Sam’s Club vs. Costco: Which Warehouse Chain Has the Most Affordable Snacks

Find out which warehouse giant offers the best deals on your favorite munchies.

costco vs sams club
Updated July 18, 2024
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It's easy to save money at Costco and Sam’s Club, but does one store have better offerings than the other? You don’t want to pay for two memberships, especially if one store is more expensive, so which warehouse store should you choose?

We decided to test which retailer offers the best bang for the buck and put them head to head in a category everyone can get behind—snacks. And some of these may just surprise you.

Editor’s note: Prices are subject to change and may vary by location.

Member’s Mark Granola Bar vs. Kirkland Signature Granola Bars

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz granola bars

Sam’s Club price: $12.96

Costco price: $12.59

These snacks may appear comparable in price, but with the Costco bars, you get 40 more per box.

The Kirkland granola bars have 64 in a pack for under $13, and they’re packed with whole rolled oats and chocolate chips for a chewy, sweet bite. 

The Sam’s Club bars might look healthier, but you get only 24 in a box for around $0.40 more, and each bar has 90 additional calories.

Member’s Mark Beef Jerky vs. Kirkland Signature Beef Jerky

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz member’s mark beef jerky

Sam’s Club price: $10.98

Costco price: $12.99

You get 12 ounces of delicious, dehydrated steak strips in each deal, but which has more bang for your buck?

Both packages have similar ingredients and health benefits, like being gluten-free and mostly fat-free, with 12 servings per each. However, you’re saving $2 on the Member’s Mark beef jerky, so if you find yourself at Sam’s Club, it’s worth buying a bag (or two).

Member’s Mark Mixed Nuts vs. Kirkland Signature Mixed Nuts

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz member’s mark mixed nuts

Sam’s Club price: $11.98

Costco price: $11.99

There’s only a penny difference between these products, but they both have different nuts.

The Member’s Mark mixed nuts consist of lightly salted cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts, and each serving provides a nice dose of protein and iron. 

The heart-healthy nuts from Costco contain a mix of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios, but they have 30 more calories per serving.

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Member’s Mark Granola vs. Kirkland Signature Granola

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz kirland signature granola

Sam’s Club price: $8.48

Costco price: $10.49

Don’t let these prices fool you — you get nearly a pound more of granola in the Kirkland Signature bargain.

The Costco granola has probiotics to help your gut health and a mix of tasty ingredients, including almonds, amaranth, and other ancient grains. Sam’s Club’s fruit and nut clusters have a blend of honey and vanilla-flavored nuts and dried fruit for a crunchy snack. 

The Sam’s Club granola actually costs more, based on per unit cost, than the Costco find.

Member’s Mark Chips vs. Kirkland Signature Chips

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz kirkland signature chips

Sam’s Club price: $2.98

Costco price: $6.69

Here’s another misleading comparison: You get 40 ounces of Costco chips and just 16 ounces of Sam’s Club chips.

The Kirkland tortilla chips are a must-buy for any party or event, with their authentic restaurant-style taste, and they’re under $7 for a serious steal. 

The Member’s Mark wavy potato chips may cost you less per bag, but you’re getting just a pound, which means you’d spend more overall for the same amount.

Member’s Mark Guacamole Cups vs. Kirkland Signature Guacamole Cups

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz member’s mark guacamole cups

Sam’s Club price: $7.98

Costco price: $13.49

These convenient single-serve snacks give you tasty guacamole that’ll rival your favorite restaurant.

At Costco, you get 16 two-ounce cups for under $14 of chunky guacamole with a flavorful blend of tomatoes, avocados, lime zest, and onion. But for under $8, you can get 14 two-ounce cups with comparable ingredients from Sam’s Club for even more savings.

Member’s Mark Chocolate-Covered Nuts vs. Kirkland Signature Chocolate-Covered Nuts

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz chocolate-covered nuts

Sam’s Club price: $14.48

Costco price: $16.99

Get three pounds of milk chocolate almonds, and spend $2 less at one of these superstores.

Costco's milk chocolate-covered almonds have the same ingredients as Sam’s Club's, but you’re paying almost $17 per container at Costco. Save your money and buy the Member’s Mark California almonds with a creamy milk chocolate coating for under $15.

Member’s Mark Cookies vs. Kirkland Signature Cookies

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz members mark cookies

Sam’s Club price: $7.48

Costco price: $9.99

If you like the fresh baked goods from both of these superstores, then you can save money on your favorite cookies.

Each batch comes with 24 chocolate chunk cookies, but Sam’s Club saves you $2.50 on your purchase. There’s barely a difference between these treats, so snag a package of the Member’s Mark brand to save.

Bottom line

anoushkatoronto/Adobe dad carrying baby son under arm

Overall, it seems that each store has something worth shopping for, but Sam’s Club may have just won this round with its low prices. 

These savings can easily pay for your yearly membership, help you save money on groceries, and stay within your monthly budget. You can’t go wrong with either membership, especially if you like to buy high-quality items in bulk.

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Author Details

Ariel Taranski

Ariel Taranski is a writer for FinanceBuzz. She has worked as a content marketer for CPAs and financial advisors, and she enjoys being frugal and money-savvy in her day-to-day life. Ariel has also worked with clients such as The Knot, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Alpha Prime, and many more in her time as a freelance writer.