The 7 Best Deals at Costco

The 7 Best Deals at Costco1 The 7 Best Deals at Costco

I’ve written before about how Costco can be both a boon and a curse for the bargain shopper.

While there are some amazing deals at Costco, you have to be careful. Not everything is cheaper at Costco than the regular shelf price at your local grocery store.

That said, there are a number of products that I don’t even bother shopping around for – I’m that confident that the price at Costco is the best. (Pssst… I know this, thanks to my Price Book!) So, I’m happy to save the money and time by shopping for these items at Costco.

The 7 Best Deals at Costco

redstaryeast The 7 Best Deals at Costco1. Yeast – Costco sells a 32-oz vacuum-packed package of Red Star Active Yeast, which will last FOREVER in your freezer. I just decant a few ounces at a time into a small Fleishmann’s canister that I keep in the fridge. Costco’s price for one giant package of yeast is less than the small Fleishmann’s canister.

kirklandpurevanilla The 7 Best Deals at Costco

2. Vanilla – Like the yeast, Costco’s BIG bottle of *pure* vanilla is less than a small bottle of McCormick’s. Plus I love using “real” vanilla – it tastes so much better than the imitation stuff.

3. Organic Mixed Greens - Two pounds of organic mixed greens cost $3.99 at Costco – the next lowest shelf price at my local grocery stores is $6.99. That’s almost a 50% discount. I’ll take it! The organic spinach is also a great deal, as are the six heads of Romaine lettuce.

4. Milk – Costco consistently beats the grocery store by at least $.40 a gallon – and sometimes $1.50 or more! The Costco brand gallons aren’t organic, but they are RBST-free, which is my primary concern with milk. (I do buy organic whole milk for my toddler – also at Costco.)

ultragrainflour The 7 Best Deals at Costco5. Eagle Mill’s Ultra-Grain Flour – I love, love, love this flour. Costco sells two 10-lb bags for just $5. I could probably do a tiny bit better on some bleached white flour coupon stacking deal, but I really don’t like to bake/cook with the bleached stuff.

The ultra-grain, on the other hand, is woooonderful! It’s got all the lighter qualities of white flour, but a lot more nutrients and fiber. (Learn more here.) We use it for our bread machine challah and it’s perfect.

tall kitchen garbage bags The 7 Best Deals at Costco6. Tall Kitchen Garbage Bags – They work out to be less than $.08/bag, which is the cheapest I’ve found – even with sales and coupon combos. Plus they fit our can perfectly and we tend to get, uh, lazy, about taking out the bag, but have never had one split on us. (Pfut, pfut, pfut!)

7. Gasoline – We don’t always fill up at Costco if we’re not nearby when we need gas, but most of the time we do – and for sure, their prices are the lowest. They beat the corner station by at least $.05 a gallon – and usually as much as $.15 – $.20/gallon. Given the cost of gasoline these days, every little bit I can save helps.

Do you have a Costco membership? What are your standard buys there?

Comments

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Comments

  1. - zip loc bags! the freezer gallon and quart size.
    – eggs for a big week of baking, since your challah recipe calls for 5 egg yolks at a time. ;o)
    – olive oil

    I’m now going to try out your yeast idea and try that flour. Currently use bread flour, but if I can use a flour that is healthier and still gives me the consistency I like, how can it hurt?

  2. What about huggies diapers (with a costco coupon – which shows up every 2 months or so)?

    Also, Kirkland wipes (again, with a costco coupon)?

    Same applies to napkins, toilet paper, paper plates (when purchased w/ Costco coupons)

  3. We don’t have Costco nearby, but I drive more than an hour a few times per year…. We have Sams, which has some items at competitive prices, but not as much kosher or organic as Costco. Chumus seems much cheaper at either store than the regular grocer.

  4. I buy diapers, wipes, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, eggs, oil… at costco. I will take your idea about the vanilla. Not sure if I bake enough for the yeast, though.

  5. Your Costco list looks pretty much like mine. But I can’t believe you didn’t mention the kosher cheese and Sabra or Tribe hummus!! ;)

    We don’t usually get gas there because Costco is a shlep for us, and because the price difference isn’t as big as our rewards from a gas card we have.

    Have you looked at bread at Costco? I used to buy Nature’s Own 100% whole wheat for a lot cheaper than in the grocery store (though now I get Arnold’s 100% WW at Sam’s Club for even cheaper – but that brand isn’t available in KC.)

