Dawn Papandrea | 

Sam's Club vs. Walmart: Who Has the Cheaper Prices, Really?

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If you’re like most savvy bargain shoppers, you love yourself a good Walmart haul. But there’s something magical about warehouse club deals, too, and Walmart’s sister store (or should we say brother store?) Sam’s Club has some unique deals that you won't find at Walmart.

Though the two stores share the same parent company, they are in fact two separate stores and set their own pricing. So is Sam's Club ever cheaper than Walmart, we wondered?

The short answer is there are great deals and discounts to be had at both stores — it all depends on how you like to shop and what you shop for. For instance, some of the best deals at Sam’s Club can save you serious dough on bulk goods paper towels, snacks, and baby items. But for kids’ pajamas, home decor, gardening supplies, or grocery items in smaller sizes, Walmart has the better prices.

We’ve already shared our Costco vs. Sam’s Club take. Now we're diving it to the Sam’s Club vs. Walmart comparison to find out when it's worth paying the Sam's Club membership cost.

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Sam's Club vs Walmart Prices, Compared

First things first — when comparing two superstore retailers like Walmart and Sam’s Club, it’s important to acknowledge that you’ll be shopping a bit differently. The strategy at Sam’s Club is that you’re buying in bulk, which allows the store to pass along some savings. At Walmart, items are more than likely in single-serving (or “normal”) sized packaging. 

Both retailers also have their own store-branded items. At Sam’s Club, it’s Member’s Mark, and at Walmart, it’s Great Value or Equate. Store brands will typically be cheaper than name brands, unless there's a special sale going on.

When we dove into a price comparison, we found that Sam’s Club has lower prices on some fresh foods and bulk household staples like Dreft Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent ($0.11 per fluid ounce), Minute Rice ($0.09 per ounce), and their famous $4.98 rotisserie chicken.

To give you an idea of the price differences, Walmart charges $0.18 per fluid ounce for Dreft, $0.14 per ounce for Minute Rice, and $5.97 for their cooked rotisserie chicken. Of course, there will always be exceptions with individual products or some brands, plus both stores may run special discount pricing at any given time. 

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that coupons are accepted at Walmart but there are no coupons at Sam’s Club. So if you had a manufacturer’s coupon for Dreft, for example, that could impact the price comparisons here.

Both stores have various departments to explore and compare as well. Take for instance, the pharmacy. If you pay extra for the Sam's Club Plus membership, you'll have access to a 30-day supply of over 600 generic drugs for $10 or less, while 10 of the most common generic prescriptions are $0. At Walmart, a selection of generic prescriptions are just $4 for a 30-day supply, or $10 for 90 days. If you’re someone who has multiple prescriptions, this is one area you’ll want to compare.

And for custom cakes, Sam's Club cake prices at the bakery are lower. At Sam’s Club, a full sheet cake is $40.98, compared to $59.96 at Walmart for the same size.

Or if you need new tires, Sam’s Club offers discount pricing like $100 off a set of Goodyear tires, plus $40 off installation if you’re a Plus member. Walmart tire pricing is competitive, too, and if you have a Walmart+ membership, you’ll get a free road hazard warranty when you purchase new tires with installation, plus free flat tire repair.

Here are a few other head-to-head price comparisons showing which products are cheaper at either store:

What's cheaper at Walmart:


Walmart price

Sam's Club price


$0.02 per tablet

$0.03 per tablet

Boys’ Swim Shorts



Braun Drip Coffee Maker



Milk, Whole

$3.85 per gal

$3.86 per gal


$0.94 per lb

$1.42 per lb

What's cheaper at Sam's Club:


Walmart price

Sam's Club price

Bottled Water

$0.13 per bottle

$0.10 per bottle

Frozen Chicken Wings

$3.25 per lb

$2.50 per lb

Ground Beef, 93% Lean

$6.22 per lb

$4.78 per lb

Kitchen Garbage Bags, Tall

$0.15 each

$0.09 each

Luvs Diapers, Size 1

$0.24 per diaper

$0.12 per diaper

Purina One Dry Dog Food

$1.51 per lb

$1.32 per lb

Starbucks K-Cups

$0.70 each

$0.56 each


$1.88 per lb

$1.39 per lb

Toilet Paper, Store Brand

$0.04 per sq ft

$0.02 per sq ft

Sam's Club vs Walmart: Final Verdict


If you’re a bulk shopper hoping to stock up your pantry, freezer, and cabinets with household staples, then a Sam’s Club membership is probably a good investment for you. In our random price comparison research, Sam’s was the clear winner for many everyday household items like kitchen trash bags, toilet paper, and K-cups.

Walmart is no slouch for great prices, though, especially when it comes to foods with a shorter shelf life — like milk and produce. (After all, if you’re throwing away half a container of strawberries or yogurt, then you’re not really saving, right?) Walmart also has good deals and a much wider selection on things like clothing, small home appliances, school supplies, and toys.

KCL TIP: If you are a Walmart+ member, one area where there is some crossover between the two stores is that you’ll get access to Sam’s Club member-pricing at gas pumps — even if you’re not a Sam’s member.

You May Be a Walmart Warrior If …

  • You have school-aged kids who quickly outgrow their gear. Just ask any mom or dad who finds themselves doing Walmart runs for new pajamas, summer shoes, and winter items — not to mention those last-minute school project craft supplies. 

  • Your family’s taste buds seem to change week to week, and bulk shopping doesn’t always work out.

  • You have a smaller household of just one or two people or live in a small apartment without the space to store bulk items.

You May be a Sam's Club Superhero If …

  • You have storage space and an extra freezer in the garage, and want to stock up on items like paper goods, bottled water, and freezable foods.

  • You enjoy hosting family and friends and swear by Sam’s Club’s custom cakes, bulk party supplies, and giant serving sizes to fuel your family cookouts.

  • You're a parent of small babies or pets and want low prices on diapers, wipes, formula, and pet food.

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