What do you buy at Sam's or Costco?

neesieApril 10, 2008

I buy the large quantities of Tyson Chicken Breasts (sorry I don't recall the weight) but you get 12 good size chicken breasts for about 16.00 (skinless/boneless).

I take them home, cook some off, and freeze the raw ones in freezer zip lock bags. The ones I cook off we can eat just as regular chicken breast. Extras I may dice for:

Cold Chicken Salad

Chicken Pot Pie (I posted the recipe under Family Favorites it may actually be chicken a la king because I don't use a crust we serve it over toast or with biscuits)

Oriental Ramen Salad

Chicken Fried Rice (yes, I use diced chicken breast, my Chicken Fried Rice is more a meal than a side dish)

Milk: I notice their prices are about 25 cents lower than anywhere else per gallon

Boneless Pork Chops (bulk)

I have a few good crock pot recipes for boneless pork chops

I'll also cut a whole package into strips, then brown in oil. Then I'll package them in freezer size quart bags. I have a Cantonese Crock Pot recipe that my family loves that starts with these strips. I don't even have to thaw them! As long as I have a cut onion and a green pepper cut into strips the rest of the ingredients are staples and spices that I alwlays have on hand. This is a dish I serve about once a month.

I have a membership at Sam's. I don't have a Costco nearby but know a lot of people on the forums go there and it is similar to Sam's. I'd be interested in hearing about the bulk groceries you buy and how you use them.

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We don't have a Costo in this area. Sam's is so far from us we dropped out membership several years ago. I usually buy my flour bulk. We have a mill in our little town so we buy 50 pounds at a time. Also, our biscuit mix, and pancake mix. We also have a butcher house a few miles from us, so that is where we buy our meats in bulk. Good, meats, all grown by the owner of the butcher house, nothing done/given to the anumals so all we get is good clean meats.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 8:41PM
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We go to Costco about twice/month. And usually spend $75-$100 each trip.

Chicken breasts come 12 to a pack, but are individually sealed in air tight packs 2 per pack. Makes it easy for freezing. Could probably find them cheaper at the grocery store on sale. But they're conveniently packaged and I'm not in to digging through the sale flyers. We just pull out a pack at a time. Defrost and grill, or toss them in a crock pot as part of a recipe still frozen.

We buy pork loin and I cut up and freeze in 3 packs (2 for my DH, one for me). Just pull them out and grill them. Neesie, I'd love to hear some of your crock pot recipes for them.

They have frozen stuffed shells that are really good. Just put them in a casserole pan with some spaghetti sauce for about 45 minutes. We've tried some other frozen meal types of things, some good, some not.

We buy canned tomatoes and sauce for making chili, stews, etc. And my DH eats a lot of those breakfast bars or power bars types of things. So we usually pick those up at Costco cheaper too.

We buy mixed greens salad and veggies (carrots, broccoli, asparagus) in their large sizes. We found that we eat more veggies if they're in the house and the cost is a great savings. Example: the same salad at the grocery store is $6, at Costco, it's $4 - and it lasts us two weeks with a salad at dinner at least 5 nights/week.

My DH eats 2 eggo waffles with jelly for breakfast every day, so their giant pack of waffles and 2-pack strawberry jelly are a great deal.

We often wonder if the membership fee is worth it, and then remind ourselves the waffles alone probably cover the membership fee every year.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Our Sam's is an hour's drive, but we have Wal-Mart and a really good Kroger store in my area. Also, in the summer we sometimes drive down to the Amish area and buy vegetables. Our little town also has a Farmer's Market area in the summer.

I like buying the frozen chicken breasts and would love to have your Oriental Salad recipe.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:13AM
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Some people love the warehouse clubs and I used to have a membership at Sam's but dropped it. I'd go 3-4 times a year which effectively adds $10 per trip. $50-$100 per trip means 10%-20% more. And at the end I wasn't going to wait 45 min in line to check out so I walked out. And I can't stand that business of having to check out a second time at the door. ARGH!

