5 Things to Buy at Costco

5 Things to Buy at Costco

I’ve consulted my Costco Price List and my Costco Deals: Organic Price List 2013, and I’ve narrowed down the 5 things to buy at Costco to give your family the most bang for their monthly food budget buck. Keep in mind, not everything at Costco is the lowest price. And you can often times find a better deal by combining a coupon with a sale. However, sometimes you want to know that you can walk in on any given day of the week and find solid, everyday savings. This is particularly important when you are trying to buy organic. Since buying organic tends to be more expensive, shopping at Costco can be a great strategy to save on buying organic items.

With everyday savings in mind, here are the 5 things to buy at Costco:

1. MEAT – Whether you buy conventionally raised meat or organic meat, you can’t beat the everyday savings you get buying it at Costco. Since most families serve some form of meat most meals, it can save you a bundle by buying it in bulk. It does require that you have adequate freezer space, but by stocking up once a month, you know you will have the makings of a meal on hand. Not to mention if you plan to have a party or dinner guests, buying in bulk stretches your dollar.

2. MAPLE SYRUP – The price you pay at Costco is definitely less than what you’d pay at the grocers. Real maple syrup can be an expensive ingredient, but the taste is worth every penny. Knowing that I am getting a great price keeps our pantry stocked with real, delicious maple syrup.

3. ORGANIC WHOLE BEAN COFFEE – The savings on organic whole bean coffee is substantial. I’m talking about saving $1.50 to $2.00 per pound over what you’d pay for regular coffee beans! Say your family goes through a pound of coffee a week. Buying organic whole bean coffee at Costco offers a minimum of $78 in savings over the course of a year. That savings alone is worth the price of a Costco membership.

4. ORGANIC LETTUCE, SPINACH AND SALAD MIXES – Hands down, Costco has the best price on tubs of organic spinach and salad mixes. In order to really reap the savings here, you have to be committed to using what you purchase before it spoils. That goes for any produce you buy. However, if you are trying to feed your family whole foods, then the large quantities actually make sense. We should be buying large tubs of spinach and lettuce.

5. NUTS – Whether you are from the South and prefer pecans, or from up North and use more walnuts, raw, bulk nuts from Costco are significantly cheaper than buying them from the grocers. We love raw almonds, and the Costco price is the best in town. Since the bags of nuts are large, don’t forget to store your nuts in the freezer to keep them fresh.

Although these are the 5 things I found to offer the best savings, these aren’t the only items that find their way into my cart each month. I also like the prices on bananas, organic eggs, craisins, stretch island fruit leather, yeast cakes, and Luna bars.

What are the 5 things you buy at Costco?

Did you know I spent an entire month eating only at Costco and only spent $425 for a family of four (with teenagers!)? Find my meal plans and shopping list.

Don’t forget to check out my price comparison between Costco and Walmart!


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  1. Tanya Hulbert says:

    I love that Costco now offers quite a few organic choices. I too have been buying their organic ground beef and chicken, whole beans and much more. The savings are incredible.

  2. My five: Frozen organic fruits and vegetables, organic sugar for kombucha, quinoa, organic chicken breasts, and salmon

  3. Besides the items you mention, I love to buy blocks of cheese (cheapest around for us) and whole chickens. I used to love the organic peanut butter until they changed the supplier. I also like the organic strawberry jam.

  4. Charry ~ Great list! I love the frozen organic blueberries and cherries. I always have a bag in my freezer. Very impressed you make kombucha. Love that stuff! Thanks for your list, Andrea

  5. Tanya, I switched to Costco from Sam’s just for the organic selection. It’s awesome, isn’t it! Thanks for your list, Andrea

  6. Barb, Blocks of cheese are a great thing to add to the list! I always buy my blocks there. I used to buy the strawberry jam, but I haven’t found it in awhile. That is my least favorite part of Costco – it can be hit or miss. Thanks for adding to the list, Andrea

  7. Here is my must have list from costco
    1. coffee
    2. bananas
    3. AB-free chicken
    4. maple syrup
    5. nuts (pecans & walnuts for my homemade granola recipe)

    will have to see if mine carries organic eggs!

