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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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organic living journey costco

The following is part of an Organic Journey guest post series, written by Amy a long time helper behind the scenes of Southern Savers.

Well, after last week’s massive overspending, I realized that I didn’t need to buy as much this week.  We spent around $60 on groceries, and I was able to exhale a bit.  Maybe this is doable.  (I keep wondering though what is going to happen when my summer bounty of fresh produce passes, but one day at a time, right?)

I keep hearing and reading this buzz about Costco being a paradise for organic shoppers.  I’m going to be honest, I’m not a big fan of the whole club warehouse model.  My parents, who live uber close to us, have a membership to Sam’s, and I appreciate their willingness to pick up yeast and butter for me.  Overall though, I haven’t been super impressed with the deals vs the membership cost.  After reading through the comments here and having a friend tell me that Costco had free range eggs for $3.50/dozen (fyi, they were cage-free, not free range), I decided I should go check it out.

Just so you know, Costco is more than willing for you to come and take a look at what they have to offer.  You don’t have to have a membership to browse.  So this week, my husband and I went with a friend (who is a member) paper, pen and smartphone (to take pictures of details that I wanted to further research later) to discover what kind of deals they had.

My initial observation was that the aisles are not labeled.  You have to walk down each and every aisle to discover what is there.  Clever marketing on their part, a bit frustrating for me.  I can see how it wouldn’t be a big deal over the long haul once you learned your store though.  I also noticed that they didn’t have one item in their fresh produce section that was organic.  My friend told me that I could go next week and find a completely different assortment of produce.  Things change often.  Good to know.

Another thing I realized is that I am still learning what a good deal is on organic items.  So here are some the items that I thought were good deals (please, please let me know if there is a better deal to be found on these items elsewhere!  I need your help!  Plus, I don’t buy all of this stuff, so I have no clue about some of it.)  Also, I should note that not everything on this list is organic.  If it is, I listed it as such.

Meat

  • Organic Ground Beef 85% lean in 4 lb package, $17.99 (makes it $4.49/lb)
    I think buying a cow is a better deal, but if you aren’t ready for that step, this isn’t a bad deal at all.
  • Coleman Organic Fresh Whole Young Chicken sold in 2 pk, $2.29/lb
  • Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs 4% fat, sold in 3 pks, 4 lbs total at $3.99/lb
  • Jones Dairy Farm Uncured Canadian Bacon with No Nitrates or Nitrites added, 24 oz, $10.99
    I have done ZERO research on bacon.  So decide for yourself if this is a good deal!  :)

Grocery

  • Kirkland Signature Pure Maple Syrup 32 oz, $12.99
    Several friends have told me this is the best place to buy pure maple syrup
  • Apple & Eve 100% Juice Organics (27) 6.75 oz, $10.39
  • Maranatha Natural Almond Butter 26 oz, $5.99
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread 42 oz, $7.59
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Ancient Grains Granola  (2) 17.6 oz, $7.39
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1.5 liter, $8.89
  • Better than Bouillon Organic Beef Base 16 oz, $6.99
  • Better than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base 16 oz, $6.89
  • Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave Nectar (2) 36 oz, $9.89
  • Fine Granulated Organic Sugar 10 lb, $8.69
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Salsa (2) 38 oz, $7.49
  • Rice Tec Organic Brown Basmati Rice 6 lb, $9.59
  • Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa & Rice (4) 8.5 oz, $7.99
  • Del Monte Organic Diced Tomatoes (8) 14.5 oz, $7.69
  • Nature’s Earthly Choice Organic Quinoa 4 lb, $8.39
  • Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips 24 oz, $6.29
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Tortilla Chips 40 oz, $4.99
  • Kirkland Signature Disney Organic Animal Crackers 64 oz, $9.39
  • Annie’s Naturals Bunny Snack Variety 36 pk, $10.99
  • Tasty Brands Organic Fruit Snacks 24 ct., $9.99

Frozen Foods

  • Coleman Natural Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, 99% fat free, 10-14 individually wrapped and frozen, 4.5 lbs at $16.99 ($3.78/lb)
    It also says, “No antibiotics ever, fed all vegetarian diet, no animal by-products
  • Wyman’s of Maine Organic Blueberries 3 lbs, $11.59
  • Bybee Foods Organic Vegetables Harvest Foursome, 5 lbs at $6.49 (makes it $1.30/lb)
  • Bybee Foods Organic Petite Whole Green Beans, 5 lbs at $6.79 (makes it $1.36/lb)
  • Path of Life Organic Broccoli Florets, (4) 1 lb bags at $6.49 (makes it $1.62/lb)

Dairy

  • Kirkland Signature Organic Cage-Free Brown Eggs, 24 ct., $6.99
  • Kirkland Signature 1% Lowfat Organic Milk (3) 64 oz cartons, $9.99 (makes it $6.66/gallon)
    Grocery store is definitely cheaper for me
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter Quarters (2) 1 lb, $7.49

Now just because it says “organic” doesn’t mean it is healthy.  So, please don’t tell me that the animal crackers and fruit snacks are bad for my family.  We are all in different places in our journey of a thousand steps; I was just trying to gauge prices on organic products in the store in case that is something that you would like.  If this list is appealing to you, you might want to take an afternoon and go with pencil and paper in hand.  See what they have at your store that you would personally buy and evaluate how much you would regularly save if you shopped there versus how much the membership would cost.

