Monday, January 3, 2011

Will Costco save our family more money?

The Hubbs and I started debating whether shopping at Costco on a more regular basis would save us more money.  We generally shop there every 3 months or so.  Together we wrote down what we had just purchased at Costco last week and what it would cost at Fred Meyer, where I shop every week.  This short list is just what we purchased last week.  At the bottom of this post are current prices on everything we would buy at some point from Costco.

Costco purchases on 12.27.2010
Organic olive oil, 51oz~$10.49
Organic sugar 10lbs~$8.89 *will last more than 1 month
Organic frozen corn 5lbs~$5
Organic frozen peas 5lbs~$5.29
Organic frozen green beans 5lbs~$5.29
Organic strawberry jam 42oz~$6.49 *will last more than 1 month
Tillamook sharp cheese 2.5lbs~$7.55 *will not last 1 month
Tillamook colby cheese 2.5lbs~$6.59 *will not last 1 month
= $55.59

At Freddy's I would pay (I'm comparing the exact same item, but probably diff. brands)
Oil 48oz~$24
Sugar 10lbs~$12.90
Corn 5lbs~$20
Peas 5lbs~$20
GBeans 5lbs~$20
Jam 42oz~$14
Sharp cheese 2.5lbs~$9
Colby cheese 2.5lbs~$9
= $128.90

For a savings of $73.31

So today, like the type-A-list-making nerd I am, I went to Costco with nothing in my mind to purchase but I wanted to make a price list.  It was of course packed...1pm on Monday shouldn't be, but it was.  So here is what I found, I hope it helps :)

Organic Broccoli - $3.49/3lbs
Tillamook sharp cheese 2.5lbs~$7.55
Tillamook colby cheese 2.5lbs~$6.59
Frigo mozzarella 2.1lbs~$4.29
Organic frozen corn 5lbs~$5
Organic frozen peas 5lbs~$5.29
Organic frozen green beans 5lbs~$5.29
Organic salted butter 2lbs~$6.89
Polish hot dogs 3.81lbs/14 hot dogs~$10.99
Maple syrup 32oz~$12.55 *every other month
Organic strawberry jam 42oz~$6.49 *every other month
Organic peanut butter 56oz~$7.89
Organic Better than Bouillon (chicken and beef) - $6.49 ea? *every 3 months
Steel cut oats - 72 oz/$8.99 ??? *every other monthOrganic olive oil 51oz~$10.49
Organic sugar 10lbs~$8.89 *every other month
Organic animal crackers 64oz~$7.99
Pace salsa 76oz~$5.39 *every other month
Mayonnaise 64oz~$6.89 *every 3 months
Classico spaghetti sauce 64oz~$6.99
Organic tomato paste 72oz~$5.99 *every 3 months
Organic apple sauce 189oz~$8.79 *every other month
Organic quinoa 4lbs~$9.89 *every 3 months
Organic short grain brown rice 12lbs~$13.99 *every 3 months
Listerine 3liters~$9.99
Smokehouse almonds 38oz~$8.69
Jerky 18oz~$11.99 *we only buy this on coupon
Triscuits 38oz~$5.99
Craisins 48oz~$6.99 *every other month
Prunes 50oz~$5.99 *every 3 months
Organic raisins 4lbs~$6.99 *every 3 months
Fruit leather 48oz~$10.65 *once in a blue moon purchase because of the waste created
Trail Mix $9.99 *when the budget allows
Organic Almonds - $9.99/4lbs
Tortillas $4.99/5lbs 14oz (40 large) *the all natural ones
Vinegar (white, distilled for cleaning/laundry/dishwasher rinse) $3.49/2 gallons
Toothbrushes *only on coupon

I'm not including produce because the price fluctuates so much and we try to eat in-season produce.  We get our milk and eggs from local farmers and we purchase our meats directly from our local farmers/butchers :)

This breakdown has shown me that I need to adjust our budget and shopping to make Costco more of a priority.

What are your Costco staples?  Can you find any comparable products at your grocery store for less?

Women Living Well

A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa's



Domestically Divine Homemaking

@ Far Above Rubies


  1. We go to Costco once a month... yes, it can save money, but you have to know your prices! Way to go Lacey!!! You rock!

