Frugal Road Trip ~ 5 Costco Items to Take With You

Road trip season is upon us and while they can be fun, they can also become miserable just as easily. Preparing in advance for snacks, entertainment, and organization is the key to a more relaxing  and frugal road trip. Hopefully some of these great Costco items can help make this summer’s road trip a smoother and more enjoyable time.

  Disney Gift Pack

Disney Junior Gift Packs featuring Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. These gift packs include a full length DVD, 2 books, 4 coloring pages, poster, and stickers for $17.99. Considering just the two books and full-length DVD, I think this price point is right on. It may not be the most frugal options, but it sure is EASY and these characters are sure popular with the toddler and young kid age-range! Would make a really nice gift too if you have kids coming to visit you! It may also buy you some quiet adult time, because it is YOUR vacation too!

  Beef Jerky

Pacific Gold Original Beef Jerky – I’m pretty sure beef jerky is a quintessential road trip staple. I find jerky to be prohibitively expensive, even the more reasonable Costco price, but it IS cheaper (and healthier and more filling) than frequent fast food and quick mart snacks. My family finally started prepping better for trips because I was always left devastated by how expensive fast food is and how yucky it makes me feel. It always seemed a treat to stop by for some burgers and fries… but the last visits I remember have left me unhappy and my wallet shocked. So… it was time for us to prepare better!

  Trail Mix

Kirkland Signature Trail Mix Snack Packs – Fabulous for lunches, trips, hiking, school and everything else! A nice mix of protein and sugar… it hits the spot whether you prefer salty or sweet. We packed this in a suitcase and took it across country to save money on our Disney parks visit. I have fond memories of my parents packing a suitcase of food on one of our two Hawaiian vacations. The second trip we got a condo with a kitchen and a trip to the local Costco. How do you save on family vacations?

  Clif Bar

Organic Clif Kid ZBars – While these may not be the utmost in health… they are organic and at least avoid a lot of the chemicals found in their alternatives. Is it bad that I eat all the chocolate brownie bars and leave the iced oatmeal and chocolate chip to the kids? These bars are delicious, light to pack, and stand up pretty well in hot vehicles!

  Collapsible cooler

Ultra Table Top Collapsible Cooler – My favorite item I spotted for your road trip this year! Per the tag, ice lasts up to 2 days in this cooler, the top has a built in table for use, but best-of-all the cooler folds down when not in use. Sometimes on the trip back it’s just not economical or possible to pack cold foods. I love that you have the option to fold up this cooler and allow room for gifts purchased on vacation or just for extra space. At $24.99 the cooler was much more reasonable and compact than the other options Costco had available.

Happy road tripping everyone!! Stay safe, frugal, and fun!!

5 Organic Deals at Costco

Costco Organic

If you’ve been to Costco recently you may have noticed a growing market for organic items.  Our local store has a large section for organic items as well as them being littered throughout the store.  I find the green price tags helpful as I’m dodging carts and adults darting to the tester stations.  (Don’t worry… I dart there too!)  Whether you’re on the organic train or not, it’s gaining steam and popularity.  This is helpful for those who already had committed to organic and also for those who purchase when and what they can.  As always, Costco helps make some organic items more affordable for families.

  Organic Pasta

Organic Garofalo Whole Wheat Spaghetti – For only $1.078/lb you can eat organic pasta!  I find $0.90/box to be about the lowest price it gets for regular pasta at groceries stores.  That price doesn’t even account for organic.  I think this is a good buy, organic or not.

  Organic Maple Syrup Costco

Organic Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup Dark Amber – Maple syrup is yummy and expensive!  This price ($13.49) is a good buy for maple syrup when considering you can easily drop $8.00 or more for a tiny bottle of non-organic real maple syrup at your local grocer.

