Costco vs. Sam’s club

In the realm of warehouse shopping, there’s a showdown between two retail giants that moms everywhere are familiar with: Sam’s Club and Costco. It’s safe to say, we are all busy in our everyday lives and trying to stretch our hard-earned dollars and keep our grocery budgets from exceeding our mortgage payments, all while keeping the people fed and the pantry stocked and it feels downright exhausting sometimes.  Enter warehouse grocery shopping, which we all love and hate at the same time. Does everyone spend $300 when they go to Sam’s or Costco too???  

As Kimberly and I thought about the staples we always purchase we were curious how the two warehouses compared both in price and in product so we went on an adventure to see for ourselves.  Lets start by looking at the most basic piece of the puzzle which is membership pricing.  They are pretty similar with Costco’s base membership being $60 and Sam’s Club coming in a $50.  Both stores offer a companion card with the membership as well.  

We will start with the famous toilet paper.  Will we ever not think about 2020 when we think about toilet paper???  I happen to LOVE my Costco toilet paper and Kimberly really loves the Sam’s toilet paper!  We will have to do an in person comparison some time.  The Sam’s toilet paper is $22.68 for 45 rolls that have 235 sheets each.  The Costco toilet paper is $19.49 in store (its a bit more if you order it online) for 30 rolls that have 380 sheets per roll.  I did the math for us and the Sam’s TP has 10,575 sheets vs. the Costo TP which has 11, 400 sheets.  This one looks like a Costco win!  

Next up is peanut butter, which we both go through so fast!  We know that people like a variety of peanut butters so its not always an equal comparison but we took a look at what we buy for our panties.  We both really LOVE the Costco brand peanut butter which is organic and is just peanuts, and salt.  In store it is $10.99 for two 28oz jars which blows the regular grocery store out of the water BTW.  Sam’s club doesn’t have a totally comparable product but the closest one is like a Jiff natural peanut butter and it costs $8.12 for two 40 oz jars!  That is also a great deal on peanut butter so this feels like a win either way.  For us, its a Costco win because we like our peanut butter as plain as it can be!  🙂

Our next pantry staple is pure Maple Syrup.  Kimberly has been able to compare these side by side.  Lets just note that this is one product that is much cheaper at both of the warehouse stores than in the regular grocery store.  It is nearly identical in price and product at both warehouses running around $12.98 for around 32oz.  Thats a win for both!

Lets take a look at butter!  We both like to cook with a good quality butter and olive oil whenever possible.  I am a big believer in the grass fed Kerrygold style butter for our bread and toast and stove top cooking.  At Sam’s Club they carry the Kerrygold brand of butter for $10.88 for 24oz.  Costco also carries the brand name but they also offer their own brand of grass fed butter that is 9.99 32oz.  While the Sam’s price is a good savings compared to the grocery store, the Costco price wins again on this one.  

Coming in hot with the egg comparison next!  I love to buy my eggs at Costco.  It seems like the grocery store prices have gotten so high and this really feels like a win on saving some money especially since I love to buy pasture raised eggs whenever possible.  I get 24 pasture raised eggs at Costco for $7.99 (that how must 1 dozen cost at the grocery store!).  Sam’s club sells 18 pasture raised eggs for $4.78.  The costco eggs break down to .33 per egg.  And the Sam’s eggs are .26 per egg!  Thats a Sam’s win for sure but I think both are a major win over the grocery store!  

Another item that is always a must purchase for me is the fresh Alaskan Salmon.  We try to have Salmon once a week for the health benefits and I’ve always found the Costco Salmon to be a good price and quality.  This week I was able to grab Salmon for 9.99/ pound!  Sam’s club also sells the fresh Alaskan Salmon and it is $10.98/pound.  Those are both really great prices either way you look at it!  

The last product we will compare is Olive oil.  We both use plenty of olive oil in our daily cooking (get those healthy fats!) so we like to but a larger container and just refill our olive oil dispensers as needed.  The Sam’s Club brand of EVOO prices out at 17.98 for 2L and the Costco brand of EVOO comes in at 21.99 for 2L ( this is the online price so I suspect its closer to the Sam’s price in store).  

At the end of the day we could compare so many products but I think our little experiment really has revealed that the product prices between the two clubs is really similar and truly boils down to convenience of location, and product preference!  At the end of the day, I think the tricky part is always keeping a Costco or Sam’s trip within the grocery budget because it can really blow a budget quickly!  After many trips to Costco I have now figured out what the staples are for our family and I try to stick to those pretty closely.  The total hurts a little bit every time but if you stick to a list I think it can serve your family well!  

Happy shopping!







Costco vs. Sam’s club

  1. Bekah says:

    THANK YOU. I have not gotten into warehouse shopping yet but have been asking this question for a while for when I do.

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