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13 Reasons Why Sam’s Club is a Mom’s Best Friend
Entrance to Sam's Club
I grew up in a strictly Costco household. My parents bought almost everything we needed in our home from Costco. Even now when I visit their California home, I accompany my dad on his routine trips to Costco. When my husband and I bought our home almost six years ago, one of the first decisions we had to make was to decide which warehouse club we wanted to join for our household needs. The closest Costco to us was more than 30 miles away and we had to take a toll road to get there. Needless to say, this wasn't a viable option for us. So we searched around and found BJ's and Sam's Club. (In another article, I discuss the pros and cons of each warehouse we frequent.) Of all the warehouse clubs, I found Sam's Club to be the most mommy-friendly. This article outlines all the reasons why I, as a parent, prefer to shop at Sam's Club more so than the other clubs.
#1 More Time to Do Other Stuff on Mommy To-Do List. Out of all the warehouse clubs, Sam’s Club opens the earliest. As a mom, you are probably up early anyway if you’re like me who has two children who both happen to be morning people. The fact that Sam’s Club opens at 7AM (for Plus and Business Members) allows me to get my day started earlier. By the time the other warehouses start opening their doors, I am already done with my shopping and at home unloading my goods. The two closest Sam’s Club locations are within a ten-minute drive from my home, so that also means I spend less time on the road and more time doing mommy things.
#2 Healthy Snacks to Keep Children Entertained. Most warehouses, if you shop during the day, pass out various samples of their products for you to try to buy. The last time I was at Sam’s Club, they were sampling fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) and citrus fruits (oranges and mandarins). Another station was passing out small cups of yogurt and then another was handing out servings of chicken soup. If your children are in need for more snacks, you can head over to the Freeosk and scan your card for more free samples. This machine often has kid-friendly snacks from GoGo Squeez pouches to Keebler Fudge Stripes. Let’s just say the kids had plenty to snack on while I was getting my shopping done, and I didn’t feel rushed to get out of the warehouse to feed them lunch. Even if I did encroach upon my children’s lunchtime, I would have the option of buying them a chicken sandwich for $1.99 or a hot dog and drink combo that costs $1.50. Unlike other warehouses, Sam’s Club also gives you the option of only purchasing the hot dog for $1.30 if your child already has a sippy cup in tow. If you want to get your child a little snack to hold them over until lunch, try their pretzels. I won’t even begin to compare them to Philadelphia soft pretzels, but they’re not defrosted Superpretzels and they’re not too shabby. Plus, you have the option of getting it with or without salt. And they’re only $0.99!
#3 Coke Products at the Food Counter. I know this may sound like a silly reason to like Sam’s Club (especially if you’re not a Coke fan, I suppose), but this is a definite plus if you are in dire need of caffeine while running your errands. I am not a huge soda fan, but sometimes it is necessary to get yourself a caffeinated drink. And they have more options than your average fast food restaurant! For those of you who don’t drink soda, you have the option to choose from a variety of Gold Peak Iced Teas, Minute Maid Lemonade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, and Hi-C. If you are an expectant mommy, you’ll definitely appreciate the caffeine-free options such as Fanta Ginger Ale (and it helps with nausea, too!). If you’re dying of thirst that day, get your drink at the beginning of your shopping trip so you can take advantage of their free refills while you’re at the club. Oh, and another big plus is that their drink machines use pure, filtered water. Score!
#4 Their Bakery Has More Options Now. Aside from the selection of baked goods such as croissants, muffins, and even cornbread, their cake department has gotten better! Now they offer custom-created specialty cakes in modern designs of your choice (see picture). These tiered cakes start at $49.99. They also have cake and cupcake combos (see picture) if you can’t make up your mind and want to have both for your little one’s party. Speaking of parties, those of you who are parents to school-aged children may not understand why these kids need to have a classroom party almost every other week (call me Mommy Scrooge). However, if you find yourself looking for classroom treats (again!) for 15-30 children, they have a 30ct cupcake tray for less than $15.00! That’s less than $0.50 per child!
#5 Don’t Forget Their Meat Selections! Sam’s Club has a variety of meat cuts available, and their prices are better than other warehouse clubs. (For those of you who feed larger families, they have case prices for some of the most common cuts of protein). They have cuts that are often not available at other warehouse clubs or supermarkets – like L.A. Galbi. As a Korean-American mommy, I like to marinate L.A. Galbi for my children’s lunch sometimes. For those of you who are not familiar with L.A. Galbi, it is a style of barbecued beef short ribs that are cut approximately ¼ inch thick across the bones and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and onion. Some people refer to it as “the “three-bone galbi.” Not only is this cut available primarily at the Korean markets (which aren’t plentiful in our neighborhood), it is quite expensive! The last time I checked, these markets sold this cut of meat for $19.99 a pound! And guess where I saw it for $6.88 a pound!? Cha-ching! More money in Mommy’s wallet!