Organic Apricots

Organic Made in Nature Apricots – At $0.198/ounce, this is a great, healthy treat for lunches and snacks.  High in potassium, vitamin A and E, apricots help bolster your immune system and promote heart health!

  organic chicken

Fresh Organic Chicken Drumsticks – This was an item that really surprised me.  I find $0.99/lb to be the lowest I can get chicken drumsticks without even being organic.  For a dollar more a pound, the chicken could be organic!

  Organic Beef

Kirkland Signature Organic Ground Beef – While not as good as of a price as the chicken… this organic ground beef is significantly more affordable than organic meat purchased in another store.  Apparently the meat comes from three different sources, one of which is exclusively grass-fed and the others are grass-fed/grain-finished.  Therefore the meat does not seem to be marketed as “grass-fed”.  Just an FYI for those of you who try to go the grain-free route!

5 Great Buys at Costco This Month


It’s almost summer  and here are 5 great buys  at Costco that you shouldn’t miss!! Remember to check them out soon because these items are seasonal and once they sell out, it’s likely you won’t see them again until next Spring or Summer.


Coppertone Sport SPF 30 Sunscreen Pack (2/7.5oz spray, 8oz lotion, 6oz stick) -  Sunscreen… we’re all supposed to wear it and the powers that be know it.  And so we pay dearly for it.  I’m continuously cringing at the cost of sunscreen and while I know the spray isn’t nearly as cost effective as it’s lotion counterpart, sometimes the convenience factor is worth the extra money.  Getting 2 full size spray bottles, lotion, AND the hyper-expensive sunscreen stick… I think this is a deal! Coppertone Kids also available.


Havaianas Ladies Slim Sandal – Upon purchasing these fancy “slim” version of the popular Havaiana sandal, I was wearing my 7+ year old “non-slim” sandals that are comfy and apparently last a really long time!  Available now in red and black, I found these sandals retailing for $26 and on sale for $19.50 on another company’s website.

shade sail -1

Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade Sail 13’ – Your home can look like a Extreme Home Makeover space!  I’ve really only seen these in a really fancy couple’s yard and on the Makeover shows, but for $19.99 we can all have a little piece of fancy UV protectant in our own yards!

Life Jacket

Puddle Jumper Life Jacket – These newly designed life jackets are currently selling at a major retailer for almost $5.00 more than their Costco counterparts.  If this is on your list, make the detour to Costco and save yourself some cash!

Bucket Playset

Bucket Playset – Toys that come with their own storage for under $10.00… Sold!!

Have you found any other must have items from Costco for this time of year? We would love if you shared them with us


5 Great Buys at Costco

I know we’re not the only ones who know that Costco can get the best of us, if we’re not careful!  Everyone I seem to talk to about Costco knows this to be true.  You really can get some great buys if you just watch that little tiny price per ounce listing!

Here are 5 of my top Costco picks:


Mountain High Low Fat Plain Yoghurt – Barely more than $0.06 an ounce… a pretty hard price to beat at any supermarket!  If you’re healthier than I am, you eat it plain but I cannot.  We typically add some blueberries and a smidge of honey or mix it with a healthy serving of applesauce.  This does add some cost to the price as you may choose to add some sweetness to it, but I like that you’re then in charge of adding your own quantity of fruit and sugar.  An added bonus to plain yogurt is that it’s a near dead-ringer for sour cream.  (At least when used cold, not sure about baking.)


Scenic Fruit Organic Blueberries – Please excuse the horrendous picture, but these blueberries were recommended by a friend and are now a staple in our home.  We use them in the above mentioned yogurt, eaten plain in their yummy frozen form, thrown into pancakes, and in smoothies.  Berries are some of the most susceptible fruits to pesticides, so it’s really a good idea to try and buy berries organic if and when you can or use a fruit/veggie wash before you eat them.  The fresh organic blueberries at Costco were more than $6.00 a pound and a hard hit to the pocketbook.  The frozen variety comes in at $3.20/lb.  You do lose some of the texture and flavor, but kid’s palettes are pretty forgiving and they’re spot on in a smoothie!  A great, more frugal, healthy alternative!


