to add another store to my “to do” list! I get my groceries at Publix and Target, and I hit a drug store about once a month. My life with 3 kids is busy enough without having another errand to run!

      • Jtdjagos

        you don’t need your own. If you pay with cash, costco allows two transactions.

    • Alisha

      I like Sams mainly for the gas .10 cheaper! We don’t pay for our membership thanks to my husband’s job. I have noticed at the grocery stores, even on sale items they limit the coupons… my publix has even started putting the coupon books behind the counter so people have to ask for them bc customers were taking piles at a time. Thanks to the show Extreme Couponing…. they have really messed a lot of us up!! And the way they buy, I wish I could do so but stores around here just WILL NOT allow it. I can see going and asking the manager to order me 500 boxes of cereal and then using 500 coupons, won’t happen here.

    • Deecheers4rv

      We used to buy everything at Sam’s before I started couponing. Now the only thing I think we will buy there is trash bags and clothes( I love their shirts!). A box lasts us well over a year and I think only costs 12 dollars or so.  My dad has a business account so I have my own card and he pays for it!

    • Melberry77

      so Jenny do you think a BJ’s membership is worth it because of coupons? 

    • Lee

      I find it very difficult to beat Costco prices for produce, fruit and vegetables.  And Craisins?  Crazy cheap at Costco.  We are a Craisin family : )

      • Anonymous

        Like $6 for a 3 or 4 pound bag! Makes oatmeal tolerable and yogurt delightful.

        I haven’t seen a Craisins coupon in a looooong time…

    • jenn

      I must say that it is rare I find toilet paper cheaper even with coupons. I calculate out to the cent per sheet and there pom brand cheaper then anything else I have found. And has more sheets per roll. We buy organic spring mix and organic carrots from there. I hardly ever see coupons for those and they are way cheaper then in stores. Also white vinegar is cheaper. This is all at sams though. So we split a membership with my mom and save more then we pay, but I add it up to make sure we are saving more before I pay the next year

      • ValerieD

        We buy POM as well.  I was wondering if I’d be able to buy it any cheaper with coupons.  It is definitely important to calculate price per sheet or sq ft because different brands of tp (and paper towels) have different amounts of sheets/sq ft.   Pricing per roll when comparing across brands would be a big mistake.

    • Tkb070704

      Sams Club sells chicken breasts by the case and it takes the price down to around $1.60/lb which is the cheapest I can find boneless chicken. 
      I think for meat (esp if you split a case between friends) you can’t beat Sams’ price. But beyond that, no, the savings aren’t that great. My husband, however, buys his entire wardrobe from Sams, so we have to keep that membership! LOL

    • Daniela

       I think it really depends on what you buy.  I have found all these items to be less expensive at Costco than at the grocery store..Organic ground beef, organic chicken broth, organic spinach, organic frozen berries, bananas, simply naked pita chips, lara bars, Fage greek yogurt and cheeses. 

    • Chefjbed

      I’m loyal to Sam’s for their meats. When I cook, I usually cook a large batch and either eat it all week or freeze half. Between a whole pork loin, ground beef (at 90/10 fat), ground turkey, whole chickens and chicken breasts, I rarely find prices that come close to the savings I’m getting at the club. I also get the large bags of pecans, almonds, and walnuts.

    • Jtdjagos

      There are advantages to the clubs, but you have to really know your prices. The large cans of chunk light tuna are cheap at costco. The produce at Sams and costco(romaine lettuce and organic spinach) make the membership worth it for my family. also things like pure vanilla and anchovies are our stock up items at costco. I have found prices and variety to be much better at costco although my friend and I split a membership at both-so we catch all of the deals.

    • guest

      I don’t know about Sam’s, but at Costco, I save on other items you haven’t mentioned with their coupons. Or the seasonal items.

      I got 2 contigo cups for 16 dollars 20 – their 4 dollar coupon. I normally buy 2 sets for others each year. Those cups sell for 16 in target for 1 cup, and they are the best cups to keep stuff hot. They go on this coupon once a year.

