Shopping at Sam’s Club can save your family a lot of money if you utilize some of their best programs and deals that they offer! Find the best programs and deals at Sam’s Club as well as some of our favorite tips for shopping there in this list.
I was honored to work with Sam’s Club on this post to promote one of my favorite programs as a mom of three. The tips and opinions in this post are mine and based on my life long experience shopping at Sam’s Club and how we have a #fullhomehappyhome.
I was raised by what you might call professional bargain shoppers. My parents are experts at knowing when and where to shop and how to stretch your dollar to get the best for your family. I have so many memories of our shopping experiences growing up and an absolute staple on our weekly outings was Sam’s Club.
We weren’t a huge family, just an average one. Even as a family of four though, Sam’s offered great advantages that I came to know and love. Once I went off to college and was on my own I couldn’t give up my membership. When I went off to work after college and then got married as newlyweds and a family of 2, people thought I was crazy but I had to have my membership. Then when we had our first baby and I bought ALL of my diapers at Sam’s people thought I was a bit more normal and now with a family of 5 I am definitely a warehouse shopper.
The thing is though, that even when I was on my own there were MANY things that more than paid for my membership and were substantial savings over what I would have gotten otherwise. You just have to know what to buy and which programs to use and you can save a lot of time and money by shopping at Sam’s Club. I am pretty excited to pass on the findings my years of “research” shopping with you today.
How to Save Money Shopping at Sam’s Club
1. Shop Every Day Essentials products – Sam’s has a great group of essential everyday products that are very competitively value priced. Compared to other stores, buying these items at Sam’s Club can save you up to $97**. This is awesome because they aren’t things that I didn’t really need, but am getting tempted to buy because they are such a great deal, but actual things I am already buying each week for our family. The list includes items like NAME BRAND paper towels, laundry detergent, health and beauty items all specially priced to save you money. See ALL the Every Day Essentials items that are VALUE priced here.
Since you spend less on every day items, it frees up money for all the things that are much more fun to buy. With almost $100 in savings I was able to buy some pretty awesome stuff for the house. See exactly what I got in the bonus section below!
2. Use Club Pick Up– Now this service can save you some serious money if you are like me. Now that I have three kids, I tend to be a little more frazzled than I used to when I shopped. I still usually have a list, but there are a lot of things that fall through the cracks. I suddenly think about my kids pull ups. Are we out? Do we have enough? I can’t remember! I will just buy a box to be safe.
I tend to just buy a box then get home and realize that, no we aren’t out, AND I already had an extra box from when this happened last time.
With club pick up you can purchase your items online then pick them up right at the font of the store using the kiosk to check in or by checking in with their app on your phone. This saves money in 3 ways:
- You are shopping at home, so if you don’t know if you are out you just look! No buying on speculation!
- No impulse buying. This is a biggie and I am very guilty at times. If you know you are the type that throws a few extra things into your cart each time you are at the store then this can easily add up to hundred of dollars in savings.
- TIME- Shop when it is convenient from your computer then spend just minutes in the store. Time is money after all!
3. Look for Instant Savings – Many know about the Instant Savings you see advertised on the tags in the store, but there are even more deals you can find online. In addition to the other benefits of Club Pick Up I listed above, you can also find additional instant saving to ramp up your savings when you buy items together. I got over 10% additional savings on the purchase I made today with instant savings. When you click on an item it will tell you if it is eligible for Instant Savings. You can click there to get details on how to qualify.
4. Use Easy Reorder– When you shop online, it keeps track of your purchases and you can reorder things with the touch of a button. Not only does this save you time, but it is really handy for saving you money on everyday items you go through more quickly since you can reorder them at Sam’s everyday value price with the touch of a button rather than being out and about and having to pick it up at a convenient store or other place that notoriously prices these items high just for that reason!
