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StringedInstruments
Auburn Fan
Member since Oct 2013
10466 posts

Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
tl'dr - We're trying to save money at the grocery store. Publix has gotten outrageous. Trader Joe's saved us a ton of money but the boxed stuff was shite and about 20% of the produce spoiled before the end of the week. Would like to only go to Costco to save money but don't want to waste time. Anyone having luck with them as their sole grocery store? Maybe Walmart on the side for non-perishables?

We noticed that our grocery bill has skyrocketed over the past 6 months. Almost a year ago, I posted about the possibility of lowering our monthly grocery bill to $500/month and still eating healthy. You can read the thread here if you want. Summary is that the answer was obviously no.

I don't even want to admit how much we've been spending since around November. It's way too damn much.

I went to Trader Joe's last week to see if I could save money, and I did. A lot! Our ~$250/week Publix bill (not to mention eating out, Costco, and a few random Target runs for necessities) was $80 at Trader Joe's and $60 at Costco. The Costco foods are lasting us two weeks, so I would say last week's grocery bill was really ~$110 for the entire week. We made the effort to not go back to the store and only ate at a restaurant once the entire week, so the total for our 7 days of eating was about $160. Say realistically we spend $200/month on food and necessities for ~800/month for a family of four. That's a huge amount of savings.

Publix's ridiculous prices were confirmed yesterday when I stopped to grab baby food, a few items for a Mother's Day dinner (for six), and a few needs for the house. It was $120. $110 at TJ and Costco lasted a week. $120 at Publix was one meal and bananas, milk, eggs, and baby food. The meal wasn't ritzy gourmet by any means.

Problem at Trader Joe's though was that the food quality was mostly bad. My son had never had Cinnamon Toast Crunch before, and we picked up the TJ brand. It was cardboard with some cinnamon flavor. The two onions we got from there were rotten in the middle 5 days after purchase. Two of the avocados were somehow moldy just as they ripened.

Costco foods always seem to last a while, but buying vegetables and fruits in that kind of bulk seems like it could become a waste too. Not sure I'll go through a box of onions before they rot; nevertheless, I'm certain that I'll get through two of them in a week without them rotting in the middle. There's also the worry that we'll get sick of 100 of the same granola bars (or whatever) before we finish them.

frick this has become an Oweo journal entry. Just read the tl'dr.
This post was edited on 5/12 at 7:57 am


GeauxWrek
USA Fan
Somewhere b/w Houston and BR
Member since Sep 2010
3120 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Try aldi


StringedInstruments
Auburn Fan
Member since Oct 2013
10466 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
quote:

Try aldi


Have you had luck with the quality there? Seems like it's a similar gimmick to Trader Joe's.


momentoftruth87
Arkansas Fan
Member since Oct 2013
28478 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
We get a lot from Aldi's like veggies and items that are more expensive at Walmart, but finish shopping at Walmart after for the stuff we can't get at Aldi's. Works out pretty good to save money.


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Proximo
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Aug 2011
2885 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
I definitely save buying meat there


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40
GeauxWrek
USA Fan
Somewhere b/w Houston and BR
Member since Sep 2010
3120 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
You need to invest better produce storage systems as well. Are you just keeping things in the plastics bags from the stores?


Bullfrog
LSU Fan
but I left before halftime.
Member since Jul 2010
42595 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Costco will save you a lot of money - once you’ve gotten stocked up. It’s a big outlay getting to that point.

We supplement with a weekly trip to produce stand and may have to run by Neighborhood WM to get smaller quantities of stuff like Zip Lock bags. You just don’t need the huge quantities from Costco.


StringedInstruments
Auburn Fan
Member since Oct 2013
10466 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
quote:

Are you just keeping things in the plastics bags from the stores?


I am. What’s the best way?


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Halftrack
The Wild Blue Yonder
Member since Apr 2015
2763 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
That’s too long to read.

Just buy meat, and cool tools and shite at Costco.

Unless you are having a party or or a Mormon or food hoarder.


