I’ve been a Sam’s Club member for over a decade, and in that time I’ve learned a lot about choosing products that are going to save money.
When I am shopping at Sam’s Club, I have learned that just because a product is a good price, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for me and my family. These are some of my favorite Sam’s Club bargains – things that really do save us money.
Milk. I don’t go out of my way to buy milk at Sam’s Club, but when I’m there I always buy a couple gallons. A gallon of milk is usually about $0.50 less there than at the grocery store, and we use at least two and a half gallons each week (including one gallon just for making yogurt!) the savings really can add up!
Bacon. At the regular grocery store, I’ve seen bacon cost as much as $5 per pound. At Sam’s Club, I can buy 3 pounds of bacon for about $7.50! That’s half the price of the grocery store! And when you go through as much bacon as us (Basketweave BLTs are a favorite at my house), you definitely notice the savings.
Flour. I make a lot of bread (our favorites are Artisan Bread and No-Knead Italian Bread) and we go through a LOT of flour. Sam’s CLub has a 10 pound bag of flour for just over $4, or, if you’re looking to save even more, and don’t mind sifting the flour yourself, you can buy the 25 pound bag for $7.50. I almost always buy the larger bag because I don’t mind sifting the flour myself, and a lot of my recipes don’t necessarily need sifted flour (like homemade playdough or cloud dough).
Tortillas. At our house, every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday. And whether we are having spicy black bean burritos, chicken fajitas or quesadillas, we always need tortillas. At the grocery store, I have paid up to $2 for a 10-pack of flour tortillas, but at Sam’s Club I get 40 tortillas for less than $3. And since we eat them so quickly, I never have to worry about them drying out. (I store them in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator after opening).
Vanilla Extract. I am always shocked at the price of vanilla extract at the grocery store. I can’t imagine paying $4 for a 2 ounce bottle when I can get a 16 ounce bottle for less than $7. The great thing about vanilla extract is even if you don’t use it that often, it keeps for a really long time.
Frozen fruit. At least three nights a week The Goose requests a smoothie for his bedtime snack. And since they are so simple to make (and so healthy!), I never say no. I always use frozen fruit in our smoothies, and I always buy it in big bags at Sam’s Club. They have mango, sliced strawberries, blueberries and cherries – all for around $2 per pound. The fruit is frozen soon after it’s picked, so it’s fresh as can be, and it is really inexpensive. (You’d never be able to find fresh mangos that cheap – especially in the winter in Michigan!)
Yogurt. We eat homemade yogurt at my house (click here to see how I make it), but I still need to buy plain yogurt to use as a starter. At Sam’s Club, I can buy a 38 ounce carton of yogurt for less than $5. I divide it up into small containers and freeze it, which preserves the yogurt cultures. Whenever I need a new starter, I just pull a new container from the freezer.
Laundry Detergent. In order to keep my house relatively clean, I try to do a load of laundry every day. I used to use homemade laundry detergent, but I didn’t really feel as though I was saving a lot of money. Especially when I saw that I could score some major deals on detergent at Sam’s Club. I use All Free and Clear detergent (along with a scoop of Oxiclean) when I wash our clothes, and I can usually buy a 225 ounce jug for less than $11. And even though I do a load a day, a just this size usually lasts at least three months.
Allergy medicine. I have seasonal allergies that I can manage well with over the counter allergy medication. Sam’s Club has several generic and name brand allergy medications available. I use cetirizine (the generic form of Zyrtec), and I am able to purchase a 400 count bottle for just over $16. At the pharmacy, I paid nearly $35 for the 120 tablets at my local pharmacy.
Parchment paper. I use a lot of parchment paper. I use it when I’m baking my favorite peanut butter kiss cookies, homemade granola, and bread. At the grocery store, you pay about $4 for 25 feet. At Sam’s Club you can get 205 square feet for less than $6! It’s such a great bargain that I am always picking up rolls of it for friends and family who aren’t members.
Coffee. We go through a lot of coffee. I have a few cups each morning, and my husband drinks coffee at work. (His office uses a Keurig, and I bought him this reusable K-Cup filter from Amazon). At Sam’s Club, I usually buy the 2 1/2 pound bag of ground Mackinac Island Fudge coffee for around $13. (Our coffee maker has a grinder, but I hardly use it because it is loud and I don’t want The Goose to be jolted awake at 6:30 in the morning!).
Come back tomorrow to see a list of things I NEVER buy at Sam’s Club!