      Lego brickmaster book kits are 30 bucks. They sell them for 15. Right before Christmas I got some last year for 8 or 9 bucks. 

      Goodyear assurance wiper blades for 7.99, the coupon that comes out gives you b1g1. I looked for prices and found them for 17 to 20 bucks. I buy 1 pair per car on sale and they last the year for me.

      My son’s gummy vitamins go on coupon every 3 to 4 months and they will be 9.79 for 200 to 255 bears. I have only found them on sale once since January. They where still more expensive.

      Honey, vinegar, baking soda, epson salts, costco trashbags ($14 for 200) are cheaper there than anywhere else.

      Store brand claritin d is $6.10 Including nc tax for 15 24 hour pills.
       
      I can’t say for the eggs at Sam’s, but the costco eggs are extra extra large. If I would use 5 for something I would use 4 of theirs.

      Do I buy paper products there nope.
      Do I buy sandwich bags there. Sure do but with a 2.50 off coupon. Which brings the price in under the normal stores.
      Trash bags at 7 cent a bag that is better quality than name brand, you bet ya, with no coupon.
      Sheets are better quality for about 20 to 30 dollars less than target/walmart. And they have a coupon on those that went thru black friday that was 20 off their price.
      Red bell peppers are just over a dollar a pepper. In season or out of season.
      Furniture, DVD’s rugs, water filler pitchers and faucet, all are drastically cheaper at costco. Half the time your can wait and get a coupon for it too. I saved hundreds on a pair of washer and dryers years ago allowing me to buy the largest size.

      Yes you have to control yourself and know your prices. But this is what we are all doing every day in grocery and drug stores. Holding that perfect coupon for the perfect sale.

      • Srgordon

        Sam’s don’t accept coupons, sad I know but true

    • Carpenter2451

      One big reason we keep our Sams membership is not for the food but for the automotive department.  We have four cars in our family.  We buy our tires through Sams which is a little cheaper but not a lot.  However, they rotate and balance for free and basically anything else that is wrong.  We have tried this with other stores in the past but Sams has worked out the best.  Also when we move (and we will again) there will be another Sams.

      • Sarah

        Big O Tires does the same thing.  And they don’t require a membership.  

      • Srgordon

        As long as you have a membership they repair flats for free as well

    • Anonymous

      Is the butter price correct?  I have never gotten butter at Sam’s for less than say $1. 60.  Two years ago during the holidays Walmart’s price was actually a few cents a pound off of the Sam’s price.  But at grocery stores I don’t see butter going under $2.50 these days, and very seldom to I see a coupon that makes the net cheeper (like LandOLakes will have 50c off 2, but that doesn’t make it cheaper than buying the house brand.)

      Am I missing something? I’d love to get butter at $1/lb!

      • It goes on sale a lot for this price during the holidays…I stock up and freeze it for all year long.

      • Wewatson

        I was thinking the same as our butter is currently $2.22/ pound at our local Columbia, SC Sam’s Club.

    • Anonymous

      Since I don’t have a Sam’s within 20 minutes of my house, I only use Sam’s 1-2 a year.  Last time I went was over a year ago, and we realized at the checkout that our membership was exprired (complicated story) so after doing all that “saving” we ended up paying the $30 renewal fee, and that obliterated any savings.  Plus, since it isn’t a convienent place for us to shop, we didn’t use it again before it expired!  A $30 surcharge per trip does not make it cheaper, really ever. 

    • Anonymous

      My garbage bags are one of those things I have brand loyalty – way too many bad experiences with cheap bags to change.  I prefer buying a giant box of Glad flex and not thinking about them again for a few months. Sams also has much better prices than my grocery store on dairy products.

      • guest

         Costco bags are better than glad flex. I have converted many glad loyalists. random large odd sized objects, pizza boxes etc.