Earthbound Farm Organic Deep Green Power Blend – A great mix of baby kale, chard and spinach!  Last year I was buying a bag this size of kale and a box of ½ baby spinach & ½ baby greens.  I NEVER got through both lettuces before they went bad on me.  I love kale for smoothies and the spinach mix for salads.  I feel like this is the ultimate compromise!  My local Costco now carries the salad mix, the power blend, and the baby kale for your various lettuce needs.  I know I’ll be saving money just in what’s not going to waste and I’ll save myself that cringe of throwing away food gone uneaten.


Kirkland Super Premium Adult Dog Food in Lamb – Before children, we bought our dogs heinously expensive lamb and beef and venison kibble.  It was grain free this and all-natural that.  Unfortunately for the dogs, the kids now get splurged on a little more and the dogs enjoy their Kirkland brand food.   Our one dog has a chicken allergy (surprisingly I was told a lot of dogs do) and so I love that they offer a lamb alternative.  Among “dog food review sites”, this brand seems to be a good alternative when compared against “big box” competitors, but definitely not a top-tier line of food.  Nevertheless, it seems to be a solid option for about $0.72 cents/lb.


Kirkland Signature Swift Premium Pork Sirloin Tip Roast – Let me first say that I am not a meat connoisseur.  Things either taste good or they do not.  This pork roast tasted good.  At $1.99/lb the price is great.  There are 4 separately packed roasts.  This is great for those of you who cannot cook and consume some of the amazingly large cuts of meat that Costco sells.  I used two for a slow cooker pulled pork recipe and the other two went into the freezer for a later date.  The vacuum packaging allows for an easier defrosting and easier use and storage.  I am really glad I found this recently.  I hope you enjoy it too!

Leave a Comment

5 Things I Regularly Buy at Costco – February


Costco.  Land of savings in bulk… or is it?  Just because you purchase things in bulk doesn’t necessarily mean that you are saving.  Sometimes you’re literally just paying for two, three, four or more of the same item.  I’ve learned to consider how much room the item will it take up, if I need multiples or if they may expire, does my budget allow for multiples, and how much am I really saving?

Here are some of the staple items we purchase regularly at Costco:

Annie's Shells Cheddar

Annie’s Organic Shells & Real Aged Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese – I’ve seen these anywhere from a dollar to more than three dollars a box.  The price at Costco could only be beat with a coupon. And coupons for Annie’s products are few and far between!

Kirkland Whole Wheat

Kirkland Signature Whole Wheat Rounds – With 6 grams of fiber per serving, these little guys are a staple in our home.  Easy to hold for little hands, better portion control and a great price!

Tree Top Apple Sauce

Organic Tree Top Applesauce – The price point on these used to be better. They increased about two dollars  a case, if I am remembering correctly.  I still think these are a decent buy as they are organic and still a slightly better price than local grocery stores.

Tillamook Cheese

Tillamook Sliced Medium Cheddar – Now while you may be thinking this isn’t as cheap as buying the loaf (you’re right), I’ve just found that my time is worth the extra cost per ounce.  I don’t have to slice an entire loaf and their cut is more consistent.  I feel that the pre-sliced lasts longer, it’s more convenient, and it’s still almost HALF the price as in a regular grocery store!

Kirkland Mayo

Kirkland Signature Mayonnaise -  Local grocery store price (not on sale) was $0.13/ounce compared to this $0.086/ounce of Kirkland brand mayo.  Not everyone has room for 64 ounces of mayo in their fridge, but it sure is a good deal!

If you are a regular customer at Costco, you might enjoy our other Costco posts:

  1. This OR That? The Ketchup Edition.
  2. Tips for Saving Money by Buying BULK Canned Foods at Costco
  3. My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!
  4. How to find Clearance items at Costco
  5. Items I WILL buy at Costco: Gift Cards
  6. Why we bought a Costco membership…

Do you agree with this list? Do you have other items to add? Please comment below because I LOVE hearing what other people are finding!

