Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

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Lynn2024
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Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Lynn2024 »

Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
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rob
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by rob »

I don't think Costco will save money on a pure numeric value. You get better value, quality and certainly quantity for a lot of stuff but it's not cheaper in most cases.

If you have a Costco fuel stop that would help but on the general warehouse I doubt it.
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dukeblue219
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by dukeblue219 »

Honestly, you're unlikely to save a ton shopping for the average family at Costco. You'll get a fair deal and buying Kirkland products in bulk is cost effective. But you aren't going to get ALDI prices (or whatever discount grocer you may have).
benne77
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by benne77 »

Rotisserie Chicken $5. We save a ton on protein bars by buying them on sale. Eggs are cheap. Occasionally will have sales on many items in freezer section like frozen pizzas, pizza rolls, chicken breast, yogurt, etc. I would bet most don't save much money at costco though since it is the king of impulse purchases with all of their new cool product offerings.
VanityPlate
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by VanityPlate »

1. Non-food household items like TP, PT, garbage bags, detergents are all high quality and MUCH cheaper than what you’d get elsewhere.

2. Anything that’s on sale at Costco is always a good deal, so if you see something on sale that you’d regularly buy, get a bunch of it there.

3. Otherwise, it really depends on the product.
FlowWithTheGo
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by FlowWithTheGo »

We bought a small chest freezer from there to help with the extras. I mean Costco markup is on average 10 percent while most grocery stores are 30 percent. But with cc yearly rebate you get that even lower.

Eggs
Whole chickens. Any meat really.
Ice cream
Rotisserie chicken
Fruits, veggies, nuts. Frozen fruits.
Better than bullion.
Bread, sandwich ingredients.
Vitamins, supplements

Dog food(if applicable) and tires make my membership worth it alone. 8-)

Your bill might not go down but quality will go up if not. If they have it and you will use it, it is probably not worth too much time price checking. If you don't like it return it.
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

I don't use Costco/Sams Club.

Years of trying keep my "costs" low without looking like I'm keeping my costs low here's what I've found.

1.) Menu plan. Basically, make a list of all the things your family will eat broken down into categories like "Breakfast", "Lunch", "Dinner". Notice the lack of snacks. If all of the meals are prepackaged in some some way... it might be time to wean your family off the "ultraprocessed" foods. Create a list of the "meals" - entree, sides, beverage. if you don't "meal plan" at all - start with planning one or two meals per week. You will slowly start to collect recipes that your family likes and discover that you can often cook once and eat two or three times (and not same meal). it's kind of you have the rotissarie chicken with a couple of sides one night, you use the left over meat to chicken salad sandwiches the next day OR use the left over meat with broth and noodles/veggies for a hearty soup OR something else I can't think of. My mom use to make pork chops for dinner on Friday - and any left over porkchop got added to scrambled eggs (with onion/peppers) for breakfast on Sunday.

2.) Look at what is going into your trash every day/week. How much food are you throwing away? Figure out how to stop throwing away food. You will save money because you will be buying less "food" that ultimately gets thrown away.

3.) If you do buy in bulk - you NEED to have a plan (see #1) for how to use up the bulk products you purchased. You aren't saving money if what you buy never gets used because it went months and months past it's best by date, got freezer burn, you got bored eating it, or rotted before you used it (see #2).

For household products - it's good to take an inventory of what you do have, if you have overflowing cupboards and under sinks - it might be best to start by using up what you have at home (and THEN buying JUST the products you will use in bulk.).

Buying in bulk can mean fewer trips to the store(s). So you may need to "retrain" yourself to NOT buy stuff you bought in bulk when you are shopping to fill in the 'holes' in your menu plan for the week. :) Fewer trips to the store saves you money because you use less gas and reduces Impulse Buys.

Don't forget that you've PAID to shop at Costco - so you need to keep in mind that you are "already in the hole" when you shop there. How long will it take you to "break even" and actually start saving money? Buying MORE stuff doesn't save you money.
czaj
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by czaj »

Random list of things that I have found tend to be better priced at Costco:

Cheese (like goat, Parmesan, feta, fresh mozzarella, cream cheese). Probably not cheddar and the like as other stores will have sales
Honey
Prosecco
Kombucha
Cooking oil
Olives
Mushrooms
Nuts
Crackers
Oats
Coffee
Canned coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk
Better the boullion
Vinegar
Gas
bombcar
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by bombcar »

Go by yourself and wander the aisles and look at everything.