    • Chiefsangeleyes

      I have a Sam’s membership…we use it solely for meat and dairy. (Usually cheese). It’s really paid off for us.

    • Kate

      A family member kindly let’s me be the secondary member on her account, so my family visits that way. Even with the free access to the store, we rarely buy food or household products there other than trash bags and computer ink. We do, however, love the corking clearances in menswear. Recently, golf shorts and polos were under $5 each. We have found nice men’s jeans at $11 a pair as well. I don’t usually find clothing for myself there, but plenty for my husband. Also, sometimes they have great electronics deals.

    • Fotikis1

      I think the comparison is NOT accurate because you should have compared prices without coupons

      • Anonymous

        Right on about the list price at warehouse stores and coupon price at grocery stores being an apples-to-oranges comparison.

        And to be clear, sure you might save 3¢/oz on something. But frankly, that savings starts to become a little less meaningful when you actually take account of:

        • price of one or more Sunday papers for the coupon inserts; some of which get used minimally or not at all ( how many times have those hopes of ever-so-cheap paper goods evaporated when your insert simply didn’t have the coupon at all) and increasingly also the price of one or more specialty house-Frau magazines which have decent coupons.

        • price of paper and ink for printing out the ever increasingly prevelant online coupons.

        • and how about running all over town to get all these better prices. Most grocery stores are not having nearly as good of sales as they used to, and building a halfway decent stockpile may require trips to three or more grocery and drugstores.

        • It must depend where you live. I live in a very central location in Columbia, SC (where Jenny lives) and I have no trouble going to 1 grocery store a week and 1 pharmacy a week and getting the deals that save my family way more than if I shopped at a “Big Box Store/Discount Store”. I stockpile, so those stores can almost never beat my deals. I could hit all the grocery stores and pharmacies in my area and only gone 5 miles round trip too.

          • BTW- why would you ever consider shopping at the grocery store without coupons…she is compairing apples to apples. Probably depends on your proximity to a “Big Box Store/ Discount Store” also. The closest one to me is about 30 minutes away. Totally not worth my time! I am a stay at home mom who can “prepare” for my trip while my small children nap whereas the idea of stuffing my babies in a car for a 1hour round trip drive and deal with all that traffic and crowds makes me want to scream!

            • Anonymous

              I think the point was you don’t really use coupons to shop at the warehouse clubs, so it not really a meaningful comparison to compare the price you would pay for a certain item after making the perfect couponing strike – doubling, stacking – versus just walking in off the street at a warehouse.

              I’m in Charleston so I have all the same grocery stores you and Jenny do (no Kroger) but also have a Costco 15 mins away.

              I work 40-60 hours a week so for me having time to cook from scratch is a luxury, and time I consider better spent making yummy food than flipping through an insert. Although I can totally see where you are coming from, and don’t dispute that if you have the time and the stores are close, well-stocked and competently staffed, you can totally crush it every week couponing alone.

            • guest

              No apples to apples is manufactures coupons to costco coupons. Costco puts out those coupons about every month. And they give you enough to stock up. Yeah you have to stock up on their schedule. And yeah there is some stuff to never buy there. But there is stuff you really only buy at the grocery store and stuff you only buy at the drug store.

              Why would anyone shop costco and buy the goods that they will issue a coupon for in a month or 2? They let you buy enough with that coupon to stock up till the next time they put out a coupon.

              Just like fireworks at costco was half the price of anywhere else. You can’t wait until july 5th to buy them. Then you don’t need them anymore. Or those ugly Ugg boots they had, where very cheap if you wanted a pair.
              50 yards of wired ribbon for 6.49 for spring and fall. No one beats that price. Makes weddings and Christmas items cheap. You can buy 2 yards of the same stuff for 6 bucks in any other store.

              Costco has a strange rhythm, but it is VERY predictable.