Leave a Comment
(One Comment)

Costco: Chicken Broth Price Comparisons – $2/quart vs. $0.36/quart

Costco Chicken Broth

Here’s another way to save BIG on a kitchen staple.  I’m sure you use Chicken Broth often, maybe not organic all the time but either way you’ve got to try Better Than Bouillon.  In my price comparison at Costco a long time ago I found it to be drastically cheaper.  One jar of Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base, 16oz will make 19 quarts of broth for $6.89.  The other option is to purchase a box of 6 quarts (32 oz each) of ready made Kirkland Organic Chicken Broth.  That’s about the going price for regular non-organic broth at the grocery store too, $2 per quart.  So technically this is a good deal for organic, but NOT when you compare it to Better Than Bouillon.

So let’s do just that, let’s compare them…

Kirkland Organic Chicken Broth, 6 Quarts – $11.99
Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base, 19 Quarts – $6.89 (plus the cost of the water)
Final Price:  $0.36 per quart vs. $2.00 per quart

That’s a BIG difference.

Here are a few of my most recent Costco shopping tips and tricks posts:

  1. *UPDATED* You can shop at Costco WITHOUT a membership!
  2. This OR That? The Ketchup Edition.
  3. Tips for Saving Money by Buying BULK Canned Foods at Costco
  4. My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!
  5. (Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…
  6. (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
  7. How to find Clearance items at Costco

Leave a Comment

*UPDATED* You can shop at Costco WITHOUT a membership!


This post was written just a month shy of 3 years ago, it’s been one of the most popular posts on TFF still getting daily visits!  I’ve heard mixed reviews from readers (as you can see in the comments) about whether or not it worked for them, is still working, etc.  However just this weekend a reader named Celeste left a comment saying that Costco verifys that you CAN use a Costco Gift Card to shop their store WITHOUT a membership!  Are you ready for this?  Head on over to their website and see it for yourself…

Costco has created another convenient way for members to pay for their purchases: The Costco Cash card. 

You must be a Costco member to purchase or reload Costco Cash Cards.  Members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and online at or on Costco Cash balances may be used toward membership or merchandise.

Here’s the original post I wrote back on April 28th, 2010:

I had heard this from many people so I decided to go into Costco yesterday to verify it, sure enough it’s true!  I asked at the customer service desk if this was true and the lady said absolutely and began to tell me the ins & outs.  It was verified by several people behind the counter as she asked them for a few specific details.

Here is how you do it:

Purchase a Costco Cash Card (gift card) at the Customer Service desk, must be a minimum of $25.00.  Use that gift card as your “member’s card” to get into the store. Shop as you normally would. When you go to pay, you pay first with your gift card but any remaining balance must be paid with cash or debit (no American Express). That’s it! You’ve just shopped at Costco for free and saved the $50 a year membership fees.  Of course you don’t get the Costco Member benefits, cheap gas, etc but your items are still protected under Costco’s very generous return policy.

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that you must be a Costco member to purchase a cash card, but the rest of the shopping trip remains the same.  So give a friend or family member some cash and you’re set!  You could consider asking them to purchase (4) $25 cash cards to use on separate shopping trips.  Then buy them lunch for being so kind.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This is exactly why I love my readers!  Reading through the comments I’ve learned that you CAN buy gas with a cash card and you can also purchase liquor and use the pharmacy to fill prescriptions, all without a membership!   You DO NOT need any type of card to enter the store if you’re using the pharmacy or purchasing liquor, it’s prohibited by law to require membership for those services.

Our family DOES have a membership and this is why we bought one.  With that said you need to know how to use it wisely.  Here are a few of my most recent Costco shopping tips and tricks posts:

  1. This OR That? The Ketchup Edition.
  2. Tips for Saving Money by Buying BULK Canned Foods at Costco
  3. My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!
  4. (Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…
  5. (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
  6. How to find Clearance items at Costco

Have you tried this?  I’d love to hear your experiences!

Leave a Comment

(It’s Back!) Costco Members: FREE Sample Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor!

