Guys, the weather outside totally sucks here in Michigan so to brighten your day I thought we could talk about Costco.
We LOVE Costco and visit every weekend. Plain and simple, Costco gets you the most bang for your buck. I'm almost certain I get a natural high off seeing the cost savings from our grocery tab at the end of the month. From one Dutch West-Michigander to the next, here's the breakdown of our favorite Costco deals:
1. CLIF BARS - $0.81/bar
We keep Clif Bars in the house mostly for Jeff, he's up and out the door in the morning without breakfast so the bars are easy for him to grab on the go. In the meantime, I plan time to make myself eggs (and yes I offer to make him eggs too! - he never wants them). And while Clif bars are tasty... they are also expensive little suckers. At Costco they come in 24 packs and when broken down per bar they cost $0.81 ($19.49/box) compared to the sometimes $2 a bar at other stores. That's a cost savings of $28.51. With one box of Clif Bars you've more than half paid of for your membership to Costco.
2. BROCCOLI (organic) - $0.75/meal for two
We make lots of dinners at home, all of which usually consist of protein and veggies. One of our favorites is steamed broccoli with salt and pepper. At Costco they sell large frozen bags that contain 4 separately sealed bags - great for preventing freezer burn. Each of the smaller bags holds two meals worth (for two people, so 4 servings) - I make half a bag at a time. When broken down by cost the broccoli amounts to $0.75 per meal. It's also organic, which is a bonus.
3. SKINNY POP - $4.95/bag
Costco is snack central which is awesome for us because we snack like it's our job. I discovered Skinny Pop Popcorn a few months back after Costco stopped carrying the BBQ Popped Snack Chips I love so much - they do that sometimes... pull a fast one on you and stop carrying your favorite items. But it's all good because they are constantly bringing in new items to taste test (another huge bonus to shopping at Costco - samples!). What I love about this particular popcorn is that it's light, only slightly salty, and just 35 calories per cup. A large bag of Smart Pop costs $4.95 and lasts upwards of two weeks worth of snacking. The ingredients for this brand include: popcorn, sunflower oil, and salt. That's it.
4. SVEDKA VODKA (and friends) - $0.55/cocktail
I'll admit to it, our liquor cabinet is stocked with oversized bottles of booze. The vodka, however, gets to live in the freezer - pre chilled. Long story short, buying booze from Costco gives you the most bang for your buck and could single handedly be cause for holding a membership to Costco. Sorry Smitty's, 1.75 liters of vodka from Costco costs $21.98. That's about 40 shots (standard shot size: 1.5 ounces) which means your cost is $0.55 per shot. Drink up!
5. SHRIMP - $1.45/serving
We almost always have animal protein for dinner (fish, chicken, turkey) and shrimp is consumed at least once a week. It's just so easy to sautee in a pan with garlic and olive oil. But shrimp isn't necessarily cheap. For a 2 pound bag of Kirkland Frozen Shrimp it's $15.99. Each bag contains about 11 servings (12 shrimp per serving), so $1.45/serving or (times 2 people) $2.90 per meal.
6. COCONUT OIL - $15.99/jar
And then God said, "Let there be coconut oil!" Jeff isn't so much a coconut fan, but I love the taste and use it for cooking quite often (sometimes in place of olive oil when sauteing shrimp). Side note, I also use coconut oil for about a dozen other things including: lotion (for sunbathing in the summer), moisturizing my hair in the bath, and even creamer in my coffee. Lately I've been on a Paleo kick so it also comes in handy when making sweet treats. A 54 ounce jar of Coconut Oil at Costco runs at $15.99 - very affordable compared to other brands/stores. I've had the same jar for about 9 months (no it doesn't go bad) and it's still half full - I'm only using tablespoons at at time.
7. PRETZEL CRISPS - $5.59
Like I said, we are big snackers and Jeff is the master of consuming Pretzel Crisps. A 26 ounce bag of Pretzel Crisps usually lasts him about two weeks. The cost per bag is $5.59, you do the math. Other snacks he'll toss in the cart include: Cheez-Its, Goldfish Crackers, and Wheat Thins. Like most products at Costco, with snacks you're getting more product per dollar spent.
8. EGGS - $0.33/breakfast
Eggs are one item I've done a lot of price comparing on. I eat a LOT of eggs - every morning and sometimes for dinner. I've even compared those egg white cartons at Meijer. Next to the cost per serving of the cartons (3 dozen eggs) available at Costco (price: $3.99), Costco wins every time. I consider a serving 3 eggs which breaks down to $0.33 per breakfast. The incredible, eatable egg.
9. TASTY BITE MADRAS LENTILS - $1.67/lunch
These are my lunches. Lentils you ask? A close cousin to beans, these packaged meals taste and look just like chili. They are quick (microwave for 1 minutes) and quite filling. At Costco they come in boxes of 6 at $9.99 ($1.67/packet). At Meijer they sell packets individually for $2.99/packet - HUGE price difference here. By shopping at Costco you're saving $1.32/packet. Only hang up, while they are all natural and vegetarian, like any packaged meal (canned soup, etc.) they are full of sodium.
10. FROZEN CORN - $0.31/serving
I totally understand that corn has little to no nutritional value, but I love it. Costco sells 5 pound bags of frozen organic sweet corn for $6.29. Each bag has about 20 servings (about 2/3 cup), so 10 meals. Cost per serving is $0.31.