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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

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Some of you may remember a post I did on this a couple years ago.  Well, I’ve decided take another look. 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 to my local warehouse club and got the prices of 30 items from all over the store to get an updated price comparison. 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 $1.77 /lb
Split Chicken Breasts 99¢ /lb $1.79 /lb
Bacon $3 /lb $3.42 /lb
Canned Tuna, 5 oz 50¢ per can 84¢ per can
Ketchup 1.6¢ /oz 5¢ /oz
Mayonnaise 3¢ /oz 9¢ /oz
Mustard Free 8¢ /oz
Salad Dressing 3.7¢ /oz 12.5¢ /oz
Popcorn (microwave) 60¢ ea. 77¢ ea.
Soups, 15 oz 40-60¢ per can $1.15 per can
Soft Drinks, 12 oz can 18¢ per can 32¢ per can
Iced Tea Bags, family size 3¢ per bag 5¢ per bag
Butter $1.80 /lb $2.37 /lb
Cheese $2.50 /lb $2.46 /lb
Eggs $1.19 per dozen $1.41 per dozen
Milk $3.19 per gallon $3.29 per gallon
Sour Cream Free-1.8¢ /oz 12.4¢ /oz
Spaghetti Sauce 3-4¢ /oz 5.7¢ /oz
Spaghetti Pasta Free 96¢ /lb
Brownie Mix, 18-20 oz 40¢ $1.97
Cake Mix, 18-20 oz Free-50¢ $2.40
Cereal, 18-24 oz $1.25 or less $3.34
Sugar 32¢ /lb 58¢ /lb
Baby Diapers 9-15¢ per diaper 22.5¢ per diaper
Foil 1¢ /sq. feet 4.6¢ /sq. feet
Freezer Bags 4.5-6.7¢ ea. 4.9¢ ea.
Paper Towels 1.3¢ /sheet 1.8¢ /sheet
Sandwich Bags .9¢ ea. 1.7¢ ea.
Toilet Paper, roll Free-29¢ ea. .0019¢ /sheet
Trash Bags 10-13¢ ea. 19.9¢ ea.
Dishwasher Detergent Free – .8¢ /oz 5¢ /oz
Glass Cleaner 4¢ /oz 12¢ /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, but 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.
-$1.79 for boneless skinless chicken breast is really good, but don’t think 20¢ less per pound is worth the membership.

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. But, I’d like to show you how much you could save if you put a little time into doing the whole coupon “thing”.

I know a lot of people really enjoy BJ’s as they have store coupons and accept manufacturer coupons.  Others are big fans of CostCo as they have store coupons (and, apparently, cheap organic produce).  Neither one is close to me, so I don’t have much shopping experience there.  Having talked to friends, it sounds like there are certainly deals, but grocery stores are still king.

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.)

    • Doris

      Thanks for posting!  I love to buy with coupons and I always tell people it is cheaper to buy items on sale (with coupons) at Kroger & Publix than at the ‘club’ stores…. I hope I never step foot in a ‘membership’ store….ugh!

    • Jtsc Sternbergfamily

      The one thing you did not discuss was the fact with using a warehouse club, you are able to find organic things much less than the regular grocery store – and since most food items that are organic are not coupon worthy, this is where we save many dollars… and gas. We are Costco members – and I can get organic meat, milk, eggs, frozen veggies & fruit.  Completly worth it.

      • Jtsc Sternbergfamily

        Ha ha!  Just saw you did!  Been a long day.  I guess I was thinking that because of the change you are making with your family diet, I expected more.  It’s baby steps isn’t it?

    • Ed In Ncarolina

      I agree with Jenny. One thing I miss from Costco are the Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers (with sesame seed taste). Does anyone know another place where these can be found?

      • jke

         I have seen these at Harris Teeter.  At my HT they are located at the end of the bread aisle- not on the cracker aisle.  Every now and then I run up on a sale.

      • redteapot

        Publix. And they go on BOGO periodically.

      • Susan

        I saw them at Walmart

      • Daniela

        I recently bought a box at the Winston-Salem, NC Costco.

      • Daniela

        I recently bought a box at the Winston-Salem, NC Costco.

    • Lisacake610

      A membership to Sam’s Club is worth the savings for gas alone! I love to coupon, but find that some weeks that I am just too burned out to save 5 cents an egg. Rarely do I find sales or coupons for pure butter so $7.38 for 4 pounds of butter for the past 4 months is fantastic in my book! I agree about the paper products & diapers costing more. However, sometimes a wholesale club really is the way to go for buying  chicken breast, cheese, name brand quality breads & produce if you don’t want to hit 3 stores in one day.  If you have incredibly patient children tagging along, the extra time & money to burn on gas for running around to get the cheapest price possible, have at it!  

    • Shem61

      I usually get my condiments free (or about $.50 each) at Publix using BOGO and coupons. You can also get good deals on diapers and paper items at CVS using coupons and special promotions.

    • Smondru

      I agree that it has not been worth the price of membership for our family. We have shopped on the “free pass” days for the few items we want. My husband feels like they offer a great price for car tires and so we will buy a membership when we need tires. We recently joined Costco for that reason. We live over 30 mins from town, and enjoy the $1.50 for hot dog and coke instead of McD’s when we are forced to be in town for dr visits and such.  Bread flour for less than $15 for 50 lbs goes quickly in my house.

    • Annadgali

      I am a Costco menmber too, I always get my cooking oil(5qt) and rice(20lb bag) there. These are cheaper there than at stores. As for all the other products I rely on coupons and grocery stores.

