Sam's Club vs Costco: Which Food Court Has the Better Deal?

In a battle of the food courts, who reigns supreme?

costco vs sams club
Updated July 18, 2024
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Costco and Sam’s Club both offer incredibly low prices to help members save on everyday essentials, but shoppers also love their food courts for affordable snacks and bites.

So, which one has the best options for the price? It may just be a close race since both cafes have something different to offer customers.

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

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Frozen Desserts: Sam’s Club’s FroYo vs. Costco’s Ice Cream Cups

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz frozen desserts vs ice cream cups

Sam’s Club Price: $1.00, Costco Price: $1.99

Sam’s Club offers vanilla, swirl, and chocolate frozen yogurt, which is lower in calories and price compared to the vanilla and chocolate ice cream cups at Costco.

Depending on your taste, either is a good deal, especially if you love the flavor of fresh soft-serve while shopping. However, Sam’s Club may win this round since you only spend $1 per frozen treat.

Pizza Combo

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz pizza combo

Sam’s Club Price: $2.50, Costco Price: $2.68

Though Costco no longer has a pizza combo, you can easily grab a slice and a drink, but you won’t be saving money.

Sam’s Club does have this combo meal, letting you grab a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza and a Pepsi drink for just $2.50.

Both stores offer Pepsi products, but you get a 30-ounce drink for less than Costco at Sam’s.

Sam’s Club’s 16” Pizza vs Costco’s 18” Pizza

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz 16” pizza vs 18” pizza

Sam’s Club Price: $8.98, Costco Price: $9.95

Though the Costco pizza is more cost-effective, you get more topping options at Sam’s Club.

You can choose between a cheese or pepperoni 18” pizza at Costco for under $10 and a 16” pizza at Sam’s for under $9.

However, at Sam’s, you can also do a four-meat topping that includes pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, and bacon.

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Sundaes

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz sundaes and shake

Sam’s Club Price: $1.58, Costco Price: $2.49

A sundae at Costco features vanilla ice cream with a strawberry or chocolate swirl, while sundaes at Sam’s Club offer a berry swirl or brownie with caramel option.

If you love something more indulgent, the Sam’s sundae offers more bang for your buck: $1.58 for a sundae that includes a gooey chocolate brownie.

But if simple is more to your taste, Costco might be your choice.

Sweet Snacks: Sam’s Club’s Cinnamon Pretzels vs. Costco’s Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz cinnamon pretzels

Sam’s Club Price: $1.00, Costco Price: $2.49

Sam’s Club offers a cinnamon and sugar pretzel that blends salty and sweet flavors, while Costco offers a jumbo cookie that customers rave about.

The double chocolate chunk cookie is a newer option at Costco, and it's still pretty affordable for a warm, tasty dessert.

The cinnamon pretzel, however, is only $1, and it’s perfect if you like something a little less sweet.

Hot Dog Combo

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz hot dog combo

Sam’s Club Price: $1.38, Costco Price: $1.50

The classic hot dog combo was made popular at Costco, but you can grab it for a few cents less at Sam’s Club.

Again, Sam’s offers a larger, 30-ounce beverage, whereas Costco only offers 20-ounce cups (which do have free refills, though).

This one just comes down to your preference — which beef hot dog do you like better?

Salty Snacks: Sam’s Club’s Salt and Pizza Pretzels vs. Costco’s Chicken Bake

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz pizza pretzels

Sam’s Club Price: $1.00, Costco Price: $3.99

This one’s a bit tricky because the pretzels at Sam’s Club could easily be a snack, while Costco’s chicken bake is much heartier.

For just $1, you can enjoy a salty or pizza-flavored pretzel from Sam’s, but the chicken bake at Costco is like a Caesar wrap inside a cheesy roll.

For under $4, you can split the chicken bake as a snack for the whole family, so maybe that’s the better deal.

Sam’s Club’s 30-Oz Drinks vs. Costco’s 20-Oz Drinks

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz 20-oz drinks

Sam’s Club Price: $0.89, Costco Price: $0.69

Each drink option gives you over 20 ounces for under $1, but there’s a 10-ounce difference between these superstores.

Costco offers 20 ounces at $0.69 with free refills, which is more cost-effective and calorie-friendly.

Sam’s Club gives you 30 ounces for just $0.20 more and free refills, so this is another round we have to hand to Sam’s.

Frozen Drinks: Sam’s Club’s ICEEs vs. Costco’s Fruit Smoothies and Cold Brew Mocha Freezes

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz fruit-smoothies-and-cold-brew

Sam’s Club Price: $0.89, Costco Price: $2.99

Sam’s Club has a classic Icee machine with your favorite flavors, including Pepsi Freeze, cherry, and blue raspberry.

However, if you’ve grown out of the sugary taste of this frozen drink, consider Costco’s two options — a fruit smoothie and a coffee freeze.

Though they’re more expensive, Costco might just take this round for its wider variety of frozen beverages.

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Bottom line

Monkey Business/Adobe family eating meal

Sam’s seems to be the lowest-priced across the board, but you can’t go wrong with Costco’s varied selection of classic cafe foods.

You’re sure to get a deal no matter which superstore you visit; it all just comes down to personal taste. You can also save more at both stores when you shop with your top rewards credit cards.

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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.