Costco Price Comparison

We are only a small family of four right now, but even we benefit from a Costco membership. This was the first week that I grocery shopped at Costco, and I plan to go back each week for certain items that I have found much cheaper there. I always knew once we had a house full of hungry teenagers we would grocery shop regularly at Costco, I never thought we would need to with just two toddlers!

We have had a membership for a few years, mainly for making larger purchases and birthday and Christmas shopping. The first time we bought one, was because the stroller/car seat set I wanted was$70 cheaper there, so the membership at $55 was worth it just for that. Items like books, movies, and clothing are cheaper at Costco, and they have great deals on movie passes too! I also buy my laundry soap there (only have to buy it once a year because the jug is so large!) and the dishwasher soap we prefer is cheaper as well.

The thing to keep in mind with items at Costco, is that you need to know your prices. You need to know what an item sells for at your usual store, as well as know what the sale price is. Costco is not always cheaper. And because most items are sold in bulk, it is only worth it if you are going to use all of it up, and have room to store it. Sure that bag of peppers is a great price, but if they go bad before you eat them, it was a waste!

This trip I focused on checking out prices on certain items that I am sick of having to buy multiple times each week, and items that can be bought in bulk once a month or even every few months. Here is what I bought:

Kirkland Signature pro biotic yogurt 24 x 100ml: $8.99 (yogurt prices vary greatly, I usually buy whatever is on sale that week and has no artificial sweeteners, this Costco price is still cheaper than sale prices, and yes, we eat that much yogurt each week)

Goldfish crackers 1.36kg : $8.25 (vs regular price of 200g @ $2.99, this Costco price is a steal, and they are often on sale for an additional $2 off!)

Fruit 2 Go box of 60: $16.49 (I have only ever seen these in stores sold 3 for $1)

Extra large eggs carton of 18: $3.75 (eggs are often on sale at my grocery store 18 for $2.97, but this week they weren’t)

Organic baby romaine 312g pack: $3.79 (PC Organic lettuce in 312g packs is on sale at Superstore for $3.98)

Bananas 3lb bundle: $1.69 (almost always$0.69 per lb, so for the same 3lb bundle, it would have been $2.07 at Fresh Co)

Mini babybel 22 individual cheeses :$11.59 (babybel 12 packs are on sale at Superstore for $6.98 = $0.58 per cheese, vs Costco price of $0.52 per cheese. These are a “treat”, as regular bricks of cheese are much cheaper)

Kirkland Signature coffee 1.36kg: $9.99 (We prefer PC coffee, which I am lucky to get on sale for $11.99 for a 1.36kg can, I will let you know if this coffee is any good)

I went to Costco before Fresh Co, to make sure the prices were actually cheaper. I had my shopping list as normal, and I was keeping in mind the Fresh Co sales. I noticed berries were a good price, but they are on sale at Fresh Co this week at a better deal, and berries go bad quick, so we might not make it through a very large container of them. Other than that, most things I was intending to buy were cheaper, and some things that weren’t on my list I noticed were cheaper too. Basic items like milk and butter are also great prices (and sold in normal sizes!) and baking supplies like dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips seem like great deals too. They have great prices on meat, but I hesitate to buy meat from Costco for two reasons: 1. Costco meats were a large part of the recent XL foods re-call 2. In the past we have found that the meat on the top of the pack looks great, but the second row below is not the same quality(smaller pieces of chicken, and tiny end pieces of ribs).

Do you have a Costco membership? I would love to hear what you buy regularly, or any other incredible deals you have found there.

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17 comments

  1. I also live in Durham so if you find a local farm I would love to read about it. We love Buckingham meats in Brooklin however they are pricey.

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    1. There are lots of farms in the area that do it, we have been recommended places out near Hamilton by friends too…
      We are also considering joining a CSA (farm share) for fruit and veggies. Even though I have a small veggie garden in our backyard, I’m wondering if it would be worth it…I love the idea of supporting local farmers as much as possible, and having it delivered to my door each week would be awesome :)

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  2. I also love Costco however I prefer meat from our local butcher. It isn’t necessarily economical but high quality and wasn’t part of the XL recall.

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    1. We have been debating buying meat directly from a local farm. I don’t know if it works out to be cheaper, but you are getting a much better quality product, and one that I feel you can trust a little more.

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  3. Now that costco is in oshawa I bought a membership. I use it for both my business and personal shopping. I buy things like milk, butter, some fruits n veggies, meat, bread, bagels and chips. But iagree its not always cheaper and keeping up with what other grocery stores sell for is important.

    I also recently discovered clearance items. It happens most often in seasonal and clothing items. There is no set date for items to go on clearance. Its a matter of luck when your there and usualy sells fast. I bought classic bookcase games just before xmas for 9.97 reg 14.99, boys jeans for 3.97, ribbon 3.97. If it ends in 7 its clearance!

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  4. We always get our eggs and english muffins at Costco. I like the hummus too! The packages are doubled up which is more than we can ever it, but luckily, it freezes well! You are so right about the fresh stuff though – you have to watch as it isn’t always a better deal!
    And don’t forget the photography centre – I regularly switch up my framed travel photos on the way – the 8 x 10’s are always a great price!

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    1. I haven’t tried the hummus, but the bruschetta mix is delicious! And yes, I love that many of those dips are sold in multi-packs instead of one giant container.

      The photo centre is great! I’ve heard they have amazing deals on framing, and printing pictures is super cheap too.

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      1. I haven’t used the picture framing yet. When I come back from a big trip, I get my favourite 8 photos printed 8 x 10 and hang them on the wall up the staircase. It is fun to relive my trip every time I go upstairs. The cost of printing is so low that I can change them as often as I want! After all, I’d rather be spending my dollars on travel than processing! I just re-use the same frames and change the photos!

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  5. The Kirkland coffee is roasted by Starbucks, and I personally really like it. Coffee’s so subjective – what some people like, other’s don’t. I have a Costco membership too, and have a small family. You just have to stay away from the seasonal aisle!

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    1. Is it really? I meant to look at the package and see if another company was listed, since that is often the case with store brands, especially at Costco! I noticed the Kirkland Signature probiotic yogurt I bought it Danone, which means its the exact same product as Activia, which can be pretty expensive!

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      1. I’ve read in several places that Costco coffee is Sbucks in disguise, so I think it’s fairly safe to say that it most likely is. Activia is hugely expensive, so that’s great that you’ve found a less expensive source.

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