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The Ultimate Sam's Club Shopping Guide to Save Big Money

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
August 30, 2016 · 6.3k Views

One of the most debated questions is: Should I buy a Sam’s Club membership or buy groceries elsewhere? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on several factors, such as the size of your family and how often you can honestly expect to shop there.

If you do decide to splurge on a Sam’s Club membership, you’ll want to know how to get the most bang for your buck. Since you’ll be spending $45 right off the bat, you’ll want to make sure you get that much money back in savings – and then some. With the guide below, you’ll find out how to shop and what to buy to make your next Sam’s Club trip worthwhile.

For a limited time, Sam's Club is offering a free upgrade to a Plus Membership with the purchase of a $45 annual membership (a $55 value), and you'll also receive a $20 gift card and $100 in instant savings! Click here to learn more about this special offer. Don't forget to subscribe to our Sam's Club emails to get the latest details on their sales, promotions, and coupons.


  1. Stick to a list.

    Source: oriongunning.com
    Don’t walk inside a Sam’s Club unprepared. There’s so much stuff to choose from, you could end up with high-ticket items such as TVs and jewelry. Make sure you have a list and you stick to it. Also, leave the credit cards at home. Bring just enough cash to pay for your intended purchases. Otherwise, you’ll be thrown for a loop – mentally and financially.
  2. Realize that not everything is a good deal.
    Larger quantities does not equal savings. Check the price and see how much you’re paying per unit or per ounce. In some cases, you might be better off buying a smaller amount at your local grocery store – especially since Sam’s Club doesn’t accept coupons.  

  3. Know the pricing strategy.

    Source: aworkingpantry.blogspot.com

    You can tell if something is a great deal just by looking at the price. Prices that end in a 1 are discounted from their original price, so you can tell whether or not it’s been marked down. If it has been marked down, get it before it’s gone!

  4. Check the clearance areas.
    Look to the front and back of the store to find dirt-cheap prices on a variety of items, such as clothing and electronics. Some common deals are jeans for just $2 and scratch and dent electronics for a huge discount.

  5. Save on seasonal items.

    Source: keyword-suggestions.com

    Look for items that are there only for a limited time. TheseZ items could be toys, plants, exercise equipment, and other items. These are usually priced at a bargain, so get them while they last.

  6. Skip the warranties.
    If you purchase electronics or appliances, you’ll likely be asked to add on a warranty. While a warranty make give you peace of mind, chances are you won’t use it. Warranties are limited and cover a short period of time, and unfortunately you’re likely to need the warranty after it’s expired.

  7. Look for special deals on meat.

    Source: expressnews.com

    Some Sam’s Club locations offer a weekly meat deal. Check it out and you could save big. Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk because you can always freeze what you won’t use.

  8. Don’t forget the pizza.
    At Sam’s Club, you can get a huge deli pizza for as low as $5.98. You can’t even touch a pizza for close to that price at chains such as Round Table. Grab one on your way home and you’ve got a quick meal.

  9. Save on gift cards.

    Source: just2sisters.com

    Sam’s Club offers many gift card packs for under face value. Many customers like the pricing on Disney and Outback gift cards. You can often get multiple cards for $15 off or more off the face value. They make great gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

  10. Check out the offerings in the photo department.
    The photo department offers posters, collages, Christmas cards and other specialty photos. Mini photo books are just $3.96 – what a steal! Expect to pay much more than that elsewhere.

  11. Save on medications.

    Source: keyword-suggestions.com

    The pharmacy department offers great deals on nasal spray and other medications. If you have allergies or another chronic condition, stop in and check out the excellent pricing on medications you use on a regular basis.

  12. Buy a swimsuit.
    The swimsuits at Sam’s Club aren’t cheaply made. They start at just $13 for girls and are very sturdy. If you’re looking for a swimsuit that’ll last more than one season, get yours at Sam’s Club.

  13. Browse through the book titles.

    Source: asouthernfairytale.com

    The books at Sam’s Club are competitively priced, so if you see something you like, you’ll probably save a few bucks over buying it elsewhere.

  14. Eat cheaply.
    Sam’s Club has a snack bar filled with yummy lunch staples. It’s not necessarily the healthiest food, but it is cheap. For under $2, you can get a hot dog and soda combo, a sundae, slice of pizza, or a pretzel. As an added bonus, you don’t even need to be a member to eat there.

  15. Don’t consume in bulk.

    Source: newsok.com

    The bigger the bottle, the more you consume. Whether it’s salad dressing, shampoo, or soda, you’ll tend to use more of it than you normally would simply because of the size of the bottle. It’s recommended that you put these items in smaller containers so you won’t be tempted to use more – and lose that money you saved by buying in bulk.


Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club have a lot of pitfalls. You’re bombarded with products throughout the store, making it easy to overspend. Use your membership to your advantage by following the tips outlined in the guide above. Stick to a list, shop in a frugal manner and you’ll come out ahead.


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Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.

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