  8. Emily, If your Costco doesn’t carry organic eggs, put in a request. I save about a $1/dz when I buy them at Costco. We go through a lot of eggs, so it really adds up! Thanks for adding your list – it looks like we shop for the same things! 🙂 Andrea

  9. Jif Natural Peanutbutter
    Spinach and Lettuce

  10. Susanne, Thanks for adding to my Costco list. I often buy the avocados too. They aren’t always the best price, but we really, really like avocados & I’m not willing to drive somewhere else just to pick up a few! Andrea

  11. Pure vanilla and balsamic vinegar — both are good and both are a bargain!

  12. Michelle, I’ve bought the vanilla before & you’re right – it’s a great price. Did you happen to see the whole vanilla beans at Christmas time? Those were a rockin’ price! The only times I’ve seen them is at Christmas but I’m hoping they’ll have them around Easter too. Thanks for sharing your best Costco finds! Andrea

  13. 1) Yeast (I keep mine in fridge. Bought it over a year ago and it still works great!)
    2) Soy and Rice Milk
    3) Vanilla
    4) Cinnamon
    5) Tortillas

  14. I do the yeast too Ashley. I keep it in a mason jar and so far so good! Now what tortillas do you purchase? My friend brought over half a package of the tortillas you cook yourself, and I must say those were tasty! Thanks for leaving your list – it was a good one. Andrea

  15. In addition to many of the things already listed, I also purchase:
    raisins (they only sell organic now)
    10# bag carrots (also organic and cheaper than reg carrots at the store!
    baby kale (organic)
    frozen OJ
    frozen strawberries

    We are a large, sports-involved, 2 teen boys family (3 other teens just left home) and Costco is my best bet for most food!

  16. Great list Lynda! All of those make it into my cart too from time to time. Thanks for sharing. Andrea

  17. I’d follow all of these tips, and especially the one about spinach, if my medium-sized city had a Costco.

  18. Love Costco for organics. I alternate buying the big containers of org salad greens, baby kale, and spinach. If we aren’t going to use it up before it’s not optimally fresh, I chuck it in a freezer bag and freeze it. Works great in smoothies and eliminates waste!!

  19. Jill, I have never tried freezing my greens – GREAT TIP! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to give it a go! Andrea

  20. I can’t believe that no one mentioned fats! I buy all of my oils at Costco. The raw, organic coconut oil by Nutiva is great and so is their price on grass-fed Kerrygold butter ( they keep it with the cheese, not with the butter). Nuts and yeast are unbeatable prices and they also carry raw, wild honey at a great price. Honey neverr expires so we always get a bottle when we are there.

  21. Tamara, I too buy all my oils at Costco. LOVE the Nutiva Coconut oil! And, I actually just found the local honey at my Costco. I think it might be new at ours. Of course I bought some of that too! Thanks for reminding everyone of these great deals, Andrea

  22. Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Flour from Central Milling

    Organic Bakers Craft is an unbleached blend of hard red wheat, with 11.5% protein. As a reference, King Arthur all-purpose flour has 11.7% protein. Central Milling is used by several local famed SF bakeries (Acme and Tartine), and I believe mills the WF’s 365 brand flour.

    I just paid $13.99 for a 25 lb bag, which seems like a steal! (Recently paid $4.19 for 5lbs of KA at Walmart – the cheapest around here.) This may only be a local SF Bay Area item as several from a bread forum pushed Costco to carry this, but if interested I’d request it for your store (FYI, I did call first as the store I normally go to didn’t have it – but all the others around did, go figure.)

    The Coscto item number is 475605.

  23. Thanks Maria! I think that was an excellent price!

  24. My top 5 are: Organic Coffee, Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup, Organic Raisins, and Organic Butter!

    There are a number of items I usually buy if there isn’t a sale elsewhere! 🙂

  25. Hailey Smythe says:

    Maybe it’s different in the U.S, but in Canada, Costco meat is intensively farmed & treated with antibiotics. Recent recalls alerted us to the enormity of the problem, where most of the grocery or big box beef comes from one of a mere handful of massive feedlots. It’s cheap, but at what price?

