This is the final post in the series that seeks to answer: Does Costco offer a lot of real food at affordable prices?
We’re wrapping up our six week foray into Costcoland here on Granny’s Vital Vittles! I feel I’ve learned a lot about the store and what they have. I’ve been pretty impressed overall. While organics or real food are clearly a small percentage of what they have on the shelves it still adds up to enough food and enough savings to make the trip worthwhile.
Now, if you are approaching a 100% real food diet you may not find enough here for the trip to be worthwhile. But for the rank and file that are at 60-80% real food it’s clearly worth the trip for the savings over shopping at the smaller health oriented stores. Now, if you can make arrangements to buy some of this stuff locally, all bets are off :-). I’m hearing about local prices that are all over the board so if that’s the case your mileage may vary when it comes to Costco. Some things I found here I know I can get better quality for less money locally. Like honey, for instance.
There is something for all budgets in all departments, pretty much.
Some Real Food in Most Departments
I was able to find some food that I could give at least a good rating to in most every department at Costco. I really couldn’t say that in my series on Walmart! I found something in meat, in deli cheeses, in produce, in frozen foods, in dairy, in fats and oils and in bulk pantry goods. A+ to you Costco!
Can’t Get Everything Here, Not by a Long Shot
While I found something in every department it was generally 3 or 4 items only. Sometimes only one. You could save money on your budget by using more of the items you can find here. That would be a pretty good way to save, ala The Tightwad Gazette. Just start orienting your meals around what you find a good deal on at Costco.
Most of the items I found there fall toward the lower end of the acceptable food quality scale I use in in my ingredient posts. That scale is Good, Very Good and Excellent .. I won’t mention the Absolutely Avoids and Minimize rankings. If that’s where most of your food purchases are at right now you won’t be disappointed with Costco.
Excellent Prices on What They Do Offer
What they do have available runs in the range of 40-60% less than comparable items found at the smaller chain health food grocers. So these are very good deals for the same exact quality. In a small number of cases Costco might even have the better quality item. So shopping here can help free up some dollars to buy better quality local dairy or meat, for instance. It can help you balance the quality of the food you bring into your home.
Glad I Joined Costco
I’m very happy with my decision to join Costco this year! I’m still in the process of rebalancing our food budget with new demands on our pocketbook and the reduced quantity of food we need to make here at home, what with my youngest moving into a dorm this fall.
Tell us more about your strategies to save money on food with lowering quality?