    Also, we get our Chicken of the Seaa solid white albacore tuna at Costco (the only kind DH will eat, and we go through a LOT of this). Grocery or drugstore sales only occasionally beat the price by a few pennies, plus right now there is an instant rebate of $2.20 making it a *really* good deal. We stocked up.

  6. Kirkland paper towels, kirkland toilet paper and kirkland milk. The paper towels are very thick and absorbant. The toilet paper is soft. The price works out very well as you are buying in quantity and you don’t have to buy it very often. The milk is cheaper than any store and for some reason it keeps for a while. The box of crystal light is cheaper than in the grocery store. Our Costco carries kosher meat,fish, chicken -all fresh. And the price isn’t too bad. Plus assorted kosher cheeses, deli, salads and other entres. So currently, we have eaten our fill of Rokeach’s tray of Hamentaschen while Costco is displaying grape KLP grape juice, institutional sized cans of Gefilte fish, and frozen loaves of KLP g.fish too. Although I sound spoiled, our community is large enough to support having a kosher dept (did I mention that the costco bakery is under the OK Labs-certified kosher dairy). The bakery was kosher from the get go but having the rest of the seasonal stuff was a work in progress. Costco is pretty good about getting stuff if everyone will buy it. Sometimes things are a bit more expensive at Costco, but you fail to factor in the cost of my time and gas! When I go to Costco I will most likely not return for about 3 months or so. So I will buy 2-3 cases of Kirkland Water (it is dirt cheap), plus all the above. And it will last for a while.

  7. Chani Czeladnicki says:

    Double jar of Hearts of Palm. Heinz Ketchup. Mealmart Deli.

  8. Your list is identical to mine with two exceptions. Haven’t tried the flour yet. On list for next time. And I buy all the organic frozen veggies-broccoli, corn, etc. And if I’m in a pinch I’ll buy the dishwasher detergent.

  9. Chavelamomela says:

    I am a BJ’s member, not Costco. They have many of the same products as costco, and some different ones.

    Here’s my list, in addition to yours:

    -Pampers Diapers & Wipes – Costco doesn’t carry Pampers Brand Diapers. BJ’s has them, often with nice coupons (just bought a huge box with a $7 coupon last week!). I like the Pampers wipes too, and their price with the coupon is also cheaper than Diapers.com.

    -Organic Whole Milk – BJ’s sells their 1/2 gallon containers for $2.99, much cheaper than other organic milk (we use only organic milk for our family)

    -Light Cream – DH drinks tons of coffee and loves light cream – they sell it for much cheaper than the supermarket.

    -Dog Food (I don’t have a dog anymore, but when I did) this was cheaper than Target by a long shot. The biggest challenge was finding a kind soul to help me lug the 50lb bag into my cart.

    -Rawhides (again, if you’re a dog owner). At less than $1/rawhide, their price is cheaper than the pet store.

    -Thomas’s English Muffins – even the best sale price in the supermarket cannot beat their price for a super package of 24 muffins – at around $4 for that large package, it’s a great deal! (or a package of $18 whole grain muffins for $3.50).

    -Fresh Fruits (depends on which) such as bags of organic apples, lemons, oranges

    -Sunscreen – They sell bulk packages for about 1/3 less than store prices, even with a coupon (especially if you like the neutrogena spray-on sunblock)

    -Giftwrap – they have large rolls and in the late fall they have beautiful packages with bows, ribbons, etc.

    -baby gifts – they have good prices on Baby outfits

    -Kids PJs

    -Kids Bathing Suits – they sold oshkosh sets of sunguard tops & bathing suit for boys for about $12-$15 – much cheaper than even at the OshKosh outlets!

    -Mrs. T’s Perogies

  10. I would love to try the eagle mill for my bread machine challah but I have not been successful with all purpose challah. The consistency always comes out weird. I’ve only gotten good challah with high gluten flour? Any thoughts?

    • Jennifer S says:

      I haven’t tried the Eagle Mill flour either (yet! I will after Pesach), but you can buy wheat gluten separately and add it to any flour to make it high gluten. I get the Hodgson Mill brand in the baking aisle of my local supermarket, but I’m sure there are other brands out there. I use it in my white flour challah, but it’s especially good for lightening whole wheat baking.