    • ACW

      We live a couple of blocks from a wholesale club, and get the $40 membership every year because it’s worth it, to me, not to have to hunt around for the best gasoline prices (it’s a loss-leader for them, I hear, and they ALWAYS have the best price per gallon in a 15-mile radius). 

      Aside from that, we go about twice a year to stock up on bulk flour, rice, beans, honey, cooking oil, vinegar, and baking soda. I can’t always find coupons for these basic-ingredient items, and I did crunch the numbers a year ago to compare per-pound pricing between local groceries and the wholesale club. 
      Other than these few items, I completely agree: coupon!! lol

    • Julie

      I agree with you Jenny but I do have a Sam’s membership and I absolutely love it.  The instant savings are wonderful as well.  Although you can always find things cheaper elsewhere, many times I just don’t have the time or energy to clip through coupons… or the gas run to 2 or three different stores.  I have a baby and a 3 year old tagging along with me most of the time along with a full time job.  I guess a lot of the prices are also regional because milk cost $2.94 at the Sam’s here.  And the savings on gas is tremendous… unless I want to drive into AL from GA, which is a few cents cheaper than Sam’s but not worth the hassle.  We don’t have a Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter, or Kroger where I live and our Target doesn’t have a food section.  So I’m stuck with Publix, Winn-Dixie, or Wal-Mart… so I choose Sam’s Club all the way.  One stop and I have everything I need.

    • esabbott

      Jenny,  You didn’t include a single produce item in your comparisons above!!!  Produce at my Sam’s is usually always cheaper than my Kroger.  I can get a huge container of organic mixed baby greens for the price of the small 5oz container at Kroger…and we go through at least one a week of these.  Sugar snap peas & baby carrots for the kids’ lunches, etc…all are cheaper at Sam’s.  Beer is also cheaper.  I agree that most of the “couponable items” are going to be more expensive at Sam’s…that’s why I use coupons and shop at Kroger for them.  But Sam’s is still good savings on produce & beer…both of which we go through pretty quickly.  Also, Sam’s 90/10 ground beef is great, and usually also cheaper than Kroger per pound.

    • 5higgins

      I have a BJ’s membership and I love it.  I don’t go crazy buying all sorts of things but around my area the meat prices are great.  They also mark down meats just before the sell by date and I can just toss it in the freezer.  In July I spent about $112 and had enough variety and quantity to last me about 2 months.  For my family of 5 that was really good!  I prefer the 97% lean ground beef and they have the best price around here for that as well.  The deli sliced meats are as much as $1-$2 per pound less than the grocery store.  I avoid most the rest but there are enough things for me to make it worth my while.

    • redteapot

      At our BJs in Clermont, Florida… a large 16 oz  plastic bin of organic spring mix for $4.99. It will last us about a week. I always dig for the newest date so it will stay fresh longer.

    • Kim

      You also didn’t include how much it costs to buy a newspaper subscription or buy Sunday newspapers to get coupons, as well as ink and paper to print them. You spend way more on that in a year than a membership to a warehouse, and then some!

      Granted, you can get some things slightly cheaper with coupons, but I don’t have to wait around for the coupon or the sale, I can just go buy the bulk item and already know how much I’m paying if I need it sooner. I’m in FL, the land of no doubles, so a lot of the prices you show aren’t realistic here. In my area, milk is almost $4/gallon, so Sam’s is the best place to get that. Like someone else said, the produce is much, much cheaper! My membership is paid for several times over just in gas savings, as it’s almost always 10 cents cheaper per gallon than even the cheapest gas station in town.

      I also had a big perspective change when I went on a field trip with my daughter’s class to a local waste management facility, and they said that buying in bulk saves massive amounts in waste each year. The energy to recycle 1 giant bottle of Dawn dish detergent is a small percentage compared to recycling 10 of the little 10 oz bottles. And the caps usually aren’t recycled, so 1 cap vs 10 is a lot of waste in the landfills. Not to mention that I’ve discovered how much easier it is to store that one big bottle, instead of trying to store all those little bottles!

    • Linda

      I think it all depends on the city as well.  I live in Charlotte, NC.  The sams club milk is much cheaper than anywhere else, ever. We buy meat, milk, and cheese at Sams (our cheese here is less than 2.00 per pound when it’s sale priced around 4.00 per pound any where else).  With a family of 5 these items alone make the 40.00 club price worth it. 

      • Linda

        Oh, and I’m a baker, so bulk flour/yeast/baking powder/baking soda doesn’t even compare to grocery store prices.  HUGE savings there. And we just had to buy a tire and two car batteries in the same week-big savings there. I agree that it doesn’t really save $ on processed/packaged foods, but that’s not really what we buy ever.

    • Tinklee1

      I work at Harris Teeter and there is no way the warehouse clubs match up to our sales and double and triple coupons . I also have a B.J’s membership because their wine is $5.00 less than any other place I have found. I also buy my gas there. They allow my mother and I to share a membership so it does pay off for us  to continue. I never buy grocery items there. Love my Harris Teeter!

    • Tinklee1

      I work at Harris Teeter and there is no way the warehouse clubs match up to our sales and double and triple coupons . I also have a B.J’s membership because their wine is $5.00 less than any other place I have found. I also buy my gas there. They allow my mother and I to share a membership so it does pay off for us  to continue. I never buy grocery items there. Love my Harris Teeter!