A year long membership costs $55.  So, you would need to save more than $4.60/month just to break even.  Other factors to think through:

Do you tend to overbuy?  If you are an impulse shopper, this store could be deadly to your budget.  An impulse buy at your local farmer’s market or grocery store might max you out at $3 or $4, here, you could drop a pretty penny without thinking twice and wind up with a bag of quinoa and good intentions to learn what to do with it.

Is it close?  I wouldn’t advise buying everything you need here.  Toiletries that I looked at were not a great deal at all.  Costco is not in my typical circuit of errands and would require a separate trip for me.  It is important to evaluate if your savings are going to be worth the trip time.

We decided not to join right now.  I was definitely surprised by some of the deals I found though.  And pretty impressed.  Once I make the switch to organic butter, that alone might pay for our membership (Paula Deen and I are good buds).  This could be a baby step for another day.

How about you?  Are you already a member at Costco?  What is your favorite deal?
If not, was there anything that surprised you about the prices I discovered?

    • Jayme

      Thanks!  I’m a fairly new Costco shopper and did the over spending there on my first trip!  We buy mostly organic animal products, so this was a nice post to see!  I will say that my Costco membership has been very helpful in the gasoline department!  They are normally about 10 cents lower than most other stations in my area.

      • amysanders

        i didn’t know that about the gas!  thanks!

    • DINEY47

      joined costco about 2 years ago. when it was time to renew after the 1st year i received a check in the mail from them for 87.00 and some odd cents. I DIDN’T KNOW THEY RETURNED A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR PURCHASES AT HE END OF THE YEAR. WE HAD A BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP THAT WE PAID $100.00 FOR . THIS WAS ALMOST ENOUGH FOR THE NEXT YEARS MEMBERSHIP. ALTHOUGH I UNDERSTAND THAT BUSINESS MEMBERSHIPS HAVE GONE UP TO $110.00 NOW. I AM WAITING TO SEE HOW MUCH OF A REBATE WE WILL RECEIVE THIS YEAR.

    • Jerrabelhoward

      OMG thank you so much! I was so curious what Costco has to offer but I live 1.5 hours away from one. You saved me a lot of time. The Quinoa 4lb is a great deal if you look at price per ounce. So is the Organic Olive Oil in my opinion.

      • amysanders

        glad i could help!  you would have to do some major savings to make up for the cost of gas and time to get you there and back, hey?

    • Rae

      “We are all in different places in our journey of a thousand steps.” That  is an AWESOME phrase! I hope you don’t mind if I borrow that the next time someone tells me what they think is “best” for my family.  I share a business membership with a friend – she pays for it and I am an additional cardholder. I have found their prices on toiletries and diapers skyhigh compared to what we’re used to paying at CVS or even Publix on a good day. I will also admit that I overspend almost every time.  My weakness:  the 2 lb. TUB of hummus.  

      • amysanders

        thanks!  and feel free to spread it around.  i’m sure i heard it somewhere.  there’s nothing new under the sun.  :)  and yeah, i think the ginormous tub of spinach artichoke dip would be my biggest temptation!

    • Lea

      Thanks for the info, I live in Columbia, SC but I’ve been so tempted to stop and the new Costco right off I-20 in Augusta, GA while on the way to visit my parents in Georgia. I have a Sam’s Club membership but I just haven’t used it much in the past year, and am really considering not renewing it, but we’ll see.

      • Mom2teenagers

        I live in Lexington, SC and I have a membership at the Augusta location and love it. I was just there last weekend and asked a manager about Costco coming to our area because I knew their scouts had been to Columbia. He said yes, Costco is coming to Irmo.

      • Jenny

        I live in Augusta and shop at that Costco all the time!  The gas is anywhere from $0.10-$0.15 cheaper.  I think it is a great store!

    • Ginger

      I used to be a Costco shopper, and I found ONE WAY, and literally this is the ONLY way that I wouldn’t overspend: Bring CASH, and only cash, and NO MORE than 5-10 dollars more than you think you will need. That way, if there’s a great deal on strawberries or whatnot, you can grab it, but not be tempted by the monster-sized-everythings. (Which really aren’t that great a deal.) That being said, the organic ground beef sounds like a really good price to me.

      • amysanders

        that is a great idea, ginger!

    • Becky D

      As a native to the PNW (Costco is based in Seattle) now living in the South, I can say having a more convenient Costco is one of the things I miss the most. I will not shop at other warehouse stores, but Costco has earned my loyalty, not only because of my family’s bottom line, but because they are truly a reputable company, doing things that are socially responsible while they cut costs (it can be done!) They treat their employees very well and are an environmentally-minded company. A couple of examples from Wikipedia: 85% of Costco employees have health insurance, as opposed to under 50% for Walmart and Target, and stores are designed to be lit by natural light as much as possible (which is “green” in a couple of ways)! 

