Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Monthly Grocery Shopping: A Trip to Costco...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monthly Grocery Shopping: A Trip to Costco...

A Monthly Trip to Costco...

*If you do not agree with my purchases, that is fine by me, but please be kind in the comments. I am simply sharing what works for my family.


Before I get into today's post, I wanted to thank you all for your encouraging comments this week on Monday's post. They have meant so much to me. Quite a few of you talked about not letting someone else steal your joy and that touched my heart. It was such a great reminder to me to not let it get to me and to just keep on. Thank you so much everyone. You are amazing and I am blessed to have you as readers. I know we live in different parts of the world, have different beliefs, and backgrounds, but I am thankful we can come together to encourage and uplift one another. You guys and gals are awesome! 

Onto today's post...

This past weekend, the kids and I ventured out for our monthly Costco trip. This time I brought the red heads, so I would have a few helping hands. They were fast with loading the conveyor belt, hence the blurred faces in the picture. They couldn't stand still for a photo op (let's be honest, they rarely stand still) :)

This month we didn't need to buy a bunch of pantry staples, since I stocked up a lot last month, when I took advantage of some great sales. This month we bought the following from Costco:

A Trip to Costco...  Blissful & Domestic

Grocery Items...

1 bag of tortilla chips
1 two pack of Cheddar shredded cheese
1 bag of Mozzarella shredded cheese
Go-Gurt
Yoplait yogurts
string cheese
2 bunches of bananas
two small watermelons
2 boxes of granola bars
American Singles (cheese slices)
whipping cream
cherry tomatoes
cherries
1 bag of spinach
1 box of butter lettuce -yum!-
dried apricots
2 cases of milk (4 milk jugs total)
1 bag of pretzel rolls

Total $133.56

Now I will share a little bit on how we will stretch these items throughout the month. 

Tortilla Chips- These are such a great buy! This huge bag of chips is under $4. These last us all month long. We love to have nachos for dinner or lunch, using these chips. The hubbs also loves to snack on chips and salsa throughout the month. These make a quick, inexpensive snack and meal addition for the whole family.

Shredded Cheese- I was completely out of Shredded Cheese, so this was a must for my shopping trip this month. I have debated between buying the blocks and shredding them myself, but it is cheaper and less time consuming to buy the pre-shredded cheese. I buy the Cheddar shredded cheese in the two packs from Costco. One pack will go into my fridge to use throughout the month and the other one will go into my freezer. These two packs cost around $15, but will last me two months. That means I only pay $7.50/ month for cheese. That is quite a deal! With the mozzarella cheese, it comes in a big single bag. I separate it into 4 cup portions and freeze them. I usually get four 4 cup portioned bags.

A Trip to Costco...  Blissful & Domestic

Yogurt- Now onto the yogurts. If you are not a fan of Go-Gurts, that is ok with me, don't buy them. I however love them and they are made with no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup (it says so on the box ::insert smiley face::). My kids love these for a snack! I buy the Yoplait yogurts as well, since they are a family favorite. Both of these boxes of yogurts will last us the entire month. We usually go through the Yoplait yogurts first and then move onto the Go-Gurts.

String Cheese- String cheese is a must in our house. I buy it in the mega pack from Costco, so then we have a month supply. The cheese usually only last for about three weeks. The last week of the month, we go without string cheese.

Fruit and Veggies- I always like getting fruit and vegetables at Costco. Their produce is always great quality and if you ever buy something, get it home, and it was not the greatest quality, you can bring it back. I've only had to do this once. Cherries were only $2.99/lb this past weekend. I was very excited they were finally under $3. We have been devouring those bad boys:) This is a great alternative if you do not have a Bountiful Baskets near you or are not able to order.

American Cheese Singles- I don't always buy these, but money is a bit tight this month, so I got these as an alternative to our normal sliced cheese. This box was on sale for under $7 and will last for 3 months in our fridge. I always look at the price and how far it will stretch. This was a great buy. This means we pay $2.33/month for sliced cheese. Whatever brand of cheese you buy, see how far it will stretch for your family. Figuring out the math always works for me in knowing if it really is a good deal or not.

Dried Apricots- Yum is all I have to say! We all love these as a yummy snack. Hubby eats these by the handful and they are a crowd pleaser all around. I buy all of our dried fruit at Costco. So much cheaper!

2 cases of Milk- Two cases of milk will give me four milk jugs. I bought each case of milk for $5.85. That makes each jug $2.92. This is amazing, since milk prices continue to rise way above $3.00. Any penny saved is great in my book! I put all four milk jugs in my freezer, since I still had 1 1/2 milk jugs still in my fridge from last month.