    • Nope

      you made the flawed assumption. we all have coupons. we all have time. i look at it this way. I take the time it takes to print/cut/deal hunt x min. wage. I used to say well this helps me stay home while the kids are little. But then I noticed we spent far too much time in the car deal hunting. If my kids were grown and gone maybe. I concur on diapers at full price grocery store is cheaper. I hope you realize how precious this time is. You can’t deal hunt your kids back to childhood.

      • Justmyopinion

         You made a flawed assumption as well. Some of us have a little time and a few coupons. We make a day of it in an adjoining town, have lunch and share the savings with some who can not get out and about. Occasionally we even go to Sam’s. For the most part I do not need huge amounts of any single product except at Christmas when we bake.  We did but a great TV there though. :)
        On a personal note: as the mother of two grown daughters I would not try to DEAL hunt them back to childhood. Each stage of their lives has produced rewards and challenges and has been a wonderful journey. Regrets, we have a few…..but not so many that I want a do over.

    • Ghoti

      There is a place for both the warehouse stores and regular store. The important part is to know a good price when you see it. Just because it’s on sale or a BOGO or in bulk at a warehouse store doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. Knowing the prices for what you need will allow you to stock up when when you come across great deals.

    • Susie

      Funny timing. I agree, that’s why I just let (due for renewal in Sept) my Sam’s Club membership expire. I’d had it since 1989. With coupons I can get things cheaper, and what I can’t, I buy at Aldi. :)

    • Susan

      We use Sams every week for a couple gallons of milk (2.65/gal versus 3.70 at store) and some produce (bananas are cheaper, berries usually are too).  I also get chicken there and pork tenderloins.  Our cheese & eggs are cheaper than yours too.  Gas is 10 cents per gal cheaper.  I easily save more than my membership AND I don’t buy expensive Sunday papers that rarely have 1/3 of the coupons you mention (our paper must not qualify for good coupons). I just have to know good prices & choose where to buy.

    • Nana Jan

      I’m not a Walmart fan but I am a fan of Sam’s.  The things you listed above are not what I buy at Sam’s, I too use coupons for those items.  What I buy at Sam’s:  Land o Lakes Half & Half/quart $1.98 everyday; Salad mix (iceberg & romaine blend) 2.5 lbs $2.97 everyday; General Tso’s Chicken, $9.98, bagel crisps, Pita chips, catering supplies, tires, pool salt, iPhone, great prices on TV, etc.  And Sam’s now offers E-values….instant discounts on select items.  I love my coupons but I love my Sam’s, too. 

      • Sosorozo

        Granted it is not land o lakes, but Aldi’s half and half is $1.49 everyday.

        • Nana Jan

          I wish we had an Aldi’s! 

    • Alexis

      I actually save a lot of money at our BJ’s.  They are the one warehouse club that takes coupons, and I live in an area where there are no double coupons and a very restricted store policy at our local Publix (the only competitor coupons they accept are Winn-Dixie).  I find that, with the bulk pricing, I save quite a bit on dry goods – especially my husband’s Fiber One bars – when I couldn’t get as good a deal at our local stores.

    • Alexusrydr

      I don’t buy the above items at Sam’s Club but I do buy almost all of my meat from Sam’s. Also better price at Sam’s on my wine & bread and bakery items. The cakes & cupcakes are half the cost of Publix and suprised me by tasting really good. The rotisserie chicken is a little cheaper and a LOT bigger and I think taste better than grocery stores.

    • Wendy

      Since several members of my family take pseudoephedrine pretty regularly, the savings on that one item more than pay for my membership. Before I discovered Sam’s has it for $2.48 (after tax) for a 96-count box I was paying about $3.50 for a 48-count box at Walmart, which was the lowest price I had found.  And thanks to the lovely meth manufacturers, it is an item which must be kept behind the counter now, I had to deal with rude pharmacy workers who informed me more than once that it was a pain and they really hoped they stopped carrying it.  I did let corporate know how much I appreciated that sentiment since it is the most affordable, most effective option with the least side effects for me.  Since I discovered Sam’s carries it at a much lower price, I’m saving money and get to deal with pharmacy employees who are always friendly!

      • Wendy

         and since the pharmacy savings more than pay for my membership, any other savings are just a bonus.  I usually buy my butter there, it was $1.78/lb, recently went up to $2.24.  It is rare for me to be able to pay less than that, even with sales and coupons.  I also buy yeast 2 lbs at a time.  It lasts a very long time and is so much cheaper than I’ve ever been able to find it anywhere else.  And peanut butter – we only eat one brand and we eat a lot so I think that would probably cover half the cost of my membership! LOL

    • PaulaB

      Steaks, Nutella and cakes.  That’s the majority of my purchases at Sam’s and the savings more than make up for the membership. 
      Plus, Bilo and Ingles quality can’t even compare on the meat and cake!

    • Jaxnative40

      I have to say that I have had a club membership for most of the 20 years we have been married.  First it was Sam’s and now Costco.  I do a monthly run because I feel it is worth my gas and time.  I buy lots of my dairy, meats and produce there along with other items.  I am in Florida where there is no doubling so I definitely can’t get the deals with coupons that others get.  I have tracked prices so I know generally where the better buys are.  I am also in a stage of life (homeschooling 5 kids, 4 teens) where I don’t have the time to devote to coupons and truthfully, I don’t feel it is worth my money to buy the paper.  I have found there are fewer and fewer coupons in there I would use.  I don’t buy a lot of prepared or even canned foods and it seems that is many of the coupons.  I think it boils down to where you live and what types of food you tend to buy.  The healthier food just doesn’t get as many deals. 

