Sam’s Club/Costco

This is a great place to shop when you’ve got 800 square feet of storage in your kitchen.

If you shop carefully, this can also be a great place to shop if your entire house is only a little more than 800 square feet. The key here is shopping carefully – just because you CAN get a case of everything, doesn’t mean that you have to. We’ve generally avoided toilet paper, paper towels, etc. and the drinks like gatorade or soda that take up a ton of space. Instead, we’ve found that meats, basic staples, and dairy are the way to go.

Pros:

Tons of choices, really cheap meats, free samples if you get the timing right, low prices on just about everything (though Trader Joe’s still beats it on a number of items), one-stop shopping if you’ve got tons of storage, entertainment while you shop (who would’ve thought flooring, TVs, and pickles are all under one roof!).

Cons:

HUGE store that can be exhausting to navigate, difficulty of finding fresh products, inordinate supply of cheap, processed, frozen junk. 

WHAT WE BUY AT SAM’S CLUB:

  • Meat*
    • Beef tenderloin
    • Pork center loin 
    • Chicken breasts (though we never need this many)
    • Sirloin tip roast (beef)
    • Anything else you can find!
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter (so cheap!!)
  • Pickles
  • Condiments
  • Yeast
  • Bouillon

WHAT NOT TO BUY AT SAM’S CLUB:

  • Paper products
  • Fresh produce
  • Sea scallops (for just a little bit more, they’re much better at Trader Joe’s!)
  • Wine
  • Beer

*The value with meat at Sam’s Club comes from the fact that you’re buying whole cuts of meat. The more someone in the back has to carve, cut, and package a piece of meat, the more expensive it’s going to be. One of the best frugal tips we can offer is to do this cutting/carving/butchering yourself instead of paying an extra $10 per pound for someone else to do it for you. There are already tons of guides out there on how to do this with most cuts of meat, but as we butcher our own, we will try to post our own pictures and guides of this money-saving practice.

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