Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sam's Club vs. Wal-Mart

I have been on a quest to feed my family in the most cost- and time-efficient manner possible.  I have thought long and discussed much the idea of once-a-month grocery shopping.  I am hoping to make it a reality in time...once my new pantry is finished and I have space to put everything!

Along the way, I began questioning how much exactly a person actually saved by buying things (often in bulk and always in name brand) at Sam's Club.  I decided to find out.

My journey started by looking up the prices of many of the common things I buy on the Sam's Club website.  Then I had to take my trusty paper and pen into Wal-Mart to write down the prices of all of the same items.  Yes, I AM a nerd.

I made some interesting discoveries.  Most things are cheaper at Sam's (as I would have guessed).  A few things are more expensive at Sam's.  And numerous things are nearly the same price.

There are a few disclaimers.  First of all, I compared Sam's prices to Wal-Mart's prices. If you are used to shopping at another local grocery store, chances are that you are going to save even more at Sam's.  Second, I am quite often  okay with buying store-brand items at Wal-Mart.  Sam's does not carry store brand, so everything there is name brand.  When I made the comparison, I compared the name brand at Sam's to what I would actually buy at Wal-Mart, often the store brand.  (Ketchup, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, vanilla, yeast, mushrooms, peanut butter, and the named brand of crackers are a few exceptions to this.)

I could not compare the all-purpose flour because I couldn't find a price on the 25 lb of flour at Wal-Mart.  I know 25 lb at Sam's is much cheaper than buying 5 lb at a time at Wal-Mart.  When I say all-purpose flour, I mean the name brand, unbleached kind.)

Of course, when shopping at Sam's, one has to be prepared to buy in bulk.  For example, the pizza sauce comes in an 107-oz can.  I had to open it, put it into separate containers (I used baggies) and freeze.  I do that with cheese, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon as well.

Topping the list of the best deals at Sam's were vanilla and yeast, $32.16 and $26.78, respectively.  That's huge!!  Of course, that much yeast will last me (who uses it often) a very long time; but it certainly keeps!  Store it in the freezer after you have opened it.

Here is the link to my list of what to buy where.  Of course, prices are subject to change; but this is what I found when I was looking.  My dollar comparison lists the Sam's price first followed by the Wal-Mart price for the same amount.

I added up what I would save if I were to purchase only one of everything in the "Things to get at Sam's" column.  It came to over $152!  Since there is an annual $40 membership fee, I would actually save just over $110 per year if I bought one of each of those items.  However, in actuality, there are some of those items that I purchase 3-4 or more times per year.  So the amount saved each year is quite considerable.

And now...who do I talk to at Sam's to get paid for this advertising for them??

1 comment:

  1. Heather, thanks for sharing how Sam’s Club can be a great money saving option for busy families. I hope your Instant Savings book continues to save you more moving forward! @samsclubcarrie


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