      There’s a good post here (http://www.funcheaporfree.com/2011/09/friend-feature-friday-question-from.html) about what are and aren’t good deals at Costco, and someone linked to another site (http://forum.savvyshopperdeals.com/threads/18011-Costco-Coupon-Best-Deals) that highlights Costco’s coupon deals – no, they don’t accept manufacturer’s coupons (with the one exception of formula checks) but they do send out their own store coupons that bring prices down even more (like, to where they’re actually competitive). 

      As Diney47 mentioned there is also the executive membership that returns a 2% rebate at the end of the year – at $110/year you would have to spend a LOT to actually recoup your membership cost, but it could be done if making large purchases or buying for a business, etc. If you’re in the market for things like electronics or furniture in the next year, it might be worth considering a membership with that in mind. In reality, it’s probably the non-food items where you’ll save the most money. Just one other note – their memberships are fully refundable before the expiration date, in case you should try it out but decide you really aren’t getting your money’s worth. 

      I love Costco. :P

    • Onethriftydiva

      I love Costco! You can’t beat the deals on their meat and produce (at least what we pay here in Greensboro, NC). Other things, such as toiletries, are much cheaper when paired with a coupon and a sale at Harris Teeter. And where can you get a huge cooked rotisserie chicken for only $4.99? Certainly not at my grocery store, they are very small, lol. I think that they also have a neat selection of frozen food for when I get tired of eating the same thing each week. 

    • Nona

      There is a lot of organic produce at my Costco; carrots, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, salad mix, all organic.
      I do 99% of my shopping at Costco. I love it there. Pretty much a second home. Lol

    • Kristie

      We have a Costco membership, and although we do the bulk of our shopping at Publix with coupons, there are a few items that we get deals on there. I stock up on Agave Nectar, nonfat Greek Yogurt (the Kirkland’s brand is great and comes out cheaper than Publix if you buy in bulk), organic salsa (which is FABULOUS), certain types of produce and bulk grains, etc. Your friend is right in that the produce varies from week to week, but I often buy organic spinach or lettuce there for pretty cheap. The gas savings has also been significant for our family since my husband works nearby, and today we scored discount movie tickets to the Rave movie theater. ($5.50 per ticket…no restrictions except 3D/IMAX.) For us, the membership has paid for itself…but only because I have resisted the urge to overspend and grab things that were not on my list!

    • Eckerts

      Our family usually saves enough on gas to pay for the regular membership each year. Many of their food products are cheaper elsewhere, but I figure since we’ve justified the membership with gas, I can cherry pick the sweet deals!

    • Lydia

      The basic membership allows for ONLY 2 adults to be on one account.  If you have a business, you can purchase a business membership for $55 a year and have up to 6 adults on the account.  If you have friends that are interested in joining, the membership cost is very doable.  

      In order to receive the rebates mentioned by others, you need to have an executive membership, which will run you about $50 more a year.  You will be reimbursed 2% of your purchases, not including gas (which is the cheapest in my area!).  As far as prices are concerned, Costco sends out a store coupon book about once every 6 weeks.  These can also be requested at the door or member services.  For paper goods and detergents, the Costco coupons will usually bring the prices to at or lower than grocery store prices with coupons.  My membership pays for itself in gas savings alone.  It is generally 5-10 cents cheaper than all other stations in town.Helpful hint:L  NEVER go on weekends unless you must as the lines are INSANE!Hope this helps!

    • Jamey

      I am a Costco shopper. I take an antihistamine daily (Zyrtec or equivalent$. Before our Costco membership, I was paying ~$20/month for this at Publix (their brand). Costco sells 365 pills for $15! That is a savings of $160/year and more than pays for our membership. It’s worth it!

      • katkoupon

        Yes! We save a lot on allergy medicine, too. Costco sells their version of Claritin D 24 hour, 15 ct for $5.75! These were never on sale, and we were paying almost $1 per pill for CVS brand. Huge savings!

    • Here are some things that I’ve learned: stores like EarthFare where most things are overpriced still have a really good bulk section.  The prices on things like flour, grains, and muscovado sugar definitely beat grocers’ prices, and you can buy as much or as little as you’d like.  Secondly, some organic products go on BOGO at Publix and may be cheaper after coupons and stuff.  But if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to coupon, these are still good prices.  Thirdly, I’ve gotten really good prices on rice and other specialty goods at Asian and Hispanic grocers’ in town.  It pays to look.  Finally, check on craigslist for things like eggs and local honey- sometimes there are people with surplus eggs who are selling for a reasonable price.  Good luck!

      • amysanders

        what is muscovado sugar?  and i like the craigs list idea too.  thanks!

    • Laceym007

      My family recently went organic and the most cost saving thing we’ve done is meal plan. We eat the same 7-10 meals over and over so I can use a more expensive bulk item through out the month and I now that I can buy say an organic chicken and use that whole chicken in three meals. This is mostly helpful with produce that can go bad quickly, especially organic, that I try to use one or two veggies with every meal. I try to always get frozen organic when i can.