Costco Gillette ProGlide

If you are a Costco member, HURRY on over and request a FREE Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor!  Just click on the ‘Free Sample’ link.

While supplies last!

Thanks Cha Ching on a Shoe String!

Leave a Comment

Costco: This OR That? The Ketchup Edition.

Heinz Ketchup Costco

We had a great conversation going on last week’s Costco Bulk Buying (canned foods) post.  Reader Carrie mentioned the Ketchup as another way to buy in bulk, redistribute, store, and save BIG!  I checked out the prices/ounces today and sure enough it’s another one to add to the list!

So in this case you could choose from the following options:

Heinz Ketchup (3×44 oz Bottles)  132 oz – $6.99
Heinz Ketchup (1)  114 oz Jug – $4.29

The 3 bottles work out to be $0.0529 per ounce while the jug works out to be $0.376 per ounce.  If you’re ok with funneling it into a new container every month or so, you’re saving a couple of dollars easily.  Sure it’s only $2 BUT it’s still TWO DOLLARS and it does add up.  If you saved $2-3 on 5 items during your Costco shopping trip each time because you opted for the bulk containers you’d save $10/$15 off your grocery bill.  A little more time and effort but it definitely pays off.

Bulk Costco

Head on over to see similar comparisons on Diced Tomatoes and Canned Whole Pears.

Leave a Comment

Tips for Saving Money by Buying BULK Canned Foods at Costco

Bulk Costco

I have lots of these tricks up my sleeve, but I often forget to share them here with you.  Here are a couple of my favorite tips that will save you a pretty penny even while shopping at Costco!

Have you ever purchased the individually packaged Dole Fruit Cups?  Ya I thought so, me too.  That was before I started buying this 10lb can of S&W Pear Halves at Costco.  Just strain the juice out of the can (save some if you like), dice them if you choose to and then stick them in little tupperware containers for quick snacks.  Or my preference is to divide the pears into mason jars and refrigerate them (pictured above). They don’t last long in our house, but if it seems like more than your family would eat you can freeze them too!

Pear Halves Costco

Wondering how much you’ll save?  Costco sells the same brand of Pear Halves in an 8 can package (15oz per can) for $9.69.  Let’s do the math…  The 8 can package packs a total of  120oz for $9.69 vs the 106oz bulk can for $4.59, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it?  You’re paying twice as much for a few extra cans that you’re going to recycle and some cardboard packaging.

Pear Halves Small Cans Let’s not even begin with the 4 oz portioned Dole Fruit Cups for a $0.50 each. Or shall we?  Ok let’s do… for the same quantity of pears in fruit cups you’d be paying a whopping $15.00!  Ouch.  Convenience isn’t worth an extra $10 in my book, especially when it takes me all of 5-10 minutes tops to prepare these pears for eating.

Diced Tomatoes Costco

Moving on… I don’t know if you use canned diced tomatoes often at all, but we use them in a lot of recipes – chili, spaghetti, veggie soup, pasta, etc.  Recently I started buying this 10lb can from Costco – no we don’t use THAT much all at once.  Instead what I do is re-package it into 14oz can portions using a simple sandwich size ziploc bag.  If you don’t think you’ll use it in them all next 2-4 weeks then I’d suggest using a freezer bag, otherwise you’ll be just fine with a regular ziploc bag.

Wondering how much you’ll actually save?  Well a regular can of store bought or name brand S&W Diced Tomatoes is 14 oz and sells anywhere from $0.80 – $1.00 per can.  For the same quantity as the 102 oz can at Costco you’d have to buy 7.28 cans (let’s just round down to 7 cans).  Let’s also go conservative here and say they’re on sale or you’re buying the store brand fro $0.80 per can.  That’s still $5.60 vs. the $2.69 price at Costco – over 50% savings!

Do you think you’ll test this savings method on your next Costco shopping trip?

