Is Sam’s Club cheaper than Walmart? (Yes, but also not…)
So, you know Sam’s Club. You also know Walmart. what’s the difference? Why do some people go to Walmart for their weekly groceries but go to a Sam’s Club?
Sam’s Club is a membership-based wholesale club chain owned by Walmart Inc. Membership helps keep prices low on bulk items, and members can enjoy massive discounts and benefits when shopping at any Sam’s Club.
Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club are great for business owners or those who just want to save a little money for a week’s worth of bulk purchases.
Warehouse clubs are no-frills stores that showcase what customers need without the extra appeal of a regular retail hypermarket. They can help keep prices low by doing so. But are they really lower than Walmart, or at least cheaper than Walmart?
Is Sam’s Club cheaper than Walmart?
The short answer is that it’s complicated. The unit price of products in Sam’s Club is lower than that of ordinary supermarkets or grocery stores such as Walmart. However, it also depends on what you are buying and how much you need to buy.
Whether or not Sam’s Club gives you value for money compared to Walmart depends on several factors. Since prices are constantly changing, and so is the market, it can be difficult to compare prices for all items.
Read on to find out if Sam’s Club is really a cheaper option than Walmart.
Sam’s Club and Walmart membership fees
Both Sam’s Club and Walmart offer memberships to their shoppers with different perks. Shopping at Sam’s Club requires a membership to cover overhead and make sure Warehouse Club can get you the low prices you want.
To shop at Walmart, however, you can walk into any of their brick-and-mortar stores, grab a snack, and leave.
Sam’s Club dues
You need at least a Standard Membership to shop at Sam’s Club. Standard membership, called the Club Card, costs $45 per year. Another tier of membership, called the Plus Card, costs $100 per year. You can also get additional memberships for $40 if they are part of your family.
As a customer, the Standard Club Card offers you several benefits, such as:
- Free shipping on selected items
- Free Sam’s Club Auto Repair Service
- General Open Return Policy
- Cashbacks and rebates on some items
- Discounted natural gas prices
That being said, the Plus Card also comes with some additional benefits, including:
- Free curbside pickup
- Free shipping on most items
Walmart membership fee
Anyone can do their weekly shopping at the nearest Walmart. Walmart does not require you to purchase a membership if you want to shop at any Walmart store. Walmart does offer an optional membership called Walmart+ that can be paid for $12.95 a month or $98 a year.
If you can shop for free at Walmart anyway, what are the benefits of having a Walmart membership?
- Free shipping and shipping, no minimum purchase required
- Discounted natural gas prices
- Prescription Drug Rebates
- Mobile Checkout and Purchases
Overall, the benefits shared by Sam’s Membership and Walmart Membership are very similar. There’s also little price difference between the Walmart+ loyalty card and the Sam’s Plus card.
While the biggest advantage of shopping at Walmart is that you can go grocery shopping anytime, the annual fee for a Walmart+ membership is higher than that of a Sam’s Club membership.
What’s better than a Sam’s Club?
As a bulk warehouse, Sam’s Club prices are undoubtedly lower. But you should know what you’re buying and how much you want. Calculating the cost per item will show that Sam’s Club can really help you save more, sometimes pennies, when you shop.
Overall, shopping at Sam’s Club helps customers save on pharmacy medications, daily groceries, pet supplies and a quick refill of household essentials, the study found. Surprisingly, it’s worth buying clothing and electronics at Walmart.
However, when buying perishables, if you’re not careful, you could end up losing more money at Sam’s Club. Think about how you will use your groceries in a week or two.
Fresh food spoils quickly, and buying them in bulk just to let them spoil is more wasteful than buying them in small quantities from Walmart.
Some of the more value-for-money items at Sam’s Club are their more upscale in-house food options. Things like cheese and alcohol are known to be of better quality. However, it should be noted that a membership is not required to purchase alcohol at Sam’s Club.
Use Sam’s Club Gift Cards at Walmart
Let’s say you’re hesitant about which retailer is more worth your money. In this case, you can alleviate some of your concerns by knowing that a Sam’s Club gift card can be used at any Walmart or Walmart-related service. Even better, you can also use your Walmart gift card at Sam’s Club or Sam’s Club-related services.
Sam’s Club, on the other hand, does not accept coupons from manufacturers or third parties. In part, this may be because Sam’s Club doesn’t benefit from coupons such as sales or buy-as-you-go, since they already sell their items in bulk at lower prices. However, Walmart accepts manufacturer coupons in its stores.
Answer the question “Is Sam’s Club cheaper than Walmart?” Ultimately it depends on your personal shopping habits. In Sam’s Club vs. Walmart, you should consider how much you need to buy at one time, how many people to stock up on, and why you buy products in bulk.
If buying in bulk doesn’t meet your individual needs, shopping at Sam’s Club with a $45-$100 per year membership may end up costing you more.
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Any other questions about Sam’s Club? Let us know in the comments below!