I turned to the dark side and joined Sam's Club today

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,687
2,794
126
It's been several years since I was a member. I joined so I could have access to their fresh meats and spices/seasonings. I spent about 2 hours in the warehouse today walking and checking out every aisle. Sam's Club definitely caters more to small retail businesses and restaurants. This hasn't changed. The product mix and smaller portion sizes with higher quantity count reflect this. Prices are comparable to Costco. Some things are slightly cheaper while other things are slightly more expensive. It's a wash.

Sam's Club reminded me of Costco Business Center rather than regular Costco. And that's a good thing because the nearest Costco Business Center is about one hour away from me while Sam's Club is about 5 minutes away. I loved the meat department at Sam's. It's different enough I'm very happy. Sam's Club carry single bone-in pork butt and full pork spares. I have to drive to Costco Business Center to find that. Regular Costco only sells boneless pork butt in dual pack and St. Louis style pork spares. Same thing with pork shoulder steaks and ox tails. It's only available at Costco Business Center and not regular Costco. And prices at Sam's are comparable to Costco Business Center prices. And Sam's baby back ribs are smaller sized than the giant meaty Smithfield baby backs found at Costco. Sam's Club smaller baby backs is what you want.

Spices/seasoning selection is better at Sam's than Costco. I think Costco has better quality spices but they seriously lack in spice selection. I'm going to stock up on different rubs and seasonings next time I go to Sam's.

Sam's Club has cheaper cold water lobster tails. It's about $6 /lb cheaper at Sam's than Costco and significant enough savings to only buy it at Sam's.

Overall, I think Sam's Club Basic membership is worth the $45 I paid even though I have $120 Costco Executive membership. Sam's Club is 5 minute drive vs 15 minutes for Costco and I like that Sam's Club only carries Angus brand beef along with some different pork cuts compared to Costco. Your mileage may vary.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
24,939
6,578
136
Costco only here ... used to have both but overall for what I buy anyway Sams was always a bit more expensive.

More recently they pulled the plug on my local Sams so any thoughts I might have had of re-upping are shot.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,602
3,609
126
I renewed recently, and then they up & closed the Sam's Club in my area. The next nearest one is out by Costco. Pretty sure I'll be signing up at Costco when my Sam's membership expires :p
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
15,715
2,837
55
No, that's just the dark gray side. The real dark side is Amazon Prime. :p
 
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snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
7,444
4,303
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Now cook some awesome stuff with the food you bought and post some pictures!
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Have costco and BJ. Thinking of swapping the BJ to sams at renewal.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,687
2,794
126
No, that's just the dark gray side. The real dark side is Amazon Prime. :p
I'll never pay for Amazon Prime.

With the tariffs on china crap I'd say your timing could be better :D
Tariffs benefit me. I'm interested in buying US meat. Right now, meat packers and wholesalers have over 2.5 billion pounds of US beef, pork, and chicken stored in cold storage. They're running out of storage room. These companies are trying hard to ride out the Chinese tariffs but we're about to enter the traditional slow period for US meat demand as peak summer grilling season winds down. You combine the slow seasonality with low demand from China because of the tariffs and domestic oversupply with no freezer room, you have the perfect storm for cheap meat prices in the coming winter months. I'm already starting to see some really cheap pork prices, and I expect even cheaper prices soon. I recently paid $0.79 /lb for pork butt. I haven't seen prices that low in years. Beautiful thick bone-in chops are plentiful at $1.45 /lb. I've been eating bone-in chops like crazy the past couple weeks. And I expect prices to keep falling.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,879
2,789
126
I don't understand how the AT ballers here don't have both memberships...
My butlers and chefs might have one but I just tell them what I want and that stuff appears in my walk in refrigerator and pantry room
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
107,984
24,312
146
I go to Sam's a couple of times because I have a friend that it is a member. Their selection isn't as good, but it's a far more pleasant experience. Costco, at any hour of every day, is like navigating through Karachi.

Sam's Club is like a pleasant and open jaunt through a south Florida retirement village.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,687
2,794
126
I don't understand how the AT ballers here don't have both memberships...
It's not the money. it's the perception of value.

I went back to Sam's Club today to buy some ingredients for dinner and ate at the food court for lunch. I got the hot dog combo and churros to compare. It's the same price as Costco but the Sam's hot dog is way inferior. It's about 3/5th the size of Costco dog and the bun is one of those cheap tasteless Great Value hot dog buns. And the beef dog doesn't taste good as Costco dogs. The condiment toppings are inferior as well with no fresh diced onions, spicy mustard, and inferior packaged sauerkraut. It's not even close. And the churros was dry and not that great. It's like if Sam's wanted to match Costco's price but didn't want to lose money and match the quality. I think the food court quality difference kind of sums up why Costco is superior to Sam's Club.
 

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