Ignore the middle of the store, it’s seasonal.

Don’t buy anything at all, just look.

Then return a few days later.

I get mainly things like trash bags, paper towels and toilet paper, a smattering of fresh fruit/etc if the price is good, and non-perishables like salt

Never ever buy soda there. Then again, you probably shouldn’t be buying soda anyway.

Costco prices are almost always at least decent.
sixty40
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by sixty40 »

Many grocery items are of great value and their unit cost is typically better than other markets except places like WinCo, etc., and I think you will save money if you can stick with only necessities. It’s just that most people, myself included, end up buying non essentials such as lobster tails, pre rubbed ribs, truffle butter, packaged meals, etc. which are still good prices but are not essentials. My motto is that if you can get it at Costco you’ve gotten a good/great quality product at a reasonable/good price.

You just need to really see it for yourself, and you’ll probably be hooked like many others.
Syner01
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Syner01 »

executive vs gold card membership info
https://www.howtomoney.com/costco-executive-membership/
steadyosmosis
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by steadyosmosis »

I agree with the theme of some others in this thread.
I spend less on groceries now that I am no longer a Costco member.
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snackdog
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by snackdog »

Best Costco Deals -
1) hot dog and soda $1.50. A fabulous lunch.
2) whole pizza $9.99. Feed the family cheap.
3) Roast chicken $4.99. Feed the family even cheaper.
4) Gas - around the lowest prices in most areas and no questions on quality.

All the other groceries, just compare to your grocery store price. Be sure to adjust for volume since Costco sizes can be huge.

Generally, the harder to find things and those nearer the back of the store are lower margin (cheaper) than those up front (electronics, jewelry) or on the aisle ends.

Avoid the frozen, processed and mass produced foods.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by doobiedoo »

Costco has ~3800 SKUs in-store. Walmart has 120,000 SKUs! [SKU is the bar code on the item for sale.]
Part of this is due to bulk packaging, but part is also due to intentionally limiting customer choice to the top 2 brands.

Think about facial tissues, i.e. Kleenex.
Pre-pandemic Costco offered 4 SKUs of tissue. You could buy Kirkland or Kleenex brand, and square or rectangular boxes. That's it. There are no lotion options, color options, extra vs single ply options, ultra-soft options, scent options, etc. [There are actually fewer tissue options post-pandemic.]

In brands alone, a grocery store probably carries Kleenex, Puffs, Scotties, NiceN'Soft, and the store brand! Multiply that by colors, 1 vs 2 vs 3 count packaging, and all the other options and you probably get 50 SKUs for facial tissue!
Not only is Costco's inventory logistics simpler and cheaper, it also eliminates "analysis paralysis". [The customer wants the best deal. When faced with lots of choices and uncertainty as to the best deal, the customer sometimes/often? decides to postpone the purchase.]

Costco has consistently low prices. Their overall profit margin is 2.5% [on everything, not just grocery items]!
Taking full advantage of Costco's low prices may require some changes in individual shopping.

But just because Costco has low prices doesn't automatically mean YOU individually save money.

1. Only buy what you can consume. Cheap prices don't matter if you end up throwing it away.
I buy paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue at Costco. I do not buy cereal there because I can't finish their cereal size.

2. If you don't care about quality, I'm sure there are cheaper options than Costco.

3. If you are willing to spend the time to extensively comparison shop everything, you can probably save some money.
I don't want to do that. So I am ok buying from Costco at a relatively good price without any effort.

See BH thread "Re: New to Costco":
viewtopic.php?p=7602222#p7602222
hedge_hog88
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by hedge_hog88 »

FlowWithTheGo wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 11:12 pm We bought a small chest freezer from there to help with the extras.
This. We bought one right before the pandemic. Buy meat, fish and chicken in bulk. But the model is for you to go for essentials and leave with a bunch of unnecessary "deals."
Box of Rain
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Box of Rain »

we really like costco for the large bags (packages) of coffee beans. Pretty much everything else we get there can be bought at our local grocery store. But we do buy tons of stuff at Costco even though we do not need to. Never leave the store with less than $900 worth of purchased stuff, go every 2-3 months. It costs us a LOT. If Costco closed tomorrow, we'd miss the large bags of coffee beans and wind up savings a HUGE amount of money overall every year. It would be beautiful!

