Updated Costco/Winco Price List

by Emily from Frugal Living NW on November 19, 2010

photo credit

With Thanksgiving a week away and Christmas quickly on its heels, many of you are gearing up to entertain friends and family in your home. Whether you are hosting overnight guests or throwing a big holiday bash or cranking out dozens of cookies, one thing is certain : It’s time to stock up on flour and sugar and spices and toilet paper. Ok, so the last item on the list might not fill you with warm holiday spirit, but who wants to run out of TP with a houseful of guests?!

When feeding or hosting a big group, it can be so tempting to run to Costco and pile your super-sized cart with super-sized boxes of supplies. At least that’s how I operated in my pre-couponing days. It killed our grocery budget for the month, but I just figured a blown budget went hand-in-hand with the holiday season.

When you know better, you do better. These days it literally pays to shop smarter. In my opinion, holiday grocery sales combined with holiday coupons is couponing at its absolute best. My heart skips a beat during the months of November and December when I stock my pantry with cooking supplies and baking ingredients.

My beloved Costco is still a great option for those ingredients you need to buy in large quantities and/or the ones that are hard to match with coupons. If sticking to a budget and shopping at Costco can’t co-exist in your world, try some of our readers’ suggestions : shop without a cart, send a friend or family member with your money & list, or buy a Costco gift card (no membership required) to pay for your purchases.

I updated the Costco/Winco price comparison list I posted about 6 months ago. Most prices had changed +/- .10-$1 at both stores. I have also added many of the popular holiday sale items, such as brown sugar and chicken broth, so you’ll know if buying that bag of C&H is cheaper at Costco or Safeway.

Print the price list off and stick it in your purse or coupon box; hopefully this will save you some running around during this busy time of year. As these great grocery sales keep rolling in, you can whip out your list and shop the best deals with Costconfidence.

Costco (and Winco) Prices for the Portland-Metro area as of 11/11/10:

Almonds, whole (3 lb.) – $9.79 ($3.58/lb. bulk)
Baby Wipes – $18.99/900 ($6.50/240)
Bananas – .44/lb. (.46/lb.)
Batteries, 48 count (AAA) – $12.99 (AA) – $10.99 (varies)
Broth, organic chicken (6- 32 oz.) – $9.79 ($1.88/each)
Chai Tea Concentrate (Oregon, 3- 32 oz.) – $7.65 ($4.28/each)
Chocolate Chips (10 lbs.) – $16.99 ($1.78/12 oz. Guittard)
Cinnamon (Saigon, 10.7 oz.) – $2.69 ($2.58/4 oz.)
Coffee (Kirkland, 2 lb.) – $9.99 (Starbucks, $6.88/12 oz.)
Contact Solution (3 bottles) – $8.69 ($3.47/bottle)
Cucumbers, English (3) – $3.29 (.98/each)
Flour, unbleached (2 10 lb. bags) – $6.75 ($4.18/10 lb.)
Greens
- Baby Spinach, organic (1 lb.) – $3.79
($2.78/5 oz.)
– Spring Mix, organic (1 lb.) – $3.99 ($4.98, Dole non-organic)
Green Beans, organic frozen (5 lbs.) – $5.45 (no organic options)
Half & Half (Darigold, 1/2 gallon) – $2.99 ($3.68)
Hummus (30 oz.) – $4.85 ($2.88/14 oz.)
Raisins, organic (2 lb.) – $6.99 (no organic options)
Tomatoes, Grape – $6.29/2 lbs. (.98/10 oz.)
Tortillas, flour (40) – $4.85 (40 uncooked) – $4.99 ($6.39)
Mac ‘n Cheese, organic (Annie’s, 15 boxes) – $12.89 ($1.18/box)
Mozzarella cheese (2 lb.) – $4.79 ($7.20)
Odwalla Superfood Smoothies (2, 32 oz. each) – $5.75 ($8.98/64 oz.)
Olive Oil – $17.89/5 liters or $17.99/4 liters ($15.11/2 liters)
Paper Towels – $14.99/12 large ($7.98/8 regular)
Peanut Butter, all-natural (Adam’s, 80 oz.) – $6.85 ($3.44/26 oz.)
Pecans (2 lb.) – $10.59 ($8.38/lb. bulk)
Pineapple – $2.99/each ($3.78)
Steel Cut Oats, organic (Bob’s Red Mill, 72 oz.) $4.75
Sweeteners
- Agave Nectar, organic (2  23.5 oz. each) $7.69
($2.68/11.75 oz.)
– Honey (6 lb.) – $13.89 ($3.23/lb. bulk or $11.69/4 lb.)
-
Maple Syrup (100%, 32 oz.) – $13.79 ($17.71)
– Brown Sugar (C&H, 4 lb.) – $3.35 ($1.36 generic-$1.78 C&H/2 lb.)
– Powdered Sugar (C&H, 4 lb.) $3.35 ($1.36 generic-$1.78 C&H/2 lb.)
– White Sugar (C&H, 10 lb.) – $6.39 ($4.48 generic-$7.12 C&H)
Toilet Paper (Kirkland 36 rolls, 425 sheets/roll) – $17.99 (Quilted Northern 24 rolls, 200 sheets/roll $13.98)
Tortilla Chips (3 lbs.) – $3.39 ($1.98/22 oz.)
Quinoa, organic (4 lb.) – $9.89 ($3.52/lb. bulk)
Vanilla, pure extract (16 oz.) – $6.79 ($3.98/2 oz.)
Yeast, active (32 oz.) – $3.89 ($3.09/16 oz.)

