Does Costco offer a lot of real food at affordable prices? That is the question this series seeks to answer. Join us over the next few weeks as we explore what Costco has to offer.
Do you shop at Costco? I’ve heard a lot about the store over the past few years but had not been there myself. I really didn’t think it would have much to offer in the way of real food. I did have a Sam’s membership for awhile but it got to where I could only find good cheese there and occasionally Kerrygold butter. So I let the membership lapse. It just wasn’t worth the time and hassle of dealing with such a large store. And the idea of Costco? Bleh, I thought. It’s even bigger and the one nearest me has an overflowing parking lot. Fighting crowds thru a big box store to find one or two good deals? Nope.
But lately I’ve seen a few posts around the web from blogs like these from Whole Natural Life and this post critical of Costco’s coconut oil brand. I found this older post from Health, Home & Happiness reviewing some good real food deals at Costco And I wondered what’s really there? Is it good quality? And do people really save money?
Compromise and Life Changes
In our home we’ve made pretty good progress over the past 1-2 years bringing the quality of the food we buy just a bit higher overall. I’ve been pretty happy about that. At one point the majority of the food that came into our home was local. Very happy about that too! Now though, the time has come yet again to re-evaluate our food expenses in light of some changes in our life. The biggie is that our youngest son is soon off to college, if not this fall then in the spring. He was homeschooled and has been attending the local community college as an early college start kid since he was 16. Now it’s time for him to move on to the university. That means bigger expenses for us in the coming years, and less cooking and just sheer volume of food made here at home. He’ll be eating his meals on campus, and we won’t need to keep quite as much on hand and pre-prepared as we have been.
In my post on The Art of Thoughtful Real Food Compromise I talk some about making intelligent trade-offs around real food in response to changes in your life like layoffs, opportunities, etc. Sometimes you need to take a step backward to go forward. In our case, I think we need to explore all the possibilities to save money over the coming years. But we definitely don’t want to lose too much ground. So in walks Costco … Is it possible we could save money by buying some of our grocery items there? If it’s possible for us it’s possible for you too!
Let’s Explore Costco!
Over the next few weeks I plan to explore the shelves of Costco to find what foods are available and if they are in fact a significant savings over local food sources, Amazon.com, Sprouts and Natural Grocers and of course local grocery stores. I’ve already made my initial run! I was encouraged by what I found, but my memory of exact prices at these others stores is a bit weak. And the price of food is going up at a good clip, so memories of last year’s prices or even last spring’s are only just so helpful. So I plan to follow the Tightwad Gazette grocery saving method of keeping a price book. I’ll compare prices per unit to see if we’re really getting the best deal for similar quality items.
Check Out What I Found!
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Photo via Miamism.