It’s been almost 2 years since I first posted my “Items I WILL buy at Costco post” and in that time we’ve switched servers more times than I can count. Thankfully each time it was to accomodate the growth that we weren’t anticipating, but sadly in one of the moves we lost a lot of images and this post was one of the main ones to suffer the loss. It took me hours to put this post together the first time around so frankly I’ve been dreading it, but it’s finally happening! Mr. Frugal and I spent quite a bit of time yesterday at Costco getting ready for this post, today I’ll be adding quite a bit of new content but there is MORE to come! Also stay tuned for an updated “What we would NEVER buy at Costco” post as well.
It’s been 2 years now that we’ve had our Costco membership, you can read about Why We Bought a Costco Membership. The following is a photo series of items I do buy and would suggest you buy at Costco – these items are rarely cheaper even with a good sale or coupon (if they even exist) and as of right now I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal. Plus I think the $1.50 hotdog/drink combo alone may be worth the membership
Fruits & Veggies: In most cases, I prefer the Farmer’s Market but when the market is not open I’ll opt for Costco. However not for all of our produce. I always shop the grocery stores “loss leaders” first – the produce that they have marked down to $0.99/lb or less. They do this to get you in the door and it works for me! I buy in bulk and freeze my fruits and veggies when I can find them around $0.99/lb or less and I stockpile my freezer with seasonal produce.
Dairy (Milk, Eggs, Butter, Yogurt, and Cheese):
Milk: It really depends when it comes to milk, lately I’ve seen some great in-store promotions for free milk with the purchase of various breakfast items that I already have coupons for. So at this point it time it’s been a while since I’ve purchased my milk at Costco, but this is a great place to start for a good base price.
Eggs, Butter, and Cheese: Again here, my buy it now price for eggs is $0.99/dozen and Costco is pretty close but a bit over. So it depends on the store sales when I need to buy eggs. Fred Meyer often has their brand of butter on sale for $1.66 so that is my stockpile price and Costco is a bit higher at $1.84/lb. Cheese is almost always on sale somewhere, so unless you really need it in bulk or prefer a higher end brand. We love Tillamook so we buy this occasionally at Costco but you can likely find a deal elsewhere. We recently stocked up on Lucerne cheese at Safeway for $2/lb.
Yogurt: I can’t find a single deal on single serve yogurt that I would ever consider a good buy – my buy it now price for yogurt is $0.25 each. However when it comes to the larger tubs of Greek Yogurt, Costco is almost always the best buy unless I find it clearanced somewhere.
Household Goods (Toilet Paper, Kitchen Trash Bags, etc)
Toilet Paper: For most household goods I prefer to buy the smaller packages, especially when it comes to household cleaners and laundry detergent. You can find deals on these regularly or you can make your own laundry detergent from home and save a bundle! However quite the opposite is true when it comes to toilet paper. That is one item that rarely, if ever goes on sale for less than Costco sells it for. I’ve found a deal once or twice and I was sure to post it on TFF, but for the most part I would send you to Costco for this purchase.
We’ve gone back and forth about how to determine what exactly is a good price for toilet paper. This is the formula I use below. I’d also say that anything roughly below $0.50/roll is a good deal. With that said brands vary great by size/length/and ply. That is why the formula below is a sure fire way to know if you’re getting a good deal or not.
This is the equation I use with Costco’s Kirkland Brand #s to as a gauge…
Square Footage = 1539 sq ft
Insert a decimal 2 places to the left = 15.39 ($15.39 or less is a good deal and Costco’s is $14.99)
= $0.01 per square foot SO if you have coupons or if the cost of the toilet paper is LESS than this, it’s a good deal.
Kitchen Trash Bags: The same goes for Kitchen Trash bags – deals to exist but the price you pay for 200 bags ($0.07 per bag) just isn’t worth the hassle of clipping coupons and hunting down a deal. Plus the quality of these bags far surpasses most other brands, in my opinion. I also love that 200 ct box lasts us several months.
Breakfast Staples (Oats, Maple Syrup, Honey, etc):
Steel Cut Oats: Costco now carries Bob’s Red Mill products which makes me so happy! They have 4.5lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats for just $4.75 that’s just over $1/lb and I’m not 100% certain but I am pretty sure that beats any grocery store price or bulk bin, please correct me if I’m wrong.
Maple Syrup: We recently ditched regular syrup in favor of Maple Syrup, it’s much better for you and we think it tastes a lot better too! It is however fairly pricey. I’ve found great deals on VitaCost with the new member free $10 credit, however on a regular basis Costco’s price of $0.37 per ounce is hard to beat.
Honey: Costco’s prices are good, but the huge bottle deters me. I’d much rather smaller more manageable bottles, so if you’re up to refilling them that is an option. We however prefer the taste of the Great Lakes honey that we order on Amazon, it’s actually just a few cents cheaper right now too (prices can change at any time though!)
Almonds: I have yet to find a better price on almonds at $3.26/lb. These are so fresh and tasty too! We use them in a huge variety of ways – roasting, trail mix, baking, etc.
That’s it for today, but I’ll be adding more items that I will buy at Costco to this post as I have more time available. I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! What are some items you think are consistently the lowest price at Costco?