When I really looked at the price per unit, seldom was it a very good deal. I work in Sam's Club and Costco occasionally and look at their prices. Pet food is high, as are most all cleaners. I can buy Dawn dish soap far cheaper at Walgreens! I don't buy enough meat to justify it either. And I now want to get better quality items. Their coffee prices are high too as are paper products. Health & beauty items, like shampoo, soap, toothpaste - I can buy all of them far cheaper elsewhere. They don't take coupons so there's no potential savings there. I just checked their price on microfibre cloths and they were cheaper at Target.

I will say in fairness, I would occasionally find some deals there. However, it was like paying $35/year to shop the clearance endcaps at Target. Just not worth it. And the frustration of waiting in line and checking out twice, no way will I be a regular customer there. I'm amazed they get by with it. But some people truly get some savings there and they apparently convince enough others that want to save money that they are.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 7:07PM
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The Kirkland brand of canned tuna at Costco--that's the only tuna I will eat now. Of course, when I go to Costco, I can't just go directly to that, put it in the huge cart and head straight for the register!

I used to buy the big bags of Craisins, until I realized just how UNhealthy they really are. Way too much sugar added.

I buy paper goods there; I like to buy stuff like that once every few months instead of always having to remind myself to go to the grocery when my 6-pack of TP is nearly out!

Usually, Costco has big bags of limes. They used to be pretty dinky-sized limes, but they're getting bigger now. I don't drink soda except for once in a blue moon now when I need a caffeine jolt, so lime in ice water is good! (Many times I put the juice in the blender with ice cubes, water and make a slushee. No added sugar, either. Tart but refreshing!)

I might buy the big bags of Pretzel Chips, and if I see that, they sell Hannah's Tzaziki sauce in the refrigerated section, and it's terrific.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:48PM
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I owned a membership for Sams when I used to get one free from my previous job but I never shopped there. It's just too big and everything they sell is in such huge quantities, I just never could get into it. Even when we were a family of four, it seemed like the quantities were just too much, and the savings too little. And I cook fairly often. I did go there a few times and walk around but the prices never seemed to me to be anything great.

Some people raved to me about their frozen cheesecakes & their made to order bakery items, neither of which I had any use for. I guess I just never caught on to what all the fuss was about.

They are currently building a Costco directly across the street from my office so I'm sure I'll check it out when they open. I just think their prices have to be fantastic to get me to buy the membership, because now it's just DH & me, and frankly I can get lots of good deals already at my local grocery stores.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 1:04PM
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Costco is a 15 minute drive from my house. Yesterday I bought those slim fans which look like a tower. I bought 2 gardenia plants at less than Home Depot. Their eggs are a good price. I bought baby spinach & a box of salad greens for less than my local grocery. I got a blueberry/crumb coffee cake for company that's coming today. Got the fresh tortellini. I'm going to make a casserole for dinner. They carry a box of sherbert which is packaged in real coconut shells/pineapple shells & orange shells. The kids love it. Books are at a discount as are children's books. I got their rotisserie chicken which is less than anywhere else and they time stamp them and constantly sell so I know they are freshly cooked. I got a box of 4 pr. garden gloves for about the price of 2 elsewhere. I bought a bottle of cognac for my husband's birthday.
I suspect it depends on how much company you entertain and how you cook.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 1:57PM
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I used to have a membership and Costco and then moved. It's a bit further than Sams is for me. So I dropped my Costco and got a Sams membership. I love them both!! I usually buy most of my meat there, even if it is comparable to supermarket prices. The cuts are than much better IMO. I also buy my dog food and dog treats there. I have 3 retrievers so we can go thru some dog food here. I buy my aspirin, Claritan and Zantac there as well, the prices really beat the other stores by far and their generic brands are good. I also get my laundry supplies, dish detergent, paper products and garbage bags there. I go once every 6 weeks or so, buy in bulk and store. I split the meats up and freeze them. There is only the two of us and pups but I can really save some money this way. The one thing I have to be cautious about is some brands I use aren't carried.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:30PM
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We reinstated our lapsed membership just for the paper towels and TP. After a year of trying to find paper towels that didn't disintegrate in my hands, we went back to Costco. I also like to buy bulk meats to separate into Food Saver freezer packs (and would also be interested in nessie's crock pot recipes.) Their roasted red pepper and tomato soup in the boxes is wonderful! We don't go often, usually when we have to make a TP run, but I always end up spending more money than I like. Then again, there's the entertainment factor! I'm fascinated with what other people have in/on their carts.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Costco is a bit far for us, but we plan to join go next week and join when my wife is on vacation. Their Kirkland brand of dog food is one of the higher rated foods around. They make Iams and Science Diet look like crap and it's much cheaper. About $20 or so for a 40# bag. I pay $25 for a 20# bag of Iams. The savings on that alone will pay for the membership in short order with a big dog. I imagine we will only go every couple of months and will find out what makes sense to buy there.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 1:16AM
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The costco across the street opened in October. I joined, mainly because they came over to the office and offered $35 in gift cards in return for the $50 membership fee. So I figured for $15 investment, I'd give it a shot.