1 Bag of Pretzel Rolls- Have you tried these? They are amazing and are something I do not know how to make. I buy one bag each month as a special treat. I divide it into two bags when we get home. One bag is left on the counter to add to meals and the other is put in the freezer for later. This enables us to eat all the rolls before they go bad. Nothing stinks more than buying bread and having it go bad. That royally bites!

 photo ACostcoTrip1_zps9e7691d7.jpg

Granola Bars- I love to make these homemade, but sometimes it is hard to keep up with the demand in my house. Hubby can eat these 6 at a time. I have no clue where he puts it. He eats like a horse. Heaven help me when Keagan is going through his teenage growth spurts. I have no clue how I will feed him, if he eats like his dad. This month I bought two boxes of granola bars. One box goes into our food storage for next month and the other one goes in our pantry to eat this month. Each box was $8.99, making each bar only 14 cents. Not too bad!

So there you have it....the break down to our Costco trip this month. So far I do not have a big shopping trip planned this month. My Mom and Dad let me raid their fridge and freezer last week (they were getting rid of a few things and donated them to us), plus I hit some awesome sales last month, so our food pantry is quite stocked. I'll probably plan the rest of my shopping trip later in the month when supplies dwindle. I'll be sure to share afterwards:)

What sales are you hitting this week? How do you stock up and shop smart at Costco?

Find more tips on saving at Costco HERE 

See more monthly shopping trips HERE

See how to cut your grocery budget on half HERE

See how to have fresh produce all month long HERE

XO Danielle

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45 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your shopping trip to Costco. Do you ever buy your meat there? I love to stock up on the packages on chicken breast and chicken cutlets because they are normally $1-$2 cheaper per pound than our grocery store. (Even on sale! ).... we also stock up on beverages unless the grocery store has a great deal (water, pepsi, coffee).... Our box of trash bags we bought last June is still being used! It seems like it will never end.

    Costco can definitely be a a money saver if you know what to look for and know the prices of the regular grocery store.

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    1. Hi there! I love to get my chicken there. Those bags of chicken are usually a good buy. I don't buy any other meat there, since it hasn't fit into my budget. I usually wait till I can get ground turkey or turkey sausage at Smith's or Winco for under $2/lb. I stock up when it gets that low. This allows me to only have to buy meat every few months.

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  2. LUV the string cheese - we don't have a Costco so we get ours at sams. but for $2 more than at the grocery store you get double the amount! cherries - I will have to check them out I was craving some so bad two wks ago I spent $5# on them, but they were worth it, lol! I didn't know that about GoGurts - that's awesome.

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    1. So true about the cheese! If I hadn't seen the cheeries for $2.99/lb I was about to get them for the $5. I have been craving them all summer! haha!

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  3. Looks like a great Costco trip to me! Question about freezing milk:: does it taste 'frozen' after you thaw it out? We only have 2 kids, but they love their milk and I feel like I make milk trips to the store twice a week! We also love to buy the Kirklands Greek Yogurt...it's two full size containers for like $6 (?). It lasts us about 3 weeks and is perfect for our smoothies!

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    1. Freezing milk is easy and it doesn't change the taste. We thaw our milk out overnight in the sink. If you give your milk a good shake before pouring, then you shouldn't have a taste difference. I only notice a difference when I forget to give it that shake before pouring.

      I will be honest, I have never tried greek yogurt. Does it have a sour taste?

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    2. This is good to know, I have never tried it. We live in a state that regulates the milk prices, but live just over the border from a state that doesn't, this could be a good way to stock up and save money.

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    3. Greek yogurt is not as sweet and it's a thicker consistency also. Another thing about GoGurts - freeze them! Yum! Sam's club here had samples and they are great for a hot day.

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  4. So I am new here.....kind of. I have a family of 6 and as of right now we receive food assistance. I meal plan and use coupons but somewhere I am failing because it seems like the last week or 2 we are struggling to get essentials and food we need. I need help! I don't know what else to do. I have tried shopping for the month, week, every couple weeks and still.....Any tips, helpful hints, ANYTHING would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. Mama P send me an email and we can talk some more, but I have a few suggestions.... are you making a list, menu planning, and sticking to the list when you shop? That will really help keep you on track when shopping. Also when you are buying foods are your buying generic? That will save a lot when shopping. Shoot me an email and we can talk some more.

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    2. MamaP, I volunteer at two places that give food assistance in my area. If you are only getting SNAP, try these:

      TEFAP, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, run by the federal government in conjunction with the states. There are income guidelines. You never know what you will get. Sometimes it is great, sometimes just a little, but anything helps. Unfortunately, the failure of Congress to pass the Farm Bill has negatively affected what is available through this program.

      Private food pantries, not connected to the government. They all have different rules. The one I volunteer with is extremely liberal. We only ask if they live in out county. Period. No other questions. Our founder says Jesus said to feed the hungry and he didn't say anything about asking them a lot of questions.

