I've been a BJ's member for over ten years. Last April 2019, I checked out Costco and became a member. I saw a deal for Sam's Club with the excitement of shopping at wholesale clubs and running these blogs.
This deal is one I couldn't pass up. It was a great way to try out the club. The Membership deal I scored and (you still can too) is $45 for the year, and then you get $45 off your first shopping trip. After that, you don't have to spend more to get it.
It's fantastic and sign up if you have Sam's close to you.
I've been hesitant because our Sam's club is a 45-minute drive. I won't be going weekly, but it is still worth checking out monthly. Plus, I've noticed Sam's Club one day's sales are pretty good, and you can shop online.
When I first walked into Sam's Club, they had someone checking memberships, just like Costco. BJ's doesn't do this.
The member service area was a small kiosk with small modern-looking computers and three employees. It was easy to walk over and give my driver's license to obtain Sam's membership card.
Then, because I purchased it online, I went to pick up my card in the club.
It was all of five minutes of that to get signed in, cards, and pictures taken.
Overall, the store was busy Tuesday morning, but nothing like Costco on the weekend.
There was a food court like Costco, which is a win when shopping with kids. Something BJs got rid of a few years ago.
I noticed the layout to feel similar to BJ's and Costco. I would say the coloring throughout the store reminded me of BJ's. But the way the aisles were laid out was similar to Costco.
Sam's filled the treasure trove area with spring flower pots and gardening items. There were swing sets out as well. The clearance at Sam's is very similar to BJ's.
SEASONAL/TREASURE TROVE AREA
It was easy to find the meats and canned foods. In addition, it felt easy to shop throughout the store because of being a long-time member at BJs.
We now share Costco and Sam's deals daily HERE.
I noticed that Sam's pricing ends at $0.98, which is not a sale price. This is an average price. At Costco, anything in a $0.97 ending is a clearance item. And at BJ's, if you see something with a $.98 end, it's clearance too.
If you are a BJ's member shopping at Sam's, you need to train yourself NOT to think everything is a deal. I love my clearance shopping, and I had to say, this isn't a sale or discount; it's a regular price.
Read or Pin: How to Read BJ's Pricing Signs
I found the options of snacks to be greater than at our local Costco. Sam's has many more name-brand items than I found Costco to have. This is something BJ's has over Costco as well.
Sam's does have its store brand- Member's Mark.
I did end up finding some clearance and markdowns at Sam's. Sam's has Member mark brand clothing as well. For example, girls' T-shirts with sequins were priced at $5.98.
We now share Sam's deals daily on our new blog that features ALL THREE Wholesale clubs HERE.
Out of all three wholesale clubs, Costco is my favorite to find super cheap clothing.
I'm sure Sam's does too, and it's unfair to put it in this category only going in one time. BJ's does too, but not as frequent as our local Costco.
I checked out the $4.98 Rotisserie chicken. This is the same price as BJs and Costco. I didn't pick one up to try it, though. ( Well, it is one penny cheaper technically!)
Fresh Made Meals
Sam's had plenty of premade meals to make like Costco– with a giant-sized pot pie.
However, BJ's has slowly started rolling out ready-to-eat foods. So I did a review on those at BJs here.
I noticed cute farmhouse-type signs, of course. I'm all about decorating our home farmhouse style.
Easter dresses were out and priced at $16.98. Costco has theirs out, too, and it seems slightly cheaper. I have to say Costco, hands down, has fantastic prices on clothing.
I had to look for the very well-loved Members Mark Chicken Nuggets that are supposed to taste like Chick Fil -A's. Heads up, we tried them and loved them.
They are similar to Chick Fil A's. But, for $9.98 a bag, it's worth it and cheaper than taking the entire family out.
CAN STACK IBOTTA & FETCH
I did notice the same brand of Philadelphia cream cheese is only $8.98 at Sam's. Where BJ's is $11.99. Even after a coupon, this is a better deal.
I love my Starbucks coffee, and getting it at BJs has been a money saver. BJs and Sam's are pretty close in price when they have it on sale.
BJs is $19.99 for French Roast, but they offer $5 coupons frequently.
Sam's right now has instant savings making it $13.98. BUT Sam's regular price is only $17.98.
We didn't have to wait in line. There were plenty of self-checkouts and regular cashiers too. You don't need to take items out of the cart- which I love.
INSTANT $45 SAVINGS
I ended up spending $18 out of pocket. However, the instant $45 came off once I scanned everything and hit payment.
Remember, the instant savings won't apply to any item on sale. I can't wait to go back and share more savings and tips with you at Sam's.
FASTER EXITING OF THE STORE
Another smart thing is that when you leave the store, the employee scans your receipt and scans one item in your cart. Again, it seems like a better way to check if things are correct.
Many of the door checkers quickly scan and move on at BJ's.
Overall I enjoyed shopping at Sam's. However, it is further away than BJ's and Costco, so we will see how much I use it over the year.
I think there is a huge benefit to shopping for multiple clubs. Location is a huge factor in this decision. If you want to shop for various clubs, I suggest making sure you turn off automatic renewals to grab a deal each time.
All in all, shopping at Sam's club was a very similar experience to shopping at BJ's. The main difference seemed to be the prices and the variety of products.
If you're looking for a great deal on bulk items, Sam's is definitely worth checking out.
And don't forget- we're offering a super year membership discount to Sam's club!
Sign up here and start saving today. Thanks for reading our blog post about comparing BJ's wholesale and Sam's club. We hope it was helpful!
If you are a longtime Sam's shopper, share your favorite things below.
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