Whole Living Gal

Costco on a Budget

One of the biggest changes to our budget is setting a certain amount aside for purchases at Costco.

If you’ve never been to Costco, this won’t make sense to you, but if you have, you know the lure of their delicious samples, giant blocks of cheese and HD TVs. But every good deal adds up quickly and I found we couldn’t get out of there spending less than multiples of $100.

So, we set a budget for the food portion of Costco (other purchases like baby wipes, toiletries or motor oil come out of other parts of our budget).

Every two weeks: $50

The first time I walked out of Costco spending this little, I think I had 4 items in my cart and it all felt so wrong. But I’m in a rhythm now. I buy what I need and keep a running list of items I want to purchase on weeks when my “needed” items list is shorter and I have extra to spend.

It’s been a good exercise in discipline, and it keeps my pantry and fridge from becoming over-crowded, too. It also makes me use what I have rather than simply stocking up on all kinds of things that I want (or just want to have on hand). I’m surprised how much natural and even organic items are available at Costco, so I really need to keep a reign on the budget so I’m not buying 4 lbs of quinoa the same week I buy 10 lbs of brown rice.

Anyone else have a Costco or Sam’s Club budget? Has it been helpful to you?


I’m writing about what we’re learning about food budgeting as part of a project of other bloggers who are doing the same. If this topic interests you – eating well on a budget – then check out what these other bloggers are writing about.

Two Eggs Over Easy


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  1. Oh, Costco, that black hole of warehouse shopping deals!

    I, too, have had to set a Costco budget. I try to only shop there once a month. Additionally, I make a very specific list, and I make sure I have coupons. I use Costco primarily to buy things to pack in my girls’ lunches. Hence for my own budget project, learning to bake from scratch. Another thing I find more cost effective: buying big bags of snacks (i.e. tortilla chips or Cheez-its) and using baggies to pack them in lunches. Finally, I tend toward buying frozen foods or dry goods, stuff that stores well. I don’t buy produce at Costco, for example. Unless I’m throwing a party and need that much guacamole dip. 😉

    It really does help, especially when it comes to using what I have to hand instead of having an overwhelming amount of stuff to choose from.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 4 months ago
  2. * katy says:

    I don’t have a budget at Costco, but I need one! We can’t get out of there for under $300–but you’re right that not all of this is for food. We try to only go once every month or even every 2 months. Maybe that’s ok? I’ve been deliberately not going to see if I can find better deals at other places and so far been disappointed. Next week, we’re heading down to the Waterfront! eep!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 4 months ago

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