Costco vs Sam’s vs. BJ’s: Warehouse Club Price Comparison

By Lauren
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    Warehouse Club Price Comparison: Costco vs. Sam's Club vs. BJ's – which store is cheaper? I'm definitely a fan of warehouse club stores for many products (although not everything), but for lot's of items, they can be great. But if you live in an area that has the big 3 warehouse club stores, Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's, how do you know which is cheaper? That's why I put together this Costco vs. Sam's vs. Bj's Warehouse Club Price Comparison of commonly purchased items. I hope it helps!!

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Costco vs. Sam's vs. BJ's

    Have you ever wondered which store was cheaper? Costco vs. Sam's vs. BJ's – it's a price comparison I've always wanted to do. So I took the time to go through these huge warehouse stores and compare prices to find the best deals on staple items.

    Today I am going to take your through all three stores to compare the exact same products. We will see through this in depth look which store really is least expensive! Clark Howard posted the first few items in this Costco vs. Sam's vs. BJ's warehouse club price comparison, but this post has the complete list!

    Keep in mind that prices vary per city, so this is just a general look at the price comparison between stores. Also, if the item was on sale when we gathered prices then we still used the regular price. Use these prices for everyday shopping and rock those deals when they come around!

    If you want to see how some other common store prices, you can see my in depth report on Aldi vs. Walmart or Walmart vs. Target.

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Bananas
    BJ’s – $1.39 (3 lb bag) = $0.47 per pound (TIED!)
    Costco – $1.39 (3 lb bag) = $0.47 per pound (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – $1.48 (3 lb bag) = $0.50 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Green Bell Peppers
    BJ’s – $5.29 (4 pk) = $1.33 each
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $5.98 (6 pk) = $1.00 each (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Cheerios Cereal
    BJ’s – $5.39 (40.7 oz – on sale when pic was taken) = $0.13 per ounce (TIED!)
    Costco – $5.39 (40.7 oz – on sale when pic was taken) = $0.13 per ounce (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – $5.68 (40.7 oz) = $0.14 per ounce

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Jif Peanut Butter
    BJ’s – $8.79 (96 ounces) = $0.09 per ounce (WINNER!)
    Costco – no price available
    Sam’s Club – $10.48 (96 ounces) = $0.11 per ounce

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Skippy Peanut Butter
    BJ’s – $8.99 (96 ounces) = $0.09 per ounce (TIED!)
    Costco – $8.99 (96 ounces – on sale in image) = $0.09 per ounce (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – no price available

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    White Bread
    BJ’s – $2.49 (2 pack of 20 ounce loaves) = $0.06 per ounce (WINNER!)
    Costco – $3.99 (2 pack of 24 ounce loaves – on sale in pic) = $0.08 per ounce
    Sam’s Club – $3.58 ( 2 pack of 22 ounce loaves) = $0.08 per ounce

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Wheat Bread
    BJ’s – $2.99 (2 pack of 20 ounce loaves) = $0.07 per ounce
    Costco – $4.49 (2 pack of 32 ounce loaves) = $0.07 per ounce (WINNER! by a fraction of a penny)
    Sam’s Club – $3.86 (2 pack of 20 ounce loaves) $0.10 per ounce

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Milk
    BJ’s – $2.09 (1 gallon) (TIED!)
    Costco – $2.09 (1 gallon) (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – $2.50 (1 gallon)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Kraft American Cheese Slices
    BJ’s – $11.49 (4 pounds of slices – on sale when image was taken) = $2.87 per pound
    Costco – $9.99 (4 pounds of slices) = $2.50 per pound (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $7.98 (3 pounds of slices) = $2.66 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese
    BJ’s – $7.49 (2 pounds)
    Costco – no price available
    Sam’s Club – $7.48 (2 pounds) (WINNER! by a penny)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Butter
    BJ’s – $8.99 (4 pounds) = $2.25 per pound (TIED!)
    Costco – $8.99 (4 pounds) = $2.25 per pound (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – $10.18 = $2.55 per pound (4 pounds)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Yogurt, GoGurt
    BJ’s – $7.49 (32 count) = $0.23 per serving
    Costco – $6.99 (32 count – Simple variety) = $0.22 per serving
    Sam’s Club – $6.98 (32 count) = $0.22 per serving (WINNER by a penny!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Greek Yogurt, Chobani NonFat
    BJ’s – $4.69 (38 ounces) = $0.12 per ounce
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $4.98 (38 ounces) = $0.13 per ounce

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Greek Yogurt, Store Brand NonFat 
    BJ’s – $6.99 (64 ounces) = $0.11 per ounce
    Costco – $6.99 (64 ounces) = $0.11 per ounce
    Sam’s Club – No price available

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Eggs
    BJ’s – No price available
    Costco – $6.49 (3 dozen) = $2.16 per dozen (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $7.13 (3 dozen) = $2.38 per dozen

