Come learn how to shop at Costco… the RIGHT way! I'm bringing you my best money-saving tips to get you the most bang for your buck. Excited? You should be. 😉
Wanting some insider tips on how to shop at Costco? Freebs, I have got you covered!!! No more wondering what the best deals are. And no more thinking that everything is a good deal just because you're buying it in bulk!
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Come shop along with Mama J and learn the best Costco hacks, tips, and tricks that work for our family of 10! You'll learn when to stock up on items and when to pass. So are you ready to be a Costco pro?!
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You can watch the video online HERE, or keep scrolling to learn how to shop at Costco:
Whew, how tired are you from watching me trek around Costco? 😉 Why don't you sit back and relax while I walk you through my Costco grocery haul and hacks!
HOW TO SHOP AT COSTCO
I've been shopping at Costco for years! Between doing studio segments and getting behind the scenes looks, I've become somewhat of a Costco shopping ninja. 😉 From what you should buy to how to get the most out of your membership, I've got you covered!
Here are some Costco hacks to do before you get started in the store! If you're anything like me, then you're ready to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible since it's usually a zoo. But make sure to stick to these hacks so that you can save the most money!
- Get gas – Their gas is always the cheapest around, so I'll get some even if I almost have a full tank. I always make sure to top off on gas before I go shopping so that I don't run out of time and forget to get some on my way out.
- Don't shop hungry – You can thank me for this tip when you're not buying ALL THE THINGS because you were hungry!
- Keep your shopping list on your phone – You always have your phone on you, so you never have to worry about leaving it!
- Stick to your grocery budget – As stated in my last grocery haul video, your grocery budget should be $100/person/month starting at $300/month. This includes groceries and consumables.
- Use your phone's calculator – Keep a running total on your phone calculator when you add groceries to your shopping cart. Start with your total grocery budget and subtract each time you put something in your cart. Remember to round the price up to account for sales tax so that that doesn't take make you go over budget!
Those are some pretty good hacks, right? Okay, moving on!
HOW TO GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Wanna know how to shop at Costco so that you're making the most of your grocery budget? These tips are going to help you to get the most savings during your trip!
- Use the app – Before you go shopping, check the app to see what's on sale. This will let you prepare your shopping list and allow you to see where you can stock up on extras.
- Focus on what you NEED – While it may be tempting to stock up when things are on sale, that's not necessary if you already have enough to last you a few months. Costco's sale cycle is like this: item on sale for about a month, then regular priced for a month or 2, then on sale again. If you have the money in your budget, stock up when it's on sale enough to last you until it goes on sale again.
- Study the price tag – As I've mentioned before, look at the price per unit/ounce, not just the ticketed price!
- Check the limit on sale items – If you exceed the limit then you don't get the discount on those extras that you bought. So unless you need more than the limit, don't even think about buying more!
- Know your prices – Keep a “price list” on your phone or in a notebook. This will let you know if you're getting a good deal and if you should stock up or not.
- Watch pricing closely – This is true even on sale items! It may actually be cheaper to get the Kirkland brand even if the name brand is on sale. Kirkland items are made by the name brand companies, so their products are just as good!
Are you starting to feel like a Costco shopping ninja yet? If not, then you should! 😉
EXTRA COSTCO SHOPPING TIPS
Alright, here are the last of my Costco hacks that will get you through your trip without spending an arm and a leg! Stick to these and be amazed at how well you can stay on budget.
- Save for your trip – You can under-spend the week before you go to allow for a bigger Costco budget if you know you'll need more than your grocery budget allows.
- Stick to your list – Avoid impulse buys! If something does pop up that's just too good to pass on, then put something else in your cart back so that you don't go over budget.
- Is convenience important? – When shopping for your family, ask yourself how important convenience is and if it's worth the extra cost. Would you rather buy bulk and then individually package yourself to save on cost?
- Prioritize your shopping list – Know what is the most important for you to buy. That way if you go over budget for some reason, you can make easy decisions at the register.
Those really aren't that hard to do! I know that you can be tempted to buy ALL THE THINGS when you're shopping at Costco, but just remember to stick to those tips and you'll have much better will power.
MY COSTCO HAUL
Okay, now you know how to shop at Costco! Are you ready to see what all I got during my Costco haul? My budget for this week was $300 since these #PageTwins are coming any day now and I won't be getting out for a while once they're here. (Don't worry, I moved my budget around so that I wasn't going over budget since my normal weekly budget is $200!)
I usually save cleaning and household items for Costco and get most of my grocery items from Walmart (since I alternate stores each week). But sometimes the sales aren't all that they're cracked up to be, as you just read. So I was able to get more grocery items this week to help us last longer without going over budget.
Most of these items were a necessity, but some were a last-minute decision. But I made sure that I wouldn't go over budget by buying these. It helped since some of the items that I wanted to stock up on weren't on sale yet.
- Frozen Salmon – Usually I would pass on this since it's a more expensive protein. But since it was on sale, I went ahead and got two packages so that we have it on hand. It'll last us quite a while!
- Applesauce Pouches – Our kids take two items from the fruit/healthy basket that we have in our pantry for their school lunches and it was completely empty. So I did a major restock on these since they were on sale.
- Oxyclean – I stocked up on this since we are almost out. We definitely go through it since I do my laundry the unconventional way.
