Walmart v. Sams: Where Is The Best Deal?

Just about every class I teach someone asks about Sam’s Club.  I usually recommend that people go with BJs since they take manufacturer’s coupons.  But in a side by side comparison I wondered- is Sams REALLY that much cheaper than Walmart?

So I took a stroll in both stores and randomly selected items to compare prices.  These prices are for Chesapeake, VA and may vary a bit by area.

Here is what I found:

                                              Sam’s Club Walmart
Season 1 & 2 DVD
 $ 34.88  $  29.96
Criminal Minds
Season 1
 $  26.88  $    29.96
Tron DVD  $  17.98  $   19.96
Tangled Blu-Ray/DVD  $  24.88  $    24.96
Mary Higgins Clark
I’ll Walk Alone
 $   15.94  $    18.19
Tina Fey
 $ 14.94  $   18.89
Boneless Skinless
Chicken Breasts
(Cheapest Ones)
$1.97 lb $1.88 lb
Cantaloupe $1.98 each $1.50 each
Bananas $.48 lb $.52 lb
Red Potatoes $.60 lb $.98 lb
One Gallon 1% Milk $3.02 $3.02
Horizon Organic Milk
Half Gallon
$3.19 $3.50
Strawberry Pop Tarts $.20 per tart $.22 per tart
Corona Bottles $.96 per bottle $1.00 per bottle
Cinnamon Toast Crunch $.136 per oz $.152 per oz
Finish Powerball Tabs $.14 per tab $.24 per tab
Diet Coke 2L $1.25 each $1.25 each
Eggland’s Best $2.16 per dozen $2.48 per dozen
Dove Bar Soap $.927 per bar $1.10 per bar
Tampax Pearl $.13 each $.19 each
Pantene Nature Fusion
$.197 per oz $.23 per oz
DiGiorno Frozen Pizza $4.33 each $5.75 each

So from looking at these numbers Sam’s Club is cheaper on most items (although the quantities are VERY different).  However all of these numbers leave out one very important part in the equation- COUPONS! 

Many of the items above regularly have coupons and they can not be used at Sam’s Club.  So before you considering getting or renewing a membership check it all out!

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  1. Jen says

    What about gas. Gas is often several cents cheaper at Sam’s than most other places and our house fills up on average 2-3 time a week (traveling for work) So with membership price included I wonder if the gas is still cheaper considering the number of times we fill up in a year

  2. Laura says

    Absolutely! I am hoping this post will create some dialogue to the advantages of each!

  3. Tara says

    I do have one comment on this, my husband and I have a Sam’s club membership and while it’s not solely used for this, it saves us a TON in the long run. My daughter is currently 8 months old and as you know, formula is EXPENSIVE. I can get a container twice the size of the one at wal-mart or the grocery stores for the same price at Sam’s. True, Sam’s won’t take coupons, but they will take manufacturers checks. Just a heads up! :)