        • Kpinto20

          Lets no forget to include the time spent looking for coupons. I do appreciate all the wonderful information provided in this website. It was very shocking for me to see a girl in the store getting over 20 deodorants becuase she had coupons which me them free. Then i wondered, what is she going to do with so many deodorants? I thought about asking her, but i thought it would be rude. Last thing I would like to say is that anything in moderation is good.

          • Anonymous

            Of course, who could forget all that time flipping through those inserts!

            Although Jenny’s handy coupon database has really helped cut down on that… Good app.

      • Anonymous

        The whole point of this blog is that it is about couponing.  The argument is often made that you can save just as much by shopping big box stores without couponing.  This comparison making the point that if you are disciplined to buy only at the lowest price with a coupon you will generally do much better than going to a big box store.  Even if you don’t have a coupon you will probably do better just shopping at the lowest price in the sale cycle – most of the savings is from the store sale, coupons are just gravy.

    • Srgordon

      I get my membership for free since I work at Sam’s, there are items that do get marked down below coupon price for example, I bought a 60 ct Dayquil/Nightquil value pack for $4.81.  I am also a Plus Member because it is payroll deducted and I save on chicken, on top of many other items, with evalues, coupons, automatically preloaded to my card, early entrance and savings through the pharamacy, I can’t bet somethings that are good prices at Sam’s.  Our price on a gallon of milk is $2.75 cheaper than buying a half gallon of Smart Balance when it is on sale unless Super Doubles. 

      • Srgordon

        $2 off ribeye just came avaliable on my evalues, I have been wanting steak

    • Cheryl

      I have a membership at BJ’s strictly for baby formula. Even with sales and coupons, the stores can’t come close to their price on that. Also,  BJ’s accepts manufacturer’s coupons and puts out coupons of their own that you can stack.  Makes the deal even better.  Originally I thought I would use the membership for diapers too, but you are correct on the above mention.
      I also use it for my K-Cups (Kuerig).  The regular store prices are outrageous!

    • Amanda

      All of these comments have been so encouraging to me!  I have been couponing now for about 6 months and have really been trying to beat Sams prices.  As I’ve been comparing prices, I can really agree that alot of the things listed below are less expensive at Sams on a continual basis.  Occasionally I have had the right coupons for the right sale and that has been awesome, but doesn’t happen every week for me (wish it did!).  Trash bags for example, still can’t beat Sams on that.  And grated cheese.  At Sams it is $0.17/ oz.  The best I could do was to match that last week when HT had their store brand grated cheese on sale for $1.39 each, which came out to $0.17/ oz also.  Sams baby formula, bread flour and yeast, as well as produce, milk, dogfood and eggs are the biggest savings for us.  My frustration is trying to get the good deals for these week after week and I just haven’t been able to do that.  I have 3 young children and believe me, I do take them out shopping several times a week trying to get all the deals, but I just cannot do more than that.  At some point my time ( and theirs) is worth more than me going to 3 separate grocery stores a week.  So all of these comments are really encouraging me to not stress too much about it, that I’m not the only one needing to shop Sams for some things :)

      • Couponqueen769

        Yes! Whatever works for you! I would never have been able to coupon shop with 3 young children, much less my one. I didn’t have a Sam’s membership for a long time. When I joined again, I spent a couple of hours (alone!) walking around and checking prices. I keep a price list in my phone of the things that are deals for me at Sam’s (based on price or convenience). I also have my “buy price” list based on Jenny’s format, so I can make a quick decision on whether to buy or not.  

    • Laura

      I have never ever ever found tuna for $.50! Sam’s here is $.72 a can and cheapest the grocery store or wally world has is atleast $1! Haven’t found any coupons either. Another thing is dog food, we have 4 med/large dogs (total combined weight of 180lbs) so we go through a LOT of kibble. Grocery store large bags of kibble don’t last long nor are there enough coupons or sale prices, give me the 50lb bag at Sams for $20 any day!

