My Costco cherry has been popped! My Eye Candy and I made the plunge and we are now full-fledged and active Costco members. Last month, we went undercover and snuck into a local Costco warehouse just to do some price comparisons. We wanted to figure out a) if we would be saving money and b) how much bulk would we actually have to buy.
We created a list of the grocery items that we purchase the most often like meats, cheeses, trailmix, and coffee. Once inside Costco, we took pictures of the prices and sizes of the items and we were later shocked when we compared the prices against our local IGA and Loblaws offerings. But, it was sticker shock in a good way!
Exhibit A: Tilapia
Costco price: $12.99 / kg
IGA price: $15.41 / kg
Exhibit B: Chicken
Costco price: $13.49 / kg
IGA price: $14.31 / kg
Exhibit C: Swiss Cheese
Costco price: $1.798 / 100 g
IGA price$3.788 / 100 g
After seeing the lower Costco prices, we used $55 from our Mad Money envelope to buy an annual membership. We’ve since done two weekly grocery-runs at Costco. At first, it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of buying in bulk, but items like meat are freezable and our fridge is now well stocked-up. Being on a mix of Zone & Paleo diets, we tend to eat routinely anyways and plan our meals in advance. Right now, we’re well stocked upon fruits, veggies, healthy snacks and meats so now that our fridge is loaded, I am hoping that grocery shopping will now become once-every-two-weeks event.
I’ve also started to buy my health & beauty products at Costco. As a major allergy sufferer, I take 24-hour relief each day. The cheapest that I could find a 30-day supply of Reactin was $28 at Wal-Mart or $26 at Shoppers Drug Mart (when it’s on sale). At Costco, I purchased 360 tablets for $66. Before, each pill was about $0.93 and with this bulk purchase, the average cost is $0.18 from Costco. Granted, my monthly budget takes the hit for the drugs this month, but I now have a year supply at a fraction of drug store costs.
The Costco-shopping experience is new & novel to me – but if there are any tips out there or further savvy saving at the warehouse club, please share.