Costco Grocery Prices Can Save Your Grocery Budget Money
Going to a Costco grocery store used to be an in and out process for us and over the years we’ve found we do save on certain products.
Today I’m focusing on food products only that are worth our time, money, and Costco membership fee for our family.
Often as seasons change so do the prices at Canadian grocery stores on everyday kitchen basics especially during the winter.
For example, a 3 pack of romaine lettuce at Zehrs is now $9.99 compared to a couple of months back at $2.99.
From the virality of the post, I’ve realized how important it is for consumers to save money even if it’s at Costco grocery stores.
The idea is to save as much as you can so your family can eat a healthy meal and to have snacks or the means to bake.
Costco grocery online is an alternate way to get products but you’ll pay more for this convenience which some people are willing to pay because there is no Costco in their city.
What’s worth it to one person is not to the other that’s why grocery budgets and savings are always personal in nature.
There’s no one size fits all grocery budget which I’ve stated many times on the blog.
So, is it really worth it for you?
Canadian Food Insecurity Is HugeHousehold insecurity in Canada 2018
Food insecurity in Canada is an ongoing problem which means Canadians need to stretch their dollars for budget categories.
What is Household Food Insecurity?
Food insecurity exists when there is a compromise in the quantity and quality of food consumed, according to Stats Canada.
As well as reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns is a severe sign of food insecurity.
Every dollar matters and when you’re worried about feeding your family shopping needs are different from someone with little worry.
Grocery Store Line-ups
With the current Covid-19 pandemic our Costco grocery store has been hit or miss whether you’re standing in a long line-up.
It’s not just Costco as almost all grocery stores have line-ups at some points in the day or even all day.
When winter sets in standing outside will be cold so you have to weigh your options when it comes to your grocery list and shopping agenda.
Yesterday was one of those days where it was so cold and there was a line-up around the building at Costco.
We started to walk down and noticed it got longer and longer and decided it was best that we turn around and go to Zehrs.
It’s not uncommon for us to walk away from a long lineup because we stock up on pantry essentials and never wait until they are empty.
The idea is to restock before your current stock is empty and then you’re put in a predicament of having nothing or limited supply.
Let’s consider the toilet paper, paper towel, and Lysol wipes that were literally getting wiped out at all major Canadian grocery stores.
It’s still happening now.
Limit Product Purchases For Costco Grocery Customers
This stuff happens and the only way to control it is for grocery stores to put limits on these products so everyone can stock up.
Even Costco grocery stores are trying to encourage customers by asking to purchase only what they need.
Although we’d like to think this type of process works there are still people going in and out to stock up.
That’s not what we do because the name of our game is to stock up while it’s on sale and not when a situation like Covid-19 happens.
We have a few favourite grocery stores that we visit weekly for certain rewards savings and to keep our budget balanced.
- Costco we go once a month for gas in my truck and I fill 2 cans in the winter. We also have certain items we buy at the best prices.
- Zehrs is a weekly trip for cheap meat, produce and cheese 50% off and flyer deals paired with Optimum Rewards Points
- Food Basics because it’s one of our favourite grocery stores that have reasonable prices for our grocery budget.
- Amazon grocery for prime members and using coupons and deals of the day, Black Friday deals, etc.
I think the key for everyone is to find what grocery stores offer the best deals based on grocery list needs.
Another thing to remember is that not everyone has access to transportation to carry groceries home especially in the winter.
We often try to stockpile one or two items when they are on sale and we know the product is priced right.
For example, if the tomato paste is on 2 for $1 instead of $0.89 each we’ll buy 8 cans which will do us for months.
Using Flyers and Grocery Apps
After so many years of scrutinizing grocery stores near us, we’ve got somewhat of a handle on pricing wars and the best deals.
What we still struggle with is buying more than we need when we find an unadvertised deal which is why we now have a grocery stockpile budget.
With apps such as Flipp, you can’t go wrong as it finds you the best prices, and all of your weekly grocery flyers are in one place.
I still read the paper grocery flyers when they come because I’m an oldie that way but the app has been a fantastic tool for grocery savings.
How to Build A Stockpile
I’ve also learned that not everyone has the money to stockpile items but here’s the thing, try to add one or two extras when you shop.
This is how you will build your pantry stockpile which might mean leaving out the popcorn or pringles for a week to stock a deal.
If you have $100 to spend at the grocery store and on your grocery list you have items that are nice to have and not needs, get rid of them.
I’m not saying you’re not allowed to indulge but in a time of need what you have stockpiled will fill your tummy more than chips will.
Going back 12 years ago we had a walk-in cold room filled top to bottom with every grocery and health and beauty item that we used.
Using coupons in Canada is still a big deal for many consumers who can lower their grocery budget with savings.
Another way to kick back some cash is to use rewards apps such as loyalty cards for your favourite grocery stores.
Saving At Costco Grocery Tips
With in-store Costco grocery, we have a few options for saving money since they don’t have coupons consumers can use.
- Stock up on a few items when they are on sale and better prices than the grocery store. (always consult Flipp or flyers first)
- Use the Capital One Costco MasterCard for points if you own a card.
