Yesterday I made a trip to Sam’s Club for a few items that we needed (and to treat my littlest while we were waiting for her sister to finish gymnastics), and I priced several items that I normally purchase at the grocery store to see how they compared. In case you don’t know how much you’re spending for certain items, I think it is so worth learning what the best price is on basic food pantry staples, so you never overpay just because you don’t know what a good price even is.
Here are the things I think are worth (or not worth . . . ) shopping Sam’s Club for.
Good Buys at Sam’s Club
- This is a great price and beats my local grocery by over $.50 per gallon. If you have a Sam’s Club card and go regularly, stock up on milk while you’re there!
Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $13.49/6 lbs.
- This comes out to $2.24/lb. and is a decent price ~ while I’d rather stock up for it when it’s a little less expensive, $2.24 is reasonable for boneless skinless chicken breast, and I do love the convenience of it being pre-frozen!
Banana $1.36/3 lbs or $.45 per lb.
- Aldi’s has had these for $.33 the last few weeks, however $.45/lb. isn’t a bad price. I’d rather get them at Aldi’s (or price match them at Wal Mart!) but don’t think these are too bad a price!
Apples 32 oz. pre sliced $3.98
- This is our family’s biggest splurge, because my daughter loves apples but can’t stand how they get brown by lunch time (and I’ve tried using juice to keep them fresh!) This is by far the best price I’ve seen on these, and a pack of them will usually last our family 3-4 days (we eat a lot of fruit around here!)
Ground Beef $3.18/lb.
- Ground beef seems high just everywhere right now, so $3.18 for 90%/10% looks like a decent price right now (I miss paying $1.99/lb. for ground beef!)
Pork Spareribs $1.99/lb.
- This is exactly what they’re priced at in the new ad at Publix, and I think they’ll be that price just about everywhere for Memorial Day weekend. I have seen them as low as $1.49/lb., so definitely watch your local sales ads!
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish $9.28/66 oz. ($.14 per oz.)
- I was shocked by this one. I just did the math on it, and if you find Goldfish on sale at your local grocery store they’re best sale price is usually $.99/6.6 oz. bag (which makes them $.15/oz.) Since Goldfish rarely have coupons, you’re actually better off to purchase them at Sam’s (unless of course a coupon comes out with a sale!)
Domino Sugar $10.98/25 lb. bag ($.43/lb.)
- This is a good price IF you can’t find any coupons and sales. Last Christmas a 5lb. bag of sugar was about $1.49, or $.29/lb., so if you can stock up while it’s on sale you’ll get the very best price, but $.43/lb. isn’t too bad!
Domino Sugar $4.49/10 lb. bag ($.449/lb.)
- This one is a little more expensive than the larger bag, but goodness, who has room for 25 pounds of sugar in their pantry?
McCormick Imitation Vanilla $3.48
- Aldi’s carries their smaller bottles for $1, but this isn’t too bad a price and you’ll be stocked up for a few years!
Things probably not worth buying at Sam’s Club. . .
- While these are large boxes, I can often get cereal for $.99-$1.49 per box, which would be seven of these large boxes. Cereal is just about always cheaper with a coupon!
Peanut Butter $9.98/80 oz. or $.124/oz.
- I didn’t expect this, but Peanut Butter is actually high at Sam’s! Just this week I picked up Kroger Peanut Butter for $2 (it came out to $.11/oz.) and it often goes on sale at your local grocery store. Even the Skippy Peanut Butter deal is better at CVS this week!
Chex Mix $9.78 36 1.75 oz bags
- I will never ever pay more than $.50 for a 15 oz. bag of Chex Mix, which makes it $.03/oz. These little bags come out to a whopping $.15/oz., so they’re just not worth it (I can put them in snack size portions at home!)
- Aldi’s has these regularly on sale for $.99/dozen, and I’ve even seen them at that price at Walgreens. I really think you can find them lower than that on sale at another store!
Cantaloupe – $2.98
- These go on sale all the time at Publix and Kroger for $2, so there’s no way I’d pay $2.98 for these!
Grapes – $6.98/3 lbs or $2.32/lb.
- Grapes are high just about everywhere right now, but my stock up price used to be $.99/lb. on these so I’d have a hard time paying that much. I’m hoping they’ll go on sale at Aldi soon, and I can price match them at Walmart!
- I’ve been able to get these at Aldi’s (or price matched at Walmart) for $.99, and they’re regularly priced at $2 on sale at Kroger and Publix, so $2.98 looks high to me
Beef Chuck Roast $3.98/lb.
- These tend to go on sale at the grocery stores in our area for around $3.49/lb., and I just looked and last year they were priced at just $3.29/lb. (beef has gone up so much this year!) I probably would wait and try to find a better price, especially since these are sold in such large containers and I would have to split it between two meals for our family
- I think you can find these on sale for around $1.99-$2.49/lb. at the grocery store, just watch for the best sales
Cheese $6.48 for 2 pounds (or $1.62/8 oz. bag)
- Cheese regularly goes on sale at most groceries stores for $1.99 8oz. If you’re using coupons at all, I think you can realistically find cheese at your local store after coupons for $1-$1.50 per bag (that’s my target price), so I probably would not pick up cheese at Sam’s Club
Ball Park Hot Dogs $6.52 for 3 lbs or 24 Hog Dogs
- Just last week I purchased Ball Parks on a BOGO sale at $1.50 for 8 hot dogs, making them $.18 each. The Sam’s Club price is $.27 each, so I’ll wait for a sale at my grocery store!
And finally, my last item not worth buying at Sam’s Club. My kids have ooed and ahhed over this fancy gigantic floatie thing every time we’ve visited Sam’s over the last few months, and the temptation at Sam’s to buy crazy items is way too tempting. While I love running to Sam’s to stock up on a few produce items, some meat and milk, overall I find my best prices by watching the sales ads at my local grocery stores, and have to steer clear of items we just don’t need at Sam’s.
Now, the Pizza, Pretzel & Hot Dog Combos in their restaurant do make me happy every single time (and we’ll definitely take advantage of them some on vacation!), but as a rule I’d rather shop the grocery store and clip a few coupons . . . but that’s just what works for me!
Disclaimer: We are all different, and what I think is a decent price may be very different than what you think it is. These are just some guidelines to get you thinking about it, and I was surprised by what I found!