    • Janice



      10.99/8 ct


      11.59 3lb(3.86)

      9.28 3lb (3.08)

      8.99 6 lb(1.50)
      3.49 2lb(1.75)

      8.28 5lb(1.66)

      10.59 6/16 oz

      6.79 6lb(1.13)




      Ice Cream (van bean)



      3.99 2/20oz
      .89 or 1.69

      4.99 2/9ct


      WW HD BUNS

      TORTILLAS flour
      4.69 2/15ct lg
      corn only1.19



      5.99 12 ct (.50)
      mini 10ct 2.49


      14.99/2 lb
      4.99/ 12 oz


    • Janice



      11.79/48  .25 ea
      1.89 (6pks)

      10.29/60 .17 ea
      1.59 (10ct)





      Xwhite .1.69
      white 6.43 4ct


      Xwhite .89




      graham cracker









      taco shells

      .99/12 shells


      1.99/13 oz

      1.99/42 oz



      7.79/ 72 0z


      3.36/lb org coop

      6.79/48 oz


      4.30/lb org coop

      8.79/40 oz.
      2.49/16 oz


      14.99/ 40 oz
      2.79/8 oz

      8.99 2/48 oz .09
      1.89/18 oz.10

      7.99 7 lb

      C-Barilla elbow Rigatoni,Campanel





      K mac n cheese
      11.49 15/7.25 oz

      10.12 12pk

      dry milk
      5.99/2 gal

    • Janice





      5.55 (13.5 lb)


      7.89 (96 oz)

      11.49/2 ltr


      8.49 (1.70/qt)
      2.49/48 oz


      BR SUGAR
      4.99 (.71/lb)
      1.49/32 oz


      WT SUGAR
      5.89 (,59/lb)


      10.65/80 0z (.13)

      9.89/72 oz




      3.29/1.32 gal




      4.49/18 oz 



      14.39 50lb
      1.79/5 lb




      2.39/5 lb

      4.99 (.71/lb)
      1.49/32 0z(.75)

      K*1.33/lb Dom

    • Janice




      CORN 15 OZ

      5.88 8ct (.73)


      7.72 12ct (.62)





      5.39 8ct (.67)
      S 2.92/102oz

      7.25/6-28 oz

       C 2.79/102  oz 

      9  crm.79tom.50*

      5.79/3-48 0z


      8.99/4-24 oz

      K*1.00/20  oz

      6.99/ 6-20 oz
      6.79/6-20 oz

      applesauce 6 pk
      9.89 (6 pks)
      X1.29 sugar add
      9.67(6pks) s add

      3.49/ 46 oz
      1.49/32 oz




      1.59 32 oz


      7.59 2/32 0z
      18 oz 1.59


      C-smuck straw

      MISC JAM

      X1.49 fancy 

      6.19/3-44 oz
      1.19/32 oz


      4.29/2-30 oz
      .69/14 oz
      4.28/2-30 oz

      2.19/30 oz




      7.49/2-38 oz



      5.09 2/48 oz




      1.39/16 0z


    • Janice



      .89/lb 2pk~10lb

      4.99 (3lb)

      2.99/lb ~7.5 lb
      2.29/lb gen

      22.59 10lb(2.26)

      11.99 4pk(2.998)
      8.68 3 pk(2.89)

      HAM (WHOLE) /LB


      HAM (DELI) /LB
      9.99 2/24oz(3.33)
      2.69/9 oz


      8.39(2 ct)(4.19lb)
      2.69/ 9oz

      2.29/lb ~7lb
      1.49/16oz froz

      imitation crab

      2.29/12 oz






      19.99 2lb(9.99)


      14.99 2.5lb(5.996)


      21.99 3lb(7.33lb)



      14.89/ 12ct 3 lb


      SALMON/ 14.75 OZ
      10.99 6/6 oz


      TUNA/ 5OZ
      13.19  12/7 oz
      .59 5 oz

      C chicken of sea

      CHICKEN/ 12.5 OZ.
      9.99 (6 cans)

      3.49/12 oz



      FROZ VEG

      GR BEANS 12 OZ
      5.98 5lb(1.20)

      GR BEANS 16 OZ
      5 lb org 1.36

      5.99 4ct(1.50)org
      1.09/12 0z
      5.86 4lb(1.46)

      sweet pot fry/lb
      6.59 4 lb(1.65)

    • Janice



      GAL. MILK
      1.99 (Dean)
      #1.99 RGHb free
      3.49 RGHb free

      #7.79 (4 ct)(1.95)

      5.00 plus

      mild 2.678
      2.99/12 oz


      MOTZ (SHRED)/LB.
      3.49/16 0z

      2.69/8oz fresh


      COLBY/JACK block/LB.

      6.99 (6 ct FF)
      6.99 (6 ct Philly)

      4.79/3 lb (1.60)

      SOUR CREAM/ 16 OZ.
      3.99/3lb (1.33)
      1.69/ 1.09*
      3.99/ 3lb(1.33)

      CREAM/ 16 OZ.

      FAGE YOGURT/32 OZ.
      3.29/17.6 oz

      6.99  (2 ct)

      YOPLAIT 6 OZ
      8.59/18 ct

      11.79(4lb) (2.95)

      Eggs (gen)
      1.99/ 18 ct lg.
      .44 12 ct.

      Eggs (egglands)
      2.89/ 18ct lg.


