16 Pantry Staples You Should Be Buying At Sam's Club

Walmart founder Sam Walton opened the first Sam's Club in Oklahoma in 1983. His goal was to provide deep discounts on groceries and other merchandise, but with a big catch: In order to shop at his warehouse, customers would need to purchase a membership.

Warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco have long offered shoppers a way to buy in bulk that just isn't possible at most grocery stores. Today, these stores sell everything from discounted wine and extra large boxes of cereal to oddities like a 7-pound bucket of Nutella or a personal wine tap for your home.

But while picking up a few funky items from time to time is fun, the best reason to join Sam's Club is to get discounts on the essentials you already buy, and that includes pantry staples. We've combed the aisles of the warehouse chain to bring you the real savings you could be enjoying on everyday items. Keep reading to learn a few of the pantry staples you should be stocking up on at Sam's Club.

Mixed nuts

If mixed nuts tend to find their way onto your grocery list each week, you probably already know the healthy benefits of this super snack. Raw nuts are packed with healthy nutrients and antioxidants (via Healthline). Despite being high in calories, research suggests that adding nuts to your diet can help you lose weight. That's because they feature plenty of fiber to help keep you full and give your body energy. (To reap the full benefits of nuts, make sure that you're opting for the raw variety, without any added sugar.) 

Unfortunately, raw nuts tend to come with a high price tag. That's why this is one pantry staple you should definitely stock up on Sam's Club. A 34-ounce container of Member's Mark Mixed Nuts costs just $8.48. By comparison, a smiliar 30-ounce tub will set you back $14.99 at Target. If you're looking for a tasty splurge, a 34-ounce container of the peanut-less Member's Mark Deluxe Mixed Nuts with Sea Salt costs just $11.98.

Tortillas

Does Taco Tuesday turn into Taco Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday in your household? If so, you know how easy it is to go through a package of tortillas. Whether you're stocking your fridge for your family or prepping for a fiesta, head to Sam's Club to pick up your taco filling holders.

Besides having several varieties to choose from, you'll also find plenty of affordable options. For instance, you can grab a 2-pack of Mission White Corn Tortillas, totaling 110 tortillas, for just $3.98. A bag of the same type of tortillas at Walmart will set you back $1.88 for just 30 tortillas. (For comparison, your Walmart tortillas will cost just over $0.06 a piece, while the Sam's Club option is around half the price.) If you're on team "crunch shell," you can get 36 Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff taco shells for just $4.98. That same box is selling for $6.32 on Instacart.

Snack packs

Snack packs are a lunch box staple. But they're also perfect for feeding party guests, an on-the-go treat for yourself, or for making walking tacos. Unfortunately, name-brand assortments of chips and cookies can get pricey which is why we recommend purchasing a bulk box at Sam's Club.

You can get a whopping 55 bags of assorted Frito-Lays chips for $13.98 at your local warehouse. The box includes familiar favorites like Classic Lay's, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Sour Cream & Onion Lays, and Classic Ruffles. That same size box retails for $21.75 from Amazon. A box of 28 bags, including a couple of extra chip varieties, like Funyuns and Chili Cheese Fritos, costs $12.99 at Target. For a sweeter snack, grab a box of 60 individual 2-packs of Chips Ahoy, classic Oreos, and Golden Oreos for $11.98 at Sam's Club. The same snack pack is an incredible $26.49 from Walmart.com.

Romaine lettuce

If you're looking for a healthy meal option at Sam's Club, head to the produce section. Romaine lettuce is another must-buy at the mega shopping warehouse, you can get a bag of six romaine lettuce hearts for just $3.98. A bag of only three romaine hearts at Kroger will cost you $4.49. This means you'll be paying nearly $9 for those same six hearts.

Looking for a use for all of that tasty lettuce? You could chop them up and turn them into a big Caesar salad perfect for a dinner party. Or, get creative, and start grilling your salad. First, brush your romaine hearts with olive oil on either side. Cook them until each side is slightly caramelized. Top with parmesan cheese and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a unique salad that looks and tastes far more complicated than it actually is.

Sugar

Do your holiday plans call for lots of baking fun? Stock your pantry with plenty of sugar with a quick run to your local Sam's Club. A 10-pound bag of Domino Granulated Sugar costs $6.36. At Kroger, the same bag is priced at $8.99.

Of course, this is one item that not everyone will want to stock up on. The average chocolate chip cookie has about 11 grams of sugar in it. If the average batch of chocolate chip cookies has 12 cookies, that's around 132 grams of sugar. Thus, a 10-pound bag of sugar contains enough sugar to make more than 30 batches of cookies. Your local grocery store bag is usually around 4 pounds, making it a far more manageable option. (At Schnucks, a 4-pound bag of Domino Sugar will cost you $3.89.) But if you tend to do a lot of baking, that big bag will save big bucks — and a few trips to the grocery store!

