On Wednesday, I talked about “Is Costco Worth It?”
And while the answer will depend on each family, I thought it might be a good exercise for me to list all of the grocery items I buy at Costco on a regular basis.
In some cases, the items are a much better deal than I find at the grocery store on sale with a coupon. In other instances, it is a personal decision because of either the quality or the taste.
1. Spices, Seasonings, and Vanilla. Unfortunately, coupons for spices are few and far between and paying retail can really add up. By purchasing spices and vanilla at Costco, the savings is close to 75% off retail prices. I store the bulk spices in the freezer and fill up smaller containers that are used in my spice rack.
2. Bisquick. Another item that is rarely on sale or has amazing coupons. This 96 oz box is close to three-times the size of a grocery store box and is usually around $5.00 (which is close to a 60% savings). This is a convenience item, because while we could make our pancakes and waffles from scratch – Bisquick makes it so much easier.
3. Parboiled Rice. Our family loves this rice. It is much quicker than regular white rice, but with a superior consistency to Minute Rice. Don’t let the 10 lb bag scare you – unboiled rice can also be frozen, so it is easy to store. And at $.44 per pound it is a great savings too.
4. CLIF Bars. We burn through these babies. Even though there are sales and coupons for CLIF bars, it isn’t enough to keep us stocked. At $.74 a bar, we are saving almost $.50 each over retail prices and the occasional sale allows us to bring different flavors into the house.
5. Kirkland’s Brand Columbian Coffee. We are coffee snobs. And while we pay close to $4.00 per pound with the Kirkland’s coffee, it is still a significant savings over Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts bagged coffee. And I’m a happy camper each and every morning.
6. Higher-End Meat. Purchasing a whole beef top loin and cutting it up into KC Strip steaks saves us close to $1.00 per pound. Add benefit is having a thick steak the Hubs likes and a higher quality of meat.
7. Higher-End Cheese. Our family likes sharp cheddar, feta, fresh mozzarella, and gorgonzola cheese. Buying these at the grocery store means paying close to $10 per pound, even with a coupon. Most cheeses at Costco run from between $5.00 – 7.00 per pound. A significant savings vs. the grocery store.
8. Heinz Vinegar. We use a vinegar, water and soap mixture as our all-purpose cleaner. And since I like to use my spray bottle A LOT, it means we go through a fair amount of vinegar. Costco has Heinz Vinegar for $3.29 for a 1.32 gallon jug – and that price makes it much cheaper than store-brand name vinegar.
9. Organic Fruits & Veggies (Frozen and Fresh). I will never eat any other frozen veggies than what is sold at Costco and what I freeze myself. It is impossible to match the taste, texture, and quality of Costco veggies vs Birds Eye or Westpac. Occasionally there are better sales on organic fruits and veggies at the stores – but consistently Costco’s price is hard to beat.
10. Mrs. Buttersworth Syrup. My kids BURN through syrup. They eat waffles or pancakes every morning for breakfast. And syrup is expensive. This HUGE two-pack of Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup lasts our family for several months and at under $6.00 it still makes waffles or pancakes affordable. (And I realize it isn’t the healthiest syrup – but neither are Lucky Charms.)
11. Eagle Mills Flour. I puffy heart this flour. There shouldn’t be a difference in flour, but there is. Unfortunately, baking product sales are cyclical. And while you can stock up in November and December, this flour is a great price at $1.92 for 5-lbs for those off months.
12. Kirkland Brand Bathroom Tissue. I gave up trying to figure out the best price for bathroom tissue. These are big rolls, last a long time, and soft enough for Hubs not to complain. I buy one and then forget about bathroom tissue for a couple of months.
13. Dairy (Milk, Half & Half, and Whipping Cream). Their dairy is close to 50% off grocery store prices. Added benefit – it’s organic. And it has a long-shelf life. And seems to last a week past expiration date. Enough said.
14. Trash Bags. We never seem to get great sales or coupons for trash bags. I buy the big 200-count box and forget about trash bags for six months.
15. Items with a Costco Coupon. A small disclaimer – just because Costco has a coupon, doesn’t mean it is a great deal. However, those Costco coupons can turn not such a good deal items into super good deal items quickly. I just stocked up on Ziploc Bags because they were $.97 a box after coupon vs. $1.25 per box we pay after coupon at a drug or grocery store. Know your prices and you will always get the best deal.
And here is a list of the 15 Things I Will Never Buy at Costco Again.
What did I miss? What items do you think are great deals at Costco? Leave a comment and let me know.