      9.99 10lb red
      6.98 6lb red

      10.99 13lb (.85)
      2.89/ 3lb*

      1.36 3lb(.46)
      (.44) ~ 2 lb pk.
      1.47 3lb (.49)

      7.49 10 lb red

      6.79/10lb org
      .49  baby .99
      5.99/5lb org
      2.98/5 lb

      8.99 4stalk 
      2.48 3 hearts


      N1.99 3pk

      5.99 6 ct red
      2.99 3 ct multi

      5.99 2lb(2.99)

      6.99 5lb(1.40)

      4.99 2lb(2.50)
      1.99 6 ct

      4.49 1 lb

      3.99 6ct
      2.89/3 heart



      7.49 20lb(.38)lg

      4.98 10lb

      POTATO (RED)/LB.
      7.49 10 lb small



      3.29 5lb (.66) sw

      3.98 5lb(.79)

    • Kristi

      Just want to chime in about Costco.  No, everything is not a good deal there. However, our milk in the regular grocery store runs an average of $3.79 a gallon.  I pay $2.89 at Costco.  I can pay for our membership in 5 months just with the milk savings alone. I have also compared dairy prices with Aldi, and Costco is less on the things we buy.  

      Also, I am not able to print all the internet coupons, and our paper does not have coupons like it used to, so that means not as much savings in the regular grocery store.

    • Janice

      I just tried (not as successfully as I would have liked) to upload an excell  document for Huntsville, AL Jan. 2012. The stores compared in order were:Costco, Aldi, Publix, Sam’s,and than a misc. that included prices for Kroger/CVS/ a local grocery store because there are certain items that are always cheapest there.
          These prices do not include using coupons.

      I hope people can discipher this. Sorry it turned out so poorly :-(

      Oh, and milk is NOT $1.99 anymore, before you get too jealous :-)

    • MEL

      Here I am a stay at home mom that also home schools the kids.  Most of the time I shop myself (this is my quiet time and they are usually asleep when I do).  I can tell you that my kids ENJOY couponing with me.  My daughter (17) even ASKS to come with me… she is now learning how to do it for herself.  My son (7) ALWAYS asks “how much did we save?”  We use it as a learning tool for him too… he loves figuring out the math!  couponing is not a waste of time…. doesn’t have to consume your life!  Even with the cost of papers…..  it can save you tons and is very rewarding.  To imply that your family suffers from the time it takes to coupon is a very poor assumption.  Once you have a system in place it doesn’t take much time at all.  I would rather be home (or shopping) with my kids couponing then be out working a job to pay more for stuff that is way over priced to begin with!  Oh yea…. we also live in florida in the land of no double coupons and I can assure you when planned correctly you can still save as much as other states…  

    • Galady

      That was interesting and informative. Hmm?  My renewal is coming up soon and I am pondering, as to why I should renew.  

      I would have thought buying in bulk/large quantities would have been worth it to save money.   Good Ole Big Lots seems to have great money savings deals, though they don’t take coupons….

    • Amanda

      I coupon and have a Sam’s membership. Love both! Just to point out… I dont have a Publix, Bi-Lo, or Aldi anywhere near me- only Walmart and Winn-Dixie- neither which doubles. And our paper doesnt get the good coupons either.
      Love Sams for gas, milk, produce, wine, some meats, cakes, books, kids cloths, car maintence, and some seasonal merchandise.
      Both couponing and Sams are worth the time and money for us!

    • Andrea

      There are definitely some items that are better deals at the warehouse clubs.  I’ve been buying BJ’s brand diapers for years (actually bought them on a whim and prefer the quality over Pampers & Huggies), and they are priced at 13.5 cents/diaper.  We go once/month and stock up on the specific items that are good deals (meat/cheese/diapers/wipes/dog food/various others), which also saves me time on having to run out for those items.  We also get gas there.  To us, the $35 fifteen-month membership is a good value for the $$ we save on several specific items.   I do agree that many grocery items are not good deals at all and one could spend a fortune doing everyday shopping there. 

    • susansaver

      The only reason I have a membership is for the auto center.  I’ve found that they have competitive prices on tires and they come with road hazard protection and free tire rotation twice a year.  I replaced all 4 tires in Aug 2009 and got a flat last September (as my Dad was driving me home post surgery no less!). I took my car in the following day and they replaced my 2 back tires for $35 (based on the existing tread). The $40 membership is more than paid for by getting the tires rotated for free and I have access to relatively good deals on produce when the grocery store deals are lacking (say 2-3 lbs of blueberries for $7 or 2 lbs strawberries for $4 when in season).

      • Julie

        They do free tire rotation twice a year?  I didn’t even know that!  My tires desperately need rotating and I bought them at Sam’s last year.  I guess I’m going to go in and talk to them about getting them rotated.  Thanks for mentioning this.

      • Julie

        They do free tire rotation twice a year?  I didn’t even know that!  My tires desperately need rotating and I bought them at Sam’s last year.  I guess I’m going to go in and talk to them about getting them rotated.  Thanks for mentioning this.

      • Ed In Ncarolina

         ANY store where you buy new tires provides tire rotation every 6,000 miles – or there is something wrong with that place.

    • leeci

      I agree with what someone else said – know your numbers wherever you shop.  For example, Sam’s where I live is much cheaper per ounce on coffee, but higher on cereal.  Kind of like shopping at TJ Maxx or Big Lots.  They are not always the cheapest – you have to have to know the numbers.  I haven’t ever been to BJ’s or Costco so I only speak of what I know. ;-)

    • Emmes101

      I’ve had a Sam’s Club membership for over 20 years myself, mainly because it’s FREE for me (my ex keeps me on his business membership) and because I do shop for computers, tires, office supplies and fruit there.

