Here’s what I buy at Costco or Sam’s so save my grocery budget. And…here’s what I avoid buying at those stores!
What I Buy at Sam’s and Costco
These are the purchases I make that save me the most money as I strive to keep our big family budget at $1,200. (I’m currently feeding 10 people three meals every day. Plus we have frequent guests.)
Here’s what saves me the most at Costco and Sam’s:
I typically find organic produce at Costco for the same price as non-organic produce elsewhere. I still sometimes opt for non-organic depending on cost, but it’s nice to get organic options at Costco when I can. I have found that their organic apples, pears, mixed greens, spinach, carrots, and grapes are usually a great price!
These are always $0.98/pound, which is a great price per pound for high-quality meat.
Sliced and Shredded Cheese
In my experience, the bulk bags of shredded Colby jack and mozzarella cheese at Costco or Sam’s is less than what I find elsewhere, even Walmart. I also buy big packages of sliced Colby Jack and sliced Pepper Jack for grilled cheese sandwiches, saving quite a bit!
Other Dairy Products
BUTTER!!!! I always buy butter and save at Costco – while watching for loss leader sales at other stores, especially during holiday season. Also on my Costco and Sam’s list: Daisy Sour Cream, 4% Milkfat Cottage Cheese, Half and Half, and Heavy Whipping Cream. :)
They are always $4.98 and you can eat them as-is for a fantastic convenience meal! Or you can turn it into any of these meals.
I buy the six-pack of boneless chicken thighs at Costco for $3.49/pound. They are very high quality and a much better price than any I’ve found elsewhere.
These are a great price at both Sam’s and Costco, and their taste doesn’t compare to any others I’ve found. We especially love the box of 80 beef hotdogs from Sam’s. They are so good!
Frozen Chicken Nuggets
These are a GREAT price at Costco and they taste better than any others we’ve tried.
If you buy these (with all of our littles, they are a great convenience food for us!) I highly recommend that you pick them up at Sam’s or Costco. They cost much less per pouch at these warehouses. Plus Costco has a Kirkland brand that is priced even better!
Caesar Salad Packs
I actually don’t know or even care how much these cost, ha. There’s something about these that just taste so very good! I always grab a couple from the produce department and we enjoy them with our meals during the next couple of days. Brayden and Keith eat thirds and fourths of this salad!
I used to think of these as a splurge, but as it turns out, buying frozen pizza is actually a frugal option if you think of them this way. In our opinion, the Kirkland frozen pizzas at Costco are the best tasting compared to other brands.
What to avoid
Here’s a list of items I typically find for a better price elsewhere…
Hotdog and Hamburger Buns
In the big scheme of things, this isn’t a super big deal or even a big waste of money. But I’ve found that it saves money to pick up hamburger and hotdog buns at Walmart or Aldi instead of at Costco or Sam’s.
The same goes for bagels. I can get them at Aldi for much cheaper than those at Sam’s and Costco.
We really like the Aldi organic salsa, and it is much cheaper than what I find at the warehouses. I buy a case of salsa at Aldi every time I go in.
The Aldi Simple Nature organic spaghetti sauce is a great price and tastes great.
Hamburger Meat and Sausage
I watch other store ads to check for big hamburger meat discounts. And usually, I find sausage at Aldi for just $1.99/pound. So I don’t ever buy these two meat varieties at Sam’s or Costco unless I happen to catch a meat markdown at Sam’s that matches my price point.
I’ve found that canned beans, tomatoes, green beans, and corn are usually more expensive at Sam’s and Costco compared to Aldi. So I typically buy a flat of of 12 cans of black beans, baked beans, and corn when I go to Aldi instead of getting them at the warehouses.
Wow, is that it?
Overall, prices at Costco and Sam’s really are the best, especially for the high-quality foods that they offer. There are just those few items that I tend to look for elsewhere, and sometimes it isn’t worth making an extra trip to another store.
What are your buy and don’t buy suggestions from Costco and Sam’s?