Finances & Money

No more cheap milk at Sam’s Club

While shopping for our BBQ party this weekend, we made a trip to Sam’s Club. We always justified our membership to Sam’s because we made our $40 fee back each year just in our milk purchases alone. I go through a gallon or more of skim milk each week, and milk at our Sam’s Club was always at least 80 cents cheaper than local grocers.

Up until recently, milk was $2.19 per gallon at Sam’s while it was about $3.20-3.50 at local grocers. Safeway had a permanent deal for 2 gallons for $5, but then bumped that up to $5.50, then $6. It’s still holding at $6 for 2 according to the current weekly ad, but I’m sure that will change soon with the escalating milk prices.

On Monday, we got a shock when Sam’s milk went from $2.19 to $2.35 then $3.00 per gallon in just a month. They’re no longer competitive enough to make us drive an extra 10 miles compares to the 2 miles for the Safeway. Basically, if they don’t stay 80 cents cheaper than Safeway, then we won’t be renewing our membership this year. However, since we’re sharing or membership with our neighbor, the margin has dropped to 40 cents to break even (on milk, not the extra gas to drive there).

I also wanted to point you to this resource posted by Frugal for Life about the possibility of freezing milk and other dairy products. I found the article through Consumerist this morning, and then realized I wasn’t a subscriber to F4L! Well, I am now.

What are milk prices in your area? Can you find better deals than 2 for $3?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • At Wal-Mart, milk was about 1.99 here. But then it jumped to 2.29 in no time! Now it’s at 3.29! Something is going on here! Makes me wish I lived back in Wisconsin when I used help a dairy farmer out with his chores! Free milk!!!

  • I guess you might have to buy a cow soon. I used canned milk and I have not even noticed the change. I guess I better read the price tag.

  • No, you can’t, because the gov’t is forcing retailers to sell milk for a minimum price. I wondered what was going to happen to these membership discount warehouses when manufacturers were granted the power to enforce minimum sale prices. Guess we’re finding out.

  • Soylover, you bring up a good point. Although I’d like you to clarify how soy milk is better for you (or I could just ask my dietitian wife for clarity), I always shied away from soy milk because of the price. I like the different flavor, but at $6.83 for 1.5 gallons (3 half gallons) at Sam’s Club, versus $6 for 2 gallons of skim milk, I’ll still take the skim milk.

    But you’re right, the prices are inching closer and closer, and I may decide to switch to soy milk soon. But will the usage of more land for corn impact the price of soy?

  • I had pretty much the same situation as you. I previously easily justified my Costco membership on milk alone (2% was about $1.50 cheaper than grocery stores for 2 gallons). Then all of the sudden last week I noticed 2% jumped to $6.19 for 2 gallons! Which was barely cheaper than 7 Eleven. So I decided to get whole milk, which was only $6.29. (whole milk used to be $1 more for 2 gals).

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