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
    BJ’s – $1.99 per pound
    Costco – $2.89 per pound
    Sam’s Club – $1.88 per pound (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs (same price for either variety)
    BJ’s – $0.99 per pound (WINNER!)
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $1.27 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Ground Beef
    BJ’s – $3.59 per pound (85% lean)
    Costco – $3.69 per pound (88% lean)
    Sam’s Club – $3.28 per pound (80% lean) (WINNER! although the fat content is different)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Sandwich Meat – Ham
    BJ’s – $9.99 (2 pounds) = $5.00 per pound (WINNER!)
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $6.98 (1.375 pounds) = $5.08 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Sandwich Meat – Turkey
    BJ’s – $7.29 (2.5 pounds) = $2.92 per pound (WINNER!)
    Costco – $9.89 (3 pounds) = $3.30 per pound
    Sam’s Club – $9.88 (1.375 pounds) = $7.19 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Sandwich Meat – Variety Pack
    BJ’s – $9.99 (3 pounds) = $3.33 per pound (TIED!)
    Costco – $9.99 (3 pounds) = $3.33 per pound (TIED!)
    Sam’s Club – $12.88 (2 pounds) = $6.44 per pound

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Baby Wipes – Store Brand
    BJ’s – $19.99 (1140 wipes) = $0.0175 per wipe (WINNER!)
    Costco – $19.99 (900 wipes) = $0.0222 per wipe
    Sam’s Club – $17.86 (1000 wipes) = $0.0179 per wipe

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Baby Wipes – Pampers Sensitive
    BJ’s – $24.99 (1024 wipes) = $0.024 per wipe (WINNER!)
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $19.98 (808 wipes) = $0.025 per wipe

    Diapers – National Brand

    Each store carried different brands and different varieties. It was impossible for our team to truly compare these products from the stores we visited.

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Diapers – Store Brand (We used size 3 in all varieties to get a true comparison.)
    BJ’s – $22.99 (160 diapers) = $0.144 per diaper
    Costco – $38.99 (210 count) = $0.186 per diaper
    Sam’s Club – $34.94 (252 count) = $0.139 per diaper (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Toilet Paper – Charmin Ultra Strong
    BJ’s – $28.99 (48 rolls of 209 sheets) = $0.29 per 100 sheets
    Costco – $19.99 (30 rolls of 231 sheets) = $0.29 per 100 sheets
    Sam’s Club – $22.48 (24 rolls of 330 sheets) = $0.28 per 100 sheets (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Toilet Paper – Store Brand
    BJ’s – $18.99 (36 rolls of 1000 sheets) = $0.05 per 100 sheets (WINNER!)
    Costco – $14.99 (30 rolls of 425 sheets) = $0.12 per 100 sheets
    Sam’s Club – $17.86 (45 rolls of 220 sheets) = $0.18 per 100 sheets

    Paper Towels – Bounty
    Each store sold a different variety (some Soft, some regular size, some Select-A-Size) which made it impossible for a side by side comparison.

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Paper Towels – Store Brand Select-A-Size variety
    BJ’s – $14.99 (12 rolls of 144 sheets) = $0.87 per 100 sheets
    Costco – $15.79 (12 rolls of 160 sheets) = $0.82 per 100 sheets
    Sam’s Club – $16.48 (15 rolls of 142 sheets) = $0.73 per 100 sheets (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Dishwashing Detergent – Finish All in 1 Powerballs
    BJ’s – $14.99 (100 count) = $0.15 per use
    Costco – $14.49 (145 count) = $0.10 per use (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $13.78 (100 count) = $0.14 per use

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Dishwashing Detergent – Store Brand
    BJ’s – $9.99 (85 count) = $0.12 per use
    Costco – $9.69 (110 count) = $0.09 per use (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $9.98 (105 count) = $0.10 per use

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Plastic Cups – Store Brand
    BJ’s – $7.99 (200 count) = $0.040 per cup (WINNER! yes, by a fraction of a penny)
    Costco – $9.89 (240 count) = $0.041 per cup
    Sam’s Club – $10.68 (240 count) = $0.045 per cup

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Paper Plates – Store Brand, 9 inches
    BJ’s – $11.99 (375 plates) =$0.032 per plate
    Costco – $9.59 (620 plates) = $0.015 per plate (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $15.98 (600 plates) = $0.027 per plate

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Trash Bags – Glad Force Flex 13 gallon Kitchen Bags
    BJ’s – $16.99 (140 count) = $0.121 per bag
    Costco – $15.99 (140 count) = $0.114 per bag (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – $16.87 (140 count) = $0.121 per bag

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Trash Bags – Store Brand, 13 gallon kitchen size
    BJ’s – $13.99 (150 count) = $0.093 per bag
    Costco – $13.89 (200 count) = $0.069 per bag
    Sam’s Club – $12.96 (200 count) = $0.065 per bag (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Toothpaste – Colgate Total Whitening
    BJ’s – $11.99 (5 X 7.8 ounces = 39 ounces) = $0.31 per ounce
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $10.79 (5 X 7.8 ounces = 39 ounces) = $0.28 per ounce (WINNER!)

