Shopping at Costco can be an adventure of sorts for me. Sometimes, I’ll roam the aisles and come home with some unexpected finds, like a new fleece sweatshirt or a bakery item I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.
But there are certain Costco items I buy regularly. Here are three things I not only purchase at Costco frequently, but only purchase at Costco, as opposed to another store.
My family eats a lot of fruit and vegetables. And before I get slammed for that unintentional brag, I’ll be the first to say that my kids also go to McDonald’s once a week, so we need those fruits and veggies to balance things out.
Buying produce in bulk at Costco can easily save me $20 to $30 a week, depending on how large a haul I bring home. And despite the bulk quantities, I find that my Costco produce manages to stay fresh.
One trick I use, though, is to only wash my fruits and veggies on a per-serving basis. So if I buy a large carton of strawberries, I won’t wash the entire container at once. Rather, I’ll take out enough for one snack and wash those only. I find that going this route gives my produce more staying power — and helps me avoid wasting my money.
2. School snacks
My kids take a snack to school every day in addition to their lunch. And the easiest thing is for them to just grab a bag of crackers or popcorn from the assortment of Costco cases I keep in my house.
Since I’m able to buy my snacks in bulk, I’m able to save money big time. A 28-count box of Skinny Pop popcorn is $17.99 online right now (and in-store prices are usually cheaper). So that’s $0.64 per bag.
By contrast, Amazon has a 36-pack of Skinny Pop for $41.79 — and that’s if you snag a Subscribe & Save discount. That’s more than $1 per bag.
My kids drink a lot of milk. And I need milk for things like cereal and coffee. So all told, we go through a lot of it.
The upside of buying milk at Costco, though, isn’t just the price. It’s also the freshness factor.
I find that Costco’s milk often has a sell-by date that’s three weeks out from when I buy it. At my local grocery store, I’m lucky if I get a full week to finish a gallon before it’s set to go bad.
Granted, in my house, it’s rare for a gallon of milk to last a full week. But it’s nice to have the option to stock up without having to worry about running into issues with freshness.
Also, while I have no choice but to do my Costco shopping by car (both due to the size of my haul and the fact that my local warehouse club store is several miles away), I tend to shop at my local grocery store on foot since it’s walking distance from my house and I pass it on the way home from taking my kids to school. So it’s really nice to not have to carry gallons of milk home in my hands, but rather, just buy extra at Costco when I have access to my car.
What’s the best place for you to shop?
There are plenty of items I tend to buy at Costco on a regular basis. But these three items are ones I really can’t imagine myself buying anywhere else.
Meanwhile, if you have staple items you buy regularly, you may have your go-to store for scooping them up. But it’s always a good idea to check out sales at other stores to see if there’s a better deal elsewhere.
Most of the time, for example, it makes sense for me to buy all of my produce at Costco. But if my local supermarket randomly has strawberries on sale for 50%, then chances are, that’s the better buy.
What’s more, even if Costco has the lowest price on an item you buy regularly, if your closest one is far away, then it may not be worth the trip to save $2. Plus, think about the cost of gas.
Be mindful of prices and do your research. But also, let logic take over when a factor like distance gets in the way.
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