Sam's Club

For shoppers who are buying for a large family or who are looking for high-quality items, Sam’s Club makes a lot of sense as a grocery destination. This warehouse club has a laundry list of products that deserve a spot on your shopping list. From unique, tasty snacks to staples that come in amazingly large quantities, Sam’s Club can be counted on as a place to buy excellent items at fair prices. However, that’s not always the case. Indeed, there are some notable exceptions to that general rule.

Some products at Sam’s Club simply aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. They are so overrated, in fact, that they should be avoided completely. When you see them on the shelves, you will be tempted to add the products to your shopping cart. These items may look yummy or may look like great buys. However, the truth is you should just keep moving down the aisle and not think twice.

Member’s Mark Chicken Nuggets

Member's Mark Chicken Nuggets

When you’re shopping for chicken nuggets at Sam’s Club, you may see Member’s Mark Chicken Nuggets. These things are sure to be cheaper than the name brands and the picture on the packaging makes these nuggets look scrumptious. Sadly, that’s simply not the case. Of all the store-bought chicken nuggets, these are among the worst.

The first issue you’ll run into is breading, which is much too thick. You might not mind it at first, but it will soon become problematic as you try to chew your way through. Secondly, while the juiciness of the meat is sufficient, the quality of the chicken is obviously subpar. You’ll feel like you’re munching on soft, flavored rubber.

Even if you have to pay more money, go with the chicken nuggets made by Tyson or virtually any of the other name brands available. For something slightly different, Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites are excellent. These beautiful bites are remarkably comparable to Chick-fil-A nuggets, the best of the best fast food chicken nuggets.

Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork

Let’s say that you love pulled pork and your night isn’t complete until you’ve had your glass of whiskey. Thus, you should absolutely adore the Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork that is available at Sam’s Club, right? While that might appear to be sound logic, you need to stay away from this gross pulled pork product by all means necessary.

The only positive attribute of Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork is that, since it has already been fully cooked, you can easily heat it up in your microwave. But once it comes time to chow down, everything quickly goes south. The overwhelming issue is the unbearable amount of sweetness in this product. There’s just way, way too much sugar and it overpowers everything. The whiskey flavor that convinced you to buy this pulled pork in the first place is buried beneath no less than a sugary mountain. If you want pulled pork with the flavor of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, you’re going to have to make your own because, alas, this is not it.

Member’s Mark Mango Salsa

While quality store-bought salsas aren’t that hard to find, you need to be careful when you’re shopping at Sam’s Club. At first, Member’s Mark Mango Salsa looks like it should be great. It comes in a clear bottle and the colorful salsa looks gorgeous, with large chunks of fruit and pepper on view. If you look at the ingredients to see what’s in it beyond the tomatoes and the mangoes, you’ll see flavorful additions such as roasted red peppers, cilantro, and sweet chili sauce. Tragically, though, this salsa is practically inedible.

First of all, the texture of Member’s Mark Mango Salsa is frankly disgusting. It’s a slimy and mushy mess. Second of all, the taste is almost nonexistent. Even if you want your salsa to be mild, that doesn’t mean you want all the flavor to be removed. The mangoes somehow have very little flavor and there’s no spiciness at all in this salsa. In fact, the most prominent flavor here is merely salt, which is obviously not what you were looking for when you just want some chips and salsa.

Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

The aforementioned Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites are a big hit but don’t make the mistake of thinking that also applies to Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. This overrated Sam’s Club item might look like Chick-fil-A’s delicious chicken sandwich, but the truth is that they aren’t comparable at all. While Chick-fil-A’s sandwich deserves a spot in the fast food hall of fame, this Sam’s Club sandwich is only deserving a trip to your trash can. It’s that bad.

The first thing you’ll notice when you bite into a Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Sandwich is the strange dill pickle-like flavor permeating the meat. Though you might not hate it at first, you’ll soon grow to despise that briny taste as it builds up with each passing bite. To add to the misery, the texture is much too soft. If you like your chicken sandwiches to be crispy, you should know that these sandwiches are the opposite of that. Stay away.

Hot Bake Cheese Pizza

If you’re looking for something yummy at the food court at Sam’s Club, the Hot Bake Cheese Pizza might catch your eye. Costco has delectable pizza, after all, so you may believe that the Sam’s Club version has to be at least somewhat comparable. Unfortunately, this cheese pizza is a major letdown, even if you keep your expectations in check.

