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Costco vs. Sams

DrugCoderDrugCoder Posts: 219
edited 1:45AM in EggHead Forum
We were just informed the other day that we would be getting our first Costco to the area. We do have a Sams Club that has been here for many years.

For those who have both in your area, which do you prefer? I've heard that Costco is a lot like Sams but carries better brands and they sell wine. I've always had decent luck with meats from Sams. Should I expect the same or better from Costco?

Hopefully the county keeps up their part of the bargain so Costco can finish by their deadline at the end of the summer. Unfortunately this particular county isn't known for keeping up their end of bargains like this...


  • I love the meat at Sams, but I do not have Costco in my area so I can't make any comparisons
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I prefer the butts from Sam's, they are not enhanced and they are bone in. If I'm making sausage though, I'll use Costco's because they are boneless. -RP
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,203
    I only have Sam's aand B.J's near. Some friends who shop costco in Orlando say the meat is eggcelent and the ribs appear to have the membrane already off.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,388
    no Costco for 170 miles, but our Sam's seems to do right by our market. As for the wine thing - that may be a factor of local liquor licensing restrictions - ours has an EXTENSIVE wine department as well as hard liquor, but no beer.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • We have both. We were members of Sam's for many years, but I've let that membership go because we prefer Costco much more. I think Costco's meat is outstanding .... most is "choice" grade, but I have seen "prime".

    I also think the brands are a notch or two higher than Sam's.

    Also, Costco has an amazing return policy. No questions asked. I bought a Canon point and shoot for carrying around. I took pictures with it for about a month and decided I just didn't like the interface. Nothing wrong with the camera, though. They took it back without question. I haven't taken anything back in about a year, but I think that is still their policy.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    Consider yourself very lucky to be getting a COSTCO near you. IMHO there is no comparison. I just recently joined the Costco in AZ and I absoulutely love it. The meat dept. is incredible, they have a nice selection of prime. I like the fact that their ribs are cryovaced with 2 in a pack vs. Sam's always does 3. I like to see what I am buying. A wonderful cheese dept. And they're prices on wine and liquor will beat anyones.
  • Ribs with membrane removed!?! That would be awesome!

    The wine thing does have to do with local restrictions. In one county (where Sams is) you cannot sell wine in a grocery store. Beer is fine in grocery stores and they can sell on Sundays.

    In the neighboring county where Costco is coming in, you CAN sell wine and beer in grocery stores, but you cannot sell alcohol on Sundays.
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    I have both and I prefer COSTCO. Most, if not all of their meat comes from places like US Foodservice which provides meat to most of the restaurants around here along with SYSCO. Almost any time my USF rep drops off meat for me he has some of the same meat packaged in Kirkland boxes for the COSTCO near me. Costco also sells some things cheaper (buns) than I can get from suppliers.
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I use both. But I use Costco most.
    Costco doesn't have ground chuck, Sam's does. Never tried Sam's butts, I use BJ's for that. etc, etc. Different preferences for each store. Lucky to have all three.
  • Kenny 13Kenny 13 Posts: 321
    No Costco around here. I'm lucky to have my Sam's membership paid by my employer, as I frequently have to go there to pick up supplies for the office and shop. IMO it's difficult to find any place around here that can beat the quality of meat I can find at Sam's. Don't really have any butchers around here, so they are the next best thing.
  • I have a membership to both, and both are within 5 miles of the house. I only go to Costco. They have a better selection on everything, and to me, it's cleaner.

    I don't have a butcher shop near me, so I rely on Costco and one of the local grocery stores for my meat.
  • BBQFanBBQFan Posts: 15
    I have a card at all three of the joints.. By far, Costco wins for me hands down. The only problem is that I have to travel 52 miles to my nearest Costco. For meat, I really prefer BJs over Sams. Sams Club is owned by Walmart and I am not sure if that is why it puts a funky taste in my mouth.
  • I drive 35 miles away, past the Sam's on the way (7 miles) to get to the nearest Costco. Our experience has been that the brands are generally better, and we prefer the prepared ready-to-cook dishes that Costco has. The meat always seems very good, and the bakery makes a number of items we prefer to even some of the better bakery's nearby (Chibatta rolls, cupcakes, and sheet cakes all rock).

