Is Costco Really Cheaper? A Comparison

M is for Money did a detailed comparison of her purchases at Costco versus the same or similar purchases at Trader Joe’s, Target and Ralph’s Supermarket.

Her conclusion:

Most items were a cost savings from Costco with the exception of the tortellini, which at regular price are more expensive than the ones you can get from Trader Joes. Also, grapes occasionally go on sale at Ralph’s for $1 per pound, which would be cheaper than Costco. On the whole, Costco saves you around 30% compared to buying the same item, same quantity elsewhere. While most of the clothing, household and personal care items were a definite savings, you have to be a more careful shopper when it comes to the food. Some food items were a huge savings, like those croissants I love, but others were a close call. Also, spoilage is a concern when you buy food in bulk. I used to buy cheese at Costco, where the per pound price is cheap, but it would always go bad before we finished it. If you are throwing it away, it doesn’t matter how much you saved.

Another case some people would make is that we just can’t control ourselves and we end up buying a lot of extra off-the-list stuff at Costco when we go temporarily insane! Some of us take that savings and plunk it right down on lobster rolls or some other weird but exciting thing we’d never buy at the grocery store.


One response to “Is Costco Really Cheaper? A Comparison

  1. Very true. Thank you for your blog. I love Costco or shall I say I love good food at good prices 🙂

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