Don't join/go to Costco to save money.
Join and go to SPEND money
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by oldcomputerguy »

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (consumer goods purchase).
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Parkinglotracer »

The more you buy the more you save comes to mind. The savings we get from our annual pairs of glasses / sunglasses instead of buying from high priced eye dr have been worth it in itself . Don’t buy gas as lines at pump are too long. I do have 4 very nice Tommy Bahama beach chairs I bought at $39 and I have 4 floppy sun hats that were 8-13 dollars and 4 card table chairs and a folding table … got a newer iPad … and the clothes … hard to pass up the $1.50 hotdog/coke special … it’s an American tradition that Costco shopping !
bombcar
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by bombcar »

Something that can help, even if painful, is a “throw away log” - a notepad near the trash can where you write down anything food related you threw away because you didn’t use it as planned. So a bit of leftovers? Ignore. But that frozen chicken packet that got freezer burn? Note it.

Anything you throw away because it went bad or couldn’t be used in time? Those things never buy in bulk.

Also realize that kids (and adults) consume what is available. If you buy a large box of apples, apples will be eaten until there are none left then other things will be eaten. So the bulk purchases of more “snacky” foods cause you to eat more of them.
bendix
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by bendix »

Costco will help you get a fairly decent quality of things but not save money. That´s not what Costco is about. ALDI is my recommendation for low prices.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Sandtrap »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
Household Consumables
High cost items that do not "spoil" and you use regularly: spices, etc.

Plan trips with "a list", do not impulse buy each time you go there even if something is a bargain.
The best way to save money on shopping trips or shopping is: "don't shop".

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

I don't have a Costco membership anymore, but when I did, I found that Walmart grocery, Aldi and specials at my supermarket beat it out. And without having to buy in bulk.

Costco's loss leaders or its attempts to hold the line on prices (such as eggs during one of the price spikes) are good deals. But otherwise, I would rarely buy grocery from them except the occasional gourmet/slightly exotic item (which were decently priced, but not bargains).
Last edited by SlowMovingInvestor on Mon Jul 08, 2024 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by RickBoglehead »

rob wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:50 pm I don't think Costco will save money on a pure numeric value. You get better value, quality and certainly quantity for a lot of stuff but it's not cheaper in most cases.

If you have a Costco fuel stop that would help but on the general warehouse I doubt it.
Costco in fact does save money on many of the items they sell as compared to regular grocery prices. But yes, the quality of many items is also better.

Much of the savings is because of package size and is on branded items. As long as you can use the item before it goes stale or spoils, then you are saving money. On some items, even if you throw some away you still save money.

If you shop grocery store sales, and places like Aldi, many things are not cheaper. Strawberries for $1.50 at Aldi aren't close to that at Costco.

But I can buy a box of Honey Maid Graham Crackers which has 4 boxes inside, and when it is on sale at Costco it is like 1/2 the cost of the grocery store.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by tibbitts »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
Whether you'll save money at Costco or not depends entirely on how you approach purchases. If you buy with the objective of saving money and invest the effort to make a hobby out of it you probably will. Otherwise not. You can earn back your basic membership on a few specific purchases but that's about all I do every year. I feel the same about my Sams membership.
YeahBuddy
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by YeahBuddy »

Don't be overwhelmed. Just take a walk inside and check out prices. If you do most of your family's grocery shopping, you will see what is cheaper or more expensive. In general, you get more quantity and consistent prices. My approach is just get what we need and get out. Rarely do I just browse, but here's what I target for most of our Costco items....

Costco's Rotisserie Chicken is bigger than all others. They must feed their chickens something special. Serves 3-4.
Egg whites are much cheaper and their boneless skinless chicken is always in the $2.99 range, which isn't always the cheapest but it's most consistent pricing.
Coffee k cups usually beat most.
Cat and dog food/treats/beds. Cat litter.
Whey protein - ON (Optimum Nutrition) when on sale, nobody beats their price. Waiting to try the Kirkland (Costco's own brand) protein. It's like $45 for 5.4lbs. Amazing deal.
Spring water individual bottles - $3.99 for a 36 pack (I believe?) is a deal and tastes pure
Laundry pods are usually priced at or below others
YASSO greek yogurt bars, when available, are cheaper
I've also heard prescription medication is cheaper, unconfirmed.
Alcohol - I recently just found Kirkland small batch bourbon $21 for a liter. Unbeatable steal. Beer selection is poor, good wine and meager spirits selection.

