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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.
- 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! :)
- 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
- 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)
- 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?