This is by no means a comprehensive list; many other dry goods such as spices, dried fruit, canned, and organic items are also good deals if you select and compare sizes & prices carefully.

My two current favorite Costco finds:

  1. Uncooked Tortillas. Some readers suggested these so the last time I was at Costco I searched high and low until I found them tucked in the refrigerated cheese section. They come uncooked in two packs of twenty. You can store them in the fridge or freezer, cooking as needed. Forty flour tortillas for $4.99 is not a bad price. I am somewhat of a tortilla snob; I usually make my own from scratch. It’s a bit labor intensive, though, so I was open to new ideas. Each tortilla takes 1 minute to cook, and they are surprisingly tasty. My tortilla-making days might be over.
  2. Unbleached flour. When I had looked for flour in the past, all I could find were those huge restaurant-sized bags of bleached flour. Costco is currently carrying Eagle Mills unbleached flour which is actually a blend of white and ultragrain flours, with 9 grams of whole grain per serving. It’s kind of a cross between unbleached and whole wheat pastry flour. At $6.75/20 lbs, it’s a great deal on a great product.

Leave a comment! Any good Costco or Winco finds? Any big holiday plans? Anyone else get excited about flour?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachael February 14, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thanks for the heads up! I know this post is over 2 years old, but I was looking for an approximate price for Costco flour. I’m running very low while working on a sourdough starter, and that’s a dangerous, dangerous thing! Heading out to indulge my gluten desires right now, thanks to you. :)

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Adventures in Dressmaking November 24, 2012 at 7:44 am

This is super cool and helpful!! My husband and I are always debating getting a Costco membership (or buying ourselves gift cards and using them!) but Winco is sooooooo affordable for so many things. But would love to be able to buy a gift card for either with our points-earning credit card and use it.

Will look through your blog for something similar for 2012… would be cool if you did one comparing price per pound, too, since Costco’s sizes are different. Awesome list, love it!!

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Andrea March 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

The reasons why I use costco: quality in quantity. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Spinach, Cheese, Pasta, shoes, corn chips, gas, windshield wipers, motor oil. Just to name a few. I do use Winco for some other things, for example, I like the peanut butter better (Adams) and the almond butter(fresh ground). I also like some bulk food items better than the name brands, like the cherios and the evaporated cane juice. But in general Costco has a better quality product. I will not use Winco’s pasta. It falls apart too easily and doesn’t taste great either. I also love that Costco uses as many of the local businesses as possible. Here in Utah we have Colossimo’s sausages(Amazing) and there is whole wheat flour from a local mill, just to name a couple. I am so glad to have found a place tnat does a comparison like this. I wish I’d found it months ago. Thank You!