    Go-Gurt Simple - $9.99/60 (for kids' lunches) *monthly*
    Trail Mix (when budget allows) - $9.99
    Organic Almonds - $9.99/4lbs *every other month*
    Tortillas $4.99/5lbs 14oz (40 large) *monthly*
    Dried Blueberries $7.99/20 oz *every other month*
    Organic Better than Bouillon (chicken and beef) - $6.49 ea? *monthly*
    Steel Cut Oats - 72 oz/$8.99 ??? *monthly*
    Organic Salad - $3.49
    Organic Broccoli - $3.49/3lbs unless I can find it on sale elsewhere
    Organic Baby Carrots - $4.99/5lbs
    *Hershey's choc syrup* - yes I'm a horrible person, but its nummy. :P I'm going to start trying to make our own once this last bottle runs out.
    Organic frozen corn 5lbs~$5 *monthly*
    Organic frozen peas 5lbs~$5.29 *monthly*
    Organic frozen green beans 5lbs~$5.29 *monthly*
    Organic apple sauce 189oz~$8.79 *monthly*
    Organic quinoa 4lbs~$9.89 *every 3 months*
    Organic short grain brown rice 12lbs~$13.99 *every 3 months*
    Craisins 48oz~$6.99 *every other month*
    Organic raisins 4lbs~$6.99 *every 3 months*
    Maple syrup 32oz~$12.55 *every other month*
    Organic strawberry jam 42oz~$6.49 *2 per month*
    Organic peanut butter 56oz~$7.89 *2 per month*
    Organic olive oil, 51oz~$10.49 *monthly*
    Organic sugar 10lbs~$8.89 *every other month*

    Lightbulbs (when on rebate)
    Ticonderoga pencils ('cause I'm a pencil snob and I like to have pencils that work and sharpen properly, lol) - $7.99 for 8 dozen
    Packing Tape (only w/coupon)
    Vinegar (white, distilled for cleaning/laundry) $3.49/2 gallons
    Toothbrushes (only on coupon)
    Dawn Dishsoap (generally only on coupon, but its still cheaper w/out the coupon)
    Baking Soda - no clue as I haven't bought it in so long, ironically I ran out today.
    Garbage Bags (only on coupon)

    REALLY wish that they would get in bulk organic whole wheat flour though...Dear Costco,

  2. I'm headed there tomorrow. My staples are:
    Cheese, bread, bagels, garlic bread, hummus, bacon, sliced ham, potstickers and fried rice, fruits and veggies, milk, eggs, and gas in the car. Can't beat $.10 off a gallon from what I would pay on the neighborhood corner!

  3. Meaghan, thanks for adding this, I'm going to update my original post with some of your additions & I'm also going to add a few things to my list that I didn't realize they carried :)

    That's a good list of staples :)

  4. We buy all our bulks from Azure Standards. I have found that cheap organics from the store usually come from China. Here's a few of my bulk staples

    20 lbs organic apples $20
    25 lbs organic evaporated cane sugar $21.80
    15 lbs sustainable produced peanut butter $23
    25 lbs organic oats $16.40
    1 gallon Bragg's organic ACV $11.75
    4 64oz tubs of Plain Whole Milk Nancy's yogurt $20.40
    50 lbs organic Unifine flour $30.70

  5. Thanks for the tip Megan, that site is awesome!

  6. We also shop at Costco and some of the prices are great! I also love when they have coupons!

    Our main Costco staple is Kirkland Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. They are frozen and individually packed. We used to get fresh chicken from a meat market, but this is just as good and way cheaper!

    We also use the coupons to get vitamins, soap, Cascade dishwasher packs, toilet paper and paper towels.

  7. I have found that if I buy something at Costco when I have a coupon for it (from Costco's coupon mailers) it's very, very hard to get it cheaper any other way. Beyond that, I usually buy the organic broccoli, the Kirkland organic salsa (we love it) and meat/poultry/fish at Costco. Milk is also very reasonably priced there, but I don't make an extra trip to get it.

    Great post and great list. You are a nerd after my own heart!

  8. Julie,
    I've been wanting to try their organic salsa, but my hubby is a die-hard Pace fan. Maybe next time I'll just bite the bullet :)

    And yes, the coupons are awesome. Their booklet came yesterday and they have the Craisins for $3 off, woot!

  9. Love Costco! My staples are Annie's snacks for the kids, Organic EVOO, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Cheddar Cheese and fish. Usually, Red Snapper and Tilapia. As Megan mentioned above I'm also an Azure Standard nut! Love buying bulk nuts, grains and beans through Azure. I'm very excited to say that we just got a Trader Joes in my area and I'm really starting to like some of the things they offer. Grass Fed cheese, and wine... absolutely wonderful wine from Spain for amazing prices!!! I could go on and on... lol, but we to are on a budget! Thanks for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday Lacey, this was a great post!

  10. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to go to Costco with my friend sometime to pickup a few items. I buy most of my food locally or through Azure.

  11. Thanks Lacey! I was actually wondering if I should be getting more items at Costco than at my local store.

  12. I've decided to go every other week...we'll see :)

    Happy to help!

  13. Lacey, unfortunately I don't have a Costco nearby, but I hear it's great. Way to go!!

    Thanks for linking up to Domestically Divine and mentioning it here on your blog.

    God bless you,