      • amysanders

        the organic produce does spoil faster, doesn’t it?  makes me wonder what they are putting on the other stuff to preserve it.  i’d love to hear your list of go to meals.  :)

    • katkoupon

      I love Costco! Another thing to keep in mind, is while they do not accept outside coupons, they have their own monthly-ish coupon book. Last year, they had a BOGO coupon on Del Monte Organic can tomato cases! Wish that would come again, lol. The only time I buy paper products and baby wipes from Costco is with those coupons, and only if my drug-store supply has been depleted. I shop both and buy whichever is the best deal. I find it helps me to keep a price list in my purse with Costco prices on our staple items, and if I find a better deal at another store, which isn’t often, but it does happen, then I stock up. Did that Costco have a “cold” room with more produce? That’s where I get Fresh Organic Spinach for $4.49, 16 oz. And in your last post, someone mentioned the pre-sliced organic apples (thanks!), which are $8.99 for 3 lbs of cored, sliced, washed, and delicious apples! I also keep the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists in my purse. The meats, while not free range, are pretty good quality at Costco, and I often fill in with some meats from there since I can’t afford all my meats from my local farmer. Here are some other things I buy at Costco that I think are a good deal too:

      Raw Almonds, 48 oz $10.89
      Frozen Organic Dark Sweet Cherries, 3 lb $11.49
      Frozen Pineapple Chunks, 4 lb $6.99 (Clean 15 item!)
      Fresh Organic Carrots, 10 lb $6.99 (we also use as dog treats)
      Orca Bay Flounder frozen, 3 lb $13.99 (wild-caught and sustainable)
      Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (comes out to $0.42/16 oz)
      White Vinegar, 5 L $2.89 (great for natural cleaning!)
      Spices (some organic) prices vary
      Lindsay’s Naturals Olives, (6) 6oz cans $7.29 (just olives, salt, and water!)
      Sardines, (5) 3.75 oz cans (just sardines, olive oil, and salt!)
      Avocados, 6ct $5.99 (Clean 15 item)
      I’ve not had any luck with Costco olive oil, even the organic. The clear containers tend to already be rancid from too much light exposure. I buy the tall green bottles at Kroger when on sale, and the oil is much better! Love your posts! Thank you for sharing with us! Good luck!

      • katkoupon

         I like Ginger’s comment about bringing cash. It works! I also trim my shopping list down to the necessities before I shop, and that helps me stick to my budget as well. It is easy to overspend! I do save on the cheaper gas at Costco, too.

      • amysanders

        i didn’t see another room with more produce, but that’s a good tip!  thanks.  a friend of mine said that there was another costco that is about 35 minutes away from me that had a wider selection of organic stuff.  good to know.  and yeah, i’d love that del monte’s coupon too!!!  thanks for sharing the good deals from your store!

    • katkoupon

      I love Costco! Another thing to keep in mind, is while they do not accept outside coupons, they have their own monthly-ish coupon book. Last year, they had a BOGO coupon on Del Monte Organic can tomato cases! Wish that would come again, lol. The only time I buy paper products and baby wipes from Costco is with those coupons, and only if my drug-store supply has been depleted. I shop both and buy whichever is the best deal. I find it helps me to keep a price list in my purse with Costco prices on our staple items, and if I find a better deal at another store, which isn’t often, but it does happen, then I stock up. Did that Costco have a “cold” room with more produce? That’s where I get Fresh Organic Spinach for $4.49, 16 oz. And in your last post, someone mentioned the pre-sliced organic apples (thanks!), which are $8.99 for 3 lbs of cored, sliced, washed, and delicious apples! I also keep the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists in my purse. The meats, while not free range, are pretty good quality at Costco, and I often fill in with some meats from there since I can’t afford all my meats from my local farmer. Here are some other things I buy at Costco that I think are a good deal too:

      Raw Almonds, 48 oz $10.89
      Frozen Organic Dark Sweet Cherries, 3 lb $11.49
      Frozen Pineapple Chunks, 4 lb $6.99 (Clean 15 item!)
      Fresh Organic Carrots, 10 lb $6.99 (we also use as dog treats)
      Orca Bay Flounder frozen, 3 lb $13.99 (wild-caught and sustainable)
      Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (comes out to $0.42/16 oz)
      White Vinegar, 5 L $2.89 (great for natural cleaning!)
      Spices (some organic) prices vary
      Lindsay’s Naturals Olives, (6) 6oz cans $7.29 (just olives, salt, and water!)
      Sardines, (5) 3.75 oz cans (just sardines, olive oil, and salt!)
      Avocados, 6ct $5.99 (Clean 15 item)
      I’ve not had any luck with Costco olive oil, even the organic. The clear containers tend to already be rancid from too much light exposure. I buy the tall green bottles at Kroger when on sale, and the oil is much better! Love your posts! Thank you for sharing with us! Good luck!

