I’ve become a big Costco fan in the last few months. As an “Executive Member,” I can get fantastic deals on foods we used to buy elsewhere for more (and for more per unit. Check out a few coupon deals that are nicely timed for this Back to School time of the year.
Skinny Cow Vanilla & Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches, 20 ct $9.79, regular price
Use $2.80/1 – Skinny Cow Vanilla & Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches, 20 ct, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $6.99
Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders $13.99, regular price
Use $4.00/1 – Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders $13.99, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $9.99
Ore-Ida Bagel Bites, Deluxe, Cheese or Pepperoni, 72 ct $10.39, regular price
Use $3.00/1 -Ore-Ida Bagel Bites, Deluxe, Cheese or Pepperoni, 72 ct, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $7.39
Huggies Natural Care Plus Baby Wipes, 1160 ct $24.99, regular price
Use $5.00/1 – Huggies Natural Care Plus Baby Wipes, 1160 ct, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $19.99
Pasta Prima Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli, 3.5 lb $9.99, regular price
Use $2.50/1 – Pasta Prima Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli, 3.5 lb, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $7.49
Frito-Lay Variety Pack $11.59, regular price
Use $3.00/1 – Frito-Lay Variety Pack, $11.59, Costco Coupon, limit 3, exp 8/31
Final Price: $8.59
ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars, 24 ct $16.79, regular price
Use $5.00/1 – ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars, 24 ct $16.79, Costco Coupon, limit 3, exp 8/31
Final Price: $11.79
Pretzel Crisps, 32 oz $5.99, regular price
Use $1.60/1 – Pretzel Crisps, 32 oz $5.99, Costco Coupon, no limit, exp 8/31
Final Price: $4.39
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, 58 oz $8.99, regular price
Use $2.50/1 – Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, 58 oz, Costco Coupon, limit 5, exp 8/31
Final Price: $6.49
Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts, 48 ct $8.39, regular price
Use $2.40/1 – Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts, 48 ct, Costco Coupon, limit 2, exp 8/31
Final Price: $5.99
A Costco just opened up in our area a few weeks ago. I had debated whether we’d join, mostly because I wasn’t sure that it would be worth the price of membership. Well, a great Living Social offer was all it took to get me to buy the membership and off I went to Costco.
My biggest question was whether we would find the kinds of foods and other items that we already use for prices that are as good or better than what we already pay. I was especially curious about what organic items would be available there.
Well, I just made my second visit to the new store and I thought I’d report to you what I have already decided are my must-buy items at Costco.
1. Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese
My daughter loves Annie’s Mac and Cheese. We generally pay about $2.00 per box unless we can get it on sale. The best price I’ve ever gotten on it was about $1.67 (at a Whole Foods 3 for $5 sale). Well, Costco sells a 15 box package for $15.99! That’s about $1.07 per box! Yep, that’s a keeper!
2. Organic Ground Beef
The price of beef has gone up in the last year or so. And, it has been more and more difficult for us to be able to stock up on beef and chicken, like we used to when we could get great deals at our local grocery store. Costco’s regular price on ground beef ($4.50/lb) is better than the sale price we get at our local grocery store.
3. Organic Maple Syrup
It’s the best tasting and best-for-you sweetener available. So, we have enjoyed having it around. I have ordered it online to keep the price down. But, the Costco price of $13.59 for 33oz is still $3-$4 cheaper than the best price I found online.
4. Organic Spaghetti Sauce
The organic spaghetti sauce I have been buying sells for $2.99 per 26oz (that’s about $0.12/oz). It wasn’t a bad price at all. However, this three-pack of 32 oz jars at Costco costs $8.99. That breaks down to about $0.09/oz. Nothing wrong with getting a better deal, right?
5. Organic Coconut Oil
I usually buy our coconut oil online simply because it’s so much more expensive at our local stores. But, that’s changing. The best deal on coconut oil now is at Costco. A 54 oz container of coconut oil costs $16.59. Yes, I bought one; and, yes, I’ll be back for more when we need it.
What are your favorite Costco deals?
I am constantly saying, “make, don’t buy.” But in almost all instances it’s cheaper to buy a rotisserie chicken then to even make your own. Our Costco has them for $4.99 a piece. That is a seriously cheap piece of meat! Most other stores I’ve seen that carry rotisserie chickens don’t cost much more than that. When I bought mine a few days ago, I challenged myself to get as many meals out of it as possible and as of tonight, I got 3! For a family of 4, I am impressed! Aren’t you?