Here are a few other Costco posts that you might find helpful…

  1. How to find Clearance items at Costco
  2. (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
  3. (Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…
  4. My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!

Leave a Comment

My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!

Do you have a price point per item in your kids lunchbox? We TRY to stick to $0.25 per item (fruit, granola bar, sandwich, cheese stick, etc). Our goal is to beat the $2.50 hot lunch price. I shared this on Facebook yesterday and today I’m sharing some specifics of what our kid’s lunchboxes look like day by day.

Kleen Kanteen For starters we bought a decent water bottle that for the most part doesn’t leak – so instead of a juice box they get water every day.  A friend of mine suggested the Kleen Kanteen and they are amazing, only leak if they weren’t closed – duh!  They come in many colors too which our kids like.  They’re on sale right now for $11.99.

I decided to go with Costco as a price point.  When coupons and deals are scarce, Costco is our go-to for kid’s lunch items.  Here are several items that are on our rotation, and almost all of them are well below the $0.25 per serving price.  We typically send them with either a PB&J / Honey Sandwich or a Bagel.  Then we’ll add in 3-4 of the following items…

Philadelphia Single Serve, 1 oz Cream Cheese – $0.23
Nutri-Grain Bars – $0.27 each
1 ounce almonds – $0.27 (23 almonds)
2 ounces Kirkland Organic Salsa – $0.20
Treetop Apple Sauce, large 4pk containers $0.20 per 1/2 cup
Treetop Single Serve – $0.29 each 1/2 cup or 4 oz
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – 55 pieces $0.15
Honey Maid Graham Crackers 2 full sheets – $0.15
Ritz Crackers & Cheese – $0.28 each
Annie Fruit Snacks – $0.32 each
Yoplait Go-Gurt – $0.24 each
Precious Cheese Sticks – $0.20 each
Hoodys Roasted in Shell Peanuts 1/2 cup – $0.11
Special K Chocolatey Pretzel Bars (current rebate item) $0.19 each
Nature Valley Granola Bars, crunchy 2pk – $0.26 each
Nature Valley Sweet & Salty – $0.26 each
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (current rebate item) – $0.13 each
Frito Lay Single Serve Bagged Chips – $0.23 each
Kirkland Tortilla Chips  -$0.06 per ounce or 7 chips
Tree Top Fruit Snacks $0.13 each
Stretch Island Fruit Strips -$0.22 each
Shultz Pretzels – $0.06 per ounce

It seems that many of you send leftovers with your kids for lunch, I’m not sure why but we rarely have leftovers and if we do if wouldn’t be good served cold.  I’m curious to know what kind of leftovers you send?  I’d love to hear if you have a price point for kid’s lunches/snacks?

Here are a few other Costco posts that you might find helpful…

How to find Clearance items at Costco

(Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…

(Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…

Leave a Comment

Costco Black Friday Deals 2012 with Amazon Price Comparisons!

Here are the 2012 Costco Black Friday Deals! All prices are valid November 23rd – 25th and the doors open at 9 am on Friday the 23rd.
You’ll see below that we’ve added a link for the same product or similar when the exact model isn’t available to Amazon.  We do this so that you can compare prices in advance of Black Friday.  With that information you can either find a better deal without leaving the house OR you can choose to spend a few dollars more and get a few extra hours of shut eye if you choose to.  We hope you find it helpful!   It takes Mr. Frugal HOURS to do this, but we think it’s a valuable tool if not just for the reviews! Last year we found that  in many cases Amazon was already beating Black Friday prices weeks ahead of time, and we’re starting to see it this year too – here are a few examples of that.
Click below for the full list of deals!
[Read more...]

Leave a Comment

(Expired) Amazon: Quilted Northern Ultra Plush 48 Double Roll Package – $21.74 Shipped!

One of my all time favorite type of deal is when I can get toilet paper shipped to my door!  Amazon currently has a Quilted Northern Ultra Plush 48 Double Roll package on sale for $22.74 with Subscribe and Save (free shipping!)  Plus there is a $1/1 coupon you can click making it just $21.74 or $0.45 per double roll or $0.23 per single roll.