    We walked in last summer and after searching to heck and back for a patio set for our 3-season room, found the exact thing we'd pictured in our mind as we walked in the door. Pure luck on that one, but it seems that happens more often than not when we go in there (expensive problem, but I guess a good problem).

    Not saying Sam's isn't fine, but for what we like, Costco has served us well.
  • I have only shopped Costco Their meats are very good. I have been told by Friends that Costco meats are better.
  • NoVA BillNoVA Bill Posts: 3,005
    Hey Richard, the spares I get at Costco still have the membrain on. All-in-all I'm very happy with the meat department at my Costco. I don't have a Sams nearby to compare it to.
  • JohnBJohnB Posts: 181
    I don't know if this makes any difference, but Costco has a reputation for treating their employees very well -- paying a decent wage, good health benefits, etc... which translates into a higher employee retention rate and ultimately a better experience for the shopper.
  • We have had a Sam's membership for years. That was pretty much the only game in town when we were in Austin. Moved to Colorado and decided to try Costco, we've only had our membership there for about a month.

    From what I can see, packer briskets are always in stock at Sam's. The briskets I've seen at Costco are flats only.
  • I belong to both here in Metro Atlanta. Costco does seem to have a larger meat deparment but overall they are about the same. Both have beer and wine.
    Live on beautiful Lake Hartwell GA
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    I use COSCO's sheet cakes all of the time when I cater. People love the things.
  • We are loyal Costco shoppers. I had an opportunity to get a Sam's club membership at a discounted rate through my employer but did not bother. My perception is that Sam's is a notch or two below Costco in quality.

    I can confirm that Costco BB ribs have the membrane removed. However, spares do not.

    Costco return policy is great. I bought a fruit tree there and asked if I could return it if I killed it. The checker said, "sure, everyone else does." Fortunately, I have not had to take it back yet. :woohoo:

    Costco in CA carries beer, wine, and the hard stuff. Best place I have found to buy my particular brand of tequila. :blink: :side: :silly:
  • I really like my local costco. The baby backs are nice, 3 to a cryovac and have the membranes removed. I recently bought a whole prime NY srip loin about 15 lbs for about $130. I was very happy with that purchase. My other fav. from Costco is a 4 pkg of pork tenderloins, they make a good quick weeknight cook. From time to time they also carry seasonal seafood, i.e. alaska salmon filets.
  • We have packers at my Costco in Houston, and they are choice rated.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • My local always has flats in the case, but if you ask the butchers they seem to always have packers in the back.
  • Have to chime on from the Costco camp :P :woohoo: ! Love their meats, wines, and seafood. Mine regularly has prime ribeyes, and other great meats.

    Dave in Keller, TX
  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    I'm with you on the tequilla prices. I was pleasantly surprised at the price on Patron resposado. :)
  • WanabeWanabe Posts: 355
    I like the steaks at Costco but the pork shoulders at Sam's
  • Check to see if your Costco has Cazadores. It is $26.99 per liter here. Makes great margaritas. Save your Patron for sipping.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,192
    It appears that Costco is the winner. And by a fairly wide margin. Mine is 20 miles away and I've never been in, but I may have to check it out. Never been too excited about either Sam's or BJ's and I have had memberships at both over the years. Prefer bone-in butt though.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    Dave, which Cazadores are you getting for $26.99?
    As for the Patron, I would never use an anejo in margaritas.
  • I don't have a Costco close either. My Sams carries a lot of stuff others can't get from trading shopping notes with others. They (Sams) do have a very nice meat dept.

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