- Chicken Nuggets – We heat these up and throw them in a thermos for the kids to take to school for lunch. They'll also take them for dinner if they have an extracurricular activity that will keep them busy during that time.
- Ham – I love a good ham. It makes so much, it freezes well, and it can be made into so many new recipes!
- Foam Plates – We go through these a lot, especially for parties! So I like to keep some on hand.
- Shredded Cheese – We always like to keep shredded cheese on hand! But it's the worst when it goes bad before you can use it all. I portion the bags out and freeze most of the cheese so that it doesn't go bad.
- Veggie Straws – These are great for snacking and lunches! I will take and portion them out into lunch-sized bags.
These weren't on sale, but I was basically out of all of these and they're at a pretty fair price even when they're not on sale!
- Fresh Salmon – I would've put this back if I had needed to, but I love eating it on a bagel with some cream cheese!
- Kirkland's Dish Soap – The name brand was on sale but this was cheaper than the sale price.
- Brown Sugar – This will last us for a good while!
- Bread – We go through bread quickly and it's pretty cheap, so we always buy multiple and can freeze them if we need to.
- Beef Bouillon – We cook with this a lot, so we can't ever be without it in our kitchen inventory!
- Milk – We go through a ton of milk, so I always make sure that I have plenty on hand to get us to the next grocery trip!
- Cream – We cook with this a lot and it'll last a long time.
- Fruit Leathers – Usually I wait til they're on sale because they're not the cheapest but we were completely out. I got one box and I'll stock up on more when they're on sale again.
- Yeast – This will keep for a long time! I'll just transfer it to a glass jar and stick it in my freezer.
- Nutella – This is LIFE in our house! We eat it with everything, so we can't go without. I'll stock up on more when it goes on sale.
- Tortillas – We can go through the tortillas. I will freeze half of them so that I don't have to worry about them going bad before we can eat them.
- Tortilla Chips – We always keep a bag to have on hand!
Whew, well there you have it! Now you know how to shop at Costco like the pros. 😉 What are your favorite things to buy at Costco? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more great grocery ideas?
- Start meal planning and see how it saves your grocery budget!
- Get the best grocery shopping tips and tricks!
- Don't have much money to spend at the grocery store? Come see how I meal planned for my family of 8 and only spent $25!
Haul-er at you later!
Great job Jordan! You nailed it!
Great job Jordan!
We do not have a Costco near me,17754,there have been adds for jobs but still do not see any sign of store?
I love shopping at Costco but every time I go they try and get me to up grade my card but always decide cause of credit so sad cause I’m trying to build up my credit
She said $1.50 and you don’t have to have soda. The Polish dog is fantastic! Foot long too for the same deal!
What are your recommendations for staying on budget if you need a special diet? (I am gluten intolerant) I am always looking for sales but gluten free stuff is just so much more expensive than regular.
You can allow a little more in your grocery budget for those items, but you would need to take that money from another budget, such as your “other” budget. You can also try to buy them in bulk since they’re usually cheaper that way.
Thank you for the great advice. I would have never thought that olive oil might be the cheapest there, I was usually getting it in Walmart. Will need to check Costco from now on!
Nowadays I only get my gas at Costco. I wouldn’t be able to count how much money I saved by only going there!
I have never thought to use Costco’s pharmacy. Not sure what I’ve been thinking, but I’ll definitely have to check it out!
For insta giveaway:
These were great tips and videos! How cool you got your own tour ?
I love your idea of a price notebook! I try to keep it organized in my head which doesn’t always work Haha!! ?
love love love costco!!
Love buying wipes at Costco! Such a good deal! Especially when you have multiple kids in diapers
LOVE the olive oil deal, but I really go for the $1.50 hotdog lol
I just got membership not that long ago at Costco so this is very helpful! They finally opened one in my area. I have a large family as well, so whatever items you notice and behind-the-scenes tricks you have I’d love to see!! Have an easy and healthy birth for you and the babies!
So glad to hear that! There’s a Costco page on the site that you definitely need to check out for all of my best tips and tricks for shopping there! 🙂
Yes! Please do another behind the scenes Costco video
It’ll be coming soon, so be watching for it! 🙂
Hi! I thought I saw Kirkland liquid laundry detergent on your table – do you recommend for in between tide pod sales?
No, we use it for washing things like hand rags, old towels and anything else that we need clean but don’t necessarily care about preserving. You can get all of my laundry tips HERE!
Our Costco lets you buy more of the sale items with limits on a separate transaction. Even back to back transactions, no questions asked.
Oh, that’s good to know! It must depend from store to store. Thanks!
Just found you a few days ago and loving the blog and videos. Hubby and I went to Costco today after I had created a list like you suggest. Of 27 items purchased, 16 were on sale. The rest were items I know that I can’t get cheaper at the grocery store, like the 3pk of English cukes, strawberries & raspberries, their Mexican blend shredded cheese (hello! $2 a pound? Yes, please!), and a few other things. We spent $280 of our $500 budget for March. I knew going in that I’ll only need to buy necessities like milk and produce for the entire month since I’ve created an amazing stockpile the past two months. Woohoo! Now to organize and inventory our freezers and fridges and plan out a month of meal ideas!
Thanks again for your awesome Costco tips! I learned so much and now feel extra savvy going in there. 🙂
Wow, way to go!!! That will definitely last you a long time as long as you shop your fridge, freezer and pantry the rest of the month for meals, like you said. Woohoo!!! Go you 😉