The majority of my friends are young, married couples, with no plans of children in the near future. When I recommend shopping at Costco, they never seem convinced that the right approach to Costco could actually save them money. I mean, isn’t Costco for those people with six kids?
Starting off with the membership. I recommend the Executive Membership above all else. Don’t let the $100 price tag frighten you. For most couples, this price will pay for itself through the free towing benefit it brings. When I checked our auto insurance rates, I realized I was paying about $9 a month for towing – or $90 a year for coverage. Now the executive membership allows me to have free towing, and I was able to get rid of that charge on my auto insurance.
With the executive membership, I also receive 2% cash back on store purchases. Even if I spent just $1500 a year (or a little more than $100 a month) on essential groceries, I would still get back $30. Combine that with the free towing, and I am ahead of the game.
Still hesitant about spending $100 a year for the membership? Ask for it for a gift for the next birthday or holiday.
So how will Costco help you save on your groceries?
I hear many families of two or three say that they would just waste the food or that they could not possibly eat that much food. This is where it is wise to spread out your bulk purchases and to utilize your freezer best as possible. There is also nothing wrong with splitting food with another couple. Here are some tips to shopping at Costco without breaking the bank.
First off, stop buying processed foods. No matter where you shop or how many coupons you use, the easiest way to cut your grocery bill in half (if not more) is to give up processed foods. If it comes in a box, chances are you can make the same version for a lot cheaper. Costco has a lot of boxed foods and processed foods. Stay away if you want to save money (except in the case where there is a Costco coupon that will make the purchase cheaper than making it, such as when they have a deal on Prego sauce).
Buy ingredients and then turn those ingredients into meals, sides, and snacks. There are so many easy and time saving recipes online for breads, brownies, cookies, muffins, pizza dough, etc. You will be surprised how much you can make yourself without feeling tied down to the kitchen.
Secondly, spread out your bulk purchases. It is great to start stocking your kitchen with bulk rice, beans, meat, and more. However, there is no need to buy this all in one month. Spread out your purchases and utilize your freezer for bulk meat, cheese, and bread purchases. Even fresh produce can be frozen for a later date.
Thirdly, when it comes to fresh produce at Costco, you just have to be smart on how you store and eat your bulk produce purchases. Potatoes and onions will last a good month or two. Apples and oranges can last 2-3 weeks if kept in a cool environment. Buy a little amount of produce and eat it often. There is no reason to buy every variety of fruit and fresh vegetable for sale that week. Instead, one week pick apples, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. Next week switch it up with oranges, avocados, spinach, and bell peppers. This can help cut down on overbuying and potential food waste.
How big is your family? How do you use Costco or a similar store to save money?
Image Source: benzinga.com