Now we’re always comparing the king of toilet paper prices – Costco but I have to say I am NOT a fan of their new toilet paper, it’s quite simply very rough. Ouch.  With that said though, Costco sells a 30 roll package for $14.99 or $0.50 per roll.  It used to be $0.01 per square foot but I don’t have the current measurements.  Of course to really compare we’d need to know the sq. footage for each brand but I think it would be safe to say the double roll likely compares in quantity to Costco’s rolls.   So that makes this a good deal and it’s shipped to your door.

Toilet Paper Deal Formula:

This is the equation I use with Costco’s Kirkland Brand #s to as a gauge, from there you can use the same equation to determine if you’re getting a good deal or not.

Square Footage = 1539 sq ft
Insert a decimal 2 places to the left = 15.39 ($15.39 or less is a good deal and Costco’s is $14.99)
= $0.01 per square foot SO if you have coupons or if the cost of the toilet paper is LESS than this, it’s a good deal.

Leave a Comment

(Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…

This is a photo series of items I’d NEVER shell out money for at Costco.  I’ll be doing several of these as well as posts on what I WOULD buy at Costco.  Most of the items I list today I’d never buy at Costco, because we can almost always get them FREE or even as Money Makers.  How? By using coupons and waiting for a sale.  If you follow blogs like this one you will realize that it’s not that hard. It’s a matter of having the right coupon + the right sale = the perfect storm (in a good way!)  :)

Here are a few other popular Costco posts here on The Frugal Find…

  1. (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
  2. How to find Clearance items at Costco
  3. Why we bought a Costco membership…
  4. You can shop at Costco WITHOUT a membership!

$4.25 per box of cereal – Ouch! I’d pay up to $1.50 for Frosted Mini Wheats max.

We see deals on feminine products on a regular basis, often times even FREE!

Here is a 5ct package of Degree Deodorant for $13.49 or $2.69 each.  This isn’t a deal at all, almost on a weekly basis you can get deodorant anywhere from free to $0.99 each. I’m telling you, those coupons come in handy !!

I’d expect to be PAID to take anymore toothpaste home, let alone pay over $2 per tube! Seriously, you can get brand name toothpaste for FREE more often than not. Again, coupons + sales is the answer to this one :)

My mouth dropped when I saw the price over these razors, did yours?  Yes it’s true, sadly people still pay for these things. (Did I already mention the coupons?)  ;)

Here’s one last item that we can get on sale, as low as $0.99 for a smaller bottle on a regular basis.

Leave a Comment

(Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…

It’s been almost 2 years since I first posted my “Items I WILL buy at Costco post” and in that time we’ve switched servers more times than I can count. Thankfully each time it was to accomodate the growth that we weren’t anticipating, but sadly in one of the moves we lost a lot of images and this post was one of the main ones to suffer the loss.  It took me hours to put this post together the first time around so frankly I’ve been dreading it, but it’s finally happening!  Mr. Frugal and I spent quite a bit of time yesterday at Costco getting ready for this post, today I’ll be adding quite a bit of new content but there is MORE to come!  Also stay tuned for an updated “What we would NEVER buy at Costco” post as well.

It’s been 2 years now that we’ve had our Costco membership, you can read about Why We Bought a Costco Membership.  The following is a photo series of items I do buy and would suggest you buy at Costco – these items are rarely cheaper even with a good sale or coupon (if they even exist) and as of right now I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal.  Plus I think the $1.50 hotdog/drink combo alone may be worth the membership :)

Fruits & Veggies: In most cases, I prefer the Farmer’s Market but when the market is not open I’ll opt for Costco.  However not for all of our produce.  I always shop the grocery stores “loss leaders” first – the produce that they have marked down to $0.99/lb or less.  They do this to get you in the door and it works for me!  I buy in bulk and freeze my fruits and veggies when I can find them around $0.99/lb or less and I stockpile my freezer with seasonal produce.

