T Nation

Anyone Shop at Costco/Sam's Club?


If you do, how much do you save? I'm looking into getting a membership to one of these places as my grocery bill is getting insane.



My mom buys bags of frozen salmon filets. You can also buy frozen bags of chicken breasts.

Hell you can buy alot of frozen everything. Its great for bulking diets.


I make up for the $35 membership very quickly just on the 5lb tubs of cottage cheese. If you want to check out the prices you can just walk by the front door person or say you want to join. They'll just point you to the membership desk and you can go wander around.


I like Costco a lot better. Seems to have more variety and better quality.

Chicken Breast, Salmon fillets are available in big quantities. Mostly name or store brand.

It was worth it for us.


I go there every week; cans of tuna, also salmon, cottage cheese, and fresh vegetables like spinach, brocolli, tomatoes and mushrooms. Staples of life!


I had a memebership there a while back. I think it was worth it, only if you use it frequently. You can get good deals on every thing from food to razors to furniture. I bought a tent there once that was $80 cheaper than at a camping outfitter.

Be warned though, it is one of those things that you have to spend money to save money. I found it hard to walk out spending less than $100 a trip, just because the prices are so low, I had to buy it.


It is definitely worth the membership fee in my opinion. If nothing else, their milk is $1-2 a gallon cheaper and at a gallon a week, it is a no brainer. Plus you can get meat and other household supplies in great bulk prices....


The Costco near me has the absolute best meat department around. Its better than any grocery store/butcher around here.


I would be a lot smaller if Sam's did not exist. Well, maybe not, but I would be a lot poorer. These places are a bodybuilder's best friend.


Just a side note here, but the frozen salmon fillets that my Costco's sells are farm raised, while the new frozen Salmon Burgers that they carry are said to be ocean caught. Not sure how much of this matters to you, but if you read TC's recent Power Foods article, he speaks pretty adamantly for ocean caught over farm raised salmon...


We buy almost all our groceries at Costco. As said above, they do have a good meat dept. I have the executive membership that pays you a 2% refund back for everything you buy there with the exception of gas. The Exec membership costs $100 and I've aways gotten more than that back in my refund check. So between that and the regular price savings I swear by the place.

The only knock on Costco is that you'll get used to buying a certain product you like there and one day you'll go in and they don't sell it anymore. I think they make deals with companies for a certain amount of product and once it's gone...it's gone. This doesn't apply to everything but it can get irritating sometimes.

Oh yeah, I forgot the best part. You get taste alot of the food before you buy it. They have these little cooking stations setup all over making dif foods they sell.


Their philosophy on this is that when you shop at Costco, you are going on a "buying adventure". Often those items that you see that are "gone" will be back within a few months. That also allows them to maintain fear in their vendors to keep selling to them at ridiculously low prices. I learned this from one of my clients, who make a food product that Costco frequently carries.


My favorite part. I go there for lunch, eat free goodies & get my shopping done.


Walmart is the same way. Starter seems to only make clothing for them now. Some of their "moisture wicking" shirts are pretty nice...if you can actually catch the decent ones before they stop selling that style forever. It works because I will generally buy more than one if they come out with something decent. It will be the last time I see it anyway and you can't buy straight from the Starter company.


Our family is a big Sam's Club shopping family. It is true that it is hard to get out of there without spending more then $100 each trip.

We also got a great deal on a huge family tent that would have cost close to $400 at REI but only $138 at Sam's Club.

We have also encountered the issue of finding a product that you love and not finding it the next time there, but as it was stated above, it is a grocery adventure when going there.

With two kids and my wife and I to feed, it is truly a money saver compared to normal grocery stores.


I agree, that and you don't support the evil empire.


In this month, I will probably buy about 3 6.5lb bags of chicken breasts from Sam's Club, for about $13 each. At my local Giant Eagle or Kroger, chicken sells for about $4 a pound. So, without Sam's Club, I would spend about $78 on chicken per month, instead, I spend about $39. Thus, for me, I make up the membership costs in one month ON ONE ITEM. I also save big on fruits, bread, nuts, etc, etc, etc.

Definately worth it.


We had a Costco membership for a year and we won't ever pay for one again.

It is a bit out of the way and the prices are no better than the local grocery stores when they put things on sale, which is every week.

My wife takes 10 minutes every Sunday and goes through the ads of the three local supermarkets to get the best prices on things.

She did a cost comparison when we had the membership and found that grocery store sale prices were always better than the Costco price often by a wide margin.

If you don't want to take the time to comparison shop then Costco can be a fair deal because you don't have to wait for the sale or go to multiple stores.

The food samples in Costco are very cool.


Something no one's mentioned: when you're eating 4,000 kCal a day or so, there's one thing you must never, ever, ever come close to running out of.

Toilet Paper. It comes in blocks of, like, a billion for 10 bucks. The good kind, too. None of that one-ply shit for me, thank you.

Plus, the pharmacy section is (especially for the generics) is way cheaper when, as opposed to normal people, you eat multi-vitamins, calcium pills, and glucosamime by the handful.

But, the poster above is right about suff just disappearing from the store. A few months ago, I found massive jars of all-natural peanut butter and stocked up, but now my CostCo doesn';t carry it anymore, leaving me to buy tiny, expensive jar at the supermarket every two days. (I put, like, three heaping tablespoons in every shake. Yummy.)


i have to second and third what most everyone has been saying. a great cost saver for families and lifters on a bulking diet. problem is sams (only one we have) is NOT a grocery store that carries everything you might be looking for. i get a good deal on chicken, lean grnd turkey, milk, eggs, household stuff etc. they have never had ff cott. cheese, lean grnd beef, decent steaks or chops. i hit the grocery once a week and sams once every 3. time is always an issue though.

i have a busn. membership so i can get in at 8am instead of normal opening at 9. this is a lifesaver b/c daytime and weekends are packed. when you do go a couple times youll get a handle on what they do and dont carry and you can shop in 15min. and checkout before the folks start packing in