    • Sarah

      Great Car Insurance and gas prices.  Also, buy their cash cards online with your regular credit card to boost your credit card rewards since Costco only takes American Express or cash in store.

    • Sarah

      Great Car Insurance and gas prices.  Also, buy their cash cards online with your regular credit card to boost your credit card rewards since Costco only takes American Express or cash in store.

    • Theatlantablonde

      I LOVE that Costco has organic soymilk in smaller cartons that you can store in the pantry! Perfect for a single girl who doesn’t want to spend $$$ on soymilk I will waste in the larger container! :) (And I took a carton w/ me on vacation; was perfect!)

      • Theatlantablonde

        Let me rephrase – you can store in the pantry BEFORE you open… ;)

    • angela

      We are the executive membership ($100 I think) a year, and it more than pays for itself because we have the Costco AMEX credit card.  I know, many of you would never use a credit card, but we pay ours off each month so it’s worth it. We get 3% (again, I think these numbers are right) back on all Costco purchases – including gas purchases.  We also use it for travel or dining out (not often at all) and get 2% back on all that.  The membership pays for itself in no time with gas prices as they are!  

      • Jnelson280

        i agree – we have the card too and between the exec membership and using the card we get about $250 back each year.  This more than pays for the membership and though I know some people are “anti-credit card” I don’t see the harm if you pay it off.  the rewards are well worth the effort to be disciplined with it

        • amysanders

          i like my credit card rewards too.  :)

    • Twbillig

      I have been a member of Costco for many years now, and that you can save a pretty penny in the and make your membership back.  Gas is the first thing.  It is always the cheapest in town.  Milk is always less than $2 gallon.  I go through at least 4 gallons a week with my kids.  Most grocery items are not cheaper than Publix with coupons.  We go through alot of frozen meal items and they are cheaper unless a BOGO with coupons is available.  The other areas that make it worth the trips are outside of the grocery items.  OTC meds are significantly cheaper.  Clothing is a good deal for everyday items.  You can get very good deals on electronics too.  I bought a 32″ Samsung LED TV for $299.  Best Buy wanted $399, Amazon was $299 before shipping.  Costco then added one year of additional warranty for free then offers an additional 3 years through square trade for $29. 

    • Spriteskeeper

      I am a longtime Costco shopper and we can’t seem to live without the organic broccoli florets. I also buy my meat and dairy there, although my store is still waiting on organic eggs. I also use their coupon book to scout out snack sales for my daughter. The Annie’s bunny snacks recently went on “sale” for 2.00 off, so I grabbed 2 boxes since my daughter likes those in her lunch. We also watch for in season produce to come in and usually the prices are so much better than the grocery store. Yes, I may buy a 5 lb carton of organic strawberries, but I keep what will stay fresh in the fridge and freeze the rest. A lot of their items ARE rotational. What you see now you may not see next week, and something you never thought a bulk warehouse would carry, all of a sudden is sitting on an endcap. I do watch what I spend, only get what I need, and ALWAYS plan around the coupon books. And I can keep my weekly spending there under forty bucks. Not too bad for items I would have spent almost double to match at the grocery store, even with coupons.

      • Jnelson280

        for a long time the organic broccoli was from china and I refused to buy it – now it’s from Canada and we have resumed eating it :)

      • amysanders

        does your store have more than just organic milk and butter?  i couldn’t find anything else in the dairy section that was organic at my store.

    • Rom91617

      We love the Kirkland’s Organic Salsa and the organic strawberry preserves!  One thing to note is the prices change frequently and even vary from one Costco to the next in the same city.

    • Amanda-EatLikeaRabbit

      Our Costco also has organic sprouted rice and quinoa blend and ground flax seed. Both are nearly staples in our diet.

    • McG

      our Costco has organic a lot of organic produce

    • Jnelson280

      our costco has a lot more organic and their gas is at least 10 cents cheaper/gallon… so that helps.  Also – it you pay for the executive membership – they give you a percentage back each year.  I honestly don’t remember what it is, but we usually get about $80-$90 back so it makes it worth the $100 we spend on it. 

    • mimi

      I have been buying organic products for my family for several years and have found a some great deals.  Ingles has been one of my favorite places for produce.  This week they have organic sweet potatoes (.98 cents/lb), organic cucumbers 1.48 each, and organic tomatoes (1.78/lb).  Other weeks you can
      find zucchini, squash and organice grapes on sale.   Also, if you register on Earthbound Organic website, they offer .75 cents coupons on their products.  I have used them at Ingles to purchase Earthbound Frozen Veggies for 1.25 and at Whole Foods to purchase Theri bagged salada/spinach for 1.25 each with coupoKep an eye on Wholefoods monthly adds for great deals on their meat and seafood.  That’s when I buy in bulk.  Finally, Whole Foods has the best deal on organic bagged apples (3lbs for 4.99). 

      and

    • recyclebydeesign

      where can you get a full gallon of organic milk for $6.66….please tell me.  I have been buying half gallons at more than $4 each…

      • Amyjkraft

        I buy the Simple Truth organic milk at Kroger for $6.29 (the price went up last week from $5.99- boo!)

