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.)
– 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
– 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:
- 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.
- 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?