We don’t have a Costco membership yet, but I cannot wait until we get one—it will be soon! We used to be Costco members, years ago when they gave out free memberships for their grand opening, but have kept a Sam’s membership instead because it was cheaper. I found out lately however, that Costco now has lots of organic items (Sam’s has next to none) and has a wider variety of real food items. I’ve gone with a friend a couple of times to make a list of what they have and price their items, and I was really blown away! They have a ton of real food products at prices that are WAY cheaper than what I have been buying them for elsewhere—even better than Trader Joe’s prices, which had my other stores beat on many things. I was impressed enough with their store, and the savings that shopping there will bring to my budget, that I included shopping at Costco as one of my 10 Strategies for Buying Real Food on a Real Budget that I posted recently. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to getting my Costco card. In the meantime, I have shopped with my friend and bought a bunch of great things. Here is what I found that I will soon be buying regularly at Costco:
1. Organic Frozen Vegetables and Fruit – They have good prices on organic veggies including broccoli, green beans, corn, and mixed vegetables (although you might be wary of the broccoli as it comes from China—you can read about that here.) They also have organic blueberries that I will be buying there soon! I was really excited to find the corn. I always buy organic corn because of the GMOs in regular corn, and it’s so much cheaper to buy Costco’s big bag than it is to buy the little bags at CM or TJ’s.
2. Organic Diced Tomatoes and Organic Tomato Paste – Their prices for a case of organic canned tomatoes and paste are really good! So excited to find these! I have read that their cans are BPA free too, which is good. They also have tomato sauce, but it has sugar in it, so I will make my own sauce from the tomato paste—probably more economical to do that anyway.
3. Organic Tortilla Chips – OK—perhaps calling these “real food” is a bit of a stretch 😉 We eat a lot of tortilla chips (too many!), and we really like these. You can get a big huge-a-mongous bag for a good price—much cheaper than I had been paying for the organic chips at Target.
4. Organic Applesauce – We use a TON of applesauce in our house, and Costco has the very best price on organic! YAY!
5. Organic Agave – I don’t buy much agave, honestly, but it is a sweetener that we can have and the price at Costco is so low that I find it much easier to afford than always using honey, maple syrup, or even coconut sugar.
6. Maple Syrup – They have the absolute best price on pure maple syrup! It is Grade A and not Grade B (I know some people are really particular about that) but I think it’s just fine, and we love it.
7. Almond Butter – They have the very best price on this too. It’s the Maranatha brand and it has no sugar in it—only almonds. We eat a LOT of almond butter at our house, so I am tickled to find this!
8. Dates – They have both Medjool dates and other dates, and their prices are better than other stores.
9. Organic Raisins – And again…best price on organic raisins is at Costco!
10. Organic Quinoa – They have a nice big bag of organic quinoa at Costco and it is so much cheaper than buying a pound at a time at other stores! Last time they had the red quinoa, but usually they have white.
11. Organic Oils – They have both organic coconut and olive oils for some incredible prices at Costco! Adrienne over at Whole New Mom did a post on Costco’s coconut oil, and she didn’t find it to be lacking in quality at all! You can check it out here.
12. Vinegar – Since I clean a lot with vinegar (and lately have been doing a lot of science experiments with a certain little boy that call for lots of vinegar), I go through it pretty fast! I can get gallons of vinegar at Costco for nice and cheap!
13. Coconut Water – I normally buy coconut water at Sprouts on sale, but I saw that Costco carries Vita Coco for a pretty good everyday price, if you can’t wait for a sale.
14. Chia seeds – I have never bought Chia, but probably will in the future. My friend told me that Costco’s price is super great for chia seeds.
15. Kerrygold Butter – I have not bought this yet, but may in the future. I have heard that Costco’s price can’t be beat!
There are other good real food products that you can get at Costco—I may have not listed them here because I don’t buy them (things like cheese, which we can’t eat right now), or because they are more expensive than what I can afford (organic eggs). I also feel sure that I will find some other great buys there once I have shopped multiple times and had a chance to look over everything. I will update this list if I add anything. They do have some great deals on things like batteries and toilet paper (their Kirkland brand is outstanding, and even my tp-snob husband likes it!) I want to look at their clothes, books and movies and some of their other things too once I have more time to shop those areas. I have been told that Costco has the best price for a Vitamix, if you’re in the market for one of those!
So tomorrow, I am going to list the real food items I buy at WalMart, Aldi and Target. The lists for those will be short, so I’ve chosen to combine them. Are you ready??