  26. I just got back from Costco yesterday and spent $600.00 !!!! Apparently I like to buy a lot there 😮

  27. Christy, Hmmmm. I seem to like Costco as much as you do. Hard to get out of there with just what is on my list! Andrea

  28. Hailey, The meat I buy at Costco is organic. Can you not buy organic meat at your Costco in Canada? Andrea

  29. In addition to the others mentioned already, they have GREAT prices on Chia seeds!

  30. I agree with everything except Almonds from Costco… Did you know that Kirkland Almonds are gassed with PPO? A highly toxic gas banned from most of Europe…

  31. Jessica, I had not heard about Kirkland almonds. Would love to learn more. Andrea

  32. What I consistently buy at Costco: all meat, Kirkland brand laundry detergent, tortillas, milk, eggs, pita crackers, Kirkland brand chocolate chips, vanilla, canned chicken broth (low sodium, MSG and preservative free), Skinny Pop popcorn, bananas, and string cheese. We spend about $500 a month there.

  33. Robin in Chicago says:

    1) organic eggs
    2) organic lettuces
    3) frozen organic vegetables
    4) frozen blueberries
    5) fairly traded whole bean coffee

  34. Robin in Chicago says:

    6) Anejo tequila

  35. Virginia says:

    Was just there today….we get our organic frozen veggies, organic sugar, organic super green mix, frozen cherries and blueberries….we also buy the big boxes of Cascadian Farms cereal, organic diced tomatoes and organic Better Than Bouillon for when I am running low of homemade stock. Oh and their jam too…we are a family of 9 so we buy a lot there 😉

  36. Virginia says:

    And, I love that they have the organic raisins now…and some spices…ok, I am done now.

  37. Salmon
    Natures path organic oatmeal
    Organic blueberries
    Organic strawberry jelly
    Individual packages of sliced organic apples
    Organic kids zbars

  38. Organic quinoa
    Organic chicken
    Organic baby carrots
    Maple syrup
    Gluten free pizza
    Not a food item ….but they have awesome round dog beds

  39. Organic coffee beans, organic milk, organic eggs, chia seeds, and my favorite, “Better than buillion”–if you haven’t discovered this, it’s the bomb! It’s a buillion that comes in a jar in vegetable, chicken or beef flavors, and unlike the cubes of rock-hard processed powder, this is an organic paste that makes chicken broth. It’s near the spices.

  40. I’ll look for the Better than Buillion – thanks for the heads up Colette! Andrea

  41. 1. Multi colored bell peppers in winter
    2. Kirkland chocolate chips
    3. Organic tortilla chips
    4. Humboldt Creamery or Kirklands ice cream 🙂
    5. Fresh baked bread
    6. Cascadian crunchy granola bars

    There’s more that I’m forgetting 🙂 I’m very pleased that Costco is putting it’s tremendous buying power to bear on the organic market 🙂

  42. Terry Claxton says:

    I love the coconut oil, organic ground beef, chicken, frozen fruit, milk , eggs, Kerrygold butter, spinach, Late July chips, organic strawberry jelly, canadian bacon, Pacific chicken broth, organic spices, almond flour…..I could go on and on.

  43. I love that you are all so passionate about feeding you families Organic (which I am totally all about as well). Just be aware that most of the “organic” products at Costco and other big name stores are USDA Organic, which if you look into it, isn’t very natural at all, and quite a lax standard. I’m not saying this to be a Debby-Downer, I just feel that awareness is key and for me a big part of buying organic is not just for health benefits, but for supporting farmers who use ethical practices. People who poison our food for profits are the greatest terrorists around.


  44. Christy B says:

    I don’t have a membership but have been a few times on “free” one day passes. Anyways, what I’ve found to love the best for the cheapest prices are Annie’s fruit snacks (way cheaper in bulk there than in the small boxes at regular stores), organic Colby sliced cheese, and their foil 9X13 pans. I always debate getting a membership but I think it would ruin my grocery budget for the month 🙂

  45. Jennifer fields says:

    Ali, I agree what you are saying about store brand organics…. But the majority of organics I buy at Costco are brands I buy at Whole Foods- such as Coleman org chicken, Earthbound Farm, Wymans org blueberries and the list goes on….in fact, they stock only a few store brand organics-

  46. Love this, Andrea! We have a Costco near us and it is a blessing. We usually can find a great selection of organic produce and meats, as well as other staples. One thing they recently started carrying that really got me excited is blanched almond flour! I’m hoping that lots of people will buy it so they continue to carry it – the price is phenomenal! 🙂

  47. Costco Almonds are sprayed with PPO, Trader Joe’s is cheaper and steam pasteurized 🙂

  48. Kevin, Thank you for that information on Costco almonds. We won’t have a Trader Joe’s in our town for another year. Can’t wait! Andrea

  49. So two things that I like to get are Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave Nectar (great in my morning coffee) and the almond butter! plus I like to get a lot the things listed above too!