      HTH,
      Jennifer

  11. I live about 25 min from the closest Costco but we still shopped there for several years while we had free membership. When we lost the free membership, I debated about whether to join Sams or BJ’s (which are much closer) but I love Costco so much I ended up joining there.
    Things on my list are:
    1) Carters (PJs. bathing suits, outfits)- this is the cheapest place to get it unless you find it on clearance somewhere
    2) Sabra Hummus (as someone mentioned)
    3) Costco has its own brand of MutliGrain Bread, comes with 2 loaves – runs about $4.
    4) Costco’s brand of medicine (if you are a Claritin, Zyrtec, or Mucinex taker, you can save tons of $). Also I buy the Ibuprofin there, it comes in a 2 pack and I can’t use it all up before it expires so I just give one container to another family member/friend
    5) Costco’s baby wipes – you can get it cheaper via amazon sales or with coupons but I really like the quality of these wipes, they aren’t too scented and aren’t too wet or too dry. I buy 2 cases at a time.
    6) Dried Fruit – not cheap but if you like dried fruit they have some really yummy things (Dried cherries are amazing!)
    7)Costco Brand Waffles – they look healthier than Eggo or store brands
    8)Costco Brand Cooking Spray- comes in a 2 pack
    9) Cheerios – for those of you who can’t run around with coupons shopping for cereal, this is a good deal
    10) Frozen salmon – not cheap but not sure where you could buy this cheap
    11) Canned boneless salmon
    12) Breakstones cottage cheese (massive tub!)
    13) Costco Brand Contact Solution
    14) TIRES!!!! great prices – they always have sales plus free tire rotations for life!!

  12. Our “always Costco” list looks a lot like yours. Every week we get Milk, Eggs, and a Pineapple. We also get our yeast, Vanilla, Mixed Greens (usually they are on the weekly list), and garbage bags. We sometimes get our gasoline there, but if I know I am going to be in Missouri I will get it across state line. At times it is as much as $0.17/gallon less in MO then it is at my KS corner station.

  13. Jane Markow says:

    I’m not a fan of Costco gas after having used it exclusively since I bought my car 2 years ago. Started having acceleration problems so I took it in and the fuel line, fuel injectors and pistons all needed to be replaced due to gas-quality related issues.

    I found out that auto fuel providers are rated by vehicle manufacturers and the top rating is Top Tier. I always thought saving a few cents a gallon at Costco was good financial sense, until I had to pay almost $2,000 for major work on my car due to fuel quality.

    I was shocked because I figured gas was gas was gas. And I figured that Costco is known for providing high quality so their gas must be the same. Unfortunately, that is not always true.

    • Donald Gordon says:

      Sounds like whoever “fixed” your car took you for a ride. I’m sure if COSTCO gas caused so much repair to your car it would have also affected others. I’ve always used their gas and never heard of any problems…especially $2000 worth!

      • I believe her, the same thing happened for us. Not as much since our car was older and hubby did the work but still a pain in the butt.

  14. Tziporah says:

    I get cheese and meat there. Sometimes bread. Also if I don’t make hummus, I get that there also.
    I didn’t know about the trash bags. I will have to try those.

  15. Disappointed to hear about your experience with the gas, Jane.

    I never thought about freezing the yeast, I only get it when I am splitting it with someone. I am WAY past the baby wipes stage, but I totally agree with the person who commented about the quality of them. I buy all my paper plates, cups, plastic silverware, and the Vanity Fair tablecloths and napkins, as well as the plastic garbage bags. Most of my staples are things they often have coupons for.

    The Costco nearest me also recently made their whole bakery kosher, so I am looking forward to ordering birthday cakes there. (They will be dairy, but that will work for me with what else I am serving)

    I also buy my kids vitamins, although I stopped buying Advil (Kirkland brand version) because the bottle was too big and we barely used it.

    I could go on and on!
    Can you tell, I LOVE Costco!

  16. Orthonomics says:

    Yeast, Vanilla, Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    I like your list.

  17. Lauren Gerofsky says:

    Our list includes only a few food items as regulars: soy milk and granola bars for lunch boxes. We also regualrly buy children’s vitamins, batteries, boys’ socks, and books (especially for gifts.) Will also look for spray-on sunblock there too this year, thanks.

  18. michelle says:

    I buy my spices there as well!!

  19. B”H
    Aviva, I also shop at BJ’s and always used to buy Pampers with coupons, however I have since discovered amazon mom and the coupons that are in the parenting magazines, they are much cheaper than BJ’s, much as in 10 and sometimes 15 $ cheaper.

  20. Jennifer S says:

    Bell peppers–the bag of six multicolored peppers for $6.99. Green peppers are probably cheaper at the supermarket but we don’t like them, we love the red/orange/yellow ones and this is a great price.

