5 Sam’s Club Items Frugal People Never Buy

slobo / iStock.com
slobo / iStock.com

A Sam’s Club membership can save you money, but every item isn’t a steal. When making their shopping list for the members-only club, frugal shoppers never include certain products.

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These penny-pinching consumers stretch their dollar to the max, so they don’t consider Sam’s Club a one-stop shop. Instead, they make a habit of comparison shopping, which allows them to see which retailers have the best deals on items they need.

It’s easy to get swept away by the low prices offered at your local warehouse store, but overpaying for items on your shopping list never makes sense. Therefore, it’s important to know which products are truly a great deal, and which to shop for elsewhere.

Planning an upcoming trip to Sam’s Club? Take a cue from frugal shoppers and remove the following five items from your shopping list.

alvarez / Getty Images
alvarez / Getty Images


The unit price of fresh produce might be cheaper at Sam’s Club than your local grocery store, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy it,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.

“If you don’t have plans for all the produce or a place to store excess, it’s a purchase that could end up being more expensive, if you have to throw anything out that’s gone off,” she said. “It can be especially tempting to buy produce that may be more expensive elsewhere because Sam’s Club will provide a better price most of the time.”

For example, she said you might find a great price on avocados, but if you’re not going to use them quickly, it’s best to skip this type of purchase.

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Sam’s Club has a huge variety of jumbo-sized cereals, but Ramhold said it’s best to steer clear of this unless you’re certain your household will eat it relatively quickly.

“If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat the bulk quantities of breakfast cereal before it goes stale, then it’s best to hold off on purchasing these items from Sam’s Club,” she said. “Instead, shop your favorites on sale at your local grocery store or even opt for generics, which are always cheaper than name-brand and often just as good.”

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Astarot / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Astarot / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Bakery Items

It can take serious willpower not to purchase delicious-looking Sam’s Club desserts and pastries, but in most cases, Ramhold advised against it.

“These kinds of things are great for a party setting, but if you aren’t feeding a crowd, you’ll likely end up having to throw some of these out,” she said.

However, she said certain bakery items like breads and some pastries will freeze well, so they could be worth considering.

“But when it comes to things like already-frosted cupcakes and cakes with fresh fruit, freezing these items will change their texture,” she said. “Because of that, it’s best to avoid these kinds of products, unless you know for sure they’ll be eaten and you can avoid losing any.”


When browsing the aisles at Sam’s Club, it can be tempting to fill your cart with giant containers of low-priced condiments — but frugal shoppers won’t dare. While most condiments don’t expire too quickly, it’s unrealistic for most people to come anywhere close to using them up before they perish.

For example, a 114-ounce container of Member’s Mark Grade A Fancy Ketchup is just $4.98 at Sam’s Club. This is a great price, but after opening a container of ketchup, it can only be refrigerated for up to six months before it goes bad, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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lo / Shutterstock.com
lo / Shutterstock.com

Laundry Detergent

When it comes to laundry, frugal people know Sam’s Club doesn’t always have the lowest prices on detergent.

For example, a 170-fluid-ounce bottle of Tide Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent is $24.98 — $0.15 per ounce — at Sam’s Club(10). Similarly, a 154-fluid-ounce bottle of Tide High Free and Gentle Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent is $21.49 — $0.14 per ounce —  at Target.

Not only is the detergent cheaper at Target, but the retailer frequently offers promotions that offer even greater savings.

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