  50. Avocado oil is my new favorite thing at Costco.
    Very mild…wonderful on salads.
    Also it’s a good oil for cooking with even at higher heat.

  51. I buy coconut oil, carton almond milk, spices, Greek yogurts and meat.

  52. 1. I’ve found the 20lb bags of potatoes to be a must buy. Not only are they huge (have you seen the tiny potatoes at the grocery store??) they are good quality. The price is usually around $6-7, which is awesome.
    2. Coconut oil. The brand varies, but I can get a 32oz jar for a fraction of the price online.
    3. organic or regular cane sugar. Cheap!
    4. Tillamook Cheddar cheese–we eat a lot of this, and for 7.99, we buy two at a time.
    5. Tortilla Land tortillas–uncooked, delicious. Yes, I could make my own, I haven’t yet mastered them. These only have 5 ingredients.

  53. Kirkland vanilla ice cream is the best!!!
    Dubliner cheese…mmmmm
    San Francisco biodegradable kcups French roast
    Organic Kirkland tortilla chips
    Fruit and nut medley (dried fruits)
    Kirkland select a size paper towels
    Wild Alaskan salmon fresh
    Provolone cheese slices
    Bakery torta sandwich bread
    Organic strawberry jam
    Chicago mix popcorn and now organic boom chicka pop kettle corn
    Seeds of change rice/quinoa microwave packs
    Organic milk
    Oh man I didn’t realize I had so many favorite costco items…no wonder I spend so much money there!!!!

  54. LOVE this list Carmen! I tend to fill my cart to the brim there too! Andrea

  55. Thanks for the list! Unfortunately, I’ve never found any organic nuts at Costco. Furthermore, their raw almonds are fumigated with PPO (proylene oxide), which is labeled a possible carcinogen by the EPA.

  56. Mar, I’ve had lots of comments about the nuts at Costco. I’ve left several comments in the comment box at our local Costco about the PPO. I’m hoping if enough people will do it, Costco will stop. Andrea

  57. I love:
    the big package of already cooked bacon,
    the big bag of frozen chicken breasts,
    Kirkland toilet paper,
    the giant box of garbage bags,
    the large boxes of ziploc bags,
    the heavy duty foil
    large carton of heavy cream (when they have it) & half & half
    Kerry Gold butter
    Kirkland butter
    Kirklands Pacific Bold k-cups
    the dehydrated potato hashbrowns
    the marinated artichoke hearts
    marinated mushrooms
    marinated Muffalotta spread
    Brussels Sprouts
    Sugar Snap peas
    Butter crunch lettuce
    Premiere Protein drinks (chocolate)
    and the giant bag of gummy bears and worms.
    I often buy nuts there but NOT my pecans. BJs quality in pecans is hands down WAY better and right about the same price. Its worth the cost of BJs membership for them alone.
    I love their macadamia nuts though.. sigh.
    I also buy my Naproxin Sodium (Aleve) there..
    my 2000 IU liquid gel Vitamin D
    and my 600 count (Kirkland brand) benedryl.
    These are sooo much cheaper and better here than anywhere else.

    I cant walk in this store without spending less than $100.. and its quite often over $200.
    But I love this store.

    I also often buy my hamburger & ribeyes or Delmonicos if I havent got any from a half of a cow. Costco meat is hands down the best ANYWHERE!

  58. After reading other folks likes, it jogged my memory on a few other things.. it is also the only place I buy my Pure Olive Oil, EVOO, and Balsamic Vinegar as well as Heinz white vinegar.
    I too buy the giant bags of restaurant size potatoes, the huge bags of onions (oh the french onion soup they make.. yum!) and fingerling potatoes on occasion too.

  59. I LOVE your Costco lists Kim! Thanks for sharing! Andrea

  60. I buy frozen organic broccoli, dried figs(about half the year), Menjool dates, clementines, pineapples, melons, Kashi chocolate almond bars, organic raisins and our meat at holidays, like spiral hams. Kitchen towels and ladies blue jeans too.

  61. Also large bags of Hemp Seed and Chia Seeds.

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