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15 Things to Splurge on at Costco and Sam's Club

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The Urge to Splurge

People tend to join Costco or Sam's Club to save money on bulk sizes of products they would be buying anyway. But many warehouse club shoppers repeatedly find themselves splurging on something out of the ordinary — even on their first visit to the store — maybe justifying the purchase by telling themselves it's a deal. Costco, in particular, is known for its "treasure hunt" strategy of tempting customers with a constant rotation of nonessential items around every corner. Still, many of those purchases could be considered worthy, given warehouse club savings. Here are 15 deals that are exclusive to Costco and Sam's Club members.

Related: 21 Surprisingly Expensive Products From Costco

Wine
Sam's Club

Wine

Wine is often a good deal at Costco and Sam's Club. Some high-end wines are distributed under warehouse club labels for much lower prices when a vintner has a surplus — and why should a wine lover pass up a great find when it presents itself? The flow of fine wines at Costco has been written up in such places as The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine, and there's an independent blog devoted to the amazing stuff called CostcoWineBlog.com that recently featured an 89-point 2014 Chateau de Belcier Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux with a "healthy Costco discount" at $8.79, instead of $17 at wine merchants.

Related: 15 Best House Wines From Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe's

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Vacation Packages

A vacation is a luxury, no doubt about it, but feel better about the expense when booking through Costco. The warehouse store is known for its travel benefits, from all-inclusive resortsand vacation packages to cruises and theme park tickets. For example, taking a week off in Grand Cayman at an all-inclusive resort costs only about $2,800 for two adults in October, airfare included, depending on where you live. Booking travel through a warehouse club can also bring perks on rental cars and stays at partner hotels.

Snow Crab Legs
Sam's Club

High-End Meat and Seafood

Warehouse clubs stock crab, lobster, and beef tenderloin, as well as other cuts and chops, at prices that rival grocery chains like HEB and Trader Joe's. A 2-pound bag of frozen, wild-caught snow crab legs and claws costs about $23 at Sam's Club. Looking to feed a crowd? You can find a 6.5-pound package of Kirkland Signature 88 percent lean ground beef for around $23, or a case of seven New Zealand legs of lamb for about $207, depending on final weight, at Sam's Club.

Designer Duds
Costco

Designer Clothing

Most people head to Costco thinking more about bulk garbage bags than high fashion, but a recent visit turned up Tommy Hilfiger men's stretch-cotton button-down dress shirts for $15, Calvin Klein women's knit tops for $15, and denim shorts for $18. Those same brands, plus Kate Spade, Badgley Mischka, DKNY and Marc NY, are represented online as well. 

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Sam's Club

Luxury Recliners

High-end movie theaters have comfortable, reclining chairs with trays to hold fancy snacks and drinks — why shouldn't a home media room have the same feel? Sam's Club sells the Abbyson Living Larson leather power recliner with built-in cup holders, tuck-away tray tables, and storage areas for $400. A similar model discounted on Wayfair costs $110 more.

Apple Watch Series 4
Costco

Electronics

Warehouse club prices on electronics are usually little better than online and big-box competitors, but occasionally you can find in-store specials that are bargains. For instance, Costco's Apple Watch Series 4 with 44mm sports band and GPS plus cellular costs $460, less than you'll pay at Apple or Best Buy by around $60. 

Hot Tubs
Sam's Club

Hot Tubs

A spa is a true indulgence that turns any backyard into a mini-resort. On Costco's website, members can buy an Evolution Spas Stockbridge 95-jet hot tub, which seats up to seven people, for $6,000. That price includes shipping. Home Depot sells a similar Aqualife Eminence hot tub, which also seats up to seven but has only 80 jets, for $6,100. You can save even more at Sam's Club, which sells the seven-person Lifesmart LS600DX spa for just $4,000. It has only 65 jets, but it seats seven like the other two spas and shipping is included.

Dewalt Tools
Costco
1965 Shelby Mustang Car Pool Table
Costco

Pool Tables

A pool table sure would look good in the den or the basement, wouldn't it? And one shaped like a 1965 Mustang? Even better. You can get the 1965 Shelby Mustang Car Pool Table for $11,000 at Costco — $4,000 less than on Amazon. But if that seems a bit much for a round of billiards, there are plenty of less expensive options at Costco and Sam's, too.

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A New Car

Hundreds of thousands of cars are sold every year through the Costco Auto Program with pre-negotiated prices on new and used cars. Many are the usual Fords, Hyundais, or even Audis found at 3,000 participating dealers, but members can shop for everything from RVs and motorcycles to ATVs, snowmobiles, and golf carts. For drivers with $155,000 or more to spend, a 2019 Maserati convertible is available, too. Sam's Club's Auto Buying Program offers similar deals for its members.

Caviar
Costco

Caviar

Sturgeon eggs — more eloquently known as caviar — are an Eastern European delicacy, and they have the price tag price to match. Most sturgeon sold in the U.S. is farm-raised in Bulgaria, and a 2-ounce tin can cost $250 at a specialty vendor. At Costco, you can buy three 2-ounce tins of Plaza Osetra Bulgarian sturgeon caviar for the same price. Sam's Club doesn't sell caviar, although they have in the past.

Kids' Clothes
Sam's Club

Kids' Clothes

Most warehouse club customers probably aren't shopping to outfit the kids, but many head home with frilly dresses, extra swimsuits, or pajama sets once they see what's available. It's hard not to load up at Sam's Club on Arrow boy's polo shirts for $8, Levi's 505 jeans for $13, and Carter's 3-piece baby and toddler sets for less than $6. Free Country softshell jackets in boys' and girls' versions, which gets very positive consumer reviews, are just $17.

NBA 2K20 Legend Edition
Costco

Video Games & Accessories

Sports gaming enthusiasts can pick up "NBA 2K20 Legend Edition" for Nintendo Switch for $90 at Costco, which is $10 less than at Amazon. A Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB Portable Hard Drive costs $60 online at Costco, also $10 less than Amazon.  

Contact Lenses
Costco

Contact Lenses and Glasses

If you wear disposable contact lenses, you can find the name brands at both Costco and Sam's Club. But Costco also sells daily disposable lenses under its Kirkland Signature brand. A 180-pack costs $118, which is far cheaper than two 90-lens packs of most name-brand daily disposable lenses. Costco Optical also gets the thumbs-up from Consumer Reports, which enthusiastically endorsed them in their evaluation of eyewear stores, including Walmart.

Multiple Credit Cards Is a Bad Idea
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Credit Cards

You can save while you splurge by using your store-branded credit card when you shop. Both Costco and Sam's Club offer no-fee credit cards to their members that come with cash-back rewards that are more generous than some bank cards. Costco's Anywhere Visa gives members 4% back on gasoline, 3% on food and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases. The Sam's Club Mastercard gives you 5% back on gasoline and 3% on food and travel, but only 1% on other purchases, including at Sam's and Walmart.