Then there's usually good prices on things like pasta sauce, oil, and large quantities of condiments, peanut butter, etc.

Last but not least, and not a grocery item, but...
Tires - The reason I started shopping at Costco. I scheduled my service, go shopping, and my car is done by the time I'm done shopping. No more waiting at the tire center for hours, or needing a ride to and from. Prices are solid, warranty is excellent, and free rotations make it a good deal IMO.
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Watty
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Watty »

Over the last ten years or so Costco has gone more upscale in their grocery product selection with a lot more things like organic and higher qualify products so the overall budget savings for someone on a tight budget are not as good as they used to be at least for grocery items.

Pay a lot of attention to the sales mailer that you will get about once a month, they often have some really good deals on food items in there.

Of the things I buy most spices, frozen foods, dairy products, and bread are still good values compared to grocery stores even on sale often because the sizes are larger.

Fresh mushrooms and Romaine Lettuce are really good deals. At Costco you get something 5 or 6 large heads of Romaine lettuce for less than 3 medium heads would cost at a grocery store.

Pay a lot of attention to the sizes of the items and not just the count of how many are in the package. They do not always have them but the frozen black bean burgers are excellent and maybe 50% larger than the ones I can get at a grocery store. The large Kirkland Greek Yogurt containers are much larger than the ones in grocery stores.

Kirkland brand dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent are very good quality and sometimes on sale at an even better price.

The Costco meat for things like steaks are much higher quality than our local grocery stores but they are not cheap.

I buy things like reasonably priced individually packaged snack size Goldfish crackers which are crazy expensive at grocery stores because we do not eat a lot of them and the less expensive large box would get stale before we eat them.

The real key though it to just buy what you are planning on since it is easy to also buy $100 of food and non food impulse buy items.
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Watty
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Watty »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?
I have not used it but I looked at it during the Pandemic and at that time they used Instacart, as I recall. The problem with Insticart is that with them they mark the prices up higher than the instore price to pay for the delivery. It was also very unclear just how much they marked up the price so that you did not know what your were actually paying for the delivery. I don't mind paying for a service but I want to know what I am paying.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by BolderBoy »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pmMy goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value.
eggs
maple syrup
honey
frozen blueberries
vinegar
spices (meager offerings compared to Sam's Club)
toothbrushes
bar soap
NSAIDs
vitamins
gasoline (cheapest and best quality)
Last edited by BolderBoy on Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dukeblue219
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by dukeblue219 »

There's some variation nationwide that not everyone may be aware of. Not all Costcos sell gas, alcohol, or tires, for example.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by toomanysidehustles »

We bought a used $100 reach-in freezer for the garage and like to split up items in what can be consumed in say 1 week, and then portion out what we can use for the next round. English muffins (4-pack), and bagels are a good recent example.

Pretty much everything listed above here is less expensive than going to a grocery store or Walmart, but sometimes you can find meat and fish less expensive at the grocery store on sale. But stuff like wild caught salmon at $8.99/pound is why we have the extra freezer.

We try to avoid a lot of produce from Costco. Our local Walmart has just as fresh if not fresher in self-selectable portion sizes. Also the 5 gallons of cream cheese is $9.99 (ok, that was a joke) and I hate pitching that when it gets moldy, but it's such a good deal compared to regular store bought sizes at 1/3 the price. We still come out way ahead even if some spoils. Also I still buy ride and pasta from Trader Joe's. Easier to store and still inexpensive.

The biggest savings for us is gas, running a lot of vehicles for our small business. It's worth it for me to go at off peak hours the extra 2 miles just to fill 30 gallon tanks.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by TheOscarGuy »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
Following items are cheaper than elsewhere I have found, or better quality at same price:
1. wild caught salmon
2. organic chicken
3. whole milk yogurt, eggs, raw cheese
4. nuts, EVOO, avocado oil

I am sure I am forgetting some things. Other than that, costco travel always gets me cheaper rates -- for car rentals, and cruises, hotel rentals.

I agree with other comments, costco is more about value and may not necessarily save you $$.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by MorgansRun »

Don't limit yourselves to groceries. Costco has some pretty decent clothing and travel options. I've purchased a couple of cruises through Costco Travel and while the price may be the same that you'll find elsewhere, you will get a Costco Cash card to use at the warehouse. Pretty solid.

