Sam's Club or Costco?

Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Sue » Sat May 05, 2012 7:42 am

We've had a Sam's Club membership for years but I know some people prefer Costco. The Sam's membership is up for renewal and I'm wondering if it makes sense to switch. I did just read an article in Costco's magazine that they have organic beef, which would be a reason for me to switch (Sam's doesn't have it), but I'm not sure if it's fresh or frozen or what the quantities are so I need to check that out.

I also wonder about the house brands - Member's Mark vs Kirkland. Anybody compared?

So ... preferences? Thoughts?
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby mobetsy » Sat May 05, 2012 8:24 am

I think CR rates Costco over Sam's. I don't belong to either but have shopped in both a number of times, and I like Costco better. Also, from a more philosophical level, Costco gets very good marks as an ethical company and outstanding employer, whereas Sam's is less so.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Esther » Sat May 05, 2012 8:25 am

Costco, definitely. A lot of the things are similar in both stores, but Costco is definitely a little higher end. I don't belong to Sam's here, but people that have been to both say that Costco is always clean, bright, etc and that the Sam's can be a little dirty. Since we are in PA, you can't buy wine anywhere but the state wine and liquor stores, but I hear Costco has great deals on wine too. Costco does have fantastic meat too. In fact there hasn't been anything I've been disappointed in from them. The only complain I could possibly make is I do not like the shape of their milk gallon containers, they are kind of long rectangular with flat tops instead of the regular milk jug shapes and pouring is a little awkward but that's just a minor thing. Also can't beat their snack shop. Smoothies and yogurt for like 1.50, and you can get a giant slice of pizza (or have them cut it into 2 regular slices) and a pop/soda for 2.99 or so.

A few years back we upgraded to the executive membership which pays for itself if you shop there enough, plus you get cash back. We just got our $66 check back from them which of course I used on my next trip!
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Esther » Sat May 05, 2012 8:27 am

PS used to belong to Sam's in Wisconsin and in TX... so we've been members to both. If given the choice, I would choose Costco over Sam's every time.

That being said, I also love Aldi's, and GFS marketplace, which right in the same shopping area as my Costco. GFS is Gordon's food service, it's like a mini costco. And Aldi's just has awesome prices. Not bulk stuff though.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Sue » Sat May 05, 2012 11:24 am

Thanks for chiming in - I have to say that I agree with both of you. We checked out the Costco today. It is a little further in a little worse traffic than the Sam's - which is a negative, but not a deal changer.

In general we found prices to be pretty comparable. Although there were two things that completely tipped the scale for Costco, dog food and organic meat - well, just the meat in general. There is organic beef and chicken. The beef is also clearly labeled prime and choice. Sam's does not label by grade at all. Plus the fresh chicken breasts are pre packed in freezer pouches, 2 to a pouch. And then 6 pouches to a package. So much better than buying fresh breasts and screwing around with the Seal-a-Meal once I get it home.

They also carry grain-free dog food which is so much cheaper than the dog food store. Neither Sam's nor Target carry a grain-free brand at all. Now of course we haven't fed the dog yet, but at less than $1.00/pound vs nearly $1.75/pound pretty much pays for the membership when you have a 100 pound dog doing the eating.Image

So we went ahead and joined while we were there, I don't think we'll regret it.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Sharon » Sat May 05, 2012 11:43 am

We only have Sam's club, no Costco anywhere near us.

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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Lesley » Sat May 05, 2012 2:28 pm

Never been to a Sam's but used to frequent Costco a lot, particularly for dog food! I like a lot of their brands, some better than brand-names.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Esther » Sat May 05, 2012 4:39 pm

We buy all our pet food there - Cady has to be on lamb n rice (or at least nothing with chicken, beef or wheat!) and I buy the cats' dry food there too. Beats the petco/petsmart prices.

I also buy stuff like freezer bags, trash bags, there too. I've heard they have good seafood too.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby holliejjj » Sat May 05, 2012 4:43 pm

Costco by far. I had learned about what a great company they are (especially to employees) in my business classes at my university.

The food is higher end, healthier, and better quality. You might not always save money, but you eat better quality food. More organic merchandise and food items that aren't full of alot of chemicals and preservatives.

