Have you ever wondered which is better, Sam’s Club or Costco?  Well I have.  So I put the two to the test to see which is actually cheaper.  I did a very scientific test of wandering around Sam’s Club with a pen and pad making notes of the prices on things I knew I’d seen at Costco.  Then I took my list to Costco and filled in the Costco price.  The result is this spreadsheet.

Description Sam’s Price Costco price
Nutrigrain Bars $11.84 $11.39
Gillette razors twin blade $18.93 $20.99
Crest mouthwash $17.73 $14.99
Gillette Mach 3 $25.30 $25.99
Gummy bears vitamins $8.95 $9.99
Bounty paper towels $17.58 $19.49
Wii Mario Kart $44.88 $43.99
Miracle ball method book $10.38 $10.99
LED nightlight $14.86 $13.99
Spot shot professional
$14.98 $11.89
Febreeze air effects $9.02 $8.99
Honeymaid graham crackers $6.60 $7.39
Bakery Muffins $6.38 $6.49
Swiffer Dry Cloths $11.92 $12.79
Crown Royal $35.29 $37.99
Sam Adams multi pack $22.14 $21.79
Charmin $18.38 $19.59
Ziploc double zip Gallon $9.14 $10.79
Ball park franks $8.78 $8.99
2% milk $3.59 $3.59
eggs $3.27 $1.77
Krusteaz pancake mix $5.69 $6.39
Special K cereal $7.34 $7.99
Daisy sour cream $3.77 $3.79
I can’t believe its not butter $6.82 $5.99
Cinnamon toast crunch $6.34 $6.49
Quaker oats $6.87 $6.99
Easy mac $5.70 $6.59
Pepsi cans $9.10 $9.49
Kraft Parmesan
$7.88 $7.99
chocolate chips $7.95 $8.99
C&H sugar $4.75 $4.95
Pam nonstick $7.32 $6.89
Total $399.47 $406.41

A couple of the items were sold in a smaller size at Sam’s Club.  I have adjusted the price to reflect a larger package.  For example the razors, Costco sold the razors 14 in a pack.  Sam’s Club sold 11 in a pack for $18.93, or $1.81 per razor.  So it would be $25.30 for 14.  Also, all comparisons are of the same brand except the milk and eggs, they were from local farms so they were a different brand.

In true Walmart fashion, Sam’s Club is a tad cheaper.  I took a random sampling of 33 items and Sam’s Club is $6.94 cheaper, an average of 21 cents per item.  Sam’s Club also has cheaper memberships.  It costs $50 for a regular membership at Costco, while a regular membership at Sam’s Club is only $40.  Sam’s Club also has a clearance section, while Costco doesn’t.  But Costco mails out regular coupons, something I don’t think Sam’s Club does.  (If I’m wrong please tell me.)

For me… I’m going to stick with Costco.  A few things sway me in this direction.  The first is that Costco is only 2 miles from my house while Sam’s is about 10.  Secondly, Sam’s Club is Walmart.  There is just no getting around that fact.  And the longer I live, the less time I want to spend at Walmart.

pic by: brood wich

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