    And Kirkland multigrain bread, 5g fiber per slice, excellent. And sugar snap peas!

    We also get milk there (convinced DH a few months ago to switch to organic). LOVE their vanilla. Also get the garbage bags, tho’ they have leaked on us once or twice. ;-) Also like you said, the organic baby spinach is a great price, but we don’t always use it up before it goes bad.

    After reading your post, definitely want to try the yeast and flour! I bake challah almost every week, and had no idea I was spending too much on yeast. Didn’t know I could store it in the freezer. I even have the little glass Fleishmann’s container once I use up the yeast in it now. ;-) But this will have to wait until after Pesach.

    Thanks!

  21. My list is almost the same as yours but another one that you missed is BANANAS – just over $1 a bunch. SOOOO cheap. Also French string beans, which I pick up every time I’m there.

    • Their price at my store is $.49/lb lately, so I actually try to get bananas at Aldi when they’re on sale for less than $.30/lb. That said, bananas are a staple food at my house, so I buy even when it’s not a “stock up” price.

      • Mara, Your list of 7 items at Costco is exactly like ours, HOWEVER WE ARE SO SAD THAT OUR COSTCO No longer carries the Eagle Mills : All-Purpose Unbleached Flour. I have looked on line but to buy it at Eagle Mills is 5 times the price. Do you now where i can buy it or even on line?? Thank you, Rex & Melody 541-291-1584

  22. I feel like I am late to the game, but:
    diapers, wipes (only kirkland!), formula (kirkland), yeast, milk, eggs, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus,avocado, paper goods, yeast (i keep it in a tupperware in the freezer, with a measuring spoon, and use it straight from there), vanilla, olive oil, Carters kids clothes, kirkland organic pjs (last 2 obv not always, but m\be often enough to counteract my yeast savings), frozen strawberries, we used to buy the multigrain bread, but we moved, and where we are it doesn’t have a hechsher..sad sad sad.

  23. I am with you on the yeast. Chumus is the cheapest around along with the mixed greens and romaine hearts. Maple syrup, basmati rice, frozen berries and almonds have great prices at Costco along with a Kirkland dog food which recieved a very high rating for quality.
    I used to buy the vanilla at Costco but it now has sugar in it.

  24. Shulammis says:

    I buy almost everything listed above! Our Costco also sells 2 boxes of Amnon’s frozen pizza for $15, which is WAY less than we would pay at the pizza shop for the same quality! I also want to note that I have Executive Membership, which costs $100 a year instead of $50–BUT, you get back 2% on all your purchases, so once a year I get a check for about $150–and the membership pays for itself plus a bonus!

  25. Jane, side note here…there is actually a Class Action Lawsuit against Costco concerning the gas they sold in 2009…yikes!

    Ok, back to the post topic…I eat wheat free/gluten free so, no flour on my list…I WILL be adding the garbage bags to my list!

    Thanks!

    Some staples, toilet paper(scott only), frozen organic veggies, organic corn chips (they are only 2cent more/oz than Aldi’s chips!!!) Gummy vitamins (for me)…that’s all I can think of for now!

    Great post!

  26. Kosher shredded cheese, American cheese, chicken, frozen zucchini souffle, flour tortillas, flat bagels, tropicans orange juice, Greek yogurt Popsicles.

  27. At my Costco there is a bank fee associated with using the bank card; since this is the only way to buy gas there, it doesn’t really pay. My Costco is also about a 30-minute drive away, so I go only about 4-5 times a year. (I’m fortunate to be a listed user on a relative’s business membership, so I don’t pay for my membership.) With mixed feelings, I buy meat & poultry there (I know the local butchers need the business), cholev yisroel cheese, yeast, vanilla, wine (when they have it) and occasionally fresh flowers. The flowers are inexpensive, but in a much bigger bunch than I would ever buy anywhere else.

  28. Sugar snap peas!! Someone posted above, but i just have to say that these are the best anywhere, hands down.
    Also, shredded mozzarella, Quaker oatmeal, maple syrup, vanilla (it has sugar??), all nuts/dried fruit, Crasins, Simply Fruit Roll Ups, Veggie Sticks for kid snacks, Kashi bars!!! Water bottles. Produce at Costco is fabulous. We go through a lot of carrots, potatoes, onions. Disappointed that the sweet potatoes are considered a “seasonal item” and they stop carrying it after Jan. Bday cakes are great if I don’t bake. Frozen salmon, depending on which Costco I go to I stock up on chulent meat, chicken, steak, brisket, etc. Can’t beat the prices. Yes on the chummus but my husband makes such good chummus that was no longer buy it.

