Sam’s Club, Worth The Cost
The cost of the Sam’s Club membership is currently just $45. This makes it cheaper than Costco by $15. In addition, Sam’s has more clubs although the margin is slim. If I were to pick one club to expand faster, I would bet on Sam’s with their Walmart drive. This, for me, makes Sam’s the winner. Cheaper card and more locations.
Discount Club Benefits
There are a number of benefits that are exclusive to Sam’s Club members. Here are a few ways that I saved this year with my card.
Groceries & Household Staples
This is the obvious benefit. I used Sam’s to save a lot of money on groceries. This is not to say that I bought everything there. I rarely bought meat. I mainly shop for meat at local chain grocery stores who put it on sale. Meat like boneless chicken breast and hamburger are often loss leaders so I buy it at grocery stores and freeze it.
The things that you will really save on are staples like rice, seasonings and snacks. My kids, for example, are mini muffin fiends. I can get a 20 pack for the same price as a couple of five packs at the grocery store. That is a huge savings.
In addition, things like paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies are much cheaper bought in bulk at Sam’s.
Overall, my family spends about $500 a month at Sam’s and saves an easy $100 to $150 off what we would have spent at a grocery store. That is $1200 to $1800 a year.
The next biggest area where we save every month is at the pump. Sam’s fuel prices are typically about 5 cents a gallon cheaper than surrounding pumps. That is a buck every time I fuel up. Not a huge savings but one that adds up. Plus, it just feels good to pay less on gas. For some reason, saving money on fuel is the most rewarding savings.
This is one that you might not even know about but you can get a rebate from Sam’s on your next car purchase. Just sign up for the Sam’s Auto Buying Program. I bought a Ram 1500 Quad Cab this year and got and $500 rebate.
I just signed up for the program and they emailed me a certificate number that gave me an additional $500 off of my Ram. That is over all of the dealer and factory discounts. It doesn’t stop at ram, you can get rebates on just about every major brand and they can get higher than $500 too.
There are a lot of little perks that you get with your card. One big one, that everybody can use is free flat tire repair. That is a service that can cost you $20 or more at a tire store. I am always getting nails in my tires and can take advantage of this service twice a year, if not more.
In addition, Sam’s also offers deals on travel and services and is a great place to find presents during the holiday season. They are also great about other seasonal deals. During the summer months find charcoal, patio sets, kayaks and more on sale. During the winter, find warm clothing, patio warmers and more for cheap.
All in all, I save an average of $2000 a year by shopping at Sam’s Club. This year, because of the auto rebate, I will save over $2500.
You can see the huge savings potential. Even if you do not take advantage of the club as much as me and my family, you can easily save enough to justify the low $45 membership cost.
Frequent club users however should also take advantage of the plus membership like I do. It pays for itself many times over. Learn more about Plus below.
Is Sam’s Club Plus Membership Worth It?
The biggest perk to the Plus membership is the cash back rewards. You get $10 back for every $500 that you spend. The cost of the membership is $100 versus the standard membership price of $45. This means, all other benefits aside, you need to earn $55 in rewards for the card to pay for itself. Thats $2750 a year or about $230 a month.
So, if you spend at lest $230 a month at Sam’s Club, it is worth it to upgrade to plus and get the extra benefits. If you have a family, spending over $200 a month is a pretty easy mark to reach. I myself earn enough in a year to completely pay for my $100 membership plus some. So I essentially get a Sam’s Plus card for free
Now, about those benefits. Those extra benefits include free shipping on online purchases, extra discounts on glasses and some good prescription drug deals. The biggest extra perk however is the ability to get into the store at 7AM. Nothing like beating the crowd and that time is up to 3 hours earlier than the time everyone else can get in. It makes shopping a whole lot more pleasant to not have to deal with crowds or long checkout lines.