8 Products To Buy in Bulk at Sam’s Club Instead of Costco

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When buying in bulk, Sam’s Club and Costco both offer great deals. However, you might be surprised to learn that some items and overall product categories are cheaper at Sam’s Club.

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Maybe you have memberships to both warehouse clubs or perhaps you’re trying to decide which one to join. Regardless, Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com said comparison shopping is the key to finding the best deals. “When it comes to wholesale clubs, comparing cost per unit can help you make better choices on where to buy your products,” she said.

Here’s a look at eight items and product categories where you can save by shopping at Sam’s Club instead of Costco.

Beef Patties

Whether you’re hosting a party or simply stocking your freezer, Gramuglia said you can save big on beef patties by shopping at Sam’s Club.

“You can score a 40-count [box] of frozen patties at Sam’s Club for $33.48 or opt to pay nearly $11 more at Costco for the same amount of meat,” she said.

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Chicken Wings

If you’re buying wings, Gramuglia said opting to shop at Sam’s Club can save you serious money. “You can score a 10-pound bag of frozen chicken wings at Sam’s Club for $17.98(8), she said.

In comparison, you’ll pay $31.99 for the same amount of wings at Costco. This results in savings of $14.

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Ideal for a party, lunch or an afternoon snack, Gramuglia said a bulk box of 0.8-ounce bags of Popchips is cheaper at Sam’s Club.

“A 30-count variety box of Popchips will run you about $15 at Sam’s Club, whereas the same box will cost you about $2 more at Costco,” she said.

Bakery Cakes

“Sam’s Club takes the cake when it comes to their bakery cakes,” said Marie Clark, managing editor of CostContessa.com. “They offer two- and three-tier cakes in addition to single layer round and sheet cakes, and they offer a number of designs that rival fancy bakeries.”

Additionally, she said Sam’s Club also offers custom cupcakes. “Not only are the cakes a bargain compared to cakes at Costco, but the cake at Sam’s Club is delicious,” she said. “Sam’s Club bakery cakes win on all three points for design [and] style, price and taste.”

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Clark offered a pro tip when ordering cupcakes at Sam’s Club. “Ask for them to use the ‘smooth tip’ on the frosting — that will get you the look of expensive bakeries,” she said.

Same-Day Grocery Delivery

If you’re looking for grocery delivery, Clark said you’ll save a significant amount by opting for Sam’s Club same-day delivery service instead of going with Costco.

“Sam’s Club charges a flat fee of $8 for Plus members and $12 for standard members,” she said. “On same-day Costco, you’ll pay a markup of about 17%-20%, which adds up quickly.”

For example, on a $150 grocery order, she said you’ll pay $12 for delivery at Sam’s Club, but face around $30 in markups at Costco.

Limited-Edition Varieties

Like other warehouse clubs, Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com, said Sam’s Club carries well-known brands, but sometimes also has exclusive flavors you can’t find anywhere else.

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“For example, the Fannie May S’mores Mix is available at Costco during the holiday season, but Sam’s Club has a peppermint variety during the same time that I haven’t seen anywhere else,” she said. “While you may be able to shop direct from Fannie May in those cases, these special seasonal flavors may be a better value at warehouse clubs, because you can buy a bigger amount for usually a better unit price.”

Specific Select Brands

Costco and Sam’s Club carry many of the same brands, but Ramhold said the latter may offer a bigger selection.

“For example, Sam’s Club has around six Burt’s Bees items right now, including lip balm, toothpaste, cough syrup, immune gummies, sore throat pops and a comfort pack with items like chest rub, saline spray and drops,” she said. “Sam’s Club also has a couple of things from the brand Zarbee’s, but Costco doesn’t have any Burt’s Bees items currently and only one Zarbee’s product.”

She said shopping at Costco can be a good place to find more premium brands you’re not familiar with and give them a try for less, while Sam’s Club may be the best place to shop your favorite tried-and-true brands.

“In general, Sam’s Club also tends to have more variety with things like LaCroix sparkling water, whereas Costco may only have one or two different variety packs available,” she said.

Baby Items

While she noted this might be largely dependent on your local area, Ramhold said Sam’s Club may offer a bigger selection of baby items than Costco.

“For example, when I looked for baby wipes, Costco had three kinds online, two of which were their own Kirkland Signature brand,” she said. “But Sam’s Club had 10 different baby wipes listed, two of which were their own Member’s Mark brand, the other eight were varying kinds of Huggies, Pampers and Seventh Generation.”

As for diapers, she said Costco had around seven different types, while Sam’s Club offered 23 varieties.

“Sam’s Club also has a bigger selection of things like formula, baby food, teething wafers, cereal snacks and more,” she said. “If you’re shopping for baby supplies, there’s a good chance that Sam’s Club will have a better variety to shop than Costco.”

Ultimately, both Sam’s Club and Costco have great deals. However, this guide should help you save more by knowing where to spot the greatest money-saving opportunities at Sam’s Club.

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Disclaimer: Prices and availability may vary by location.

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About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite topic, as she’s passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.
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