      • We don’t eat tuna, but the whole dog food deal…the grocery store is cheaper on that too…you just have to really stock up when it goes on sale. (We have a 100lb boxer who eats a lot!) A few weeks ago I got the 5lb bags of Kibbles ‘N Bits for $0.50 a piece…much cheaper than your $20 price tag!

      • Couponqueen769

        Laura, I find tuna at Publix pretty often for .50. They will have a 4pk on sale BOGO, but you have to get there early in the sale week.

        I agree with you on the pet food. We have cats and sometimes it is worth paying a little more for the food to avoid trips to the store every few days. Your time is worth a lot. I don’t work in the summer, so I spend a lot of time couponing and stockpiling. During the school year, I will avoid extra trips to the store at all costs! The stockpile keeps us in pretty good shape, though : )

    • Suemac1

      I think the important thing – as Jenny has said in other articles – is to know your lowest price point on the products you use regularly. I think all of these posts show that most of us know what items are cheaper at the clubs and which are not. I think it also helps to know the lowest non-sale price in town for those times when you have to buy something and can’t wait for a sale.

      We buy tires, dairy products (butter, cream, half and half, cream cheese) and nuts at Sams. Sometimes I can get better deals on the dairy at Publix, but not often. I can’t remember the last time cream cheese, cream or half and half were bogo. Also I almost never see sales on nuts – pecans, walnuts and almonds. Conversely, I saw someone at Sams recently with a gigantic tub of Cascade dishwasher packets and almost died when I figured out how much cheaper I’d just gotten the same amount (granted, in half a dozen boxes rather than one big tub) in a bogo sale with coupons at Publix.

    • Spi-cy13

      Sam’s Club recently started accepting coupons, but here’s the trick:
      1. You only get coupons added to your club card if you get the Advantage Plus membership, which is $100/year.
      2. You don’t get to choose what coupons are added to your card; Sam’s does (they claim that it’s based on your purchases from the last three years, but that’s a lie)
      3. You still end up paying a lot of money at the register afterwards (i.e. I used the $1 off honey buns coupon that was on my card; sure I saved $1 off my order but I still ended up paying ~$89 for my things. :(

      • Srgordon

        If your aren’t satisified than go to customer service and get your money back it is 100% satifaction garenteed, but with the plus memebership you get other discounts and privelages, like early entrance, 5 free vehicle reports and 1 free health screening a year, on top of that which is well over the $60 added to your membership cost you get 40% off your genrics and 8% off brand name drugs so maybe the details weren’t explained to you very well but the 5 free vehicle reports is a $45 value through carfax and a health screening cost over $100 so it pays for itself even if you don’t use the evalues

    • Wewatson

      It depends on one’s lifestyle as to what works best. For Jenny, couponing and no Sam’s works great! For ones like me, not so great. I am a homeschool mom of 7 children with a household to run. My strategy is to buy in bulk online and shop at Sam’s, Aldi, Dollar General  and our local produce stand. I shop at these places once a month except for the produce and that’s only twice a  month. I spend average of $600 a month for a family of nine- food and non-food. Two shopping trips, total, a month fits OUR lifestyle. Jenny and others being able to coupon fits their lifestyle very well. It all depends on what is happening in your world at the time. One day when the children are grown, I might be on the coupon boat as well. :D

      • Mrsveronicar

        I agree with you completely. It totally depends on your lifestyle. My family consists of just my husband and I, however we both work full time and go to school. I don’t have numerous hours a week to spend searching through coupons. Southernsavers has taught me a lot about using coupons and helped me to shop on sales cycles which has saved us a lot. But I still use my Costco membership to save on gas, which is usually around 10 cents a gallon less in my area, as well as for other goods (like home, auto and electronics) that you just won’t find in the grocery store or be able to clip coupons for. I also do a lot of party planning as well and Costco’s bakery and party platters are a great deal! They even have nice flowers. I have learned what things to buy from Costco and what things not to. The money Costco saves me definitely is worth the $50 a year!

    • guest

      Gas at my Sam’s right now is $.23/gal. cheaper than at the gas stations.  It is not always that big of a difference, but is always less.

