Food Fun & News
11 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership
A Sam’s Club membership costs as much as $100 a year if you opt for the Sam’s Plus card. Luckily, there are ways to benefit from this big box store’s perks for little—or no—cost to you.
Find a shopping buddyWade Payne/Shutterstock
Know someone who already has an account? That’s all you need! You can accompany them on a shopping trip to Sam’s Club and take advantage of their membership. Of course, you’ll need to pay them back for your own groceries, but you’ll get the perks of the membership.
Join a family member’s accountDanny Johnston/Shutterstock
If that person with the account is a family member, you’re in luck. All Sam’s Club members can add a complimentary card to their account specifically for family members. You’ll get your own card and won’t need to be with the primary cardholder to shop. Don’t miss these other smart ways to save on groceries.
Stop in for an eye check-upAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock
That’s right, you don’t need a membership in order to get an exam from the optometrist at your local Sam’s Club. However, the only thing you’ll be able to take with you is your prescription. If you need to buy glasses or contacts, you won’t be able to purchase them without a membership. Check to see if your insurance will cover the exam beforehand.
Visit the pharmacyAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock
An eye exam isn’t the only medical testing you can get done at Sam’s Club. Locations with a pharmacy offer free quarterly health screenings that don’t require a membership. These take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of January, April, July, and October, according to the club’s website. Among the tests you can have done are blood pressure, body fat percentage, blood glucose, and cholesterol screenings.
Pick up your prescriptionsAleksandar Karanov/Shutterstock
While you can’t buy prescription optical products without a membership, non-Sam’s Club members can buy prescription drugs. Plus, you won’t be charged an extra fee if you come in to buy medication and have a note from your doctor.
Buy alcoholAleksandar Karanov/Shutterstock
Consider this your excuse to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner. Because Sam’s Club has a public liquor license, it can’t prohibit non-members from buying alcohol at their stores, cheatsheet.com reports. However, liquor laws vary by state, so you may want to double-check this policy before making a booze run. Make sure you know these money-saving secrets from America’s top grocery stores.
Get a Guest Membership PassDanny Johnston/Shutterstock
This one-day pass lets you shop for free, but you get hit with a 10 percent fee on all purchases at checkout. Nevertheless, you don’t have to pay for a full year’s membership.
Shop onlineCasimiro PT/Shutterstock
Anyone can shop at SamsClub.com regardless of whether you have a membership. However, since this also comes with a 10 percent surcharge, we’d suggest avoiding large purchases.
Eat at the concession standantoniodiaz/Shutterstock
Big box stores like Costco are known for their cheap, hot meals that attract hungry shoppers, and Sam’s Club is no different. Luckily, you don’t need to be a member to chow down on their concession stand meals, which include pizza slices, cheeseburgers, and even churros. You can also get a hot dog/soda combo for $1.50—very interesting, considering one of their biggest competitors has the exact same deal. Here’s the real reason Costco sells $1.50 hot dogs.
Get an add-on membershipDanny Johnston/Shutterstock
You may eventually start to feel guilty for constantly nagging your friend with the Sam’s Club membership about when she’s making her next trip. If and when that happens, you can ask to become an add-on cardholder on their existing account. That way, you get all the perks at a discounted price of $40 a year (down from $100 annually for a Sam’s Plus membership and $45 for a regular Club membership).
Go to an open houseCharles Krupa/Shutterstock
At a Sam’s Club open house, you get to shop without the price of a membership, and the big box store pulls out all the stops in hopes of attracting potential new members. Win-win! Follow Sam’s Club on Facebook and watch for notices about upcoming open houses near you; they happen several times throughout the year.
Next, check out these things you can do at Costco without a membership.