The 20 Best and Worst Things to Buy at Sam’s Club

Here is what you should put in your cart and what you should skip in order to save as much money as possible next time you go to Sam's Club.


Warehouse superstores tend to be packed on Sundays… And every other day of the week. Sam’s Club is no exception. And why wouldn’t people love to shop there? By paying the affordable annual membership fee, a savvy shopper can have access to unbelievably good deals on everything from electronics to food and auto parts. And while the low prices for these items sold bulk can help families save more, not everything found at Sam’s Club is a good deal. Here are 10 things you should be throwing in that big blue cart, and 10 others you should skip.

20. Buy: Charcoal

Save yourself a couple trip to the store this summer and stack up on charcoal at Sam’s Club. You might even save a few bucks in the process. Besides, stored in a dry place, they can last indefinitely.

19. Buy: Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes can never go bad. And since it is recommended that you change yours every three to four months, buying in bulk makes a lot of financial sense whether you have a large family or not.

18. Buy: Gasoline

Sam’s Club sells just about anything, yet the real deal isn’t even in the store. If you drive a lot, paying the membership for the warehouse is worth the gas savings alone.

17. Buy: Sugar

Buying sugar in bulk is not reserved for bakeries and grandma who spend their day in the kitchen baking up for the whole neighbourhood. A 10-pound bag of sugar at Sam’s Club can be bought for as low as $5.48, which is likely to be around 15-20 percent less than what you would pay at traditional grocery stores. Good thing sugar doesn’t go bad as long as it is kept properly.

16. Buy: Prescription drugs

Consider switching your prescriptions over to the pharmacy inside your local Sam’s Club. Not only is it convenient, but you will most likely be saving a lot compared to other pharmacies.

15. Buy: Ground beef

Now that you have your charcoal, you might want to pick up some ground beef while you are at it. Getting it in bulk is usually a solid deal even if you are not feeding an army or hosting a garden party. Just freeze the excess!

14. Buy: Frozen food

If you have the space to store it, frozen food is one of the best food product to get in bulk. You’ll save money and it most likely will no go bad before you use it all.

13. Buy: Snacks

If you have kids in school or just like snacks a lot, head to Sam’s Club snack aisle. The prices are generally going to lower than at a typical grocery store. They are also often individually packaged which makes it practical for lunches or as on-the-go snacks.

12. Buy: Wine

That one might seem a little tacky, but who cares when can save on a regular weeknight kind of bottle.

11. Buy: Tires

It’s generally a good idea to invest wisely in things such as tires. But buying quality doesn’t mean skipping on deals. Sam’s Club offers a wide variety of tire brands at competitive prices as well as installation and warranty. In fact, an installation package for members is just $15 a tire and even includes “lifetime balancing and tire rotation, flat repair, waste tire disposal and road hazard protection.”

10. Buy: Pasta

Yet another non-perishable food item. Sam’s Club might not have a variety of pasta as expansive as say Whole Foods or Publix, but they do win on price.

9. Don’t buy: Soda

According to a specialist, unless you need large quantities of soda immediately for a special event, you will save more money by waiting for your favorite soda to go on sale at your local grocery store and stocking up in smaller quantities than getting them at a warehouse.

8. Don’t buy: Canned goods

One would think that stocking up at Sam’s Club on canned foods would be a smart move. After all, these are the ultimate non-perishables… But don’t be mistaken. Unfortunately, canned goods are often on sale at supermarkets for cheaper than warehouse stores like Sam’s Club.

7. Don’t buy: Coffee

All coffee lovers should hold back from purchasing that 51-ounce can of Folgers although it is a bargain. Why? Because unless you plan on going through it pretty fast, your first cup of coffee might not taste quite as good as your fiftieth. Over time and through contact with oxygen, ground coffee beans lose potency.

6. Don’t buy: Cooking oils

Little people know this, but the typical shelf life of cooking oil is between three and six months after opening. If you’re eating keto or just use a lot of it on the regular, then go for it, but if you plan on keeping it in your pantry for longer than this, you should purchase a smaller format than warehouse size.

5. Don’t buy: Spices

Same as with coffee and meds, spices lose their potency over time. So unless you eat couscous every night, get that cumin at the grocery store.

4. Don’t buy: Cereal

Cereal is another thing that Sam’s Club can offer big savings on — assuming you eat nothing but cereal. If you’re not feeding a big family then buying large quantities of cereal is not the best way to stretch your dollar. Cereal can go stale incredibly quickly when exposed to air and buying it at wholesale clubs just isn’t the best use of grocery money.

Breakfast cereals regularly go on sale at traditional grocery stores and when stacked with cutout or online coupons, you could be paying more for your cereal if you choose to buy at Sam’s Club.

3. Don’t buy: Laundry detergent

Reality check: you can usually get laundry detergents for a lot cheaper by buying those items at your local grocery store, especially true if you look for sales and use coupons.

2. Don’t buy: Over-the-counter medication

So, do buy your prescription drugs from Sam’s Club, but when it comes to over-the-counter medication, purchasing large quantities might not be the best choice for your health. Since you never know when or how often you will need them, they could expire before you get through them. Since expired drugs lose its potency quicker, you might when to buy smaller packages instead.

1. Don’t buy: Toilet paper

Don’t get us wrong: a 36 rolls of Charmin for $22 isn’t a bad deal, but it is just not the best. Toilet paper usually goes on sale at most grocery stores the first and third week of the month. And if you get your hands on some coupons on top of that, it will make sense to skip this product next time you go to Sam’s Club.

Source: Mashed