In the money-saving articles I’ve read lately, price clubs are getting a bad rap. Many people seem to think that price clubs aren’t really any better deal than the grocery store. Well in my experience, that is simply not true. Price clubs sell more than “a ten-gallon vat of olive oil that won’t even fit under your kitchen cabinet!” (If you caught that movie quote, you get extra points.) Let me share my favorite things to buy at Sam’s Club to save money!
I understand that you may prefer Costco or some other price club, and that’s fine. From my experience, Sam’s Club works well for me and these deals are probably very comparable to what you would find at another price club.
One of the fabulous things about Sam’s Club is that they allow you to browse their products (including groceries) online and check prices at your local store. The control freak in me loves this because that means I can plan ahead and know exactly how much I will spend before I ever walk in the store. This also helps me not go over budget because I already have a final number set as a “limit” in my head.
Without any more gabbing, here are my favorite things to buy at Sam’s Club to save money!
Milk – $2.11
Milk is just a little over $2 per gallon right now at Sam’s Club. It recently went up from $1.99, and I certainly hope it goes back. However, still a great deal. Even if you buy specialty milk like Fairlife or Trumoo, it is WAY cheaper at Sam’s than the local grocery stores. Best part? You don’t have to buy this in bulk to get the deal. With just the two of us, we only go through a gallon of milk a week, and I’m happy to buy it at Sam’s.
Snacking Produce -$3-$6
I say “snacking produce” because we only buy certain produce at Sam’s. Obviously, they sell large quantities of produce, and we can’t necessarily eat through 6 full romaine lettuce hearts before they go bad. However, we have no problems eating through three pounds of organic carrot sticks every two weeks or a bag of a dozen apples. We also enjoy getting bananas (not bought in bulk), green peppers, broccoli, grapes, watermelons, pineapples, and strawberries.
We’ll pretty much buy any produce that has a long fridge life-span or that we will eat or freeze quickly. If you are a healthy smoothie drinker, fruit, spinach, and kale can be great produce items to buy in bulk at Sam’s Club.
Rotisserie Chicken – $4.98
A rotisserie chicken at Sam’s Club costs almost the same price per pound as the raw whole chickens at my local grocery stores. Plus, I do not have to dig out any gross insides or even bother with cooking. On days when I’m busy and don’t have time to spend hours cooking, I like to get a chicken and make some veggies and rice for an easy dinner. Plus, in a small household, we can easily get 2-4 meals out of the leftover chicken. Chicken tacos, chicken soup, and chicken pasta are a few of our favorite meals using leftover rotisserie chicken.
Butter – $9.39 for 4 pounds
I have yet to find a better deal on real butter than I find at Sam’s Club. There are rarely butter coupons in my newspaper, so I don’t get a lot of deals that way. Although you have to buy 4 pounds, butter freezes and thaws easily. Plus, with the holiday baking and cooking I do, I can go through those 4 pounds pretty quickly.
Chobani Greek Yogurt (40 oz.) – $4.98
My husband really enjoys plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. Greek yogurt is not cheap though! I have found the best deal at Sam’s Club. Sam’s sells other flavors in cups and a few brands. Although it’s not quite as customizable as picking all of your favorite flavors at the grocery store, buying larger tubs of yogurt is way cheaper, plus plain is better for you anyway.
On the Border Tortilla Chips (28 oz.) – $3.98
We tend to eat a decent amount of tacos, nachos, chili, and hummus; all of which require a good tortilla chip. We love the On the Border chips from Sam’s. If we’re feeling like going a bit healthier, they also have several other varieties of whole grain chips in stock for good prices.
Ground beef, chicken breasts, roasts, steaks, ribs – it’s better quality and less expensive at Sam’s Club. The only exception to this I have found is special sales or clearances in the grocery store. The drawback to buying meat at Sam’s is the need to buy so much at once. For example, I can get lean ground beef at Sam’s club for about $2.88 per pound. However, I have to buy 4-6 pounds of it. My husband and I bring that home, bag it up, and freeze it. Sometimes I freeze some already browned for fast dinners like tacos, chili, or spaghetti. If you have the freezer space, meat is worth buying at a price club.
Spices & Baking Supplies
I love to buy certain spices and baking supplies at Sam’s Club. You have to be careful to buy only the spices and supplies that you use regularly. If your spices get old and loose flavor because you bought more than you could use, you’re not really saving any money. I tend to use a lot of cumin, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, bullion cubs, and jarred minced garlic. I buy all of these in bulk at Sam’s for amazing prices. Italian seasoning, for example, is only $4.20 for 6 ounces!
I also love to buy baking supplies like vanilla, chocolate chips, nuts, and brown sugar. I find that I go through these items enough to make it worth buying in bulk. I am not yet to the point of buying a 20-pound sack of flour. Ha, maybe someday if I have a big family.
Parmesan Cheese – $5.98 per pound
The quality of the Parmesan cheese at my Sam’s Club is better than my grocery store, and the price is better. Parmesan lasts for a long time, so my husband and I go through a large chunk about every three months. You can also freeze it if you don’t think you’ll eat through it in time.
Wait, what? Every time I go to Sam’s Club, I stroll through the clothing section. Although it is very hit and miss, sometimes you’ll find great deals on great brands. I have purchased Calvin Klein sweaters, Levi’s jeans, and Tangerine workout clothes, each for $5-$10 a piece at Sam’s Club.
Although you can’t try things on, you can always return something if it doesn’t fit. Some of my favorite clothing has come from Sam’s Club, and I love the confused reaction on the face of a friend where they ask where I got my outfit.
Even with coupons, Sam’s Club is still the cheapest place for me to find decent paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. I buy the store brand, which is vary comparable to name brands, and I save a ton. Plus, I through the large case in my storage closet and only shop for paper products once or twice a year!
Gasoline – $1.99 per gallon (for now)
Gas is one of those necessary evils that I almost exclusively purchase at Sam’s Club. Because only members can purchase gas there, it is often 10-15 cents cheaper than other gas stations in my area. Sold.
My list could go on and on, but I’m sure yours would adjust to meet the needs of you and your family. I will say that you always need to compare the unit prices at price clubs with the unit prices of your grocery store. Just because it’s sold in bulk, doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper!
Also, I will say that while discount stores may sometimes have a better deal on certain items, Sam’s Club always has better quality particularly with dairy products, meat, and produce. I also discourage trying new things at a price club. If you don’t like something, you’re stuck with a ton of it. Price clubs are best for those items that you use regularly.
Lastly, you might think that a membership is very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Find out when Clubs are offering discounted rates for a membership. See if you can get a membership through your workplace or a community organization of which you are a part. My Sam’s Club membership was only $35 for the year, and I save that just in gas!
If you have never looked into price club shopping, I’d encourage you to check it out. It could save you a ton!