If you have a Sam’s or Costco membership – or both like I do – I’m wondering if you have an opinion about which is better. :)
My first membership purchase was Costco because I polled Facebook and the overall consensus was that Costco was better. So I joined in and love it!
A few months later, I came across a pay $45 for a Sam’s membership, get $45 back in gift card. So basically a free Sam’s membership! I took advantage of the deal simply because I live 45-minutes from Grand Island, which only has a Sam’s. And I live about an hour from Lincoln, which has both Sam’s and Costco. So I now have the ability to shop at either warehouse or both as needed!
Sam’s or Costco: Which is Better??
Well now, that’s the question, isn’t it?
I truly like them both for different reasons, and now that I have both memberships, I think I will keep them both for the long term.
My favorite aspects of Sam’s:
- Their Scan-and-Go feature. I absolutely love this! As I put items into my cart, I scan the bar code into my phone. It keeps a running tally of my order, then when I finish shopping I simply swipe to pay, then show my phone to the worker as I leave. SO EASY and a huge time saver!!!
- They offer a pick-up option. This is super handy if I want to avoid going inside to shop. Just like I do with my frequent Wal-mart pick-up orders, I can order my Sam’s groceries online and select a time to pick them up. Very convenient!
- They have a few fun food items that Costco doesn’t have. Now that I’ve shopped both stores for several months, I’ve found items that I prefer from each place so I make sure to grab them while I’m there. (Orange Chicken from Sam’s frozen section – a great convenience food I always pick up at my family’s request! And what is it about the delicious frozen Sam’s beef hotdogs??)
- Markdowns. Sometimes I find meat marked down. Sometimes they are clearing out items for huge clearance prices. It’s so fun to come across these steals!
I don’t have a fun money-saving code for Costco. But I do have this one for Sam’s and you’ll get a free $20 eGift card when you join!
My favorite aspects of Costco:
- Organic food. There is a much bigger selection of organic food at Costco – from fresh produce to frozen food to meat to cereal and coffee. I love this. So many organic items at such good prices! So overall, if I had to pick, I’d say I like Costco food better than Sam’s.
- Their clothes. Sam’s also has great clothes and I’ve found that with so many kids in our home now, I really take advantage of both stores when it comes to jammies, school clothes, and coats. But clothes for me and for my older sons – man Costco is awesome. Such a great high-quality selection (and you never know what you might find!) at such great prices.
- Gifts. There is always a really nice selection of items I like to look through to pick up as gifts for birthdays and showers. I have to be careful when shopping, actually, because their stuff is so cool, I find I want one of everything!
Is there a price difference?
The Costco membership costs more, especially since I got my Sam’s membership for free for the first year.
Of the items we can get at both Costco and Sam’s, I’ve found that maybe a few items here and there are a few cents or dollars different in cost. But there hasn’t been anything I’ve found to be drastic enough for me to say, “I’ll wait and get that at Costco (or Sam’s).” Both have great prices on bulk items!!
So in summary, I love both Costco and Sam’s and I’m glad I don’t have to pick one!
What’s your opinion on which is better, Sam’s or Costco?
Costco frequently has buy 10 clothing items and get $50 off on the website. I have gotten some really good deals, especially if the items are on sale too.
Where I live now there is only a Costco and I miss not having a Sam’s. I think having a Sam’s around is good competition for Costco. Sometimes Costco gets a little haughty especially during the Covid restrictions. But in Costco’s favor they do have a great return policy as Sam’s may as well.
Ruth Lantis says
My only problem with Costco is that they don’t have their aisles labeled, so I end up walking up and down the aisles to find what I want. When we first got our Costco membership, I had just had surgery on my leg – so walking was hard. It was simply too hard to find everything I needed to get. We ended up canceling our Costco membership.
If you upgrade to a Sams plus membership you will basically continue to get your membership for free because you earn a percentage of what you spend in Sams cash. When you are shopping for a big family you will definitely earn enough to cover the membership cost. Last year we received over $100 in Sams cash. I shop there probably twice a month. Plus members also get free shipping on all orders. I usually don’t do upgraded memberships, but this one definitely pays for itself.
Just to provide info on Costco, we have the executive membership, and it also provides cash back on warehouse purchases. It has always paid for itself (in terms of the increased fee for executive), and usually pays for the entire membership fee.
I’ve never had Sam’s so can’t comment but we shop at Costco frequently. Love the coconut oil, canned coconut milk, nuts, organic fruit, eggs, and often buy our meat there too.
Mom of 3 Boys and a Lil Lass says
I was just going to say the same thing. We do the Executive Membership for Costco and also have the Costco Credit Card which allows us to earn bonus money with everything we charge whether purchased at Costco or elsewhere. We always make back far more than we pay for the membership. We used to have a Sam’s membership, too, but their customer service was AWFUL so we cancelled that. We’re perfectly happy with just the Costco membership now.
I have both. And really like different things about each. Costco is my favorite in general and I buy most of my dairy, sugar, coffee, fruits and veggies there. But Sam’s has way better options for snacks and their cheese is cheaper (they still usually sell the 5lb bricks of Cheddar and mozzarella). So usually, depending on what I’m needing most, I’ll go to one or the other.
I would be interested in a list of items that are routinely cheaper at Sam’s than Walmart, Aldi, etc. Laura, have you done that somewhere?