    Also, I must add that in addition to kids clothing/PJs I often buy myself clothing there. I am wearing a shirt from Costco right now! I get compliments. Socks, camis, underwear, too.
    Dove body wash, shampoo, Excedrin.
    I wish ours had gas.

    I go to Costco about 2x a month. I think I drop about $400 each time I am seriously starting to wonder if I am spending more than I would if I just ran to the store and got a couple of things.

  29. I’m started to be disappointed with COSTCO these days. I was buying several items like Grape Nuts, Eagle Mills Unbleached Flour, Honey, Strawberry preserves, etc and they recently decided to stop carrying these items….well…not the honey and preserves, they just replaced the products they were carrying with their own Kirkland brand….less product for a higher price!! I’ve left suggestions and even spoken to some of the buyers, but they pretty much just said “we’re sorry, but these items are permanently gone and won’t be restocked. I hate to start spending my money at the “regular” grocery store, but looks like my business will be (in-part) going elsewhere.

  30. Must gets at Costco are hummus, cheese sticks, feta cheese, trash bags, and kirkland paper towels. The kirkland ‘ultra soft toilet tissue’ turned out to be disappointing. Now I use coupons and stock up on Charmin (red) Ultra strong. Even paying a small amount more for it makes life easier and tidier. It nets out.

  31. Shredded mozzarella cheese, ketchup, garbage bags, disposable cutlery, pasta, pickles (which my daughter consumes like water), craisins, candy. And vanilla, like you said:) We did online price comparisons on ALL of these items while at the store, and couldn’t find close to comparable prices.

  32. Pat Handy says:

    The Kirkland Vodka is really Grey Goose and you get a ton of it for 26$

  33. Please let me know if you currently sell frozen kosher pierogi.
    Thanks
    Aug.27, 2012

  34. (Pfut, pfut, pfut!)

    OMG I just about spit out my coffee when I read that! I could totally hear the sound in my head as I attempt to get the bag out of the inner liner of our trashcan. We also use Kirkland bags, and the only issue I’ve had is the little “hole” where you’re suppose to tuck the excess bag snags as the bag is coming out (Pfut, pfut, pfut!)… especially if you overstuff the bag. *whistles innocently*

  35. I am a single person so buying in bulk most items at Costco for me is hard but as far as my pets go…….the Kirkland dry food for both cats and dogs is awesome !! I can buy 25 pounds of there dry cat food for cats for about $18.00 that is amazing. I also feed feral cats and help with rescue groups. The food has chicken as the main ingredient. I have tried over the years every brand of dry cat food and spent $50.00 on a 15 pound bag and still Kirkland is the best. Also there brand of cat litter in the large plastic green jugs I believe its called Litter Perfect is great too. A 30 pound jug of their litter is under $8.00……..so yes for me Costco membership is worth it.

  36. I bought the yeast, just used it to make dough…and I don’t see a kosher hechsher on it! Anyone have any info on this? Does it need a hechsher? it was the same one as in the picture here

    • Mara Strom says:

      oh no – I haven’t bought it for a few months, but it definitely had a hechsher on it. Kof-K, I think?

  37. - frozen blueberries
    – vanilla soy milk
    – avocados
    – broccoli
    – apples
    – sliced almonds
    – tomatoes
    – brussels sprouts
    – tofu

  38. I buy everything (almost) at costco- their tomato sauce is OU.(also the best jar sauce I’ve had). Target wipes. Toilet paper,paper towels(Got sick of spending money on brand name and Kirkland is just as good) Costco Lysol wipes(kirkland brand) so much better then lysol- and thicker. I get the frozen veggies. All my produce. The now sell Pas Yisroel organic bread w. sunflower seeds in it- So yummy( I don’t just eat Pas Yisroel but it’s really good). Cheese, any spices are so much cheaper and usually organic. Ziploc. Everything just about.

  39. I buy eggs, milk, cucumbers, carrots, cheese, butter, coffee creamer, Doritos, tortilla chips, diapers & wipes :)

  40. I buy everything I can at Costco, but one thing that pays for the membership by itself are *diapers*! We buy the Kirkland brand, and save as much as $10 per box compared to Huggies, even more when they are one special.

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