The greasiness of the pizza is possibly the biggest turnoff here. Each slice has a visible amount of fat floating on top. Not only does that make this pizza difficult to eat without ruining your clothes, it negatively impacts the flavor. No one eats pizza to purposefully ingest multiple mouthfuls of grease and little else.

Additionally, while you’d think something called a cheese pizza would have a sufficient amount of cheese, that’s just not the case with this Sam’s Club item. You will notice bald spots where only the tomato sauce can be seen. While this might not be as big of a deal as the greasiness, it’s undoubtedly suboptimal.

Member’s Mark Restaurant Style Bacon

Those who think it’s impossible for bacon to be overrated have never purchased this bacon from Sam’s Club. Member’s Mark Restaurant Style Bacon may come with an appealing price tag but by the time you work your way through this ten-pound box of approximately 200 slices of bacon, you’ll think twice before ever buying it again.

This bacon isn’t gross, mind you, but it’s just not that good compared to other bacon you can get elsewhere. The slices are thinner than average and, to make matters worse, they’re extra fatty. By the time you finish cooking the bacon, it will have shriveled into a brittle shell of its former self, one that’s also lacking a worthwhile amount of bacony goodness. You’ll still eat it but you’ll also daydream of other, meatier brands of bacon that cause you to drool with delight.

Unless you believe that quantity always tops quality when it comes to bacon, pick another brand. You’ll be happier in the long run.

Oversized condiments

When it comes to condiments available at Sam’s Club, prepare for your eyes to pop out of your head when you see what’s available. While a gallon of mayo, 114 ounces of ketchup, or the huge 128-ounce bottle of honey mustard may all look tempting, don’t buy these products. You may think there’s no such thing as too much ketchup or too much mayonnaise — but there is.

It’s unlikely that you will finish these oversized condiments before they go bad. For example, after you open that gallon of mayonnaise, you only have one to two months to finish it before it has gone bad (via Lucky Belly). Even if you and everyone in your family love mayo, you will still probably have some in the container when it’s time to toss it in the garbage.

In the long run, you’ll save space and save money by not buying the oversized and overrated condiments at Sam’s Club.

Member’s Mark Loaded Potato Salad

Typically, potato salad is something that is safe to buy at a place like Sam’s Club. Potato salad is easy to make so what could go wrong? After you try the Member’s Mark Loaded Potato Salad, you will actually be surprised by how bad it tastes. Sam’s Club dropped the ball with this one.

This potato salad is made with redskin potatoes. The skin is kept on the potatoes and, while it may look cool, the skin ends up getting stuck between your teeth. An even bigger problem is the huge amount of mayonnaise that is used in this potato salad. If you were making this salad at home, it has much more mayo than any halfway competent chef would use. There’s so much of it that this Sam’s Club item is basically mayo with chunks of potatoes, bacon, and cheddar cheese mixed in. The container says there’s sour cream but that too gets lost in the flood of mayonnaise.

Caesar Salad with Dressing

When it comes to the food court at Sam’s Club, the Caesar Salad with Dressing is without question the worst thing you can order. It’s even worse than the greasy disaster that is the previously mentioned Hot Bake Cheese Pizza. Yes, seriously.

Everything that can be wrong with the Caesar Salad with Dressing happens. From the soft romaine lettuce to the underwhelming dressing, it all promises to disappoint. Meanwhile, the parmesan cheese doesn’t have much flavor and the croutons are sometimes too crumbly, sometimes too sturdy, and never quite right. The only thing that isn’t a disappointment is the lemon wedge. But, then again, you don’t purchase a salad for the lemon wedge, did you?

When you’re at the Sam’s Club food court, your strategy is simple: order anything except for the Hot Bake Cheese Pizza or the Caesar Salad with Dressing. No matter what you pick, it’ll be a massive improvement over those two forgettable items.

Member’s Mark Chicken Enchiladas

Unless you want your family to disown you, don’t you dare bring Member’s Mark Chicken Enchiladas to the next get-together. Not only does this overrated Sam’s Club item taste bad, but it’s also so embarrassingly inauthentic that it’s laughable. It may look like real enchiladas at a glance but, upon further inspection, you can see that there are issues. Serious issues. Once you taste it, you’ll realize it’s an unappetizing counterfeit that could get you uninvited from the family reunion.

The biggest negative here is the texture of the tortillas. Inexplicably, these tortillas are so big, fluffy, and doughy that it’s as if they inexplicably used bread in these enchiladas instead. Moreover, the red sauce lacks spice and, even then, there’s just not enough of it.

