Sam’s Club vs. Aldi USA
Sam’s Club vs. Aldi USA
This is the first of a series of articles that will review Sams Club vs Aldi price comparisons. I shop in Western New York, specifically, the Niagara County area. I hope that you find the comparisons and information useful!
Is the membership fee worth the money?
As most of your are aware, Sam’s Club charges a membership fee annually to its members, and in return, you receive membership pricing on its products. At the time of this writing, a business or personal membership is $45, and in NYS, you must also pay 8% sales tax. The total price of the cheapest membership available is $48.60 per year. Sam’s Club does offer a $100 membership with added prescription and other benefits. My goal is to analyze whether purchasing a Sam’s Club membership is truly worth the benefits. I have noticed that many of Aldi USA prices are comparable.
As frugal shoppers, we eat lots of eggs because they are so good for you. And, they are just about the cheapest form of animal protein available. They’re low-calorie, so that makes them very popular for anyone who wants to eat healthy.
At Sam’s Club, we found 36 eggs for $2.02. Sam’s Club unit pricing on this product is at least easy to compare with another store, because they measure by the dozen. These are $0.673 cents per dozen. That’s a very good price when compared with an ordinary grocery store, such as TOPS Supermarkets or Wegman’s. The price difference per dozen eggs is only $0.02 cents per dozen.
The same day, we went to Aldi, and found a dozen eggs for $0.65 cents.
What about a taste or quality difference? Do store-bought eggs really taste any different from brand to brand? I truly have found that eggs taste better only when purchased from a local provider, fresh from the hen. I would say that the difference in taste or quality between the eggs from Sam’s Club or Aldi is just about the same.
Next, we’ll take a look at ciabatta rolls – one of my favorites! At Sam’s Club, we can buy an eight (8) count package for $3.98. That comes out to $0.4975 cents per roll.
At Aldi, we can buy a six (6) count package for $2.49. The math on this package comes out to $0.415 cents per roll. Again, Aldi is beating Sam’s Club, this time by $0.0825 cents per roll.
How about the taste or quality differences in the rolls? I found them both pretty good. Ciabatta rolls use a plain white flour in the ingredients, so you won’t find any different products like whole wheat or gluten-free available. The Sam’s Club ciabatta rolls have a light, airy center and a slightly floury surface. The Aldi ciabatta rolls have a light, airy center very similar to the Sam’s Club rolls. The exterior has a mild garlic oil on the outside, so there is a somewhat different flavor than the Sam’s Club rolls. I found that the Aldi rolls taste better. Both of the rolls are good tasting, just a little different. I would be happy to serve either.
Careful shoppers, take note!
This is a great example of why unit pricing laws aren’t very effective in New York State. In this great example, you can see that Sam’s Club does its unit pricing by the ounce, and Aldi does it by the pound. That means that you still can’t compare prices accurately without figuring the costs and converting either to ounces or to pounds.
Next, we’ll move on to facial tissues. The day we went shopping, Sam’s Club was having an Instant Savings event, so the price of Kleenex Facial Tissue was discounted. We’ll break out the costs for both the regular and the Instant Savings discount.
The tissues cost $15.98 (or Instant Savings price $12.98) for 12 packages of 160 sheets each. This works out to $1.33 (or Instant Savings price $1.08) for each package of tissue.
Aldi’s carries the Willow brand. We’re pretty lucky – our comparison packages from Sam’s Club and from Aldi are both of the same number of tissues – 160 tissues in each box. So, our chore to discover the better price is much easier in this case because the Aldi Willow brand tissue is clearly priced at $0.99 cents per box of 160 tissues.
Product comparisons here are easy, too. The Kleenex Facial Tissues are a lot softer on the face (I know this especially after just having gotten over a heavy cold, LOL!) than the Aldi Willow brand. They are not, though, as strong as the Aldi Willow brand, by any means. The Aldi Willow brand reminds me of the tissues that were promoted toward men some years ago – they are a little tougher and stronger if you’ve got a real blower of a nose. I’ve really never understood the idea of the tissues that marketer’s promote as being really soft on the nose and face; I’m going to get it full of snot and throw it in the garbage – it won’t be on my face very long!
Here’s a spreadsheet for us to review these four price and product comparisons below. Although we had to buy more eggs and facial tissue at Sam’s Club, I am using just our ‘unit price’ for our spreadsheet. Keeping it simple makes it easier to remember!
|Facial Tissue||$1.33 ($1.08)||$0.99||$0.34 ($0.09)|
|Totals||$2.50 ($2.25)||$2.055||$0.445 ($0.195)|
So, from these three (3) items, if we compare just one package of each, we would save between $0.45 cents and $0.20 cents. This does not take the cost of the Sam’s Club membership into consideration, but of course we would never base a membership on the cost of just these three items alone. A Sam’s Club membership is great when purchasing a big-ticket item. But what if you don’t buy those items very often? We’re trying to live better without spending a lot of money, so we might not even want or need to buy a big-ticket item every year from Sam’s Club. These are the things I want to focus on: is the membership worth the money and the extra time (and temptation!!) of going into the club?
My next article in this series will feature olive oils – a very confusing product to buy! Let’s see what I can learn and share with you! See you then!