And yes, I'm getting older so I don't mind $17 pants, hoodies and shirts. :)

I've also used their Services to find local companies for new flooring and HVAC system. With each, there was another Costco Cash card.
notBobToo
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by notBobToo »

DW swears by ...

Olives (six pack of Lindsay large canned)
Raisins (two pack, two pounds each) and Craisins (two pound bag)
Nuts (large bag of whole pecans, walnuts; even unsalted mixed in container)
Granola (two pack)
Paper products, trash bags, foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper
Rugs and mats
Shampoo and conditioner
K cups
Refresh Tears

I swear by the flank steak and salmon, batteries (when on sale) and if you can find it, the two pack of Hatch canned whole green chiles. (Pair that with a five pound bag of Costco cheese and you're set with rellenos for a while.) Oh! And that chocolate frosted layer cake. O. M. G.

As others have mentioned, gas is usually a good price (we, and half the store, try to fill up on our way out). And watch for the mailer for that month's specials to make your list. Also maybe for your family, multi-packs of things such as cereal, ketchup, mayo, mouthwash, salad dressing, q-tips, pain relief ointment, band aids and so on.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
I always shop around and generally speaking on the things we use the most... TP, paper towel, sponges, cleaning supplies, coffee, chicken, cat food.. I can find lower prices than costco within walking distance of the house on a monthly basis just following the sales..

Living in California the 40-50 cents a gallon savings on fuel... pays for the membership... so there is that.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Dregob »

steadyosmosis wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:15 am I agree with the theme of some others in this thread.
I spend less on groceries now that I am no longer a Costco member.
I like the free Costco groceries I get from my neighbors that overbuy (who needs a pack of two heads of celery?)! Regarding quality I would argue that it is not uniformly higher quality. Some is, some isn't. I dropped my membership.
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Grasshopper »

Frozen Organic blueberries
Jose's Mayan coffee
Nuts Almonds Walnuts
Avocado oil
Prosecco
ocean
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by ocean »

All good ideas....The one item that saved me the most money over time was a second chest freezer bought at walmart for $179 bucks. I NEVER throw anything out do to spoilage and even when buying fresh produce throw it in the freezer right away.
Gas is a no brainer, along with organic frozen broccoli, and blueberries, fresh power greens are just a few of my Costco staples....AND GO WITH A LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FeralCat
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by FeralCat »

Watty wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:44 am
Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?
I have not used it but I looked at it during the Pandemic and at that time they used Instacart, as I recall. The problem with Insticart is that with them they mark the prices up higher than the instore price to pay for the delivery. It was also very unclear just how much they marked up the price so that you did not know what your were actually paying for the delivery. I don't mind paying for a service but I want to know what I am paying.
I heard that if you use Instacart for Costco, then you don't need a membership at all. Because of this, I've looked at the Costco-Instacart offerings, and didn't actually see anything I wanted.
ocean
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by ocean »

Instacart member for years. The only store I won't use cart for is costco. Most stores have same prices as in store, not costco, they mark everything up 15-20 per cent and more on sundries.
bendix
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by bendix »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 6:40 am
rob wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:50 pm I don't think Costco will save money on a pure numeric value. You get better value, quality and certainly quantity for a lot of stuff but it's not cheaper in most cases.

If you have a Costco fuel stop that would help but on the general warehouse I doubt it.
Costco in fact does save money on many of the items they sell as compared to regular grocery prices. But yes, the quality of many items is also better.

Much of the savings is because of package size and is on branded items. As long as you can use the item before it goes stale or spoils, then you are saving money. On some items, even if you throw some away you still save money.

If you shop grocery store sales, and places like Aldi, many things are not cheaper. Strawberries for $1.50 at Aldi aren't close to that at Costco.

But I can buy a box of Honey Maid Graham Crackers which has 4 boxes inside, and when it is on sale at Costco it is like 1/2 the cost of the grocery store.
Aldi´s produce are awful. But on the rest I find they arent any better or worse than Costco.
Topic Author
Lynn2024
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Lynn2024 »

Wow! 🤩 thanks for all the insight! Appreciate all the tips. Lots of good info to work with.
02nz
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by 02nz »

rob wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:50 pm I don't think Costco will save money on a pure numeric value. You get better value, quality and certainly quantity for a lot of stuff but it's not cheaper in most cases.
Isn't the quantity relevant to what something actually costs? If Costco sells 2x the detergent as a regular store for the same cost, you're actually saving 50%.
Chardo
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by Chardo »

Bacon.