Dairy (Milk, Eggs, Butter, Yogurt, and Cheese):

Milk: It really depends when it comes to milk, lately I’ve seen some great in-store promotions for free milk with the purchase of various breakfast items that I already have coupons for.  So at this point it time it’s been a while since I’ve purchased my milk at Costco, but this is a great place to start for a good base price.

Eggs, Butter, and Cheese: Again here, my buy it now price for eggs is $0.99/dozen and Costco is pretty close but a bit over.  So it depends on the store sales when I need to buy eggs.  Fred Meyer often has their brand of butter on sale for $1.66 so that is my stockpile price and Costco is a bit higher at $1.84/lb.  Cheese is almost always on sale somewhere, so unless you really need it in bulk or prefer a higher end brand.  We love Tillamook so we buy this occasionally at Costco but you can likely find a deal elsewhere.  We recently stocked up on Lucerne cheese at Safeway for $2/lb.

Yogurt: I can’t find a single deal on single serve yogurt that I would ever consider a good buy – my buy it now price for yogurt is $0.25 each.  However when it comes to the larger tubs of Greek Yogurt, Costco is almost always the best buy unless I find it clearanced somewhere.

Household Goods (Toilet Paper, Kitchen Trash Bags, etc)

Toilet Paper: For most household goods I prefer to buy the smaller packages, especially when it comes to household cleaners and laundry detergent.  You can find deals on these regularly or you can make your own laundry detergent from home and save a bundle!  However quite the opposite is true when it comes to toilet paper.  That is one item that rarely, if ever goes on sale for less than Costco sells it for.  I’ve found a deal once or twice and I was sure to post it on TFF, but for the most part I would send you to Costco for this purchase.

We’ve gone back and forth about how to determine what exactly is a good price for toilet paper.  This is the formula I use below.  I’d also say that anything roughly below $0.50/roll is a good deal.  With that said brands vary great by size/length/and ply.  That is why the formula below is a sure fire way to know if you’re getting a good deal or not.

This is the equation I use with Costco’s Kirkland Brand #s to as a gauge…

Square Footage = 1539 sq ft
Insert a decimal 2 places to the left = 15.39 ($15.39 or less is a good deal and Costco’s is $14.99)
= $0.01 per square foot SO if you have coupons or if the cost of the toilet paper is LESS than this, it’s a good deal.

Kitchen Trash Bags: The same goes for Kitchen Trash bags – deals to exist but the price you pay for 200 bags ($0.07 per bag) just isn’t worth the hassle of clipping coupons and hunting down a deal.  Plus the quality of these bags far surpasses most other brands, in my opinion.  I also love that 200 ct box lasts us several months.

Breakfast Staples (Oats, Maple Syrup, Honey, etc):

Steel Cut Oats: Costco now carries Bob’s Red Mill products which makes me so happy!  They have 4.5lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats for just $4.75 that’s just over $1/lb and I’m not 100% certain but I am pretty sure that beats any grocery store price or bulk bin, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Maple Syrup:  We recently ditched regular syrup in favor of Maple Syrup, it’s much better for you and we think it tastes a lot better too!  It is however fairly pricey.  I’ve found great deals on VitaCost with the new member free $10 credit, however on a regular basis Costco’s price of  $0.37 per ounce is hard to beat.

Honey:  Costco’s prices are good, but the huge bottle deters me.  I’d much rather smaller more manageable bottles, so if you’re up to refilling them that is an option.  We however prefer the taste of the Great Lakes honey that we order on Amazon, it’s actually just a few cents cheaper right now too (prices can change at any time though!)

Almonds: I have yet to find a better price on almonds at $3.26/lb.  These are so fresh and tasty too!  We use them in a huge variety of ways – roasting, trail mix, baking, etc.

That’s it for today, but I’ll be adding more items that I will buy at Costco to this post as I have more time available. I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! What are some items you think are consistently the lowest price at Costco?

Leave a Comment