How will I save money at Costco? We have eight things you’ll save money on at Champaign’s newest retailer
As we near the opening of the Costco in Champaign — expected later this month — a question we’re hearing often is, “But is it cheaper?” If you’re new to buying in bulk, you may be hesitant to get a membership to somewhere new to do your shopping. But the reality is, aside from buying mass amounts of toilet paper (which by the way, is not one of the things on our list for a super savings at Costco), there’s a whole lot at Costco you WILL save money on as you shop.
All About Costco: Read how Costco is different than Sam’s Club and the different membership options at Costco.
8 things you can save money on when you shop at Costco
Clothing, specifically winter wear
We saw everything from hats and gloves to the famous Costco slippers and winter coats on a recent trip to Costco in Peoria. With the Champaign Costco opening in October, we’re expecting a great selection of winter wear at its opening.
The Eddie Bauer kids’ reversible winter coat we saw for less than $20 was a price we can’t find anywhere in the area (at this point in the fall, at least). And about those slippers? We know people that buy them every year for a functional (and comfortable) Christmas present for someone special — or themselves.
Danimals smoothies for kids
Our Danimals example is just one of the “staple” items you’ll save on at Costco. If you’re used to tossing one of these in the school lunch bag, Costco has you covered. Danimals typically run $0.33 apiece at Meijer, and we found them for $0.22 each at Costco. Bonus? The Meijer ones were the regular Danimals and the Costco ones were the organic variety.
Protein shakes, powder and bars
Costco seems to have a good relationship with the Orgain brand and a month’s supply of protein powder came in at a whopping $8 cheaper than what you would spend at the Vitamin Shoppe in town. It also came in a few dollars lower than the Amazon Subscribe and Save price — and that’s if you qualify for the 15 percent discount on your monthly order. You’ll find bars and individual servings of shakes, too.
Between trips to Just Bee Acai, one of our favorite area food trucks, you can get your acai bowl fix at Costco in its frozen section. At just over $2 per bowl, these frozen bowls will be a great (nutritious) treat to have on hand from time to time. Get a six-pack for your freezer and when you’re getting that itch to have something sweet, you can reach for acai over ice cream.
Lunch during those busy workdays
Yep. Your options for healthful lunches that you don’t have to order via takeout are plentiful at Costco. If lunch costs you roughly $10 when you order in, you’re going to find a number of options in the sub-$3 range at Costco, like rice and cheese burritos (that are actually really good) in the frozen section. Or you can head over to the prepared foods case near the rotisserie chicken and buy a four-pack of hearty chicken wraps and split them up over the course of a few days.
Economical solutions for dinner, too
When you don’t have time to cook and need something fast other than takeout for your entire family, you can swing by Costco to get your problem solved. These street taco kits were huge and looked like they could definitely feed a family of four. Best of all they’re already cooked, so you’re just heating them up and serving. A dinner for a whole family with close to zero work for $15 is a great deal compared to heading out for a meal or even ordering in pizza.
We hear the Kirkland Signature (Costco’s store brand) diapers are made by the same manufacturer that makes Huggies. So if you’re a Huggies fan and looking to save a few bucks on diapers (who isn’t?), the Kirkland diapers come in at a savings of a couple dollars compared to the Huggies diapers on Amazon Subscribe and Save. Just like the protein powder example above, that’s if you qualify for the highest Subscribe and Save discount there is, and if you don’t typically, you’ll be saving even more buying your diapers at Costco.
Anyone who eats gluten free will let you know: It can get really expensive, really fast! Of course, it varies based on what you buy. But at Costco, there’s a high value for having a good variety of food products for a variety of diets, including those who prefer to eat organic, vegans, and those who eat gluten free. Our gluten-free friends should definitely get excited because it seems like the savings will add up quickly for some of the staple items (like bread or frozen pizza) that you may want to have on hand.
Bonus savings item — gas
Costco’s gas station is already open! You can save between $0.08 and $0.20 per gallon when you fuel up compared to some other local gas stations. It’s worth noting that Sam’s Club has matched Costco’s gas price since it opened, so prices are right in step with what you might spend there if that’s your gas station of choice. But for your average non-membership gas station, fueling up at Costco comes with great savings right off the bat.
Costco has a hodge-podge of other services to dig into, from travel services to insurance policies, an auto center, and more. Email us to let us know how YOU save at Costco once you begin shopping there.