Here’s what I did.
Rotisserie chicken in pieces served with peas and mashed potatoes.
Approximate cost was $3.69 for the WHOLE meal!
Chicken salad on dinner rolls.
I make mine with mayonaise, purple grapes and walnuts. I keep it very simple and if you don’t have these things in your house just improvise.
Approximate cost was $3.66. I didn’t buy a thing for this those. It was all stuff I had on hand.
Chicken noodle soup (or something like it)
By this time, I didn’t have a lot of meat left, but there was still some left! I actually put the chicken “carcass” in the crockpot, covered it half way with water and 2 cans of chicken broth. I also added chopped celery, onion (both yellow and green), carrots, a bay leaf and couple of minced garlic cloves. Then I added a little salt and pepper to taste. I let it cook for about 6 hours. Then I took the carcass out and got more of the chicken off of it and threw the bones away. I chopped up some raw spaghetti noodles very roughly and threw them in the crock pot. I let it cook until the noodles were soft and DONE! It was awesome!
Approximate cost was only $2.25!
What do you do with rotisserie chicken!?
Waste not want not right? This is a great thing to think about every time you go to the big bulk super clubs. It’s so easy to see the awesome produce, meats, cheeses, etc and want to “bulk” up your stockpile, but there are some items you should avoid in bulk.
1. Milk. Most families, not all, will not use as much milk as you have to in bulk. For some they will, so by all means the milk is these places is a good price, but if you don’t drink it, it’s just throwing away money. We drink 3 different kinds of milk in our house so bulk is not an option for us.
2. Brown rice. White rice is AWESOME to buy in bulk, but brown rice has a much shorter shelf life and can go back quickly.
3. Condiments. Have you seen how big that mayo is? The average person is not going to use it in time before it expires. Plus it takes up so much space in your refrigerator. Unlike toilet paper that can be stored in a shed if you want, you’ll have to take up the space in the fridge. Space is precious in our house 🙂
4. Vitamins and supplements. Let’s list everything that I have wasted buying in bulk. Prenatal vitamins, children vitamins and whey protein. Ughhhh I hate that I did that. Unless you are absolutely sure you are going to use these things consistently, skip the bulk.
5. Olive oil. Did you know the shelf life of olive oil is only 6 months? You probably won’t cook with that much olive oil unless you have a cooking show. And if you are reading this and you do, drop us a line. We have plenty of Thrifty Divas questions for you! 🙂
There is some money to be saved when you buy in bulk, but only if you are smart about it.
For example, I thought my children would be huge oatmeal eaters so I went to Costco and bought the big huge tub of it only to find out, they hate it. A year and a half later and I still have oatmeal coming out of my ears.
So tip number one, don’t buy it unless you use it often.
When buying in bulk, the cost may be higher, but the cost per unit is much less.
Some items that we buy in bulk when we can’t find a good deal at the grocery store are things like toilet paper, paper towels, meat, butter (I know weird right?) and snacks for the kids. We only buy in bulk what will either keep or stuff we can freeze. We very rarely buy anything like fresh produce because it will go bad before we can use all of it. The best way to waste money it to definitely not use what you bought.
Meat can get really expensive and I mean REALLY expensive. In our family, we like good meat, so our bill can get out of hand. Buying meat in bulk can really save you some money. However, make sure you freeze what isn’t going to get eaten so you don’t lose any. We often will call local meat processing companies and find out if they know of ranchers who sell animals that you can get processed. We’ve done that for two years and ended up spending around $3 per pound on all meat. That’s a pretty good price for ground beef, it’s an outstanding price for ribeye steaks though!
Another great thing about buying in bulk is the choices. Have you been to your groceries section of bulk foods? You can really score on the diversity of stuff there. You will probably see foods you’ve never even tried before. Often times grocery stores will have an entire organic bulk section.
When you walk in the door of your local bulk food warehouse, make sure you ask if they have any coupon books. I know our warehouse sends us coupons ever so often.
Buying in bulk definitely isn’t the cheapest way to shop since so many of us can just use tons of coupons to get next to nothing supplies, but for those just wanting to cut a little expense, buying in bulk is perfect! Plus, I just love going and trying all the samples!
What are some things you buy in bulk?