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310
BR Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2004
3987 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
If cost and waste are your concern- Costco for staples and meat. Find a produce stand for fresh vegetables. Typically cheaper and fresher than the grocery store. Costco meat is pretty good and you can freeze what you don’t use right away.

If you want to really save and are disciplined in your eating, make a meal plan for the week and prep/cook on the weekend for the upcoming week. You can know how much of each item you need and buy that amount. So you’ll know where it makes sense to buy it. Personally, I can’t do that though. I just can’t plan meals out for the week like that.


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22
OysterPoBoy
LSU Fan
BR
Member since Jul 2013
15534 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
quote:

smaller quantities of stuff like Zip Lock bags. You just don’t need the huge quantities from Costco.


They have a variety pack on sale now.

Game changer.


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110
papz
LSU Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Jul 2008
8708 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Shop grocery ad sales and don’t buy produce in bulk. Our household was notorious tossing away spoiled produce, freezer burned items, and products we just got tired of eating because we bought in bulk. Planning meals in advance and a better storage system for food as someone suggested help a lot as well.


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30
Legion of Doom
New Orleans Saints Fan
Old Metry
Member since Jan 2018
1110 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
I buy all of my produce and meat at Costco. No way I could afford the fresh fruit from Rouse’s. I buy the meat, portion it out and freeze it. Also I have the executive membership. I spend enough there a year that the membership pays for itself. Plus the gas is about 20 to 30 cents a gallon cheaper than the Shell station by my house.


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30
HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17042 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Have you tried shoplifting? That’s a method that will yield immediate savings.



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290
Tyga Woods
Vanderbilt Fan
South Central Jupiter Island, FL
Member since Sep 2016
8387 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Find a poor and buy his/her food stamps for 35 cents on the dollar.


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ELVIS U
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2007
5797 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
We get food that lasts or can be frozen from Costco. We also get 80% of our gas, food and househould supplies from Costco. We get food that spoils quickly or is must be kept fresh or is boxed or canned from Walmart generally. We get speciality stuff from Rouses. Seems to be the most economical way to get what we want


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MSMHater
Houston Astros Fan
Houston
Member since Oct 2008
21371 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
quote:

Try aldi


Have you had luck with the quality there? Seems like it's a similar gimmick to Trader Joe's.


I make my HEB list, then go to Aldi first to see what I can replace. The only quality issues I've had has been with bread and buns. They are not very good compared to standard brands. But everything else is fine. The huge money saver is snacks/chips/crackers for the kids lunches. And the quality is good. But also produce, breakfast food, milk, eggs, juices, and really good (but sporadic) meat deals.

I can usually knock 10-20 items off my list with significant savings.

And if you like girl scout cookies, they are the only place I've ever shopped at with cheap, quality knock offs.
This post was edited on 5/12 at 9:15 am


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mikelbr
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2008
35109 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
quote:

frick this has become an Oweo journal entry. Just read the tl'dr.

Except he'd never find a woman to let him impregnate.

Silly question here but do you have something against Wal-Mart or Target? Their Private label stuff is always repackaged name brand products for lower prices.
I know we couldn't afford to do ALL our grocery shopping at Rouses or something similar to that in your neck of woods in Bham.

Costco and Sam's don't have the variety we prefer.


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Pectus
New Orleans Saints Fan
Internet
Member since Apr 2010
67302 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
You can feed your family for pretty cheap if you spend time planning out your menu, prepping many servings to not have any leftover materials, and cooking from scratch.

So, it comes down to how much you value your time and where does savings and time spent prepping match a common amount.


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Tyga Woods
Vanderbilt Fan
South Central Jupiter Island, FL
Member since Sep 2016
8387 posts

re: Anyone shoping only at Costco for family groceries and able to save money?
Fresh produce will kill your budget. You’re going to throw 30% of it out if you’re buying a bunch at once.

Make big batches and freeze. You can make a huge pot of jambalaya for under $25 and probably get 4 or 5 meals out of it.

Eggs and pancake mix are cheap.

You don’t always have to have a balanced meal. Nothing wrong with fish sticks and macaroni and cheese once or twice a week.

Drink brewed tea and tap water



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