Grocery Shopping Tips

Costco Grocery Products That Save Us Money

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Going to a Costco grocery store used to be an in-and-out process for us.

Over the years, we’ve found we save on everyday products, prompting further investigation.

Today I’m focusing on products worth our time, money, and Costco membership fee.

11 Costco Grocery Products We Buy 

As seasons change, so do the prices at Canadian grocery stores on everyday kitchen basics, especially during the winter.

  • Produce
  • Seafood
  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Bakery

For example, a 3 pack of romaine lettuce at Zehrs is now $9.99 compared to a couple of months back at $2.99.

One of my most visited posts on CBB for grocery is Costco Keto Products with Photos since Keto is the current lifestyle rage.

From the post’s virality, I’ve realized how important it is for consumers to save money, even at Costco grocery stores.

The idea is to save as much as possible so your family can eat a healthy meal and have snacks or the means to bake.

Costco grocery online is an alternate way to get products shipped to your home.

But, you’ll pay more for this convenience which 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.

There’s no one size fits all grocery budget which I’ve stated many times on the blog.

So, is it worth it for you?

Canadian Food Insecurity Is Huge

Household 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.

This is why someone might shop at multiple grocery stores, use coupons, and reward loyalty cards.

Every dollar matters and shopping needs differ from those with little worry when you’re worried about feeding your family.

Grocery Store Line-ups

Costco Canada

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 point or even all day.

When winter sets in, standing outside will be cold, so you must weigh your grocery list and shopping agenda options.

Yesterday was one of those days when it was so cold, and a line-up was around the Costco building.

We started to walk down, noticed it got longer and longer, and decided it was best to 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 towels, and Lysol wipes that were getting wiped out at all major Canadian grocery stores.

It’s still happening now.

Limit Product Purchases For Costco Grocery Customers

This happens, and the only way to control it is for grocery stores to limit these products so everyone can stock up.

Even Costco grocery stores are trying to encourage customers by asking them to purchase only what they need.

Although we’d like to think this process works, people still go 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 and savings to keep our budget balanced.

cheap cheese
  1. Costco, we go to once a month for gas in my truck, and I fill two cans in the winter. We also have specific items we buy at the best prices.
  2. Zehrs is a weekly trip for cheap meat, produce, and cheese 50% off and flyer deals paired with Optimum Rewards Points.
  3. Food Basics because it’s one of our favourite grocery stores that have reasonable prices for our grocery budget.
  4. 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 eight cans which will do us for months.

Using Flyers and Grocery Apps

Flip App Canada

After so many years of scrutinizing grocery stores near us, we’ve got somewhat of a handle on pricing wars and the best deals.

We still struggle with buying more than we need when we find an unadvertised deal, which is why we now have a grocery stockpile budget.

With apps like Flipp, you can’t go wrong as it finds you the best prices, and all 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.

For example:

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 needed, 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 with every grocery, health, and beauty item we used.

Using coupons in Canada is still a big deal for 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

Costco Keto Canada Nuts and Seeds

With in-store Costco grocery, we have a few options for saving money since they don’t have coupons consumers can use.

  1. Stock up on a few items when they are on sale and have better prices than at the grocery store. (always consult Flipp or flyers first)
  2. Use the Capital One Costco MasterCard for points if you own a card.
  3. 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.

Always check your grocery store flyers when creating 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 six, so I purchased the stockpile for the Christmas Baking season.

The extra butter goes into a large Ziploc bag, and we freeze it for six months without any issues.

This is how a smart grocery shopper shops (say that ten times, ha)

If you’re truly interested in saving money on groceries, you can still shop at 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, 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, create a grocery list based on the stores you shop at and work around your budget.

11 Products Worth Buying For Our Costco Grocery Budget

Costco Kirkland chicken wings

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’s essential foods that we find are the best prices compared to the grocery store.

Costco has a massive following for its meat department because you get what you pay for.

We don’t often buy meat at Costco; however, we have purchased ground beef, whole chicken, chicken wings, and pork belly.

I agree that Costco meats are excellent, but do you purchase them for quality, quantity, or 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 expensive when it’s not.

A small pack of pork belly at the grocery store would cost us nearly $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.

Our Costco Grocery Master List

*Note- Remember that the prices below reflect the period I wrote this blog post.

  1. 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.
  2. Avocados  $8.99 bag with jumbo avocadoes is an excellent price.
  3. Bananas cheapest we’ve found is $1.57 a bunch.
  4. Power Slice Bread  $8.99 for 2 packs or buy 1 pack at the grocery store for $8.99
  5. Mayonaise $5.99 Hellman’s Mayo, or we buy extra eggs at Costco to make homemade Mayo if not on sale.
  6. Nuts at Costco are some of the best prices for Brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower Seeds, pine Nuts, etc. I’ve bought organic sunflower seeds from Amazon for a great price, but you must watch for flash sales.
  7. Oils – We buy double packs of extra virgin olive oil on sale, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
  8. Cheeses – Brie, Ricotta, Bocconcini, Parmigiano Regianno, Mozzarella, Cream Cheese, 2-pack goat cheese, halloumi cheese 2-pack. 
  9. Deli Meats $11.99 German Salami 3 pack, genoa salami and Proscuitto.
  10. Kirkland Almond Flour, $16.99, is the best price, as are Chia seeds and Coconut Flour. For example, Kirkland Almond Flour on Amazon costs $27.99, or a double bag costs $49.99 for Prime Members.  Online Costco grocery for Kirkland Almond Flour is $18.99, or a double pack for $41.99 (excellent math there). So you do pay more shopping online for Costco items; however, if it’s still the best price, it’s worth it.
  11. Coffee is a must; when it goes on sale, I stock up $10.99, a reasonable sale price for Nescafe. Even at the reg price, it’s a great deal.

We buy other items at Costco grocery, but I wanted to highlight the top 11 items we purchase when we shop.

Yes Or No To Costco Grocery

Costco Wholesale Canada

Is Costco Grocery Worth It?

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 a Costco membership, have a friend who has 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; if you’re worried about food waste, perhaps the grocery store is a better option.

Compare Costco Grocery Store Prices To Grocery Stores

Costco Grocery Comparison

The Free Budget Binder printable is 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 it’s rewarding if you want to budget and save as much as you can.

Don’t expect to finish everything 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 your Costco grocery products and see who has the best deals.

Consider how often your grocery store might have basic food products on sale and the typical price.

One last tip is to remember that many Costco products are organic and will cost far more in some grocery stores.

The 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 primary food products do you consistently purchase at Costco because of the price savings?

Leave me your comments below, as I’d love to read them.


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One Comment

  1. I was at Costco 9n the weekend and here’s my list of must buys:

    Swiss dark chocolate- tiny packets so I don’t eat too much
    Kirkland dishwasher tabs- work as well as the name brands
    Kirkland TP-the best
    Granola bars
    Dawn dish soap-I use this for my homemade laundry detergent and cleaners
    Pain relievers and vitamins
    Dog treats
    Fine cheeses

    Since we live 1.5 hours away we only go 2x a year, but well worth the trip. I don’t buy meat or chicken there as I can get sales at my local stores.

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