The only redeeming quality for the enchiladas is the chicken, which is the often beloved Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken, one of the best grocery store rotisserie chickens available. That said, everything else about these Member’s Mark Chicken Enchiladas is so bad that even the chicken doesn’t make much of a difference.

Member’s Mark Angus Beef Fajitas

If you have been dreaming of fajitas but you’re too lazy to prepare the meat yourself, you may consider taking a shortcut and purchasing Member’s Mark Angus Beef Fajitas. Don’t do it. This meat is of such poor quality that it will ruin your entire meal.

Sure, it’s handy that Member’s Mark Angus Beef Fajitas come fully cooked. You just need to heat it up and it’s ready to go, which is definitely a boon on a busy night. But once you begin chewing on this meat, you’ll realize you’ve made a big mistake.

Firstly, the meat is way too fatty. Fajitas aren’t supposed to be super lean but this meat went too far in the other direction. Worst of all, the chewiness of the meat is unbearable. It’s so leathery that you will spend way too long chewing on it, at least long enough to fully regret your decision. There’s even a good chance that you will give up and just spit it out, it’s so unappealing. Unless you’re in the market for fajita-flavored gum, skip this product.

Del Real Foods Pork Tamales

Like the enchiladas, fajitas, and mango salsa mentioned above, these Del Real Foods Pork Tamales from Sam’s Club are extremely overrated. It’s probably safe to say that you should just stay away from anything related to Mexican cuisine when you’re shopping at this warehouse club. Perhaps you’d be better served by learning how to make these dishes on your own.

These tamales are made with pork that is utterly bathing in red sauce. Honestly, the meat is actually okay. The problem is everything else. First, the red sauce has a limited amount of spiciness to it. Even though the label claims that there are jalapeno peppers in these tamales, you’d be hard-pressed to detect their heat in this dish. Second, the masa dough that makes up the body of the tamales is extremely dry and flaky. When you take a bite, don’t be surprised when crumbs come falling down onto your shirt. Third, the amount of filling just isn’t enough compared to the portion of the masa.

Instead of being these knockoff tamales, you’d be much better off finding a small Mexican restaurant near you with expert chefs who know what they’re doing.

Milk

How can milk be overrated? It’s just milk, after all. Yet, just such a problem can happen when the milk in question is needlessly overpriced. At Sam’s Club, milk is one thing that you should simply never purchase. Compare the price to what you’d pay for milk at your local grocery store and you’ll see that the milk at the grocery store is almost certainly going to be easier on your wallet.

The quality of the Sam’s Club milk isn’t notably higher, either. It still comes in the same standard sizes you’d see at other stores, so it’s not as if you’re saving money by buying in bulk. Basically, Sam’s Club is hoping that you’ll pay more for milk due to convenience. You’re already in the store, so they figure that you’ll just pick up a gallon of milk without raising a fuss over the price difference.

Unless Sam’s Club is the only place you buy groceries and you never go anywhere else, wait until your next trip to a supermarket or grocery store to buy milk.

Member’s Mark Handmade Crab Cakes

These days, you can find these scrumptious cakes in every corner of the country. If you’re at Sam’s Club, you may be tempted by Member’s Mark Handmade Crab Cakes. Eating a crab cake that is made by hand, as the packaging claims, sounds like it’d make for a tasty meal.

Unfortunately, you’ll know you’ve made a poor purchase right after you heat up the crab cakes, as a strong and unwelcome fish smell will fill your home. If you can ignore the odor enough to take a bite of one of the cakes, the fishy flavor will make you grimace. This strong flavor is just too much even for the greatest seafood consumers out there. Worse yet, the pungent taste stays in your mouth no matter what you drink. You’ll need to go brush your teeth if you hope to dissipate the fishiness. Each package comes with six crab cakes but you will likely give up after trying one.

Produce

There are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t buy produce at Sam’s Club. The first reason is the price. Like milk, produce is something that you can almost always find cheaper elsewhere. It makes no sense, even if you have to visit another store to get your fruits and veggies.

The second reason is the fact that you usually have to buy your produce in bulk when you’re shopping at Sam’s Club. If you buy that ten-pound bag of apples, don’t act shocked when fruit flies are buzzing around inside of your home because the apples have started to rot. You should only buy the amount of produce that you’re planning to use — and that can be difficult to do at Sam’s Club.

When buying produce, go to a local supermarket or grocery store, or even hit up a farmers market. Chances are good that the prices will be lower and you can purchase the exact amount that you need, rather than watching it all go to waste in your kitchen.