    • Anonymous

      I went to Costco with my friend once and was not at all impressed. It really does *look* like you are saving more b/c of the huge packages but it’s not true at all. My friend is always talking about buying a HUGE box of whatever at Costco for only $8 and I think, wow I could get four boxes for half that!
      Even their meat prices weren’t all that great. I do think the only thing that would be cheaper is if you use their coupons that come out monthly on things that are on sale.

    • Dualbabies

      I agree with Jenny, but there is one area where you can save big…. organic produce and coffee. We make a trip to Sams every couple of weeks to stock up.

    • Kzure

      I know your comparison was with Sam’s Club, however I live in the northeast and I go to BJ’s another warehouse store.  Here you can use coupons.  For instance you can use 3 $1 off coupons for a 3 pack of deodorant and stack with an available BJ’s coupon.  So while I am only purchasing for me and my son, I still save a tremendous amount of money.  

    • F Saunders

      You get boneless chicken breast for under $2/lb?  It costs me upwards of $6 on the west coast!  Amazing.

    • Savingmoney11

      I work at same club and have for the past 10 years and have been a club manager. I can tell you that on grocery through couponing that yes as she stated above that day to day pantry grocery that w coupons you can get a better deal on grocery and paper good items in the regular grocery stores. BUT your average couponers may not buy 12 papers every week to save on canned tuna fish or pasta so in a sense for those kind of items it can be better for ur budget. Also they key thing to remember is that sams club also carries other items for your home…. We may my carry as many variety of a jcpenney but a nice bedding set may run you $159 where some people may really spend $300-$500 for a comprable style at the mall (how someone spends that much for a bedding set is beyond me, but you would be surprised. Many people do. Also on basics like Carters kids clothes the sleepers are under $7 normally or the Gompers where other places are $10-15$. Things like a cake from the bakery are $20 for a half sheet and most people will pay almost $18 at kroger or Publix for a quarter sheet cake. Now sams club by all means is a no frills store but remember, we do sell other no -grocery items that can save u a ton of $$. When you can find your items that are seasonally on sale at the grocery store, sams club can be a great option because overall we offer a consistent price that is everyday pricing. And if you haven’t gotten your tires at sams can sometimes almost pay for your basic membership because a lot of places charge u two separate fees that often cost 30-40$ more for the same service.

      • Savingmoney11

        Gompers should have been rompers. Have to love sPell check on the I phone

    • Savingmoney11

      P.s. If you occasionally like to treat yourself to some of those pricey deli cheese items I definately can tell you you cannot find a better deal for everyday pricing than sams. So if you like laughing cow, Gouda, jalsberg, goat cheese, sabra hummus, etc. If your buying it anywhere else unless it is bogo at teeter, Publix, or kroger you need to check out the sams club pricing per lb. Your may pay more up front because of the pack size but I guarantee if your going to buy several smaller packages anyways (at other stores you really wind up paying for the membershiP fee by buying it somewhere else because the cost is ridiculous if not on bogo- and in 8 months of couponing I have rarely Seen if at all a lot of the deli items we sell at SAMs club on sale)

    • Susie

      I sale and coupon shop as well as shop at Sam’s.  I feed my dog Cesar dog food and by buying in bulk, I save over $68/yr on that alone.  When I get the coupons for B2(or3)G1, I use them but that is rare.  Last week Dollar General had them buy 5, get the 6th free and I bought 6.  That is the same as Sam’s every day price.    In addition, it is across the street from where I work so I buy all my gas there which is a HUGE savings at $.10 to $.15 a gal cheaper.  I buy my mom’s Osteo Bi-Flex there and it is cheaper, even with the $5 and $6 coupons.  The only egg coupons I get are for the “brand name” that I don’t care about and they are more expensive also.  So, I save on eggs there too.

