It happens more often than you’d think: you’re cruising through the aisles of Costco or Sam’s Club when suddenly you want a hot dog. Both warehouse giants have them in their food courts, but which one’s the best? The cheapest? The most accessible?
We’ve done the research and compared everything from prices to calories, so you can find the perfect hot dog for your taste buds and wallet. And if that’s not enough, we’ve got insider tips on how to save even more at the Costco food court and Sam’s Club. Don’t miss out on these delicious and money-saving secrets!
The Sam’s Club hot dog offers the cheaper combo.
In November 2022 Sam’s Club dropped the price of their hot dog combo from $1.50 to $1.38. That’s only an 8% decrease from the original price.
Costco’s hot dogs are priced at $1.50, and it hasn’t changed since 1984. However, it’s still $0.12 more expensive than Sam’s Club’s hot dog.
Plus, you’ll be getting a 30-ounce drink with the Sam’s Club hot dog combo as opposed to the 20-ounce drink with the Costco hot dog combo.
You’ll need a membership for the Costco food court — but not for Sam’s Club.
In order to get to the Costco food court, you’ll need to show proof of membership, but at Sam’s Club, you don’t have to bust out your warehouse credentials to order from the food court.
TIP: Outdoor Costco food courts don’t require a membership, so check your local Costco to see if there’s an outdoor food court. Alternatively, you can get a Costco Shop Card from an existing member to get into the indoor food court.
Sam’s Club hot dogs have fewer calories than Costco hot dogs.
While there isn’t such thing as a healthy hot dog, if you’re deciding between Sam’s Club and Costco, Sam’s Club has the lower caloric count. Here’s the breakdown of each:
- Costco: 570 calories, 46 g of carbs, 33 g of fat, and 24 g of protein
- Sam’s Club: 510 calories, 39 g of carbs, 30 g of fat, and 19 g of protein
But Costco has better ingredients overall.
The general consensus out there in the interwebs is that Costco’s hot dog tastes better. And although taste is pretty subjective, the difference between natural and artificial ingredients isn’t up for debate. To that end, Costco’s much-loved Kirkland Signature brand hot dogs have an edge over the Sam’s Club Maker’s Mark brand.
Most of their ingredients are the same between the two brands, but Sam’s Club hot dogs contain corn syrup, hydrolized corn protein, and potassium chloride — fillers the Costco brand doesn’t contain. (Both, however, seem to have nitrates.)
So which hot dog is the best for your buck? Gotta be Sam’s.
When you compare both Costco and Sam’s Club hot dogs, Sam’s Club is the cheapest for more food (and drink in a combo), with the lowest caloric count. Of course, this is just one part of the Costco versus Sam’s Club debate. We’ve determined how each of them stack up against each other to help you choose which membership is right for you.