- We use our PC MasterCard at Costco grocery since we get more bang for our Optimum rewards points.
The Costco grocery membership card is beneficial only if you shop at Costco for the best-priced items in bulk.
Remember to always check your grocery store flyers when you create a Costco grocery list.
For example, last week I picked up salted butter for $2.99 at Zehrs where Costco was selling the butter for $3.99.
The grocery store limit was 6 so I purchased the limit to stockpile for the Christmas Baking season.
The extra butter goes into a large Ziploc bag and we freeze it for up to 6 months without any issues.
This is how a smart grocery shopper shops (say that 10 times, ha)
If you’re truly interested in saving money on groceries you can still shop at all of your favourite grocery stores.
The only catch is that it will take more time and extra gas so are the deals you want worth the time and travel.
If you answer yes, then start the car and shop at your favourite stores, and if you can price match use that to your advantage.
However, if you answered no then create a grocery list based on the stores you shop at it and work around your budget.
11 Products Worth Buying For Our Costco Grocery Budget
Almost 99% of the time you find these Costco grocery products in the list below on our master grocery list.
I have a few more but I thought I’d stick to Costco basic foods that we find are the best prices compared to the grocery store.
Costco has a huge following for their meat department and that’s because you get what you pay for.
We don’t often buy meat at Costco however we have purchased ground beef, whole chickens, chicken wings, and pork belly.
I’ll agree that Costco meats are excellent but do you purchase for the quality, quantity, or the price?
That’s up to you and whether you can afford it.
For example, we bought a massive pack of Pork Belly for $25 which seems like a high price when it’s not.
A small pack of pork belly at the grocery store would cost us near $10 or more depending on what grocery store we go to.
We have so many portioned bags of pork belly (bacon) that will do us many meals and we know the grocery store won’t’ beat that price.
- 10% cream and 35% whipping cream $1.95 and $4.99 vs grocery store $3.29 cream and $5.99 for Whipping Cream, sometimes more.
- Avocados $8.99 bag with jumbo avocadoes are an excellent price
- Bananas cheapest we’ve found $1.57 a bunch
- Power Slice Bread $8.99 for 2 packs or buy 1 pack at the grocery store for $8.99
- Mayonaise $5.99 on sale Hellman’s Mayo or we buy extra eggs at Costco to make homemade Mayo if not on sale.
- Nuts at Costco are some of the best prices Brazil nuts, Almond, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pine Nuts, etc. I will say that I’ve bought organic sunflower seeds from Amazon for a great price but you must watch for flash sales.
- Oils – We buy double packs of extra virgin olive oil on sale, as well as coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Cheeses – Brie, Ricotta, Bocconcini, Parmigianno Regianno, Mozzarella, Cream Cheese, 2 pack goat cheese, halloumi cheese 2 pack.
- Deli Meats $11.99 German Salami 3 pack, genoa salami, Proscuitto
- Kirkland Almond Flour $16.99 is the best price as is Chia seeds and Coconut Flour. For example, Kirkland Almond Flour on Amazon is $27.99 or a double bag is $49.99 for Prime Members. Online Costco grocery for Kirkland Almond Flour is $18.99 or a double pack for $41.99 (nice math there). So you do pay more shopping online for Costco items however if it’s still the best price it’s worth it.
- Coffee is a must and when it goes on sale I stock up $10.99 is a good sale price for Nescafe. Even at reg price, it’s a great deal.
We buy our milk at Shoppers Drug Mart when there are 1000 reward points on each bag. That equals $1 back in PC Optimum points.
There are other items we buy at Costco grocery but I wanted to highlight the top 11 items we do purchase when we shop.
Yes Or No To Costco Grocery
For our family filling up on Costco gas and Costco grocery specific items, it is worth the membership fee and the savings.
This is where you must decide whether it’s worth it for you and fits in your grocery budget.
If you don’t want to get a Costco membership just have a friend who does have one buy you a gift card.
You can shop at Costco with a gift card and no membership or tag along with a friend when they go.
Not everyone needs to shop in bulk and if you’re worried about food waste then perhaps the grocery store is a better option.
Compare Costco Grocery Store Prices To Grocery Stores
The Free Budget Binder printable is located on the Free Printables and Deals Page.
Your best defense is to fill out the Costco vs. Grocery Store Budget Binder Printable for comparison purposes.
Don’t forget to factor in the yearly Costco membership and the rewards credit cards and loyalty points.
It sounds like a bit of a task but if you are wanting to budget and save as much as you can it’s a rewarding task.
Don’t expect to get it all finished in one day as it may take a month but you’ll see the pricing results.
Just fill in what you typically purchase at the grocery store including the weight, size, volume, and regular price.
Do the same for the Costco grocery products you buy and see who has the best deals.
Consider how often your grocery store might have basic food products on sale and what the typical price would be.
One last tip is to keep in mind that lots of Costco products are organic and will cost far more in some grocery stores.
Key To Grocery Savings Is Knowledge
The more you invest in educating yourself on your food consumption, food waste, and food prices in Canada the more you will save.
Discussion: What are the main food products that you purchase at Costco consistently because of the price savings?
Leave me your comments below as I’d love to read them.