The Race is On: Costco vs. Sam’s

By: Mr. Wilson on August 24, 2011
Sam's is confirmed to be building a second location in Lincoln, this time next to Walmart at 87th and Highway 2. That's good news for our family. We would love to buy in bulk, but by the time we make the trip across town to the current Sam's location on North 27th we haven't actually saved much money. There's a good chance we'll get a membership at the south location. Unless... Costco is also set to come to the south side of town one of these days. Perhaps we'll wind up there instead. Some of our decision will come down to which of the two stores opens first (and how far behind the other one is). Is there a reason, other than location and opening order, we should choose Sam's over Costco, or vice versa? I'm not well-versed in the world of bulk buys.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

August 24, 2011 at 1:54PM

We wouldn’t go to either.  It would cost to much for us to buy in bulk vs. using coupons.  There is no way I could get toothpaste for free at Sams or Costco 😊

Mr. Wilson
August 24, 2011 at 1:58PM

The Missus is getting more passionate about couponing. Perhaps some day we should hold a Lincolnite Couponing Contest…

August 24, 2011 at 3:07PM

Thing 1: I read the other day that you’ll need to start looking closer at the fine print on coupons. Those extreme couponing TV shows have forced a wave of restrictions and limitations being written into the way you can use them.

Thing 2: I used to live fairly close to both a Costco and a Sam’s Club. I’ll take Costco EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not only do they sell better “stuff” in a less soul crushing environment, by all accounts they seem to treat their employees far better than the Walton clan. (

Mr. T
August 24, 2011 at 4:02PM

Another big Costco fan here. Unfortunately, I would think that the likelihood of Costco building their store here has now diminished with a second Sam’s. Still, I would love to see one here in town. My understanding is that they own the land near the new Kohls south of town but haven’t built the store yet.

If anyone joins Costco, think about getting the Costco American express card. It comes free with your Costco membership and has very good cash back (3% on gasoline, 2% on restaurants).

August 24, 2011 at 4:56PM

They pay their employees really well, and treat them well.  They have a huge selection of natural/organic products.  All reasons I’d be happy to support a Costco in Lincoln.

August 24, 2011 at 5:06PM

Costco treats their employees much better, paying many of them more than enough to be a living wage, yet their merchandise costs are comparable to Sam’s.

August 24, 2011 at 5:07PM

ha…probably why Sam’s is building first.

Karin Dalziel
August 24, 2011 at 5:34PM

I have also heard Costco has great prices on glasses. I would much rather shop at costco.

August 25, 2011 at 2:53AM

If they do write limitations in, it really won’t effect the majority of folks who use coupons successfully (and ethically).  For the majority of us, we see that show (and those featured on it) like the show Animal Hoarders.  It’s a small population who has gone overboard, and limitations should be made to restrict folks who can’t seem to do it themselves.

August 25, 2011 at 2:57AM

Fallbrook YMCA actually offered a class on couponing a month or so ago.  I’ve been kind of amazed at how much money can be saved if you just know where to look.  Places like Hip2Save and The Prudent Patron do all the work for you in finding all the great deals, all you have to do is cut out the coupons.  We’ve cut your food grocery bill in 1/2 and our toiletries bill 3/4.  Using coupons ethically.. I don’t pay more than a $1 for any of my toiletries now.

Mr. T
August 25, 2011 at 3:27AM

I’ve watched Extreme Couponing before and always wonder what stores have such lax policies. Is there anyplace comparable in Lincoln?

I do review coupons and deal websites even more so on a regular basis and have gotten some very good deals as a result.

August 25, 2011 at 1:40PM

I can only find one store that double’s coupons and that is Save Mart on 14th and Cornhusker.  They double a coupon up to .50 (so if you have one that is .60 they will not double up to a $1) so it’s good for some things, but their selection is small.

Walmart allows overages (so if a product is $.80 and you have a coupon for $1, you get back $.20 towards your order) but I really don’t like to shop at Walmart.

Me, I shop at my same store, HyVee.  I use fabric bags (which I get $.05 per bag), I never buy anything full price, and I never buy just one.  For toiletries I buy at CVS and Walgreens and typically only buy things that combine coupons with money back coupons.

I’m a shopaholic by nature and love to get a great deal, so this totally enables my addiction :lol

Mr. T
August 25, 2011 at 5:44PM

George, thanks for those tips. I always check for HyVee sales and coupons regularly. I like HyVee because they have good sales on things that people actually eat. Too often, it seems to me that most coupons are for hot pockets, cheese whiz, or toiletries such as Q-tips. I don’t really consume most of those sorts of things, so I don’t invest a lot of time in coupon clipping. I do subscribe to the Hip2Save feed, the Cheapskate feed with Rick Broida, and a few others as well. Great bargains there.

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