So the first time we went, I bought some steaks, price was reasonably but not spectacular but the flavor was good. Bought some prepackaged cold cuts which they were sampling in the store - they tasted good in the store but I wasn't wild about them at home, I think they just didn't taste fresh, so I won't buy that again.

We bought some bulk items mostly for DH: american cheese, tuna, pot pies, canned ravioli. Bought some fresh sourdough bread which was good but again, not any great bargain or anything I can't get elsewhwere.

Their milk is cheaper, rotisserie chickens are cheaper but only one flavor. HEB (local grocery store) has multiple flavors available so that's worth the extra buck or two I think.

Their gasoline is cheaper than the stations in the immediate area by about 20 cents a gallon. However, they are NOT the cheapest in town, and as I get closer to my house the gas prices are only about a nickle higher than costco.

I didn't buy any produce because I like to pick my individual pieces of fruit/veg and everything there was already prepackaged. Didn't buy wine although I had several people tell me I was going to love their selection and prices. I didn't. I can get better selection AND prices at Cost Plus World Market.

SO... my conclusion is that I'll probably stock up on steaks and buy milk there and maybe a few other items, but come next October, I can't see myself renewing the membership. I just don't see $50 in savings or additional quality.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 3:25PM
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Their Kirkland brand of dog food is one of the higher rated foods around.
According to WHOM? I can banter around unsubstantiated claims on purported ratings but I won't. Please provide links to these authorities so we can see the reputation of the ones making these claims.

They make Iams and Science Diet look like crap...
I suppose that's why so many vets recommend Kirkland, right?

Do you even know who makes Kirkland pet foods?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 7:08PM
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I don't buy my pet food at Costco (I actually spend an absurd amount of money on grain-free food for my two cats and two ferrets), but Kirkland's dog food is really a decent mid-range food for dogs. Science Diet and Iams are both full of corn and other "less-than-desirable" ingredients. That's not to say the Kirkland is the best you can buy, but it's certainly better than a lot of other options.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:31AM
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"Science Diet and Iams are both full of corn and other "less-than-desirable" ingredients. "
Not true at all. I don't know where people get these myths. Iams & Science Diet contain some corn as a carbohydrate and both companies grind it very fine making it digestible unlike the cheap brands like Kirkland who use corn chunks as the protein source and vegetable protein is far inferior to animal proteins contained in the better foods since dogs and cats are carnivores, not herbivores.

You are correct in that there are worse products out there, but I'll stick with the better foods for my pets, especially after having done a lot of research on the topic. Clearly others should do the same.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Corn is also known as the cheapest filler in dog foods. This is why corn tends to be in the first 4 ingreients of cheap low quality dog foods. Alot of dog allergies begin with grains. Science Diet also contains BHA, BHT and propyl gallate, used as preservatives. These are known to be carcinogenic. I've seen more pet problems in pets with low quality foods. This is one of them.

Kirkland doesn't preserve with known carcinogens. Kirkland has been known to have healthier ingredients as opposed to Science Diet. Look up dogfoodanalysis, great site.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 4:18PM
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Like I said, Kirkland corn chunks are not good, but finely ground corn meal as a carb is not bad.

I looked at your site. Interesting. Click on "Food information" and they try to sell you books. Credible site. And I couldn't find any info there pertaining to Kirkland. So where do you get your endorsements from?

I've seen more pet problems in pets with low quality foods.
Couldn't agree more.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:42PM
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For comparison...