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  5. Great deals, Danielle! I used to have a Costco membership- you are tempting me to renew it again. :)
    I love these posts about your grocery shopping and trips. Thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. haha! Hopefully a good temptation. You should see if you have other family or friends who want a membership. Then you could go in on a membership together and it won't cost so much:) I use to do that with my sisinlaws. It was great!

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  6. We love getting the string cheese and go gurts as well. We also buy our butter (4 pounds for around $7), cream cheese, sour cream, dried mangoes, veggie chips, microwave popcorn. When we are shopping that day I will usually buy a rotisserie chicken, because they are yummy and under $5 for a whole already cooked chicken!

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    1. Great idea about the chicken! Makes for an easy dinner that night as well:) Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Costco pretzel rolls are ridiiiiiiiiiiiiculously good. I buy groceries for just myself (why I even have a Costco membership is still a mystery haha) and I buy those pretzel rolls at least every third trip. They freeze very well!

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    1. They seriously are! Oh man I could eat a bag full! AMAZING! :) I am glad I am not the only one obsessed :)

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  8. Hello, I was wondering if your monthly food budget increased? I remember an original grocery post where you mentioned yogurt cups were a special treat? If so, what items made it back or are new to your list? Thank you!!

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    1. So true! They use to not fit into my grocery budget, but every month or so I am able to work them in. This month, since we didn't have to buy meat or anything like that, I was able to do yogurt cups. Our grocery budget has increased from $400 to $450. We increased our food budget to go with rising food prices.

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  9. Just did a big Costco run. We have my nephew and his Dad for 3 weeks this month- so a must! We usually stock up on lunch stuff for my husband which is way cheaper than the grocery store even with a sale. This time we added lots of extra fruit for lunches in the parks and stuff like big tubs of fresh pasta that will feed us all at least twice.
    Also, I had wanted to add that as far as your issues with critical people, I can honestly admit that as a recovering perfectionist I can assure you that these people are hardest on themselves as they allow no room to be human at all. It is a miserable way to live and often results in having no close friends as no one can stand the negativity that surrounds a person like that. Just know that you being the happy and productive person you are will always drive some negative nellies nuts!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them. Also have fun with your family being in town. Eat yummy food:)

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  10. I love string cheese! We use it to make stuffed crust pizza and it is so yummy!

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    1. OMG! I totally forgot about doing that! I haven't done it in years! Such a great idea! I need to do that this weekend. Stuff crust was always my favorite growing up. Thanks for the reminder:)

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  11. Danielle: Do your kids ever eat the gogurt frozen? They make a super yummy treat. My oldest loved them that way. My youngest eats a cup of yogurt every night with dinner, and won't touch the gogurts. Funny how kids can be so different. I am asking the hubs for a Costco membership for my birthday this year, so I'm looking forward to joining the Costco cheap shoppers club. You can totally do Costco on a budget - - as your blog testifies! Have a great day!

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    1. That will be such a great birthday gift!! I haven't frozen them in a long time. I think I will stash some in the freezer right now:) Thank for the idea!

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  12. I buy the Naked brand of smoothies. They're so much cheaper buying them in bulk than anywhere else. I also buy Lays Baked potoato chips in bulk at Costco if they are on sale. There's SOOOOOOOO many great deals if you go at the right time.

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    1. Oh those are soooo good! You are so right! Shopping smart and planning is key:)

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  13. I love hearing about your trip to Costco, makes me wish we had one around when I live. We do have a Sam's club which is similar just associated with Walmart, but it's about 50 miles away :( so it would probably be a once a month shopping trip for me. I just wanted to also say that I really wish we went through only 4 gallons a milk a month. We go through milk quickly with three little boys and get about 4 gallons every 2 weeks or so, and ours cost around $4.50 a gallon here :( I don't know why milk is so expesive here, (PA.)

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  14. I love how you broke down the price per item to a monthly cost. I've never thought about my grocery expenses that way, but I also don't shop just once a month either.

    I've heard good things about the pretzel rolls, but still haven't tried them. In Hawaii, where I live, Costco is not always the cheapest for produce, so I'm selective in what I buy in that department. Sometimes I think that everything is cheaper there, but that's a reminder to always double check. Prices here are quite high, though, so for many of us, Costco is our best bet. A gallon of milk at our Costco is over $4, which is better than the $6+ you'd pay in the grocery store.

    I wish they had some healthier yogurt varieties. I do buy Go-gurt for my kids, since it's the "natural" variety and not too high in sugar per tube, but I no longer buy the Yoplait cups. They have so much sugar that they're like a dessert! The Greek yogurt offerings are better, but they can approach $1 each, and that's a bit much for me. Thanks for sharing your list!