      • Heather

        Publix Greenwise organic milk is $5.99/gallon in Florida. It goes on sale too. Right now it is $5.19 and I have seen it as low as $4.79. If I can’t get to Publix, I settle for organic soy milk at Walmart, which is only $2.49/half gal. Of course, soy milk is very controversial too and we would definitely not drink it primarily, but it it’s nice sometimes, especially chocolate.

      • Heather

        Publix Greenwise organic milk is $5.99/gallon in Florida. It goes on sale too. Right now it is $5.19 and I have seen it as low as $4.79. If I can’t get to Publix, I settle for organic soy milk at Walmart, which is only $2.49/half gal. Of course, soy milk is very controversial too and we would definitely not drink it primarily, but it it’s nice sometimes, especially chocolate.

      • Fromkhadija

         Have you tried to find Happy Cow milk? It’s about $5 a gallon and worth every penny.  Earth Fare also has some other good brands.

      • CJ

        Earth Fare in Chattanooga has organic gallons for 5.48. Or I buy at Publix for 5.99 (and is sometimes on sale as someone mentioned).

      • blessedinsc

        I buy raw milk by the gallon for $5.50 at the Greenville, SC farmers market and at Winslett’s in Easley, SC.  Its delicious!

        • amysanders

          jealous.  :) raw milk is $7/gallon here.

        • amysanders

          jealous.  :) raw milk is $7/gallon here.

        • amysanders

          jealous.  :) raw milk is $7/gallon here.

        • Laura

           I’m telling my hubby about this. He has been drinking raw/organic milke lately and our family lives in Easley, SC!(maybe we could get it everytime we’re there? LOL)

      • blessedinsc

        I buy raw milk by the gallon for $5.50 at the Greenville, SC farmers market and at Winslett’s in Easley, SC.  Its delicious!

      • amysanders

        i can get organic milk for $5.99/gallon at kroger or publix here in atlanta.  their store’s brand.  also, the dekalb farmer’s market has it at that price.

    • I’m not a Costco member, but I have a $35 Sam’s business membership. My favorite savings at Sam’s include cheaper gasoline, 25 lbs of bread flour for $9, 6 lbs. of peanut butter for $8, and 3 lb. butter for $5. For staples and most grocery items, I find the buy one, get one free offers at local grocery stores a much better deal than the warehouse prices. But for our family, the membership is worth the additional savings for these items. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

    • Patti

      Do you have a Trader joes close to you they have wonderful prices on organic
      food also their store brand does not have GMOS be very careful with corn and soy they are the number 1 GMO foods in America  Thank you for the list
      I can print it and check against traders prices. Have a blessed week.

      • amysanders

        you are welcome.  the closest trader joe’s to me is about 35-40 minutes and no where near where we do life (if that makes sense.)  i love them though.  they have the best chocolate chips that are both peanut and dairy free.  so when we go, we stock up on those!

    • Allisondubrow

      Have you considered joining(or starting if one is not available) a local organic produce co-op or buying club.  You can save a lot and if you get on as an organizer or volunteer you may even get your share at a reduced cost or free for the hours you put in.

      • amysanders

        i was a part of a produce co-op, and i struggled to use all of the produce that we got before it went bad–thus, negating my savings.  i LOVE the concept of produce co-ops, i just haven’t found one that doesn’t force me to get creative with veggies that my family doesn’t eat.  might sound lazy (and probably is!), but in this season of life, i don’t feel like i have the capacity to add learning how to cook something new into my schedule.  but i am ALL about the concept.  maybe in a different season.

    • dj

      I hardly shop at Costco, but have the membership for car insurance, generic zyrtec and generic claritin.(Everyone in my family has year round allergies.) The cost savings in those three items alone more than pays for the membership, along with saving a few hundred dollars.

    • Fromkhadija

      We have a Costco membership but I think most of their grocery prices are a joke. Their produce in particular is extremely expensive and almost never tastes as good as other places. Flour is a very good deal and so is the sugar but the sugar has a funny taste to it. A few things that are cheaper at Costco are: yeast, butter, flour, Estroven, pickled peppers, cream (but it contains polysorbate 80 which can cause infertility), sometimes toilet paper and dish soap, skinny cow bars (30 cents a piece!!!) and stevia.  For these items, nobody beats their prices.  I love the seasonal items and books at Costco.  As for Organic items, sometimes it is almost as good to get fresh, local items.  Organic apples from Chile will not taste as good as the fresh apples from your local farm.  When the produce is local, they don’t have to grow or spray it with preservatives. For milk, there’s a company called “Happy Cow” that is not exactly organic but they treat their cows really well and don’t use hormones.  This milk tastes better than the majority of “organic” milk floating around and makes a bigger quantity of cheese than others do.

      • Fromkhadija

         I’d also like to add that Mexico doesn’t allow genetic engineering of any type. I don’t know what else they allow but in this respect you can be sure their food is not genetically engineered.  hth

        • amysanders

          where did you learn that about mexico, just curious.  i totally used the info tonight though when i was shopping.  thanks!