Spices

Another baking and cooking staple you'll find in bulk in at Sam's Club are spices. From garlic salt to pepper to sweet spices like a unique Twix seasoning (great for adding to ice cream or cookies), you'll find a variety of relatively inexpensive spices and blends on the warehouse pallets. In the mood for a holiday seafood boil? Then you're going to need Old Bay Seasoning and a lot of it. At Sam's Club, you can grab a 24-ounce shaker bottle for $7.98. By comparison, a small 6-ounce container costs $3.69 at Target. That's around $0.61 an ounce, compared to $0.33 an ounce at Sam's Club.

While Old Bay might not be a staple in your pantry, unless of course you live in New England, pepper likely is. An 18-ounce bottle of Member's Mark Ground Black Pepper at Sam's Club will set you back $6.22. A 6 ounce container of Great Value Ground Black Pepper, Walmart's store brand, costs $3.98. You'd need to buy three containers to get the same amount that comes in the Member's Mark bottle, and that would end up costing you $11.94.

Tortilla chips

You already know that you can save a bundle on snack pack bundles at Sam's Club. But when you're looking to fill some chip bowls for your next tailgate, the last thing you want to do is open a bunch of tiny bags. Instead, reach for the oversized sharable bags at Sam's Club. There, you can nab a nearly 16-ounce bag of Lay's Classic Potato Chips for $3.98. By comparison, the bag that Walmart calls it's "Party Size" is just 13 ounces, and sells for $4.48.

Do you live for chips and salsa or queso? Grab a box of two bags of Member's Mark Tortilla Chips, a whopping six pounds of chips total, for just $9.52. At Walmart, a 13-ounce bag of Great Choice tortilla chips costs just $0.92. However, you'd need to buy 15 bags at a cost of $13.80 to get the same amount of chips that come in the Member's Mark box. Besides the added costs, that's also a lot of bags to lug home and up a few flights of stairs to your apartment before your next party.

La Croix

It's been a few years since the initial La Croix craze started. The sparkling water brand has actually been around since 1981. Throughout the 1990s, La Croix's popularity was largely limited to the Midwest, and was far from mainstream. However, sometime around 2015, it blew up, and has remained the popular choice among sparkling water drinkers.

Today, there are dozens of flavors and varieties of La Croix to choose from. No matter which flavor you like, your La Croix addiction can wind up setting you back a pretty penny — unless you know where to shop. A Sam's Club, you can grab a 24-can variety flat pack for $8.98. There are a couple of options to choose from. One features 6 cans of lemon, 12 cans of lime, and 6 cans of grapefruit. The La Croix Black Razz Berry Sparkling Water Variety Pack also comes with 24 cans, including 6 cans of Guava Sao Paulo, 6 cans of BeachPlum, and 12 cans of BlackRazzberry. Variety packs are tough to find at most grocery stores. But an 8-can box of a single flavor at Target will cost you $3.69. You'd need to buy three boxes to get the same number of cans as the Sam's Club pack, which would cost you $11.07.

Condiments

If you're like most people, you have a bottle or two of different condiments on the door of your fridge that's been sitting there for months unused — or maybe even longer. Even though most of us hold onto half-empty bottles of ketchup and mustard for months or even years on end, condiments do have an expiration date. Ketchup and cocktail sauce should only be kept for six months in the fridge once it's been opened. Mayonnaise lasts even less time; toss it after two months of being open. Salad dressings can be kept for three months once open.

If you're now racing to toss those expired condiments and want to replace the ones that you do use, head to Sam's Club. You can pick up a Picnic Pack, which features two bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, a bottle of Heinz Sweet Relish, and a bottle of Heinz Yellow Mustard for just $8.78. That same Picnic Pack will cost you $13.20 at Walmart. Individually, these condiments will cost you a lot more. At Target, a 32-ounce bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup costs $3.19, a 32-ounce Yellow Mustard bottle is $1.79, and a 32-ounce bottle of relish costs $2.39. Of course, if you're looking to try trendy condiments like Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp sauce, you'll need to head to a specialty grocery store instead of your local Sam's Club.

Trail mix

A bag of trail mix is an easy way to get your sugar and fiber fix. Whether you're hiking to mountain tops or noshing at your desk while powering through an all-nighter, a bag of trail mix makes for a great power snack. But because trail mix features lots of mixed nuts, which can get pricey, getting that trail mix fix might set you back some cash. Head to Sam's Club to save on your snack.

A bag of Member's Mark Mountain Trek Mix costs $11.98 for 64 ounces — that's a 4-pound bag. The mix features peanuts, raisins, M&M's, almonds, and cashews. A similar bag of Market Pantry Classic Trail Mix at Target, which blends peanuts, raisins, milk chocolate candies (not M&M's), and almonds, costs $5.29 for a 1-pound bag. 

Of course, thanks to Sam's Club's great savings on mixed nuts, you could also make your own trail mix. Start with your favorite nuts, then add a sugary treat. M&M's are a classic, but Skittles would also work. Dried apples, blueberries, and other fruits make for a healthier choice.

While trail mix is good for giving you a boost of energy, it's not as healthy as you might think, so enjoy it in moderation.

