Many people questioned renewing their Costco membership when they announced that they were raising their membership fees. Although it was only a 9% hike, Executive members now pay $120 a year, while Gold Star members pay $60 a year. Despite the minimal increase in the annual fee, Costco shoppers reap huge savings when they buy items in bulk. It is great for large families and those looking to stretch their grocery budget. While the savings are attractive, quality produce and products provide another significant benefit. Healthy Costco foods are good for both your well-being and your wallet.
Buying Costco Foods in Bulk
Getting healthy Costco foods in bulk can help stretch your grocery budget when things get tight. For example, I usually set aside $350 per month to spend on food. This includes eating out in addition to weekly groceries from Costco and other supermarkets. A family of four will likely have a monthly food budget closer to $1000. The great part about buying food in bulk is that you get a better price than when you buy the same item individually.
Products with Long Shelf Lives
Many who purchase items in bulk from Costco stock up on paper products and food items with a long shelf life. For example, paper products, dry goods, and condiments are a few items where you can receive huge savings by buying in bulk. Even if you don’t use these items right away, they can always be used down the road when you need them.
Healthy Foods that Can Be Stored
Shopping for lean healthy meats at Costco can provide huge savings to a family of four as well. Purchasing healthy Costco foods such as lean chicken breasts, ground beef, beans, and brown rice in bulk can provide healthy nutrition and savings.
Purchasing many pounds of meat at once can net you huge savings. Although they come in large packages, you can divide the meat into smaller Ziploc bags, and simply freeze them until a later date. Even when shopping at grocery stores, one of the tricks I do is purchase items when they are on sale. One week, chicken might be on sale for $1.99/lb while the next week it is $2.99/lb. Organizing purchases so you take advantage of them during sales is the best way to optimize your monthly grocery budget.
Costco’s Reputation with Its Customers
Costco has a good reputation among shoppers. This is partly because of the quality of their products, but it is also due to their excellent customer service and robust returns policy. So, if you’re shopping for organic food at Costco, there aren’t many downsides. Even if you come across a bad apple, chances are good they’ll accept returns.
Buying healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, and buying healthy Costco foods doesn’t have to cost a lot either. When shopping for groceries, the keys are to buy in bulk when available and stock up during sales. Finally, by planning your purchases ahead of time with a list, you can avoid unneeded items. Eating healthy and sticking to your budget doesn’t have to be hard.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.