In today’s times, many shoppers are trying hard to save money because prices for everyday things are going up. This can make it challenging for people to stick to their budgets, especially when buying necessary items.
Some people also think about a possible economic downturn and want to increase their savings to prepare for it. If you’re in the same situation, you probably want to spend as little as possible on groceries and things you need at home.
Now, there are a few stores known for having good prices. Costco and Walmart are two of them. The big question is: Which one is better when it comes to saving money? And the answer? It depends on what you’re buying.
What Does Costco Offer?
Costco is famous for its super cheap prices on big quantities of stuff. However, Walmart also has really low prices. So, deciding which store has the best deals can be tricky because it often depends on what you want.
Costco is probably the better choice if you’re getting lots of household basics, like big packs of eggs. This is also true for bulk fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy products.
But if you’re looking for good deals on things like toilet paper and paper towels, Walmart can be quite competitive. You might even find better prices on these items in bulk at Walmart than at Costco unless Costco has a sale.
Walmart’s brand snacks can also be very affordable. While Costco might have a slightly lower price per pound or unit, you might not need a giant box of 180 sandwich cookies. In this case, Walmart’s cheaper 40-cookie pack could be what you’re looking for.
What Does Walmart Offer?
Costco keeps changing its stock, including clothes, books, toys, and home stuff. But Walmart usually has a much bigger and steadier variety of these items.
Because of that, you might discover better deals at Walmart for things like clothes, gadgets, or entertainment items because they offer a wider selection.
Comparing the Key Differences
Food Courts and Restaurants
At Costco, members can enjoy tasty treats at the food court after shopping. The $1.50 hot dogs, pizza, and onion rings are all-time favorites among its customers.
In contrast, Walmart has a different setup as one of the best and cheapest retail stores. Depending on which part of the store you walk into, you might find a restaurant right there as you enter or leave.
Well-known fast-food places like Wendy’s, healthy options like Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, and even the Mediterranean eatery Shawarma Press have set up shop inside Walmart stores.
Line of Products
We’re all familiar with Walmart’s Great Value products, which include various food and cleaning items. Many consumers appreciate the generic label because it’s often more affordable than name-brand products.
Some shoppers on Reddit even prefer Great Value over its name-brand counterparts. User u/fs0115 points out that “Great value ice cream. Cheaper, can’t tell the difference… Can say the same for their juices, breads, chips, cookies, etc. Just about everything.”
On the other hand, Kirkland Signature, Costco’s exclusive brand, appears to offer more to its members than Walmart does. It has a wide selection of household, grocery, and personal care products.
But that’s not all – Costco goes beyond the basics with Kirkland Signature sunglasses, mattresses, and hoodies featuring the distinctive Kirkland Signature logo! Reddit has been buzzing for months, with members raving about the merchandise and sharing their excitement about scoring new hoodies.
Walmart is planning a significant update by replacing its traditional conveyor belt registers with more self-checkout stations. One supercenter eliminated all its lanes in a 2020 experimental store design in Fayetteville, Ark.
According to the company website, this change aims to simplify the checkout process. The machines, equipped with green lights indicating availability, are designed to speed up checkout, and more installations are expected in the future.
On the other hand, Costco has not fully embraced the self-checkout trend. While individual checkout stations exist, they are not as numerous as those in Walmart. As reported on Reddit, self-scan stations were short-lived and discontinued in many stores due to inventory loss.
Some users missed the feature, finding it convenient, but others, especially employees, criticized its inefficiency. In a Reddit thread, an employee mentioned that “self-checkout is terrible” due to sensitive machines and frequent lockups. Despite this, self-checkout is still available in some Costco warehouses.
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Let’s be honest—everyone enjoys free samples. Costco has elevated the experience to attract customers. Members anticipate finding free sample stations throughout the warehouse, especially on Saturdays.
According to Reddit, some top samples include Lindt chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake, and prime rib! The presence of a Costco employee serving samples is undeniably one of the warehouse’s appealing features.
On the flip side, Walmart is taking a unique approach to samples with its Freeosk system.
Described as “freebie vending machines” by the blog Inspiring Savings, the exchange is entirely automated, and Freeosk dispenses samples without human assistance. Shoppers can also use an app to order freebies for home delivery.
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Walmart boasts a massive workforce of around 1.6 million employees globally, with approximately 2.3 million associates. In comparison, Costco has a significantly smaller employee count, with 189,000 in the U.S. and 288,000 worldwide. Walmart maintains a minimum wage of about $12 per hour, while Costco took a step further last year by raising its minimum wage to $17 per hour.
Costco is known for its notably low turnover rate, indicating that many employees choose to stay with the company and advance in their careers internally. Investopedia notes that “most workers are covered by the company’s benefits plan, which includes a 401(k), health insurance, dental insurance, drug plan, vision care, and others.”
Getting cash back at Walmart is a straightforward process. The steps are similar whether you’re at a regular checkout line or using a self-checkout machine. Utilizing your debit card, you can initiate your transaction as usual. You must be a customer to avail of cashback; the minimum spending can be as little as $0.01.
While processing your debit card, the card reader will prompt you to choose if you want cash back. Opt for “Yes” and specify the amount you desire. Afterward, you pay for your total purchase and the selected cashback amount. Ensuring that your debit card has sufficient funds to cover the cash-back amount is essential. The cashback is handed over by the cashier or provided by the cash dispenser at the self-checkout.
Additionally, when shopping at Walmart, utilizing the right credit cards and cashback apps can help maximize your cash back. Some credit cards offer higher cash back for Walmart purchases, including Walmart credit cards. You can even double-dip using a cashback app while paying with these cards to maximize your cash back on Walmart purchases.
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As the retail giants Costco and Walmart dominate the market, consumers are eager to find the best product deals. In the realm of budget-friendly shopping, exploring the offerings of these two retail giants is essential. Carrot, with its innovative Deal Hop Feature, has become the go-to tool for savvy shoppers looking to compare and get the best out of their retail experience.
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But that’s not all! With Carrot’s unique “Deal Hop” feature, unveil hidden gems at Costco and Walmart that rival premium products without breaking the bank. Compare prices, track discounts, and ensure you secure the best deals on your favorite products. In the landscape of retail giants, Carrot stands as the tool that empowers consumers to make informed and economical choices.
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Don’t let the economic uncertainty get the best of your shopping needs. Let Carrot help you compare the prices of Walmart and Costco products you plan to buy and make the most cost-efficient purchases.