5. Know your family’s buying habits to maximize cost per unit – You can’t know if you are saving money unless you know how much you would spend elsewhere. If you would normally pay $1.29 for a can of green beans and a case pack is a unit price of $0.67 each that is BIG savings! The unit price is on the sign of each item to make it easy for you. Also make sure to compare unit costs between brands on the same product in store AND between buying individuals or a big version. For example, even though it may be a similar total size, buying one large can of green beans would usually be less expensive than a club pack of 12 smaller cans. If you can separate and freeze yourself, or have a party or gathering where you can use that size, it can be big savings. Many people don’t realize that Sam’s makes it super easy for you to do this by listing the unit price in the bottom corner of the price label for each item.
6. Think past the “grocery store”– Most people just think of grocery store type items when planning their Sam’s Club purchases. Some of the best deals can be other items for your home though. For example this organizing cart that is CRAZY popular with crafters can be found at most Sam’s for around $25 (prices subject to change) but is sold other places for $50-80. We even got flooring there when we redid our home years ago for substantially less than even the discount flooring companies we checked. See more great deals in number 9 and 12!
7. Always check the clearance – Sam’s carrys a great deal of seasonal merchandise and does GREAT clearances on these to clear them out when it is time to reset. Although each store is set up differently and can differ, there are a few zones you will usually find them in: at the front of store, the very back of store (near the freezer section), in the electronics and in the clothing section. Online you can even find a last chance section!
8. Gift Cards– Sam’s Club sells a really great assortment of gift cards, custom for each local market. The great thing isn’t that they HAVE gift cards, but that they are usually cheaper than face value by 10-25%. So you will spend around $80 for $100 worth of gift cards. We do these a lot when it is time for teacher gifts that way we can get a lot of gift cards, spend less and give more value to the teachers.
9. Power items– There are certain things that always seem to be a much better value at warehouse clubs. I find produce is a great one. Bananas have to be bought in a bunch of 6-8 but are much less per pound than our local grocery store. Lettuce in a giant pack is usually the same or less than a small pack at the grocery store. Items in the pharmacy section can also be a very good value. If your club carries alcohol it is commonly priced less across the board than other places. Lastly, look for meat on sale. There is generally a good buy on at least one cut each week.
10. Use the photo department– The photo department has some of the best prices across the board on photo printing. They also have all sorts of photo gifts and hands down the best price on photo cards! As a bonus you save time not having to run to another store to get your photos printed.
11. Ready made lunch or dinner- If you aren’t in the mood to cook, picking up lunch or dinner will generally be a much better value than going through the drive through or eating out elsewhere. You can eat at the cafe and get a hot dog and a drink or a giant slice of pizza for around $2 or less. If you want to take something to go, grab a take and bake pizza or a rotisserie chicken both well under $10 and will feed your entire family!
12. High End Name Brands- Sam’s Club often gets fantastic name brand gear. Usually when it is brought in they do it at a special deal for their customers at a very nice discount from prices you would normally see it at. I have seen everything from Designer jeans, to pro kitchen equipment, to American Girl brand there at substantial discounts. These items are usually limited quantity so if you have your eye on something it is best to get it when you see it on these types of buys.
BONUS: Just for fun I thought I would show you what fun you could have with $100 extra at Sam’s here is what I picked up on my trip.
Everyone got to pick out a treat, so we got popcorn for me, queso dip for the hubby and the kids picked out Frozen fruit snacks! I also got some super cute plates to use at the event I am hosting this week, 2 new pie plates for all the recipes I create for the blog, AND a down puffer vest that has a double zipper and hidden pockets. Oh, and not pictured, a pizza for lunch that we ate in about 3 seconds flat after being out all morning. I used the paper plates so there was no clean up either. Best. Day. Ever. I don’t usually splurge on things for myself but when I save so much buying things like paper towels and laundry detergent, it makes it fun to get a little something for me!
**Vendor calculation based on proprietary methodology comparing average non-promoted retail price per unit from a combination of leading U.S. retail outlets vs. average retail price per unit at Sam’s Club® for 2 months ending September 26, 2015. Pricing and item availability may vary in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, and on SamsClub.com.