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Toothpaste – Colgate Optic White
    BJ’s – $8.99 (3 X 5 ounce tubes = 15 ounces) = $0.60 per ounce
    Costco – $14.99 (5 X 6.3 ounce tubes = 31.5 ounces) = $0.48 per ounce (WINNER!)
    Sam’s Club – No price available

    costco vs. sam's vs. bj's

    Razors – Gillette Sensor2 Plus Disposable
    BJ’s – $26.99 (52 count) = $0.52 per razor
    Costco – No price available
    Sam’s Club – $26.96 (52 count) = $0.52 per razor (WINNER by $0.03 on the entire pack)

    The results are in!

    Costco vs. Sam's vs. BJ's – Head to Head Unit Pricing Results
    # of Wins/Ties for Best Price
    BJ’s – 15
    Costco – 14
    Sam’s Club – 11

    After seeing the side by side details here in this Costco vs. Sam's vs. BJ's price comparison, we can see that BJ’s is least expensive on more items than the other stores. But it was a hugely competitive matchup! It seems to me that it could be worth it to have memberships to a few of these warehouses if they’re close enough to make it worth the drive.

    What do you think about this, were you surprised at all?

     

    COMMENTS

  • What a stupid thing to say, Olin. If you don’t like what’s on the comparison list, move on to do your own comparison shopping.
    Thank you for taking the time to present something to people who are curious and don’t have a lot of experience at multiple warehouse stores, Ms. Greutman.

  • I was strictly BJs for years. I lived right near the Stoughton, MA location and it was a life saver. I moved and joined Costco but rarely go. I prefer BJs 100%.

  • We joined BJ’s after being asked to join that, and Costco of course. I agree BJ’s is much cheaper and worth it. Especially since BJ’s doesn’t pay international retail fees, so they can have more locations here in the U.S.
    As for the amount of food, often times Costco and Sam’s Club appear to have more because there’s fewer locations, therefore all the products are being shipped to one store in an area, rather than 5 in a 100 mile radius. Each BJ’s is not 100% the same and they send coupons for products that are on sale to let people know what to try and buy from the store. Not only that but I get 5cents off BJ’s gas if I shop and get gas – if I had a BJ’s credit card, it would be at least 10 cents off a gallon. Costco and Sam’s Club claim to have low gas prices, but I have never seen evidence of savings (or any potential to save) on gas at Costco or Sam’s.

    • costco gas no idea
      sam’s if you have their cc , 5% off per gallon
      bj’s if you have their cc, 10 cents per gallon off

  • I have been a BJ’s member for as long as they have been in Ct. I have family that belongs to Costco so I have shopped there on their membership. BJ”S is cheaper than Costco and their membership is less expensive, however, Costco has a larger inventory. I have shopped at Walmart for years and I have recently started shopping at Aldi’s , they compare to one another, I think equally.

    Comparing them to Bj’s and Costco I like the idea I not have to buy in bulk since there is only two of us living I our home.

  • I was member of BJs for couple years and recently I took the membership of Sams
    The big major difference I noticed is you find more USDA certified organic products in Sams, in bjs we rarely find them
    I used to go to BJS once in a month or sometimes even longer gap between my visits, it is not because of distance it is because of things I buy there and they usually sell bulk like two three items together. But after I moved sams I started going to sams almost every weekend or the other, the reasons are I find more organic products as said earlier, most of items packaged small like in any other general stores so you do not need to buy a lot when you do not need and variety of food.
    Bjs has coupon systems, I used save at least $8 avg on each trip with the coupons and sams does not have coupon system but they have discounts on items. Bjs does have discounts as well.
    Prices might appear higher in sams as you might find more organic products but I do not see much difference though but I started buying more in sams because I feel like I am buying for a week and healthy stuff.
    In bjs, non food related you find more varieties like tissue papers, or dish liquids etc.. where as sams has limited variety when comes to non food.
    Sams club customer care sucks, I supposed to receive $20 joining promotion gift card and I called customer care for many times in last 4 months and still I have not received my gift card.

  • I like the comparison list. I used to shop at BJ’s but now that a Costco has opened up in our area we went to look around to do a comparison of our own
    I myself like the item selection at Costco and non food items are cheaper at Costco than BJ’s but Costco is further from my home than BJ’s I think what it will come down to is that Costco offers a cash back program on their membership card without having to open up a line of credit and if your cash back at the end of the year is equal or less than the cost of their standard membership they will refund you half the cost of elite membership, which I think is $110
    So I’m going to try it for a year and see what happens.

  • The lunch meats that you compared at Sam’s were their premium lunch meats in the deli section. If you go to the cold foods section (next to the frozen foods) you will find ham and turkey sliced meats that are much closer in quality and price.

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