Grocery Geek Presents: A Costco Week

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I just love Costco. Sigh.

I told you, didn’t I, that when I was pregnant with the first FishKid my hubby and I would drive 45 minutes just to eat dinner there. Wow! What I will do for a cheap, hotdog dinner!

It’s working really well for our family to make a Costco run about twice a month. We feast on samples, grab a pizza for dinner, and load up on butter, milk, cheese, lettuce, bagels, and a few other good deals. We went on Monday night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a great switch from last week when I did lots of running around to at least three stores. I groaned at the end of my errands, pining for the day when I can do all my shopping in one place.

Since I came up with my Time-Money-Comfort theory, FishPapa and I are putting our mathematical brains together to devise some kind of numbering system. We want to quantify how good a deal is and have a system to measure the merit of the experience.

Yeah, we’re geeks. But, humor me.

In our system, for instance, Costco gets

— a 10 for being a Timesaver: easy to prepare items; wide breadth of items, virtually a one-stop shopping place.

— a 10 for appealing to our Comforts: healthy, tasty meals

— yet, it ranks a 5 on the Money scale: there are great deals to be had, but not on everything. It’s a mixed bag when it comes to bargains. I don’t think I could shop exclusively Costco and stay under $500/month.

But, Costco Corporation, if you want to comp me the gift cards, I’m up for the challenge!

This week we added the following to our stores:

3 pounds frozen berries $10.99
4 pounds Italian sausage $8.79
6 pounds pasta $7.89
6 heads Romaine lettuce $2.99
8 cans pinto beans $4.39
1 ginormous bottle of Cascade $7.99
2 gallons whole milk $4.89
2 gallons nonfat milk $3.69
3 pounds cream cheese $6.59
4 pounds cheddar $10.58
3 pounds string cheese $8.99
2 pounds mozzarella $4.99
4 pounds butter $5.99
2 dozen Einstein bagels $9.98
2 loaves whole grain bread $3.99
6 petit pains (French bread loaves) $4.49
1 large 2 lb. sourdough bread $2.39
1 large round Brie cheese $5.29
9 pounds rolled oats $6.59
28 ounces baking powder $3.19
2 pounds roasted, sliced turkey meat $7.70
3 pack saltines $4.69
5 pack fancy crackers $7.69

We also threw in $20 on two pizzas – they were great!

And we also dropped $40 on 2 boogie boards because, now don’t cry, you people where it’s cold, we spent all Saturday at the beach! It was fantastic. The beach and Costco, what more could I want? But, I digress….

Overall, it’s been a positive shopping experience for our family. And maybe I will embark on the Costco Challenge with or without that email from Costco’s Corporate Office.

PS – FishPapa made a stop at Sprouts and stocked us up on fresh produce:
oranges $.25/lb
grapefruit $.25 ea
apples $.69/lb
avocados $.69 ea
honeydew $1.25
spaghetti squash $.69/lb

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  1. Hi Jessica!

    In my geekier, less busy days (aka waiting for the very overdue baby #1 to make an appearance) I made a list of about 100 items that we buy the most of and then did a lb by lb (or ounce by ounce) comparison of each item between our local warehouse store (BJs where we lived in Florida)and the local grocery store. I know you can’t factor in the variability of coupons, which can be significant, but the warehouse store was cheaper (in some cases FAR cheaper) for 98% of the items. It gave me some peace of mind.

    I love Costco, especially for toys this time of the year!


  2. Hi Libby,

    That makes me feel so much better. Thanks! I am glad to know I’m not alone in my geekiness.

    We’re so analytical because we know our limitations and want to make the most out of all these experiences. There is a method to our madness!

  3. I have a costco, but no sprouts. Those prices are great!

  4. Clean ClutterFree Simple says:

    I love Costco too. I’m in the NW, so it’s a “buy local” thing for me as well as a general money saver. Plus they treat their people well.

    We were there just the other day. Hadn’t had lunch, so me and the kids noshed on samples. Yummy chicken alfredo bake and pumpkin pie!

  5. we too are costco shoppers, they have a decent selection of organic frozen veggies, and organic meat.

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