I already mentioned in a previous blog post that we recently moved across the country. While we wait for our old house to sell we have a pretty strict budget to follow. It’s doable and comfortable but doesn’t leave room for much extra. So, anytime I can shave a few dollars off a necessity like food I get super excited because that leaves a few extra dollars to spend on something else…something fun…or save…there’s that too.
During this transition time and hyper budget awareness, my love for costco has grown into a weird obsession. I’m drinking the Costco juice. So, in light of that, I wanted to share my top five favorite and budget friendly Costco purchases that almost every family can use. Wait, did you just say five favorites…but doesn’t your title say 10? Why yes it does. When I first mentioned this idea of doing five to my sister she responded, “Impossible. Make it ten.” So, per my sister, here are my top 10 favorite Costco purchases that help me save money. And, sidenote, I focused in on items I think almost every family buys and include different ways to use them so hopefully this is helpful.
1. The rotisserie chicken.
This THREE pound, ready-made dinner is such a steal at $4.99 a chicken! That’s $1.66 a pound (of course poundage includes bones). Pair it with some veggies, put it in a soup, salad, or pasta, shred it for tacos or chicken salad. I mean the options on how to use this bird are endless! I can easily get two or three meals for my entire family out of this chicken. Simply add in a side or two and you can make each meal for just a few dollars!
Specifically the Kirkland block cheese. A 2lb block of cheese in my store is currently running roughly between $4 and $6 depending on the type of cheese you want (Colby, sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, etc.). I buy one block of sharp cheddar every week and use it on everything from omelettes, to salads, to sandwiches, to pasta. So versatile and cheap!
HERE’S A TIP: Consider buying the sharp cheddar over other varieties. It takes less sharp cheddar cheese to get that satisfying cheese flavor than, say, a mozzerella or mild cheddar. And using less saves you money and calories in the long run!
Costco sells one bunch of bananas for just under $1.40. You get eight bananas in a bunch. That’s roughly 17-18 cents a banana. Enough said.
Eggs are a poorman’s protein gift. Cheap, filling, and, depending on what you think about the yolk, a nutritional bonus. I just bought a 5 dozen box of eggs for just over $4. That’s just under 86 cents a dozen. And I bough them for under $4 last month at about 77 cents a dozen. Use them for a quiche, a banana egg pancake, veggie omelette, to top off a sandwich, in soup, etc. Be creative by making this poor man’s protein the star of your dish. And by buying in bulk I never run out which makes it easy to declare an omelette night whenever we need to cut costs.
Tortilla chips are my love language. This crowd pleaser is at Costco. Under $4 for a 3lb bag and they are delicious! It’s super easy to grab this bag of chips and one of costco’s delicious salsa choices for an easy party pleaser. Throw leftover veggies and meat over some chips, top with your Kirkland sharp cheddar cheese, and warm for an easy, clean out the fridge nacho night. The options are endless and so is this giant bag!
At under $4 for a lb container, this salad mix is a budget pleaser. Top with veggies and hummus, leftover meat and salsa, berries and feta, hamburger meat and condiments. Seriously, I’ve been eating a salad a day just using leftovers from the night before (I included a few pics of said salads below). This giant tub easily gives me 8 full meal sized salads and I’m avoiding waste by using leftovers to create my salads.
Specifically their kirkland brand olive oil. Cold pressed, Italian grown olives, and quality tests have shown it is at the top. It’s delicious and not heat processed…my two requirements. 2 liters will run you about $15 and has lasted me over 6 months now (so prices may have fluctuated since then but I wouldn’t know because I’m STILL using the same bottle). Other honorable mentions include their coconut oil and avocado oil.
Gifts, occasional eating out treat, date night, whatever. Costco regularly sells their gift cards to places such as restaurants, the movies, amusement parks, etc. for around 20% below their value. We picked up a discounted restaurant gift card and use it once a month or so for a little Saturday treat. Add in restaurant freebie offers (like free apps or dessert or birthday offers) and you are getting a great deal on an occasional treat.
See those lines at the Costco gas station and wonder what’s up? Well, in my experience, gas has consistently been about 15-20 cents cheaper a gallon at the costco pump. If you have 2 cars that you fill up weekly then you save roughly $6 a week, $24 a month, or almost $300 a year! Obviously this can vary based on your car and fill up schedule but you get the idea. Combine your already low priced gas with a special cash back of 4% when you use the costco credit card and you’re saving big time! Make your money work for you my friends.
10. Costco’s executive membership.
Math alert. If you don’t like math then the bottom line is if you spend over $58 a week at costco then you should upgrade to the executive. Now, for the number crunching. You get 2% cash back on most every purchase except gas. This membership upgrade costs more up front ($60 for regular and $120 for executive once prices have gone up). BUT the executive pays for its extra cost over the course of a year IF you spend at least $58 a week over 52 weeks ($251.34 a month and $3016 annually). You can even make back more money than it’s extra $60 cost. For example, assuming you buy about $100 of groceries a week at costco then you’ll get 2% (or $2) back a week for 52 weeks which equals $104 back in a year. Pair that with an additional 2% cash back on almost anything by using the costco credit card and you can easily get $208 cash back a year (and more if you spend over $100 a week)! Plus, costco has a satisfaction guarantee and will refund you your money if you decide the executive just isn’t working for you. Who does that???
HERE’S A TIP: don’t have a Costco membership? You can have a friend who is a member buy you a gift card to Costco. That Costco gift card gets you in without a membership. This is a great way to shop your Costco and get a feel for savings before committing to a membership.
Obviously store prices fluctuate and my prices may be different from yours but I tried to give a general price range to give you a few ideas of how you can be saving and even making money at Costco!
So, my friends, I hope this has been helpful. What are some of your favorite, budget saving purchases from Costco? Are you drinking the Costco juice? Let me know in the comments below. And, as always, please subscribe if you haven’t already for all my latest money saving ideas. And if you’d like to see more posts like this one then give this post a like. Coming up soon on the blog are two budget friendly events complete with menu and DIY decor ideas that I hope will help inspire you for your next event. Until next time, consider sharing this post with a friend.