My Costco Go-Tos

As many of you probably know, Costco recently started accepting Visa- which was happy news for me :). I can’t remember my pin number for the life of me, so I usually just run my card as credit, even though I have money in the account. It’s been a hassle having to judge how much cash to bring with me to Costco every time I want to go, but now- a whole new world has opened up;).

Because of this however, I really have to watch what I’m spending my money on, and make sure it’s worth my valuable grocery money! Costco is sometimes referred to as the $100 store, because you can’t go in and spend less than $100 ;). However, I go to Costco every month and very rarely spend $100. With a grocery budget that will only go so far, it’s important to know which items are actually a good deal at Costco (or are worth the extra money in quality), and what would actually be cheaper elsewhere. Here’s what I’ve discovered for my family.

*Diapers and Wipes. For me, there is no where else I will go. The Costco/Huggie brand diapers are the best for my kids (all the other brands I’ve tried just don’t cut it!). And I LOVE the Costco wipes. They are huge and wet, which means I can use a lot less for one diaper change! With 3 kids in diapers, this is probably where I save the most money by far!

*Cheese. I always buy my string cheese here, as it’s just a better deal per string cheese! Most stores are charging about 15 cents per string cheese for a large bag, but at Costco it comes out to about 9 cents per cheese stick. We go through a ton of these at my house, so they are a staple! As for other bags of cheese, they can be a good deal if you’re able to use a coupon, but a lot of the time I can get my cheese cheaper at a grocery store sale. Know your prices;).

*Toilet Paper, Antibacterial Wipes, and other cleaners. Again, it’s important to pay attention to sales! Sometimes grocery stores will have better deals on paper goods and cleaners, but sometimes, if you’re able to time it with a Costco coupon, you can get a great deal here :). Plus, I just love the Kirtland brand stuff!

*Produce. This is hit and miss for me. Sometimes, like with baby carrots, I can get a huge bag of carrots at the same price I would buy them on sale at the grocery store, and I’d rather get that 2% cash back ;). Sometimes, the produce is about the same or maybe slightly more expensive, but the quality is great, so to me, it’s worth it (e.g. Romaine hearts). And with some produce, like apples- I can get it so much cheaper at the store, so I just don’t even look at it. It’s important to know your prices before you go!

*Tortilla Chips. For me, you just can’t beat the Kirtland brand tortilla chips. Crunchy, salty perfection- and super cheap compared to the grocery store! I will also buy Doritos or other large bags of snacks if they have a coupon, because it ends up being a pretty good price.

*Electronics. When buying a camera, printer, etc, I always look at Costco first, because they carry some pretty decent stuff, and often you can get one with a coupon. With that 2% cash back it’s a no-brainer. Plus, Costco has an awesome return policy if you need to take it back!

*Party Food. I don’t always spend my limited grocery money on party food, but if I’m looking for something really tasty that will feed a crowd, Costco has some amazingly tasty options :). And their snacks do go on sale- you just have to watch the coupons :).

*Frozen Food. This one I really have to be careful with. Generally, the frozen food is too expensive to be worth it to me. But occasionally, I do buy chicken nuggets or corn dogs when there is a coupon because let’s be honest- it’s nice to have a quick meal on hand for the kids ;). And with a coupon, the prices are actually pretty decent :).

*Contact solution and Vitamins. A lot of health-related items can be a great deal at Costco, again, using their coupons :). I love that you can get an eye exam there for such a reasonable price! They also have a great selection of eyeglasses ;).

Do you have a Costco or Sam’s Club card? If so, what do you buy when you go? Is there anything you avoid? Share in the comments below! I’d love to hear your go-to’s :).


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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