      I have to say that since I’ve started couponing (2 years ago), I know how much I can get “some” things for with my coupons .. so it’s become VERY difficult to pay the higher price at Sam’s Club for grocery items.  There are still those items I will buy at Sam’s – because I save so much by using coupons .. but if I didn’t have a free membership, it wouldn’t bother me NOT to shop Sam’s.  

    • Nikki

      Thank you for your time in this. I appreciate it and agree. This is off the subject, but I would encourage you to reconsider organic produce. I hear there are 66 pesticides on blueberries alone. The movie Food Inc. got my attention. Thanks again.

    • guest

      Thanks Jenny for not “resting on your laurels” but doing timely topical updates like these that keep us knowing how to get the best deals available in a changing world, and demonstrate your passion for frugal living so we can share it and live it too.

    • Reid’s Mom

      Costco is fantastic. We started there with formula/diapers (no way would I have been able to coupon shop with the baby I had at the time!), but have stayed for the gasoline, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, produce, cheap milk, and YES, the paper products. The papers or coupons I’d have to come up with to buy the amount of TP and kleenex we go through in my house… buying in bulk saves my sanity.

      To each his own, but factoring in the cost of acquiring the coupons to get the deals is 100% key in my book.

      • Reid’s Mom

        OMG… and the TIRES. How could I forget tires? :)

    • Reid’s Mom

      Costco is fantastic. We started there with formula/diapers (no way would I have been able to coupon shop with the baby I had at the time!), but have stayed for the gasoline, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, produce, cheap milk, and YES, the paper products. The papers or coupons I’d have to come up with to buy the amount of TP and kleenex we go through in my house… buying in bulk saves my sanity.

      To each his own, but factoring in the cost of acquiring the coupons to get the deals is 100% key in my book.

    • Kat

      In the past, I tried to go to Sam’s Club because so many people thought it was wonderful.  I never saved any money and had to buy so much at a time, there was no place to store it.  It’s hard to “justify” paying a store to spend money there, you are in the hole to begin with.

    • Coupon_dude

      My general attitude is that there is no single “right answer” for everybody.  We all have different circumstances and should do what works best for us.  However, knowledge is the key….knowledge of which stores carry which items, what cupons are available, what items are on sale, etc.  And that is where websites like SouthernSavers are such a blessing.

      My situation is different from most here as I am a single male living alone.  While buying in bulk at warehouse clubs doesn’t work for me, I recognize that it does work for some.  With a Publix literally 500 ft from my home, I have the luxury of being able to walk there, snap up a great buy, and be home in under 10 minutes.   So count me firmly in the “supermarket + coupons” camp.

    • Dchall59

      Thanks for your efforts! One of the main reasons I belong to Costco is the price for prescription eyeglasses. They have great looking fashion forward frames at a very competitive price for no line bifocals. I have ordered glasses online but you can’t beat trying them on and having a real optician do the fitting and adjusting. Even with the membership cost added in we came out ahead…

      • momof3

        I couldn’t agree more!  And, Costco over and over beats Sam’s prices on other things, including prescription drugs!

    • momof3

      Actually, not everyone has the benefit of prescription drug coverage.  Costco consistently has the lowest prices on prescription drugs.  Also, I have the $100 membership and always get back my membership price and then some at the end of the year.  (This year it was $136.)  In addition, Costco has the cheapest prices on Organic everything, pretty much, and has their own coupon specials.  I agree–Sam’s isn’t worth the price, but Costco is!  (Oh, and did I mention our hot tub was $500 cheaper than anyplace else?)  I agree overall, Jenny, but for certain things, the membership is so worth it!

      • Mary Beth Magallanes

        You don’t have to have a membership at Costco to get your prescriptions filled there.  I don’t have the membership, and for almost a year I got a prescription filled there for $40 that I would have paid $95 for at CVS.

    • Diane B.

      I can’t help but wonder if I started this blog by posting a similar question to you last week. We checked out the price of many staples and found that Costco beat the store many times again, certainly not everything was a better deal — I certainly plan on shopping Kroger to buy cereals BOGO with doubled coupons– but I just bought a freezer and am looking forward to the consistently low prices on meat.

    • Tricia

      I totally agree with your post; in fact, I often stare at the overloaded carts at Sam’s. I have to fight the urge to tell them they could get it SO much cheaper with coupons!
      That said, there are some reasons to shop there. Business memberships are $30 a year, and that’s tax deductable. You don’t have to have a restaurant or anything to take advantage of this – we make only a few business purchases a year – the occasional tech or stationary item. Household purchases can be made on the membership with no problem – AS LONG AS they aren’t made on the company dime. This is an IRS thing, not a Sam’s thing. I just use my personal card to pay.

      I won’t buy most things here, but since I have the business membership anyway, here are my deal choices:

      Gourmet cheeses – love them, especially at nearly half off. And you rarely find coupons (Ile de France notwithstanding) for imported Asiago Fresca.

      Bread flour and bulk yeast – I’m a huge home baker, and only around the holidays do I find cheaper prices on flour at the grocery store. And I get 2 pounds of yeast for the price of 2 ounces. Of course, if you don’t bake all the bread for your family of seven and all your friends, you won’t run through 25 pounds of flour and 2 pounds of yeast in a couple of weeks.

      Paper goods – with restrictions! I love the massive restaurant rolls of plastic wrap – $16 sets me up for an entire year, and I don’t have to worry about running out. Ditto the big box of commercial garbage can liners, but the name brands are no deal. And I buy brown paper lunch bags in bulk because my kids kept pitching their reuseable stuff.

      Boneless chicken breasts – since I’m there anyway.

      Some seasonal produce – but only if you know your grocery prices for comparison!

