Okay, okay. Let’s chat about Costco. We go every single week for our weekly restocks, and I get asked by friends and family all the time, “Is it really worth the membership?” Or, “When I go I just don’t know what to get, and it’s overwhelming.” And, “Do you get everything from there? I feel like it’s more expensive to buy from there!”
Y’all, we. love. Costco. WE DO. So much so that until the new one in our town FINALLY opened (we’d heard of talk about one coming since we first moved here… it’s been 3 years… and it just opened last month lol), we have been driving 30 minutes to one to keep shopping at Costco. Not Sam’s. DEAR GOD, not SAM’S. Costco. It’s 3000 x’s better. Better customer service, better products, and just better overall. Just better. There’s a reason Sam’s are going out of business while Costco is taking over the world.
Dramatic? Maybe. But true. Very, very true.
Okay, so here’s the answer to the questions:
- Is it worth it? YES. We pay $60 a year for a membership. We each have a card. You can pay $125 a year for the Gold Membership, which gives you money back after a certain amount spent. But, since we don’t do ALL our groceries here (we will get to that), we don’t do that membership. It’s just not worth it. We tried it last year, and decided not to this year.
Okay, so why is it worth it? We buy the cheapest produce on the planet to get us through each week, our bulk chicken, wine, diapers once a month, and household items once a month. YES, we buy diapers once a month.
2. Go in to purchase knowing exactly what you need for your family. You can definitely go in and way overspend on stuff you don’t actually need, so you have to go in with will-power on a budget.
TIP: Give yourself an initial trip where you’re not buying anything, but instead go in with the intent of studying each section to see what they have. (It really doesn’t change often.) Write it all down, then go home and meal plan for the week, or the month if you’re a super overachiever. You don’t need to buy the box of chips for the next 2 weeks of lunches if you’re buying the pretzles. You know what I mean? If you buy both… something is going to go stale. Go in with intentions and a plan.
If you have kiddos, the snacks section up front is the ultimate lunch box section. We are talking Lara Bars for cheap, Cliff Bars (and Kid’s Cliff Bars), nuts, Annie’s Crackers, Chips… Your kids will have a lunchbox they won’t want to make “tradesies” with.
3. Do we get everything from here? No. Like I said, we meal plan and buy accordingly. Perishable items that we just can’t finish the two of us before they go bad, we get from our grocery store. Salmon and a few other specific meats we like to get each week (like the Apple Cider Pork Chops at Market Street OMG- $5 for two massive ones!!!), we get at our local grocery store. Costco also doesn’t have Sweet Potatoes, which is about 80% of our meals, so we get those elsewhere. We also get boxes of pasta and brown rice from the local grocery store, mostly because we just don’t have the storage space for them and we don’t need to spend $20 up front on pasta to last us the next 4 months. Even though it’s cheaper longterm… it’s just not necessary. Know what I mean? I also buy ONE Protien Bars for each week as an afternoon snack M-F. My local grocery store always has them for 2 for $4, so it’s about $10 each week for an afternoon snack.
So, what do we get at our weekly trips?
- Bulk Chicken: ~$25 for 6 packs = on avg. 4 dinners/ week (we eat chicken a lot…) + 2 meal prepped lunches of chicken for ~$4.15) HEYOOOO
- Bulk Container of Spinach: We eat spinach like it’s going out of style. Cooked, uncooked… It doesn’t matter. We keep dressing on hand at all times. Majority of my lunches are a piece of chicken on a bed of spinach with dressing, and some fruit or nuts.
- Bag of Avocados: We get a whole bag of avocados for $5 each week.
- Raspberries/Strawberries: SO CHEAP. A container twice the size you’d get at the regular grocery store of raspberries for $4, and I can’t remember how much our strawberries were yesterday, but they were stupid cheap. I eat those at night with some whipped cream, or on my spinach salads. YUM.
- Big bag of brussel sprouts
- Bag of asparagus
- Laundry Detergent (Once a month!): We buy our laundry detergent here for $14/month. Sometimes we go through more a month, but on average it’s one a month.
- Toilet Paper and Paper Towels (Once a month!)
- Diapers (Once a month!)
- Kirkland’s Red Wine (This thing is MASSIVE and $6!!)
- Sambazon Acai Chocolate Covered Bites (bi-monthly): OH MY GOSH. For the love of all things, these are the best Costco find I have ever made. 50 calories a piece… I eat 3 almost every single night.
- Nut Clusters
- Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (Once a month- Paul eats this every single morning, and it lasts FOREVER!)
- Three pack of Kirkland’s Peanut Butter (Once a month)
- Cooking Oil (Once a month, AVG): 2 pack Avacodo Oil
- Coconut Oil Jar (Once every few months): This thing is HUGE
- Almond Milk (Once a month): 3 pack
- Bulk pack of canned corn and green beans (Maybe once a month, sometimes longer!)
- Ground Turkey: Usually a twice a month purchase
Occasionally, we buy other things! We will buy Cheerios usually once a month (3 pack), and sometimes random buys for the home like light bulbs, etc. We are creatures of habit, though, and we eat the same things just about every single day.
Average Day of Meals:
- 2 eggs, handful of raspberries/strawberries or banana slices
- Chicken (meal prepped for the week), spinach salad, nut clusters
- 2 PM ONE Bar + Cup of coffee pick me up during Knox’s afternoon nap
- A meat (likely chicken or pork), a veggie, a starch (brown rice/pasta/sweet potato of sorts)
- A sweet treat (Acai bites/Fruit and Whip Cream/Halo Top/The occasional Blue Bell… 😉
If you are new around here or just can’t tell… I am very routine… haha. It has it’s pros and cons. But, it makes meal prepping each week pretty easy! Paul and I also both have food allergies and restrictions, so our meals we can both eat where I am not having to cook two different meals for us are limited. That is also why we eat pretty much the same things every day/each week, or at least use the same items. You can do a lot with these items though! We do “Chiptole Bowls”, “Pei Wei” Stir Fry (Trader Joe’s has a GREAT pre-cut fresh veggie stir fry for cheap cheap), HG Sply Co. Sweet Potato Bowls, Tacos, Pork chops + baked potoato, Variety of pastas… we eat good on our budget!
Grand total: Our budget right now is $125/week for groceries. It can be done!
ALSO, Costco now does home delivery… so. There you go. WINNER.
So, in conclusion… yes. Yes, Costco is worth the membership.