Costco – our favorite bulk money saver for food!

Costco – our favorite bulk money saver for food!

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On Christmas Eve, we went to Costco, in an effort to start our year off right in terms of savings. Happy holidays for savings!

I’d say Costco is great for non-perishables that you don’t need to put in the fridge. Even some perishables, like cakes and pies are very cheap and some meat, like the rotisserie chicken and marinated chicken wings are a really good deal. For perishables such as the cakes or 5 pound chicken wings, I usually separate them into single serving portions, put them in aluminum foil and freeze them. They taste just as delicious when they are defrosted!

All along Costco there are a lot of temptations of things to buy, and I’m sure Costco lures many shoppers in with their value prices on things they wouldn’t consume in bulk. I passed by 3 pounds of pistachios for $9.99 and was quite tempted, but only eat pistachios when they’re in front of me.

I think I fell in temptation to their tres leches cake though. The price was so agreeable and it looked so delicious that I bought the entire thing. I went home and scarfed down 1/8th of the cake and could eat no more. 7/8ths of it is now sitting in my freezer, waiting for when the sugar craving strikes again. I’ll have cake for the next few months instead of being tempted to buy $5 cake at the hipster pastry shops.

Below are the everyday deals I saw.

Meat

Organic chicken – $6 a pound compared to the $12 I normally see in grocery stores or FreshDirect.

Rotisserie chicken  Р3 pounds for just $4.99

Chicken wings – 5 pounds at $2.89 per pound of garlic sweet chili marinated wings. So good and I eat about half a pound of chicken wings $1.5 in wings per meal. The frozen wings were $2.30 a pound, I figured the cost of the spices rubbed on the chicken and labor was worth it to just pay the extra.

Charcuterie pack – Chorizo, salami, etc variety pack for $9.99 a pound. Compare at $13+/pound

Prosciutto – $9.99 a pound, compared to $20+/pound at the deli. Not sliced as thinly, but hey just as delicious to me.

Household Goods

Swiffer Wet Wipes – $14.99 for 60 wipes. At .25 that’s a pretty good deal. I could just use paper towels in disinfectant, but over the course of the year I’d save maybe $5, and I’d rather not have to pour disinfectant every time. I choose my frugal battles.

BedHead Shampoo and Conditioner – $16 for the pack (16 ounces+ per shampoo and conditioner)

Philosophy Microdelivery Face Wash (32 ounces) – $33.99 at Costco and $44+ at other online retailers.

Levi’s Jeans – $25

Non-Refridgerated Goods

Starbucks Frappuccino – $14.99 for 15 of them. I’ve usually seen these only for $2+ per bottle. Though I advocate drinking cheaper coffee, this isn’t bad for celebration days. Maybe for a nice picnic or when you get to the top of a mountain hike.

It was kinda hilarious just carrying this around.

Lindt Chocolate – A giant 5 pack of Lindt Chocolate in the best Novelty presentation ever. Imagine getting this as a stocking stuffer. I wouldn’t care it was from Costco — it looks pretty festive. At $2 a bar, that’s a great deal for gourmet chocolate.

Oatmeal – $7.99 for 10 pounds of oatmeal. This comes out to 15 cents per serving for breakfast.

Goya beans – $9.99 for 10 pounds. Usually $1.29 per pound elsewhere. 20 cents or so per serving.

Folger’s Coffee – $10.99 for 400 servings. 3 cents per cup of coffee?!

Green tea – 100 packs of green tea by Kirkland for $11.99. Not bad for 12 cents per cup of tea.

Pocky – 12 packs for $8.99

Manuka Honey – $39.99 for 35 ounces. More than 60 percent discount compared to other brands.

Dairy and Bakery 

Organic 24 pack eggs – $6. It usually costs $3.99 each at cheapest at the grocery store (lots of $4-$6+ for a dozen eggs at the grocery store)

Chobani Yogurt – 20 for $13.99

Pumpkin Pie – A little larger than a 12″ diameter, weighing in around 3.5 pounds. $5.99. I could not make a pumpkin pie for nearly this cheap.

Veggies and Fruits

Brussel sprouts – $2.25 per pound in 2 pound packs. Compare at $3+ per pound at the grocery store.

Organic Beets – 3 pounds for around $5.69, all peeled and cooked, over 70 percent cheaper than online.

Items I haven’t seen anywhere else in my region

A whole duck! for $2.99 per pound. Maybe for next Thanksgiving or other holiday.

Tres Leches Cakes – $12.99 for a cake a little larger than a 12 ” diameter.

Rows and rows of Tres Leches

Food court deals

Chicken Bake at the food court for $2.99. Unfortunately we exited Costco as they closed, so we weren’t able to visit and try it. It does look delicious though, and we’re excited to try it next time.