          • Joyce

             My husband started with Save-a-lot a few months ago.  They got in Mexican Beef and he bought some.  It was pretty good. Don’t know how much per pound it was…he does all the meat buying.  But, it would of had to be pretty good for him to purchase it.

            • amysanders

              thanks!

      • amysanders

        where is the yeast???  i looked everywhere for it in the costco i was at and couldn’t find it.  :)  and do you make your own cheese?  i’m impressed.

    • Jenny

      I love Costco, I live really close to a Costoc, and I’m not a couponer!  With that said, here are some thoughts.  The key to getting great deals at Costco is to get their coupon booklet.  It usually comes out once a month, and you can pick one up at the Customer Service counter.  I’m not a couponer (I have no idea how to shop at CVS or Publix in a way that they pay me) so I’m paying a lot less at Costco for toiletries and cleaning products especially if I buy what they have coupons for.  If you are a couponer and get non-food products for next to nothing then Costco probably isn’t the cheapest.  Also, the Costco where I live has gas that is typically $0.10-$0.15 cheaper. 

      • Jenny

        Oh and my favorite deal was 96 ct. Tampax Pearls for $10.99.  I’ve found a 54 ct. for that price. 

      • amysanders

        you definitely have to figure out what works for your life.  glad you have.  :)

    • stephanie

      Thanks for all the great information. Our family made the switch to “real food” about a year ago. I found a website that is amazing, I think you will find it very helpful as well. She has great recipes and wonderful tips on how to shop on a budget. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com

    • Littlepanchuk

      The grains seem to be less expensive that what I pay at Earth Fare.  However, other things were more than I pay there.  For example, a gallon of Earth Fare brand milk is $5.25 and a dozen cage-free (not organic) eggs is $2.18.  But depending on where in the country you are, this may be an okay deal.

    • sarah garner

      There are some good deals i see , like the almond butter and the chicken. But I have to say if you are trying to go organic not only for healthy reasons but also for reason of ethics. I would say make sure you check out that the store brands(kirklands) have been reviewed to have ethical (organic) practices. Some store brands or just “organic” brands in general are not all created equal. Check out the  cornucopia Institute. I know some brands like horizon and krogers store brand don’t score too well. I have read into it alot and from what i can figure some brands are not worth the label they have on them and you shouldn’t waste your money. I’m not saying you should be obsessive but if im gonna spend 6 dollars a gallon for milk. I’d like to know that the organic label they have on their milk is what im paying for. I have found since going organic/natural route that i don’t buy hardly anything at the big box stores because i can get a better deal at say krogers or Earth fare with coupons/sales.

    • sarah garner

      There are some good deals i see , like the almond butter and the chicken. But I have to say if you are trying to go organic not only for healthy reasons but also for reason of ethics. I would say make sure you check out that the store brands(kirklands) have been reviewed to have ethical (organic) practices. Some store brands or just “organic” brands in general are not all created equal. Check out the  cornucopia Institute. I know some brands like horizon and krogers store brand don’t score too well. I have read into it alot and from what i can figure some brands are not worth the label they have on them and you shouldn’t waste your money. I’m not saying you should be obsessive but if im gonna spend 6 dollars a gallon for milk. I’d like to know that the organic label they have on their milk is what im paying for. I have found since going organic/natural route that i don’t buy hardly anything at the big box stores because i can get a better deal at say krogers or Earth fare with coupons/sales.

    • Angela S

      Jenny, we have been on this organic, super healthy journey for 1 1/2 years now.  Learned A LOT about trying to save money eating so healthy.  The best place I have found by far (and trust me I have looked EVERYWHERE) is Trader Joes.  The quality and prices can’t be beat.  I also get my meat from a local butcher shop that gets in range fed beef.  The chicken is a bit more tricky but normally get this at Trader Joes also.  We found that there is a huge community of people that raise range fed chickens for eggs – get these for $3/dozen.  I can go on and on with tips and where to buy if you have any questions.

      • amysanders

        how much is trader joe’s chicken where you live?  (and do you mind me asking where you live too?  seems like where you live is key in figuring out how much things cost.)  thanks!

    • Spiksha

      Just got a postcard in th email….membership dues rising again.  sigh

    • Laura

      We shop at Costco a lot. What I have checked/feel confident saying I’ve found to be the best deals here are:
      Almond Butter!(although I’m not sure if it’s “organic”, nonetheless better for you than peanut butter in my opinion!)
      Eggs- if you have room for a big ol’ cardboard box in your fridge! ;) (We don’t get the organic ones, but I’m pretty sure the organic ones are a great deal too).
      Organic Quinoa- great deal for you gluten free’ers that want some kind of ricelike/carblike something with dinner! (Although, I have to admit, I’ve had the big bag in my cabinet for a while and still haven’t used very much of it. I think I would though if my hubby and I weren’t so carb conscious.) I think it tastes better if you put butter and/or seasoning in it.