#6 Easy Returns and Refunds on Fresh Products. My children love the Sunset mini cucumbers that most warehouse clubs carry nowadays. They are great to put in salads and my kids love to dip them in ranch dressing as an afternoon snack. One time I bought a bag of these cucumbers and noticed that the cucumbers at the bottom of the bag were a bit slimy. I almost never return produce but felt compelled to do so this time as none of the cucumbers in the bag were edible and the 2lb bags go for $5.48. I hesitantly went up to the customer service desk the next day to return the cucumbers, as I had no idea how the associate would respond. She didn’t ask any questions and acknowledged that the bag of cucumbers looked bad. Not only did she refund me, but she gave me $10.96 back! She explained to me that Sam’s Club has a 200% guarantee. According to their website, that means “double the Member’s money back OR refund of the original purchase price and replacement of the item.” I had never heard of such a thing! And it wasn’t a secret but plainly written on their website! You also don’t need a receipt to return your produce. This is good to know as we have all lost or thrown away our receipts more than once. With these types of policies in place, you know you can shop with confidence.
#7 Affordable Prices on Fresh Flowers and Gardening. During my recent visit, I noticed a variety of flowers – both fresh cut and for planting. I was amazed at the selection! From peonies to dahlias to hydrangeas and lilacs, it was a flower lover’s paradise! They also had a variety of fruits and vegetables to grow. There were two aisles dedicated to gardening and landscaping. From potting soil to mulch to containers, you could find everything you need to start your spring planting frenzy. In terms of the fresh cut flowers, you could choose from a variety of mixed bouquets or bunches of one type of flower. You could even pick up a glass vase in a number of different hues to complement your blooms. The cut flowers aren’t always fresh here, though. I have seen sad-looking roses on previous visits. However, it is good to know that Sam’s has a 7-Day Freshness Guarantee on all their fresh cut flowers.
#8 Wide Selection of Baby/Children’s Products. Sam’s carries almost every brand of diaper that’s popular on the market. And their prices are better than other big box stores. They carry their own brand for less but I have never used them so I can’t speak for them. You can also find every type of formula as well as other necessities such as car seats, potties, and sippy cups. For those of you who are potty-training toddlers, they also carry underpads (I have yet to see these sold at any of the other warehouse clubs) for nighttime accidents. By the way, did you know that you can use your flex spending cards for underpads? It’s one of very few things that’s covered without a script.
#9 Bulk Pricing on Eating Essentials. Since Sam's Club caters to small businesses as well as families with children, it offers a wide selection of plastic utensils, plastic bags, paper plates, brown bags, basically anything you need to eat on the go in larger quantities. When you have two small children, you are constantly packing snacks and lunches for the car ride or the playground and anything in between. If you are a mommy-entrepreneur, you will find some of their small business essentials useful and affordable. When I started my floral business several years ago, I bought most of my equipment and office supplies here including my cash register (before small businesses relied on their tablets for POS and everyday transactions), printer, and ink cartridges here.
#10 Their Clearance Prices Can’t Be Beat. At the end of the season, Sam’s Club starts marking down their seasonal merchandise so that they can make room for their next seasonal items. About two weeks after Christmas, all their holiday items such as ornaments, ribbons, and wrapping paper were all 75% off their regular prices. Most warehouse clubs stop at 50% off or get rid of the items altogether. One time I saw a pair of girls OshKosh B’Gosh bootleg jeans at Sam’s Club for under $3.00. What??? Check out the price tag on the two-piece Puma tracksuit for girls!
#11 Clipless Coupons. Need I say more? Sam’s Club coupons can be automatically uploaded onto your membership card so that you don’t ever have to clip and carry them with you. With a million things on our mind and our bags bigger than Mary Poppins’ who has the brain or storage capacity for paper coupons!? You'll also receive an email reminder that the coupons are nearing their expiration date so you can swing by the warehouse on your next errand trip.
#12 Low Gas Prices. The location nearest to my house does not have a gas station (such a bummer), but the location I visit in New Jersey does and the prices are always the lowest in the area (approximately $0.30 a gallon cheaper than other gas stations). Not only do I get to fill up my tank for under $25.00, but Sam’s Club gas stations accept Visa.
#13 Satisfaction Guaranteed. If these aren’t reasons enough for you to pledge Sam’s Club into your BFF circle, Sam’s Club will refund your Membership fee in full on or before the expiration date if you are not completely satisfied.