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pat November 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I have a question — when I buy a gift card for Costco do I have to have a Costco card? Does the recipient have to have a costco card to use the gift card? I use food stamps so costco card doesn’t do me any good but my friend would love a gift card but she has a hard time justifying the cost.

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Jenifer November 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm

No, the recipient does not have to have a Costco card to use a gift card, which is nice (and smart!) of them to allow. :)

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Andrea March 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I just thought that pat might like to know that costco now accepts food stamps.

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Tonya November 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

LOVE the flour!!! We discovered it recently, too. I was so excited to have good, unbleached flour available in large quantities – we use alot of flour b/c our family of 5 cooks and bakes often. I do not buy bleached flour, and have been trying to move my family onto better flour rather than just unbleached flour. When we found this flour at Costco, I decided to give it a try, and am soooo glad I did! I works 1:1 in recipes, cooks, bakes beautifully = no guessing what mixture of flours will work in the recipe I’m making = one happy mama!! My family doesn’t even know I’m not using “regular” flour = woohoo!!

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kalin November 20, 2010 at 7:35 am

at costco we get their quinoa (it’s i think 4 lbs for about 10 bucks?) and brown basmati rice (10 lbs for about 9 bucks?)
winco-save old spice bottles and buy spices there in bulk-they’re crazy cheap then!

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charolyn November 20, 2010 at 11:36 am

I always buy my spices in bulk-it only costs a few cents. Plus I don’t bake a lot so a whole bottle could take me 10 years (or more) to use up-this way I can get the amount I can use in a reasonable amount of time.

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Janelle November 20, 2010 at 1:01 am

Emily, can you tell me what kind of oil they use in the tortillias? I’ve had a hard time finding tortillias made with expeller pressed or just plain oils, instead of partially-hydrogenated or interasterafied oils. My best luck has been New Seasons or Trader Joe’s, where I can get either more locally made, or TJ brand that has regular, unprocessed oils.

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Emily November 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

Sure! Here’s the ingredient list : wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt, sugar.

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emmetts November 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

glad to see that there is no costco bashing going on here like some other site. :)

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Christi November 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

We are on a gluten/wheat free diet b/c of Celiac Disease in our family and there are some items that I get at Costco to help SAVE our budget on some specialty items:

Food should Taste Good Multi-grain chips (gluten free), Craisins, Chicken/beef broth base (gfree), Pirates Booty (gfree), Boulder Canyon rice& bean chipotle chips (gfree) string cheese, Lara bars (gfree price can be beat, but it’s always pretty close), Kirkland frozen stir fry veggie mix, and of course Kirkland dog food .

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Barb November 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Not groceries but my 15 yo daughter is nuts about Harry Potter. She went to the midnight showing of the new movie last night. Now the whole house is tired!! Anyway, Costco has a package of the first 6 Harry Potter movies for $36.99 (I think, if it’s not that exactly, it was close). Plus there’s a peelie on the front for either $5 or $7.50 off a movie ticket. Problem was I couldn’t act too interested in it since she was with me. I’m going back this weekend to pick it up for Christmas. I think 6 movies for this price is an excellent deal.

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charolyn November 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I haven’t been to Costco for a few years-but I back then I always found their prices on DVD’s, VCR’s were the best by quite a bit.

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Barb November 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Back from Costco – The Harry Potter set is $32.99. The peelie says “two admission ticket certificates each up to $7.50 off Harry Potter Deathly Hallows” expires 12/5/10

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Christy November 19, 2010 at 10:31 am

I LOVE costco tortillas. As soon as I had them I knew there was no going back. They are amazing.

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Tracy November 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thanks for the tip on the Costco flour! I have been buying 2 different kinds and blending the wheat with white to make pizza, breads, etc. with a little more fiber power, but this is a very good price and more convenient! Love, love, love the uncooked tortillas. Nothing beats my MIL’s homemade, but this is the best we can get in our house!

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molomatic November 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

Thanks for this list! My CostCo membership renewal just came in the mail and I’m trying to decide if I want to renew. This list is really going to help me decide!

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