Couponing 101: 5 Ways to Save at Sam's Club

Posted: 02/23/12 6:00 AM (Modified: 03/05/12 10:21 AM)

UPDATE: This is a repost, I used the following information for a news segment that aired today.

Here's another question from one of our FB readers:

Is buying in bulk (i.e. Sam's Club, Costco) really saving you money?

Answer:

Sam's Club is typically the store that draws the most confusion when it comes to searching out good deals. After all, 500 Ziploc bags for $8.99 doesn't sound bad at all, does it? But then there's the $40 membership fee that has to be taken into account as well.  The truth of the matter is Sam's Club does not take coupons. In the case of the Ziploc bags, you could have actually purchased them individually with a coupon at Walmart for less.

As far as normal grocery shopping goes, I would suggest using coupons and following store sales at 'traditional' grocery stores is a much better option. In saying that, below are 5 Ways You Can Save Money at Sam's Club:

1. Discount Meat: Typically, Sam's will clearance out meat in the mornings. You may find yesterday's fresh cuts or meat they are trying to move off the shelf before another truck come in. Most of this is packaged in bulk which makes it easy to stock up on. Remember, you can ask them to cut it anyway you'd like as well. If you find a good deal on steak, they can cut it in half which will give you twice as much.

2. Produce: While not Aldi prices, Sam's Club prices on produce are pretty incredible. I bought 2 pounds of grapes for under $4 while the same amount would have been nearly $7 at my local Walmart store.

3. Ready Made Meals: Alright, I confess, I am addicted to these. In the meat department, you'll find fresh, ready made meals for less than $12 each. In fact, the Stuffed Shells above cost only $8. Could I make it cheaper with coupons? Possibly. Did it save me an incredible amount of time that was worth the price? Yes. The good part about these is that they are fresh (and certainly taste better than my cooking), the meals containing chicken are usually made from the leftover Rotisserie chickens. While I wouldn't recommend purchasing these for all of your meals, in a pinch, these are great and not so hard on the wallet.

4. Clearance Sales: Have you shopped clearance at Sam's? You'll probably find it hidden in the back of the store so you have to keep your eyes peeled. My dining room table was $250 but I grabbed it for only $50 on clearance. Sam's is great about clearancing out displays, I found the table and sat my niece on it to hold it for me while I called my husband to bring the truck. That was a few years ago and we still use the table today!

5. Try It Out First: Many times you can ask for a guest pass and get a free trial at Sam's Club just to see if you like it. You may decide it is not right for you or you may decide it's a great buy. This will give you a chance to check it out before you buy. You can also go with a friend if they have a membership...the Sam's Club Policy states this "Our Members are welcome to bring their children and up to two guests to Sam's Club. A Member must accompany children and guests – at all times. Only a Member may purchase items."

The Queen's opinion: I do like Sam's for the reasons above, and on occasion, I will purchase bulk items such as plastic cups or utensils for parties. Is it worth the $40 fee? I let my membership go over a year ago and didn't miss it. If you know your prices per ounce then you could really save a ton of money. I found a Pantene deal at Sam's that would have saved me $30 if I would have bought it. Seriously, that's a steal!

What is your favorite thing about shopping at Sam's?

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Comments, page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 Next »
Nov 23, 2010 04:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I use my Sam's card for formula and diapers alone. 41 ounces of Enfamil is $33 at Sam's and 23 ounces is around $29 at Wal-mart. Pampers are $33 for 250 diapers at Sam's, and I'm not sure the price at Wal-mart.

Jan 22, 2011 09:50 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I went to sam's yesterday and bought 90 pull ups for just over $31. I also buy sippy cups from there. They are the nuby kind and 4 of those are less than $10, compared to buying them @ walmart for over $4/cup. they also have the 4 pack hard sippy cup lid ones for less than $10, compared to walmart @ $6/ 2 pk

Jan 22, 2011 10:31 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The rotisserie chickens at $5 each can't be made for that price. Yesterday, at Food Pyramid, whole chickens were on sale for .99/lb. The one I was looking at was over 5 lbs, then I'd have the time and mess to cook it. I love using the cooked chickens for other recipes, but even eating it as is, the flavor is delicious.

May 21, 2011 11:37 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I bought a membership in December to buy our new digital camera. Got the camera body, 2 lenses, bag, and software for right at $800. The zoom lens that came with the package deal is running for right at $700 alone at other places. And the camera body is running I think about $600 alone. So, for me the $40 membership was a well spent $40!!!!!!!!!!

May 21, 2011 02:10 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

One of the things I LOVE at Sam's is their Organic Baby Green Salad. One very large container for 4.98 which will last our family all week. It seems to stay very fresh. Also, their spices are usually a really good deal.

May 21, 2011 04:53 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I buy ground beef there. It is only 2 something a pound and 90 something percent lean which is a great deal. I repackage it into smaller ziplock baggies when I get home so a pound is always ready when I need it :)

May 21, 2011 06:46 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I always get meat and frozen appetizers there but recently I found out about their plants! I got 6 pepper plants for $5. The originally sold for $12 each but whatever didn't sell in 2 weeks was sold for $2.50 for each three. They have loads of peppers buds all over them. Later I got tomato plants that are hearty and healthy with blooms everywhere. Having these great plants will save our family tons of money throughout the summer!

May 21, 2011 06:46 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I always get meat and frozen appetizers there but recently I found out about their plants! I got 6 pepper plants for $5. The originally sold for $12 each but whatever didn't sell in 2 weeks was sold for $2.50 for each three. They have loads of peppers buds all over them. Later I got tomato plants that are hearty and healthy with blooms everywhere. Having these great plants will save our family tons of money throughout the summer!

May 21, 2011 07:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I love everything about Sam's...I buy all our frozen fruit there, best deal around, the organic spring mix is a great price, there fresh fruit is a great price, bags of almonds, box of oatmeal, cheese slices and shredded cheese, cheese sticks...you just can't beat Sam's prices!!

May 21, 2011 09:31 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Thank you for posting my question and the answers!! We do love the 'ready to eat' meals! They are great! I think the only thing I do buy from Sam's on a reg basis is ground beef...it's almost $1/pound cheaper than other stores! I did not realize they did not take coupons...that's great to know. I think I will stick with my regular grocery store! Thank you!

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