Peanut butter filed pretzels

Looking for another way to get your salty-sweet fix? This next item is definitely a Sam's Club best buy. The Member's Mark Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels are a dangerously delicious snack that may come in a big container, but likely won't last you very long. The jug is a whopping 44 ounces (that's nearly three pounds!), yet it costs just $6.24. A similar jug of peanut butter filled snacks will set you back $8.79 at Target.

These snacks are great for noshing on all on your own. They're also perfect for parties and tailgating — place a bowl of these near the bar, and they'll be gone in no time. If you prefer your mini pretzels plain, you should definitely pick those up at Sam's Club, too. A giant 60-ounce tub of mini bite size pretzels by Utz will cost you $5.98. At Walmart, that same tub will cost you $9.40.

Flour

Sugar isn't the only baking staple you'll want to stock up on your next visit to Sam's Club. Flour is another item you can save big on, as long as you're willing and able to buy it in bulk.

A 12-pound bag of Gold Medal All Purpose Flour will cost you $5.36. At Walmart, the same bag will cost you $7.50. If you don't mind purchasing a store brand flour, you can save even more. A 25-pound bag of Member's Mark All Purpose Flour costs $7.73. At Target, you can grab a 5 pound bag of Good & Gather All Purpose Flour for $1.69. This would set you back $8.45 for 25 pounds. While not a huge cost savings, only having to carry a single bag of flour into your home will certainly save you some lugging. Sam's Club also offers almond flour, gluten-free flour, and several other options to fit all of your baking and dietary needs.

Peanut butter and jelly

The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich has been an All-American staple since at least 1901. That year, an article by writer Julia Davis Chandler appeared in the Boston Cooking School magazine. Chandler recommended making a sandwich using thin slices of bread with peanut paste and jelly in the middle. But since sliced bread wasn't around until 1928, it took a while for the peanut butter and jelly trend to catch on.

Today, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple in school box lunches, for those looking to eat cheap, runners looking for an energy boost, and everyone in between. There's plenty of debate on the proper assembly etiquette; do you smear on peanut butter first, or maybe add a third slice of bread in the middle to keep your sandwich from getting soggy? But before you can start creating your own peanut butter and jelly masterpiece, you need to get the ingredients. You'll score a tub of peanut butter that will last a while, and save some cash, by heading to Sam's Club. You can grab two 48-ounce jars of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter for $9.77. Considering a single small 16-ounce jar costs $2.39 at Target, that's a big savings. 

Save on jelly too: Two 30-ounce jars of Welch's Concord Grape Jelly costs $3.78, compared to $2.12 for a single 30-ounce jar at Walmart.

Rice

Standard white rice is perhaps one of the most versatile pantry staples you can buy. Add some soy sauce and peanut oil to make your own fried rice. Throw in some tomato sauce and red bell peppers to whip up some Spanish rice. Pick your favorite veggies to make a delicious stir fry, or add it to tortillas to create your own burritos. The options are endless. But first, you need the rice.

If you want to stock your pantry and stretch your food budget, head to Sam's Club. A 25-pound bag of Member's Mark Long Grain White Rice costs just $9.82. Rice isn't exactly an expensive grocery item, no matter where you shop. You can grab a 5-pound bag of 365 by Whole Foods Market Enriched Long Grain White Rice for $5.69, or a 1-pound bag of Good & Gather Enriched Long Grain White Rice at Target for just $0.89. But if you frequently cook rice, a big bag from Sam's Club will save you a lot of money over time.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy, hearty, and tasty alternative to sugary, high calorie breakfast cereals. Depending on the type you choose, it can be a quick breakfast on the go, or a filling meal for your family to enjoy together. Another great benefit of oatmeal is how easy it is to customize. Add a little brown sugar, some milk, or your favorite fruits. Even a spoonful of peanut butter or jelly, some nuts, or even chocolate chips will help elevate your bowl.

Just as there are numerous ways to make your oatmeal, there's also plenty of options for purchasing it. Looking for a quick breakfast or filling snack? Quaker Instant packs are a great choice. At Sam's Club, you can stock up on packets with the Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack. This comes with 52 individual packs in several flavors, and costs just $9.87. The same box retails for $12.90 on Amazon. If you'd rather create your own flavors and varieties, pick up a 2-pack of 5-pound buckets of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats for $9.38. By comparison, a 42-ounce tub at Kroger costs $4.49. For 10 pounds, you'd be paying more than $17.

Pasta

When you need to whip up a classic, crowd-pleasing dinner, you can't go wrong with pasta. Whether you like some simple spaghetti, something with some veggies, or maybe some decadent cream sauce, don't overspend on the base of your pasta dish.

At Sam's Club, you can buy many different types of pasta in bulk. An oversized box of spaghetti, filled with six individual 1-pound packages of spaghetti by Member's Mark will cost you just $3.98. Considering a single serving of pasta is about two ounces of dry pasta, this package could help you make 48 servings of your favorite pasta. At Target, a 1-pound box of spaghetti is still pretty affordable at $0.85. But if you need to buy in bulk, you'd be spending $5.34 for six boxes. Want to make a big pan of ooey gooey mac and cheese for your next get-together? You can grab six pounds of elbow macaroni for just $4.98 at Sam's Club.