      Spices – if you cook a lot or split with a friend or two.

      Whipping cream and butter – these are expensive here in Florida, although I’ve seen them much cheaper in other states.

      Smoked turkeys – a holiday season special.

      Wine for parties – about the same per bottle, but the bottles are huge, too big if you aren’t entertaining. Beer’s not a bargain, though, since the bottles are individual, and forget soft drinks. Liquor prices run on the same principal as wine.

      Books – if you can’t wait for that new bestseller at the library, get it here for almost half off.

      Anything else, I do way better at the grocery stores, evven though Florida doesn’t double coupons. 

    • Vikie504

      I go back and forth as to whether to have a Costco membership.  I like their return policy (100% refund, no questions for 90 days on electronics).  I just returned my Blendtec and got 100% back after having it 10 months.
      I usually get a membership, shop a few times, spend way more than I would at the grocery store, especially with kids, then let it expire for 6 months only to renew again.  
      I don’t think for a minute I’m saving money, but they do have items we like that we can’t get at the grocery stores.
      Sam’s and BJ’s don’t even tempt me.

      • txmomx4

        Last week I saw a lady return a Shark Steam Mop she’d bought in 2010! I was shocked and had NO IDEA they would do that! I love Costco even more now. :)

    • housewifeWHO?

      Thanks for the comparison, Jenny! From time to time I think of getting another membership since we are a large family of 7. With this information, I’ll stick to couponing at the grocery stores.

    • Susie

      Prices listed are from my Aldi’s receipt dated 9/17/12.
      Gallon Milk: 2.19
      Half Gallon Buttermilk: 1.89
      5 lb Red Potatoes: .99
      Butter Quarters: 2.29 (1 pound)
      Onions 3lb bag: .99
      Large Cabbage Head .79
      Loaf Bread: .85
      Buns: .89
      Fresh Baby Carrots: .49
      Fresh Broccoli, 2 stalks per package: .99
      Bananas: .44 lb
      Large Green Bell Peppers, 3 pack: 1.49
      Buttermilk Biscuits: .49
      Aldi’s brand of eagle brand milk: 1.19
      Tomato Paste: .39
      100% Apple Juice 64oz: 1.49
      Large bag of Coconut: 1.49
      5 lb flour: 1.69
      Large bag of restaurant tortilla chips: 1.19
      And the list goes on and on..I’ve only been shopping Aldi for about 6 months, but am blown away by the prices. Their produce looks better and fresher than the regular grocery stores around me. I don’t know how they sell things that cheap but I’m glad they do. 

      • instantphoebe

        Your Aldi’s sounds like a nice one. Some Aldi’s, like the one nearest to me, has an extremely limited fresh foods section, and the milk and meat have very close expiration dates. I don’t shop there because I end up not finding anything I need and have to stop at another grocery store.

    • Julie

      Oh and I forgot to add that Sam’s Club also offers a 200% guarantee on all fresh products such as meat, bakery, and produce.  They’ll double whatever you paid for it or to refund the purchase price and replace the product if you aren’t satisfied with it.  To me, that’s worth it!

    • txmomx4

      Costco has been a HUGE budget helper for our family of 6!  They have Organic/Natural items that I can’t get cheaper other places. (We don’t do most of the processed stuff, and what we DO use is mostly organic, or at least an all-natural brand that is mostly organic.) If you watch for the coupons and stock up when they run the deals, you can save a TON on that stuff. I’d never be able to buy school snacks (pre-packaged) if they didn’t sell Annie’s Bunnies in bulk (at a THIRD of the regular grocery store price!) and coupons make them a STEAL! Organic eggs/produce are almost always lower than I can get them w/q’s and sales, etc. Organic beef/chicken is not a rock-bottom price, but lower than grocery stores by $2/lb. However, I don’t generally buy paper products. They’re WAY too expensive at Costco. Plus they have Tillamook cheese in bulk and it’s a great price. Lower than I can usually get with qpons. Also, b/c of the cash-back part of the executive membership…mine is basically paid for each year. I’m getting stuff I need/want for a good price, and by December I’ve got enough $ back that it rolls over to cover my membership for the next year.

    • Glenda

      I can only speak for my self in to say I disagree!  In the Memphis TN area we have to rely on Kroger’s and they do not have the best pricing.  There is no competitive grocery here as Kroger buys out there stock and forces them out of business.  Our warehouse clubs provide a much greater selection and the gas along is a plus in savings.

    • noelle

      While this list was helpful as an overall comparison, the issue with our family is we do have brand loyalty with CERTAIN items.  For example, I won’t buy an off-brand bottle of ketchup.  We eat Heinz.  But, I will buy off brand paper products, cheese, and other items.  So, a comparison valuable to us if I know the brand. 

      • cookingkaren

        I totally agree (see my comment above). I think it is great to just do a quick price per unit comparison and go from there as long as you are making up your membership cost and then some.

    • cookingKaren

      I have a Sams Club membership (the only club around) and I wholeheartedly disagree that clubs are not worth it- WITH these savings in mind. First, I have the premium membership that comes with Sam’s Club “instant” savings. That sounds crazy, right? It is a hundred dollar annual membership! Well, my first year they gave us $25 discount for signing up and then last year they gave us a $25 discount for renewing, essentially making the membership $75. On top of that we get a $15 military discount making the membership $60 per year. With the approx 3-5 cents a gallon I save at the pump I am paying for my membership . On top of that I am only 8 months into my membership this year and I have saved $70 in instant savings (Sams club version of coupons) on top of already good prices. For example I just got 3 large size (24 oz) Dove body washes for 12.98 minus $3 savings, making it $9.98 or 3.33 each. At CVS no matter how hard I try I cannot beat that price per ounce. Of course some items are really not a better deal, but even with my limited shopping at the club I save well more than my membership costs and I like the added perks of cheaper gas, cheaper wine and liquor, and tasty samples to get me a free lunch when I shop.