      Contact lens?  Oh my gosh, so much cheaper and with two that wear them, that saves me a bundle.   And those big items you need immediately and can’t wait until a sale can save tons.  Crock pots, mixers, cookware, etc.  Also, I’ve gotten great deals on sheets there as well as books.  And I do buy the large packages of boneless, skinless breasts often because they are in a zip bag and I love that.  Perfume, men’s cologne, etc is usually cheaper.  And I too buy the glad flex bags there.  Sometimes I buy them at Dollar General on the Saturday’s when they have the $5 off $25 and it is almost as cheap.  And ink cartridges from my printers is much cheaper.

      Sorry, I could go on and on but many, many things are cheaper and IF you live or work near a Sam’s (or I would think Costco, etc), it IS definitely worth your money.   

    • Kim

      I really think this depends on where you live, what kind of coupons you get, and what prices normally run in your area. I get only mediocre coupons, and since I’m in FL, no doubles. So I actually come out either about the same at Sam’s, or slightly cheaper on a lot of items. We go at least every other week just for produce alone. We also buy meats, dairy, eggs, and some frozen foods there too. I can get canned chicken breast much cheaper there, and since that’s one of those things that hardly ever seems to be on sale in my area, I almost always buy it there. Spices are super cheap! And if you’re worried about using it, get someone to go in on it with you and split it at home. My mom and I have done this and the spices last us all year, even through the holidays. Some cleaning supplies come out to be about the same as in a store, but I don’t have to deal with multiple little packages, which not only can be difficult space-wise, but is terrible for the environment too. I rarely get cheese for less than $2 for an 8 oz package, which I have to buy every week since my family goes through a lot of cheddar. But at Sam’s, I bought a 5 lb block for about $6, shredded it in the food processor, divided it into Ziploc containers, and froze them. MUCH, MUCH, MUCH cheaper than in the grocery store. And instead of throwing out a ton of plastic, I’m using containers that can be washed and used again. And I’m not buying it every week, so far this has lasted nearly 2 months. Our membership gets paid for in gas alone every year. Sams averages about 10 cents cheaper/gallon for my area. And we also buy all our decorated cakes there too. I recently bought a 1/2 sheet cake at Sam’s, made with a theme and words I chose, for $17.48. At a grocery store, or even at Walmart, this would have been double that amount. I still coupon to an extent, but I’ve moved back to bulk shopping a lot more over the past year.

    • Anonymous

      BJs is often cheaper than the grocery.  For paper products, I have found that the grocery price has to be an e-vic special and have a good coupon to be cheaper.  Most of those specials are limited to 2 products per HOUSEHOLD at that price.  We wouldn’t get by on 8 rolls of TP for 2 months (this often is usually only once every 2-3 months).  BJs sends their own coupons in the mail and you can stack them with manufacturers coupons.  I just priced batteries and BJs regular price is less than half the price at the grocery on sale.  The bottom line is that you need to know the price of things so you know when you are getting a good deal or so you know the price when you run out so you know where to go.

      • Anonymous

        BJs has cheaper gas, too.  Often listed as the cheapest in my area.

    • J21401

      I belong to BJs and Sams.  BJs for diapers and anything I have a decent coupon for.  Sams club for meats, cheese, frozen vegetables.  One thing I do at Sams club to save on meats is to buy in bulk at the “case” price, for example, chicken breast was 1.97 (like in this article), but the “case” price (had to buy 36 lb or more) was 1.55.  You can bet it was easy to find co-workers willing to split that deal with me!  Pork roast, whole chickens, similar deals.  Of course, it does help to have a deep freeze.

      For diapers, I have never seen them on a good enough sale at the grocery store, even with a coupon at the grocery store to beat Bjs club with stacking coupons.  The only exception would be if I used a decent coupon and bought a super small pack which would last a few days and I would be back out paying full price after running out of coupons.  I rarely pay more than 17 cents per diaper, which I think is a pretty good average.  Sometimes Amazon (especially “subscribe and save”) wins, but I am sure that will be a completely different article in the future…