18″ pepperoni pizza for $9.99. Price hasn’t increased since 1989. Considering how Food CPI has probably at least doubled, this is pretty amazing.

Large soft drink and 1 foot hot dog for $1.5. There’s a great story in their Costco magazine called Order in the Court about how this price hasn’t changed since 1985. Some pretty great deals for me!

Berry smoothie for $2.99. Juice Generation charges $8 a smoothie, and even if I made this at home, it would come close to over this amount given how much fruit is in it.

Items that were not deals

Ribs for $5+ per pound. The grocery store has normal baby back rib deals for $1.99.

Organic Broccoli was $1.99 per pound but I would’ve happily paid for a non-organic version for $.99 at the grocery store, so not sure about this one.

Bread was $3.99 per sliced loaf, whereas some other stores have them for $2.29. I was a bit surprised about this one – maybe I read the wrong sign or something since everything else was cheaper here.

I’m sure there were other things that were deals, but we were only in there for about an hour and I don’t know the price of everything. I’m trying to learn though! If I learn normal market prices of 10 new items every time we go, I’ll eventually be able to see how much cheaper everything is. On average there are 4,000 items in a Costco. They pay their staff above market and it shows – they’re all happy to be there it seems. Also, they get time and half on Sundays (but no extra discount!) so if you’re looking for part-time side hustle or job, consider them! They do pay the people who hand out food separately and less if you’re considering that.

In the end, my delicious CostCo meal cost $2 and was incredibly tasty and healthy. White rice for carbs, brussels sprouts for veggies, and chicken wings for protein. Life is good.

Something I recently started doing is reading the grocery flyer, because how are you supposed to know if something is a deal if you don’t know the original price in your neighborhood? I hear the sneaky ones advertise deals that are the same price week after week because most people don’t read them every week. Guilty as charged.

What are your favorite deals at Costco? Do you have other favorite discount stores?

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Author: Olivia

Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She’s on track to reach financial independence before 30, and she wants to teach you how you can retire in less than a decade as well.

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6 thoughts on “Costco – our favorite bulk money saver for food!

  1. We don’t normally shop at Costco – the nearest one is about 12 miles away, and I normally cannot find the time to go there. I haven’t got a membership because of that. May be I should try that out.

    Read a couple of your entries, going to read more. Great job! I started my blog last month too.

    1. You should check it out! It takes us 30 min to get to ours and back each way, but it saves so much for us. I really do think it saves 40 percent + on our groceries. And when you’re staring down a 5 pound bag of something, it’s easy to say “No, I don’t really need it.” Versus at the grocery store if it was a single serving, I might be like, “Oh hmm, looks kind of interesting, I’ll buy it and try it out.”

      If you’re looking to just check out the prices, you can walk in without a membership. We asked for one at the checkout counter and it was fine. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest, but they also have samples of food, so choices, choices.

      Took a look at your blog! 7 more years doesn’t sound half bad! Soon, you’ll be like 1500 days and retire even earlier than your estimate :).

  2. I wish we had a Costco in our town. The closest one is about 3 hours away. The in-laws go there weekly and can’t stop bragging it up lol.

    Crazy about the cost of ribs there. I usually pick them up at Walmart for a couple dollars cheaper per pound. Usually the Tyson brand. Great, now I’m hungry!

    1. Costco has free delivery above $75 :D. Get all your non-perishables for a year haha. Wow, that is far. I would never go either then. But if you get it delivered, no driving, no loading and unloading, you just sit at home until the food comes!

      It is crazy! Maybe my eyes were deceiving because we usually have ribs for 1.99/pd on sale at a local grocery store quite often. I like to put mine in the crock pot and then caramelize them. Soooo good!

      1. I didn’t know about the free delivery! I might have to look into that. I’m guessing keeping it over $75 is pretty easy lol.

        Sounds like you have a great rib recipe. Lately I’ve been putting them in the oven for about 4 hours at 275 degrees. The last 30 minutes is when I apply the sauce and let it caramelize a bit.

        I’m hoping to pick up a pellet grill this spring/summer. I’ve had ribs on those before and they are amazing!

        1. For sure!

          Sounds tasty! I just buy a bottle of BBQ sauce that looks good, dump 3/4 of it into the crock pot with some garlic and onions. Then I cook it on low for 5 hours before transferring it to the oven to caramelize. A plus is that a crock pot is only 2 cents an hour to run, while the oven is something like 15 cents. I didn’t do it on purpose to save 13 cents an hour haha. It just turned out that way. I was trying to figure out what to eat for lunch and I think I’m going to the grocery store and buying some ribs. The power of suggestion!

          Oooh you’ll have to show us pictures and your recipes! I live in an apartment so unfortunately no grill for me :(.

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