The answer to everything.

Actually the Kirkland bacon is excellent, and cheaper than most other bacon. Comes in regular, low sodium, or thick sliced.
Last edited by Chardo on Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tibbitts
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by tibbitts »

02nz wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:09 pm
rob wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:50 pm I don't think Costco will save money on a pure numeric value. You get better value, quality and certainly quantity for a lot of stuff but it's not cheaper in most cases.
Isn't the quantity relevant to what something actually costs? If Costco sells 2x the detergent as a regular store for the same cost, you're actually saving 50%.
Yes, but with regard to the OP's grocery question, you have to account for potentially throwing away a higher percentage of a larger quantity. Besides the price-per-unit actually often isn't that different; it just depends on the product and how much effort you put into shopping for the same item elsewhere.
johnwardon
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by johnwardon »

doobiedoo wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 3:25 am
Costco has consistently low prices. Their overall profit margin is 2.5% [on everything, not just grocery items]!
Taking full advantage of Costco's low prices may require some changes in individual shopping.
Walmart's net profit margin is pretty comparable to Costco's--about 2.5%. Rather than look at the net profit margin (net income / revenue), it's more instructive to look at the gross profit margin ((net sales - cost of merchandise sold) / net sales, which is about 10.5% for Costco but 24% for Walmart). Gross profit margin excludes overhead costs and exclusively compares the cost of the products sold by Costco to the price paid by consumers. If you spend $100 at Costco on a typical product, it cost Costco $89.50. If you spend $100 at Walmart on a typical product, it cost Walmart $76. There are limits on what you can infer from the comparison - it doesn't mean that you save over 10% by shopping at Costco rather than Walmart because Walmart's margin may be higher because it gets better pricing from vendors than Costco or Walmart sells more USB cables and other high-margin small products than Costco.
$=WxTxI
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by $=WxTxI »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
I have a love/hate relationship with costco.

It's way too easy to get Costco'd when you are there.

I'll be checking out and I realize that I spent 200-300 and yet can't make dinner when I get home.

Costco can save you money on:
Cheese
Eggs
Yogurt
Butter
Spices: (I still have the jug of cinnamon that was "such a deal")
-Get salt, pepper and other high use spices. Nothing else.
Oil
Nuts
TP
Laundry/Dishwasher soap.

WM Neighborhood Market/Aldi/Smart and Final will usually beat them on:
Meat and produce.

Now if you are feeding the family on pre-packaged food, costco/Sam's is hard to beat. We don't. YMMV.

Good luck!

You know you got costco'd when you have a gallon jar of olives at the back of your fridge. :sharebeer

Edit: Costco Gas used to be far cheaper than others in area. Now is not the case.
boogiehead
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by boogiehead »

Grocery is probably the hardest to save money at Costco because what I noticed is that Costco does not compete on price for the most part when it comes to groceries because their selling point is that their grocery items are higher quality (true sometimes, but not all the time). Every month or so they might have a couple grocery items where they have coupons for which makes them cheaper than markets, if not most I would say weekly specials at markets are usually cheaper.
bombcar
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by bombcar »

Note that Costco is national and so you have to keep an eye on them; for example, butter can be cheaper at the local gas station than at Costco, in an area ruled by infinite cows.

The sales can be exceptional deals, and worth looking at - BUT only if you needed the item to begin with.

I still get gas when I go to Costco but I can beat their prices at the local gas station chain that's always stacking discounts.

Those giant bags of Mission tortilla chips (they're branded Kirkland but it says Mission right on the bag) are an amazing deal.
realclemsongrad
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by realclemsongrad »

Lynn2024 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:46 pm Hi! New Costco member and feeling overwhelmed. 2 adults and 2 kids under 10. My goal is to save money on my grocery bill and wondering which products you recommend that will provide the most value. Any tips and tricks to shopping there?

Also- anyone use their delivery option? Yay or nay to save money/time?

Thank you for your input.
Between the three cars I found that we saved enough in Gas (and tires) that justified the membership fee. I recommend you do the calculation based on your mileage.
popoki
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Re: Costco - best items to buy to reduce grocery bill

Post by popoki »

A vacuum sealer (food saver, etc) is a great way to take advantage of bulk pricing. Many items freeze well, not just meats.
Gray doesn't matter.
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