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    1. Absolutely! Thank you for everything you shared as well. I didn't realize my milk was so cheap here Henderson. Maybe I shouldn't be complaining about it being over $3 haha! I am glad you are able to get it a bit cheaper at Costco though.

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  15. Funny thing on Go-Gurts. My kiddo DID NOT like yogurt in a tube when he tried them. Then I got a great deal on some a few months later and bought them and stuck them in the freezer. Surprise! Now he LOVES them, and thinks he is getting a treat like ice cream when I pull them out.

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  16. We don't have Costco here, but if we did, I'd buy a membership in a heartbeat because I like the employee friendly business philosophy of the owner.

    What we have for a warehouse club is Sam's and I buy a lot of things there. Like you, I like to get the giant bag of tortilla chips. I think they are the best and the cheapest. And the cherry tomatoes and cups of yogurt.

    Other things that I always get from there are jugs of olive oil, tubs of laundry detergent, lean ground beef, frozen precooked angus beef patties, salmon burgers, spices and seasonings, nuts, Guatemalan coffee beans, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, my husband's beer, canned and fresh mushrooms, sugar snap peas, canned chicken and tuna, trash bags, among other things. I always check the produce while there.

    And Danielle, as for last week's fracas, there is nothing you can say or do that someone won't disagree with.

    We are a family of two, but for entertaining, we get some wonderful things there that are too much for just us.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and being so kind. I haven't gotten the olive oil from Costco yet. I just recently started using it more. I think I will have to look into buying it in bulk:)

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  17. Is dried fruit in Costco cheaper than in Winco? I usually buy all mine in Winco. And I price-match all of our milk with Rancho when they have it for $2.39. $2.92 is still pretty good for a regular price.

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  18. Timely post…. actually heading to costco today! Thanks for the tips!

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  19. Hi Danielle! First, let me say how refreshing it is to read a blog by someone who is so transparent, in her personal life and with frugal living tips! So thank you. I have one question: you mention that it's cheaper to buy the shredded cheese. If so, that is definitely the way to go. But I've always heard that it's ridiculously cheaper to buy the blocks and shred them yourself. So which is right? We are a family of 2 (my husband is a powerlifter, though, and by my estimation eats the same as 2 "regular" men - about 4000+ calories/day), about to expand to include up to 3 foster kiddos, with a grocery budget of $250. So any little savings helps! We just joined Costco, and the nearest store is 45 minutes away (as is everything else), so our trips will be once a month as well. Thank you again and keep these posts coming!

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  20. I split my Costco grocery bill with my parents and in turn, I cook dinner for everyone (my girlies, hubs, parents, and all). I usually buy the big block of red meat and do my own cuts (flank steaks, steak tips, stew cuts, etc...), but I'm also thinking about buying a meat grinder attachment to my mixer to make my own ground beef for things like taco night. It's just so expensive to buy meat nowadays, but sometimes the smell of a steak sizzling in your pan is hard to resist. Costco also had these amazing chef knives (set of 2) for around $12 and they cut very nicely.

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    1. Once you start grinding your own meat for burgers you will never want anything else! I've also done it in my Ninja food chopper with good results.

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  21. I buy the big bags of frozen chicken and break them down into 5-6 smaller packs for individual meals. I also love their Normandy and organic mixed veggies from the freezer section. You can't best those prices, and they make great sides with a bit of butter and garlic salt. We usually buy one freezer food each visit, just to have a quick bite on hand. They have many unhealthy choices, but some of the better ones that we like are the bean and cheese burritos, chicken sandwiches, and organic lasagna. I am so happy Costco has coupons now. They make good deals even better, and I stock up when I can get those deals on our everyday staples!

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  22. I wish I had a costco in my area, you got fantastic deals! I would love for you to share a post on my Meet Up Monday Blog Party!

    http://jennymaire.blogspot.com/

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  23. I am just getting into the Costco trip stuff. For a while my family did not need bulk. We do have three kids but my oldest is only 6, so total they eat about the amount of 1.5 grown adults. But I can see it slowly changing. We go through boxes of things in one sitting, I see many trips to Costco in my future. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing at Friday Favorites!

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  24. We love shopping at Costco; we do a monthly trip like you. As a family of 7, buying things in bulk there has helped our budget, and helped my time at home.

    Thanks for sharing your tips at Fabulously Frugal Thursday. I look forward to learning more tips about Costco!

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  25. Love those Costco pretzel rolls! And, I didn't know Gogurts have no high fructose corn syrup- bonus! We bought those too this week, mainly because they were on sale. Thanks for sharing with Pin Your Friday Favorite!

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  26. This is my second time in your blog and i love love love your grocery trips. digging your blog for more grocery entry. I'm such a dork. what can I say grocery store is one of my happy place and reading your saving tips even if I'm living thousands of miles from where you are inspire me to stretch my money more in food.

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