      Other great deals:

      PISTACHIOOOO’SSS!!!!!!!— we’ve found them to be the cheapest here!!
      Macademia nuts- Hawaiin Brand in Blue canister- cheaper(but still expensive) and SO much better tasting than any other kind i’ve had!

    • Laura

      OK BACON!! – We get “Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Bacon (No Nitrates/Nitrites added)  12oz package at Kroger for $3.99 many times when it’s on sale (which is frequently or in the $4 range) . Overall, a much better deal than Costco! We stock pile this when on sale! Bacon is like bread for crossfitter’s!

      • kim

        Fyi, just because it has natural blasted all over the packaging doesn’t mean anything. It’s more about the company and their ethics, watch the movie Food Inc. and it will total explain everything or foodbabe.com. They both explain about the hidden additives in these foods. So even though it may say no nitrates…it may or may not still have them..may be just under another name.

    • Ann Guest

      I shop at  Costco for some things.  Butter, yes, maple syrup, yes, chicken, eggs and milk.  Their olive oil is one of the highest rated for the price.  I also buy flour, this week I bought 20 lbs of organic unbleached for less that $10.  The almond butter is good, I wish they carried the Maranatha peanut butter.  Look for Pacific Coast chicken broth, it is twice as expensive at the grocery store.

      All Costcos do not carry the same items, and they move stuff on a regular basis.  It is part of their marketing plan.  They also place a flat 14% markup on what they pay for items.

    • Ann Guest

      I shop at  Costco for some things.  Butter, yes, maple syrup, yes, chicken, eggs and milk.  Their olive oil is one of the highest rated for the price.  I also buy flour, this week I bought 20 lbs of organic unbleached for less that $10.  The almond butter is good, I wish they carried the Maranatha peanut butter.  Look for Pacific Coast chicken broth, it is twice as expensive at the grocery store.

      All Costcos do not carry the same items, and they move stuff on a regular basis.  It is part of their marketing plan.  They also place a flat 14% markup on what they pay for items.

    • Honna

      We shop there for some things but not a ton of food because there are just two of us and a baby.  I like to buy meats there.  We also save with the gas but this week we really made it worth it with a car rental.  They have great deals in cities across the country.  Costco got me a week’s rental in Phoenix for half the price of other sites.  It saved me over $200 – well worth the cost of the card!

    • Barreltack

      ORGANIC NEWBIES (like me), I would DEF. read Kimberly Snyder C.N.’s book Beauty Detox Solution, I think it’s $11 and you can download a kindle edition immediately, no kindle?  The kindle app is free for PC, Mac, iphone & more I’m sure.  You will learn a LOT about organics, etc.. & its an enjoyable read for a nutrition book (I have never been interested in reading anything of the like) Dr.Oz approves of her GGS etc… (for all of us who love that show).  I take what I can afford to do with the information & go from there, def. Costco has AWESOME price on the frozen veggies and I think frozen fruits also, they will last a lot longer if you freeze your fresh stuff or eat it raw & now.  Fresh is better but you must do what you can do :).  I am on the road to Organic success for my family & am anxious to find ways to buy it cheaper etc…  I made a painful investment in the best machine EVER, a Vitamix blender (makes hot soup, smoothies, ice cream, grains to flours, bread dough, salsa, you name it and has amazing warranty 7-10 years.  You do not HAVE to have one but I plan to can veggies, jams & more.  I bought the refurbished ones they sell and saved a couple hundred.  Thank you to Jenny & everyone here for input!

    • I don’t do costco, but I have started to use BJ’s. They accept manufacturers coupons, the gas is cheaper, and many of their organic items are cheaper than their non organic counterparts at regular grocery stores. I priced out all of my regular buys, so I know what to go to BJ’s for. For example, olive oil is cheaper per ounce at BJ’s than it is when it’s on BOGO at publix.

    • Emily

      If you are joining costco, look into the executive membership. You get great benefits other places (such as travel) and they have some sort of thing in place that if you didn’t save a certain amount, you get a refund on part of your membership (double check me on that).

    • Nikki

      Research the produce while in the store. Howells fresh tomatoes available here are greenhouse grown and promise not to use pesticides unless absolutely needed. Tomatoes are not a gmo crop so it’s the pesticides were worried about. $2lb for most likely unsprayed is a great price for me! Organic runs $4lb. They run coupons twice a year for b1g1 free canned organic tomatoes, parse and sauce.
      They carry apples from New Zealand which use 1/2 the pesticides of domestic when organic is not available. It’s not perfect but better than nothing
      I find most everything costco carries to be one notch above on something. The nectarines are us grown which is lower on the pesticide scale then imported they carry organic whenever possible. They have almost all organic frozen fruits and veggies. Mine has raw local honey seasonally. Over time you will save a considerable amount. The Kirkland brand is generally excellent and their return policy is unmatched. If you go often you can literally sample everything in the store even some of their fruits and vegetables

      • Nikki

        Forgot to mention tons of non-gmo project verified products popping up lately! Organic spices, bullion, imported cheeses(typically grass fed and non-gmo) yea I could go on