Costco or Sams?


I’m in a quandary. My quaint little town is getting rather large. How do I know this? Because we’ve only had the option of Sam’s Club to purchase our giant stacks of toilet paper until now. Costco is coming to town and set to open in a month’s time.

My current Sam’s Club membership is one of those fancy Sam’s Plus Business memberships courtesy of Mike and his business so that I can shop early and stand in the almost always empty business member line so I can look at the people who have to wait in and line and think about how well we spent that extra money to not have to wait.

For those that aren’t aware the basic Sam’s saving membership is $45 for the year and comes with a bonus membership. The Sam’s Plus Business Membership is $100 per year and, oddly enough, you have to have a legit business to get one. They check. If you want to shop early you can get the regular plus membership for the same price as the business membership but do not have access to the fancy business member only lane which is often a beacon of hope when I’m shopping with my littles and don’t want to wait in line.

When looking at Costco’s website I can see that their basic membership is $60, a whopping $15 more than Sam’s Club. Costco’s Executive Business Membership is $120 for the year, $20 more than Sam’s Club.

So what are the positives of Costco as opposed to Sam’s Club to warrant that extra $20 a year? I’ve never shopped at a Costco so I really do need some help on this one. Do they have the special business membership line? Are their posted hours of operation better? I know they pay their employees better wages which is something I can always get behind and support.

We are what we like to call European shoppers. We call ourselves that because it makes us feel fancy. Really we just daily shop at the closest local market to our home to help save on food waste. We used to be biweekly shoppers, sinking most of our grocery budget into Sam’s Club to save cash money on bulk items hoping they would last.

What we found was that if the kids liked something, even if I bought 150 of them, they were gone in 2 days and didn’t last the 2 weeks. Or if they didn’t like something we ended up throwing it out because it expired before we were able to use it. Both situations didn’t make sense for us which is why we became fancy European shoppers instead. Can you keep a secret? It also keeps my refrigerator a lot cleaner which in turn makes me look like I have time to clean my refrigerator even though I really don’t. So now we just purchase paper products and the occasional giant veggie tray for school functions from Sam’s Club.

Right now, Costco in my town is offering a $20 gift card to sign up for the business membership, which brings my first year’s investment to a wash as it would be the same as what I spent at Sam’s Club. Costco is also a much closer drive from my house. This alone has me wanting to switch to try out Costco for the year.

Why do you shop at Costco as opposed to Sam’s Club or Sam’s Club as opposed to Costco? What are you purchasing there, and is it worth the yearly membership to do so?