    • Stephanie L

      The only thing I buy at Sam’s is the 8 count case of Similac, it’s definitely cheaper than anywhere else, especially with the $5 Similac checks I receive in the mail!

    • Kellyrejoyce

      Also while you are buying in bulk, you can get the cases of meats for about $0.30 – $0.50 less per pound. Generally the cases are very large and if you don’t have the freezer space then it would be hard to store it. However if you have friends or relatives to split the cost and contents with you then you can get a better deal, by purchasing the case. I have gotten boneless chicken breasts for as low as $1.49 per pound and ground beef ( 80/20) for as low as $2.05 per pound. Sometimes these prices are listed on the wall at the meat dept. However if it is not listed just ask a worker back there and they can give you the price of any of there meats by the case.

    • hahah

      For all of you fussing at Jenny she plainly states above that she doesn’t have a BJs or a Costco, but does have friends who says that you can get good prices on organic stuff. She also says that there certainly are deals to be found, but grocery store is still king. If she didn’t factor in what you wanted to see then do the comparison yourself. Again, she says that you can save money on some items and I do agree that I get most of my stuff cheaper at the grocery store, but have a few things that I get from Sam’s that is cheaper. She is not downing anyone just giving it a different perspective.

    • Tammyla

      are you comparing store brands or name brand products?  i have found in my comparsions that Sams store brand is cheaper than name brand products with a coupon & better quality.

    • Cherry

      The only thing I purchase at Sam’s Club is beef tenderloin and hamburger. These two meats have superior taste and tenderness above and beyond any grocery store purchase.

    • Onethriftydiva

      Sorry, but the grocery store can’t beat Costco when it comes to meat and produce. You can get two roasts at Costco for the price of 1 at the grocery store.  Also save a ton on my contacts at Costco versus anywhere else. Agreed that many things might need be a good deal, but saving what I save on meat and produce are well worth it. Other than that, I’m a couponin’ gal all the way! 

    • fleurdelizzie

      Can you do the prices before coupons? A lot of these items rarely, if ever have coupons like actual milk (not Silk), eggs, and chicken breasts. It would be a better comparison (IMO) since Sam’s doesn’t allow the use of coupons, and then IF a coupon in the list shows up, we can then be able to compare.

      Also, is the chicken frozen or not? I compared the price of my Sam’s to Target’s frozen chicken breasts, and I get more pounds of chicken for the same price (and they’re bigger).I get a free membership since I’m under my mom’s account, and I only go to Sam’s for meat, dog food, cat food, fruit, and kitty litter (and some extra items like chocolate covered raisins that come in a huge box). Other than that, I’m a huge couponer and get great deals on shampoo, toothpaste, etc at CVS so I don’t need to buy it at Sam’s.

    • Ohernandez23

      The only reason I have a sams club card is for the gas. It is normally about 10 cents cheaper at sams.

    • Kakki

      Jenny, thanks for taking the time to do the the break down. I agree 100% with you. If a person is comparing regular, not sale prices+ coupons the clubs definately save money.but to a couponer like me, grocery and drug store are still king. However I will add that there are several things that cannot be beat at my club.These are : Lipton cold brew tea 3 box pack. For about $2.15 / box : equal sweetner $9.99/ 800 pa let’s: splenda $19 / 1000 packets : best potato salad around $4.99 / 5lb.tub. Also great buys on individually wrapped pastries in a box. I must say though I would be hard pressed to pay a membership fee for just a few items. I am blessed because my daughter gets reduced mm

      membership fee as a student . Also there is the point that even if a few items are cheaper if one shops exclusively at the club they will lose their savings in the higher priced items! So, if you can get a reduced membership ( or share one ) and shop selectively at the club I think the combo approach works well.

      • Kakki

        Forgot to add I have only experience at Sam’s.

    • instantphoebe

      For fresh foods, I’ve found that Costco is much cheaper than any grocery store. 5 pounds of salmon for $20? Yes please. 2 pounds of grape tomatoes for $5? Definitely!

      Sure, couponing is better for shelf stable items, toiletries, and paper products (unless you’re brand picky, which I am), but I rarely eat packaged items like cookies/crackers, pasta sauce, condiments, etc. So when it comes to everyday food, I’ll take my 2 pound bag of sugar snap peas for $4 any day!

      • instantphoebe

        I forgot to add: The amount of money I’d spend on a subscription to the local paper just to get coupons would probably be the same as the cost of my membership to Costco. Not to mention if you purchase extra coupons online.

    • Georgiealex01

      I’m never figured out what day Publix has double coupon day. Can you advise when they have this offer? Thanks

    • tori729

      I walked through Costco with my friend and priced a bunch of items and honestly wasn’t impressed. In addition to being 30ish minutes away, the prices just weren’t that awesome to me. Most of their meat was more expensive than what I usually get on sale. My friend always raves about it because she got “this huge bag” for $7 or whatever when I can just buy 4 boxes for $1 each! It’s all about the huge amount that makes you feel like you’re getting more.
      I agree, there may be some things that are cheaper but for me it’s not worth an extra trip to a HUGE store far away AND paying a membership just for a few things.

    • Nice post,thanks for sharing…good work