We love it!
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby jane » Sat May 05, 2012 9:08 pm

hanging my head in shame, we have memberships at both and use both.

now my sam's card is only 10 bucks b/c we are on BIL's boy scout troop, so pretty cheap or we'd drop it. i like the toilet paper there, not at costco; and i buy coffee beans there, costco doesn't have medium roast, only dark or ground or starbuck's. and today i got rachel's bday cake there, yum.

costco's chicken is nicely packaged sue, and needs very little or no fat/gross stuff trimmed off. salmon is good there. cheese slices are good too, and vegetables, though none organic. you'll love the fresh jack's salsa, oh my it's good.

i'm glad you joined, i think you'll like it!

a gal at work swears by their kirkland vitamin water, i think you drink something like that?

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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby SherrieM. » Tue May 08, 2012 1:02 pm

You are tempting me to switch. Our Sam's membership is due soon. Costco is just as close (they are within blocks of the university where I work). I rarely buy anything other than cleaning products and paper products at Sam's these days, though. How do they compare as far as prices for Tide/paper towels/toliet paper and the pharmacy? (We go through Benadryl and Zyrtec like candy here, sigh.)
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Esther » Tue May 08, 2012 1:15 pm

Sherrie, we buy the costco generic of claritin (they also have a generic version of zyrtec) and you can basically buy almost a year supply for about $15. Well, a year supply for one person, lol. If you have the choice of going to both, definitely give Costco a try, you won't be disappointed. I love their Kirkland (Costco brand) paper towels, garbage bags, etc.... I believe too the Kirkland version of Tide has been a CR best buy. I usually don't buy my Tide though at Costco, you can find it on sale for better prices at either Target or Wal-mart.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Sue » Tue May 08, 2012 1:20 pm

Sherrie Costco will give you a guest pass to get in the store to check it out. But you have to join to shop. We were able to fill out an application at checkout (just name, address and driver license #) and pay for the membership with our order - and then stop at customer service to get our cards on the way out.

And that is where I learned that Costco also mails out coupons to all members - not sure how often though. At Sam's coupons are only available if you have the more expensive membership.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Esther » Tue May 08, 2012 3:48 pm

I also wanted to add Costco's prices on contacts and glasses cannot be beat. Cheaper than 1800 contacts, Wal-mart, etc.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Nancy » Wed May 09, 2012 6:44 am

I have both and rarely use either.

Costco - beware - they don't take credit cards except for their AMEX. So you have to do debit or check.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby mobetsy » Wed May 09, 2012 8:23 am

We used to have a Costco membership, and we still get the coupons. Maybe as often as every 6 weeks, sometimes longer...I don't keep track, but it is often enough that I notice them!
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Tina » Wed May 09, 2012 10:27 am

We don't have a Costco. I used to have a Sam's membership, but gave it up several years ago. There really isn't one that close to where I live so it wasn't very convenient. My mom has a BJ's Warehouse membership, so if I need to buy something in bulk I go with her.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby funnygirl » Wed May 09, 2012 5:38 pm

Costco for me. I am very happy with the quality of produce, meats, seafood (I buy frozen not cooked shrimp) and individually wrapped salmon fillets. I love their prices on milk - Jim or I usually take turns, as the kids only go through one gallon per week, and they are sold in 2's. Spices - especially for how much I know you cook are a great deal. Photo processing is great, pharmacy meds are are great (typically I only buy non RX there). The snack bar is awesome. I love the price on Hebrew National hot dogs.

And with your crew, the bread items might be a good deal. We just don't eat enough to justify buying there unless it is something I can freeze (and having grown up on icky frozen bread, i am a little picky).

I don't really care for Sam's and not a Walmart person. Dean is so we do debate every now & then.


Although I am torn about my eye glasses, because my current optician is a sole operator, and a woman, and we have "bonded" well with her staff, I was a little frustrated and got a second opinion at Costco. I was very pleased with the results, and although it took me quite a bit of nerve to go back to the first place and ask them to "remake" my $400 pair of glasses I just got in January, I did it and they did remake my glasses. But pushed me on contacts that the 2nd doctors said I didn't really need. :?
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby Maelyn » Wed May 09, 2012 7:07 pm

We have Costco and I use it a lot - especially for photos for the choir. Their frozen prep food isn't horrible and we love their roaster chickens.

Sam's is not convenient... Costco is 2 miles from the house... Sam's not even close.
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Re: Sam's Club or Costco?

Postby wanda » Wed May 09, 2012 7:27 pm

Maelyn wrote:Sam's is not convenient... Costco is 2 miles from the house... Sam's not even close.

I think you must live *very* clost to my AZ friend. She's not too far from Costco...Pepper Tree Lane.
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