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Costco Buys that Won’t Wreck Your Family Budget

CostcoIf you have ever been in a Costco, it can be overwhelming. The store itself is massive and is full of a variety of everyday merchandise. Everything is sold in bulk at a 25% to 75% discount. The markdowns are attractive, but it can be very easy to overspend and waste money as you try out a new products.

Over the last five years, my family has “fine-tuned” what we buy at Costco  and it has saved us money. If you’re curious whether a Costco membership would be beneficial for your family or if your inner couponer would approve of their prices, here is some of my family-of-four’s favorite Costco buys…

Non-Perishable Buys

  • Kirkland Paper Towels – They are durable and come in a twelve pack.
  • Kirkland Unscented Baby Wipes, 900 count – These have saved my life! Kirkland wipes are thick, durable, and come in packs that seal easily. I use these to spot clean just about everything in my house…kids included.
  • Kirkland Citrus Body Wash – This 27 ounce body wash comes in a 2-pack and is made from plant extracts. Plant-based cleaning products are very pricey in the grocery store, so I was excited to find this.
  • Diapers – Costco sells Huggies and Kirkland brand diapers for around $0.16 each. (Typical Name-Brand diapers run anywhere from $0.25-$0.42 each  depending on the size and count.)
  • Kirkland Environmentally Responsible Laundry Detergent, 126 loads – This detergent is great for people with sensitive skin!
  • Little Critters Gummy Vitamins, 200 count – These vitamins do not contain any chemical food dyes.

Perishable Buys

  • Husband at CostcoOrganic Chicken Breasts, 6.99lb – These chicken breasts come in three sealed packs of two.
  • Tillamook Medium and Sharp Cheddar Cheese – If you have never tried Tillamook…you need to immediately! Costco sells this cheese in 2 lb blocks.
  • Cooking Oils – We buy both Kirkland Organic Olive Oil (2L) and Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil (1.5L) for around a half the cost that is typical of other stores.
  • Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter, 2 Pack – These 2-28 ounce jars are the same cost as a single 16 ounce jar at the grocery store.
  • Clif Kid Z Bars, 24 Pack – Z Bars make great snacks and are easy to pack for school lunches. My kids actually think these are dessert bars!
  • Pirates Booty – This cheesy popcorn is so addictive! Costco sells Pirates Booty in large 24 ounce bags for the same price as an 8 ounce bag at the grocery store.
  • Coffee, K-Cups and Beans – Costco sells many brands of coffee such as Newman’s Own, Starbucks, and Kirkland. We have a Keurig and buy our K-Cups for around 25 cents to 47 cents each depending on the brand.
  • Full load!

    Full load!

    PJ’s Organic Burritos, 8 Pack – These are perfect for a quick and easy lunch!

  • Frozen Fruit and Vegetables – Costco sells both conventional and organic frozen fruit in large 3 lb bags. Perfect for fruit smoothies!
  • Fruit and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are sold at a deep discount for those willing to buy the produce in large portions. My family loves berries so we have no problem finishing Costco-sized packs before they spoil.
  • Wine – Costco is one of the largest wine wholesalers in the United States.

If you can stick to the plan, weekend trips to Costco can be beneficial for your time and budget. Not to mention, Costco trips make great Saturday morning family outings to browse the free sample stations and add new finds to your wish list.

Which remind me of one last tip. . . Do NOT let your husband look in the electronics section!

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9 Responses to Costco Buys that Won’t Wreck Your Family Budget

  1. Jana August 22, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    The Tillamook cheese is one of the best deals! Every time I look at a regular grocery store is $2-3 more for a tiny block of it. The last time I was at Costco I got Organic Go-Go Squeeze for only $6.99. I bought two boxes because I was so excited about the cost. It was discounted that week but great for back to school!

  2. Dharmaja August 22, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Let me add one of my Costco staples to this excellent list!

    Those of you on the Paleo or Nourishing Traditions (Sally Fallon, author) / Westin Price bandwagons will no doubt be clued into the health benefits of consuming butter from pastured cows on a daily basis. However, for those who haven’t yet heard about it, butter from pastured cows is a superfood, containing the exact proper ratios of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty chains. In regular old butter, the Omega 6’s are way more and those are the cancer-causing ones. You can tell the difference in pastured vs. grain fed butter in taste and color. The color of pastured butter is a deep yellow and it tastes, well, real.

    My household keeps a steady supply thanks to Costco selling Kerrygold brand pastured butter. They package it in a box with 3 blocks of it inside for about $6.50 or so. Trader Joe’s sells the blocks individually for over $3 each. Buying it in bulk from Costco saves me at least $3.

    I just got this awesome recipe for a Superfood Vanilla “Latte” (no milk!) from Katie, the Wellness Mama @

    I have been loving it the past 2 days and it uses pastured butter in the mix!

    Thanks for this post Cecescott!

    • Dharmaja August 22, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      You won’t find it in their regular “dairy” aisle with the milks and other butters. It is in the “fancy cheese” aisle, as I like to call it, that also holds the Tillamook cheese.

  3. Amanda August 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    I second the Kerry gold! You had a few things I hadn’t thought of. Thanks for sharing! Here are some of the things I buy at costco:
    Maple syrup
    Chia seeds
    Baking soda
    Corn chips- $5 for a BIG organic bag
    Organic flour
    Organic sugar
    Organic lemon juice
    Organic ground beef
    Hemp seeds
    Coconut oil
    Organic strawberry jam
    Palm sugar
    Coconut water (vita coco)

  4. CeCe
    CeCe August 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #


    I have heard of the Kerrygold butter. I will definitely try it next time I go! Thank for the tip.


  5. CeCe
    CeCe August 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm #


    Great list! I will add some of those to my next round of purchases. I love the chia seeds, maple syrup, and jam from Costco too. Great buys!


  6. Britt February 27, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    To add to the list, I love to buy:

    -Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
    -E.D. Smith Cherry Raspberry Blood Orange Jelly (I think my sister said they changed the recipe and added mango. Best jelly ever! And has lower sugar!)

  7. Michael July 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Costco doesn’t carry the big bag of Pirate’s Booty anymore. Only 1/2 ounce bags in a 36 count box. They have every other snack known to man in jumbo bags except for the Pirate’s Booty. I went to go get some recently and when I found they replaced it with those pitiful half ounce bags, I was super pissed! WTF Costco?! My one favorite snack and I end up having to rip open about 20 of those shitty little bags just to fill a bowl. I have contacted Costco about this issue, but have not heard back yet.

    • Krystal Hurst
      Krystal Hurst July 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

      Hi Michael! I wonder if your Costco is like mine. Costco West Plano still has the giant bag of Pirate’s Booty but it’s on the far wall by the canned goods and sodas. You won’t find it in the “snack” aisles near the front anymore. I just shopped this past weekend and stocked up on another two (giant) bags! Good luck in your search! 🙂

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