Kirkland Signature - Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Formula:
Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, rice flour, white rice, egg product, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and Vitamin E), beet pulp, potatoes, fishmeal, flaxseed, natural flavor, millet, brewers dried yeast, carrots, peas, kelp, apples, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Iams® ProActive Health Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Formula:
Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Grits, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Caramel, Choline Chloride, Flax Meal, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), DL-Methionine, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Monosodium Phosphate, Rosemary Extract.

I'm not really sure how anyone can look at these two lists of ingredients and try to make an argument that Iams is superior to Kirklands or that Kirklands is not, as I said before, a decent mid-range food. I don't feed it, but if someone wants to buy Kirklands over Iams, they're hardly scraping the bottom of the barrel, and IMO are actually getting a better list of ingredients with the Kirklands food.

As for the OP's original question, which I so rudely failed to answer:
I *do* buy paper products, some produce, some meat, and some random household items at Costco. It's just the two of us, but we manage to save money there. We also have a FoodSaver and an extra freezer, so buying in bulk is not a problem for us.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 2:52AM
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We buy various things we need, and a lot we don't. But the one thing I can proudly say that we save quite a bit of $ on is coffee. Some years ago, we both got stuck on Starbuck's Sumantra. It's about $12/lb.
Costco has a 3 pound bag of Kirkland whole-bean Sumantra for around $13; at least I think that's the price. Whatever it is, it's close. We buy 3 bags at a time and freeze it.
Sure we have to grind our own, but it's fresher that way and the savings in coffee alone is more than enough to pay for our Executive Membership.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 1:21PM
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I buy lots of pink salmon and freeze it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:31PM
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We have a membership and enjoy shopping there. We buy cheese and meat and paper goods....etc...I love the blackend salmon that they have and always buy two or three bags. I am paraticular what I buy because it is easy to get a serious case of "I want's" and not I need in there. Not everything is a bargain but I see the same thing in regular supermarkets...they do a great sale on whatever to get you in the store and the sock it to you on things you have to buy.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Since it's off topic I won't go into detail, but jenc511, you obviously don't know about ingredient splitting or you didn't read the Diamond ingredients or you wouldn't be making such foolish statements.

"Decent" is a subjective term. Comparing the ingredients and considering that rice is probably the primary ingredient in the Diamond/Kirkland from the ingredient splitting, I'd totally state that from the ingredients you provided, and assuming they're accurate, Iams is definitely superior to Diamond. Plus Iams dry food hasn't poisoned any animals. Diamond can't say that. You like melamine in your pet food????

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:58PM
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I have a Sam's Club membership. Cheese is cheaper per pound than anywhere else I have seen. Milk prices are lower. Pasta and rice prices are lower per pound. Their floral department is very reasonable. We are planning on ordering flowers in bulk for my daughters wedding next year. You can order them online, then pick them up at the store to save on shipping. Books and magazines are cheaper. Spices are a good value. I do not buy canned goods there, the prices are higher than the grocery stores. I buy cans of chicken noodle soup for $0.54 at Target. That is cheaper than the grocery store or Wal-mart.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 4:34PM
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I do buy a lot of things at Sam's club

1. Milk (always cheaper, currently $1.88)
2. Butter (about $6 for 5 Lbs)
3. Half and half, I think it is like $1.65 (Land'o Lakes Carton)
4. Cheese, they have 5 lbs bags for under $12, sometimes it cost $4 at the grocery store for 8 oz bags
5. Mixed Salads - So cheap
6. Romaine lettuce, bag has 6 hearts for about $3
7. Fetta Cheese, that one is a steal , under $7 for a whole pound ($4 at the grocery store for 1/8 of a pound)
8. Cherry tomatoes, cheapest place to buy them in my area
9. Eggs, they are cheaper than regular price at the grocery store, although grocery stores (especially Kroger) has them on sale too quite often

  1. Roast Beef Shavings, they are cheaper than any other place I have found
  2. CROSSOINTS - Best deal around
  3. Naked Juices are cheaper here
  4. Roses for my wife, only $14 for 2 dozen or so..
  5. Shampoo, conditioner, and tooth brushes most of the time come with a free gift.
  6. Tortilla Chips, large bag for restaurant use, cheaper than any other store I have seen.
  7. Salsa, I think it is a gallon, $16 but it is well worth it
  8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - A gallon for under $20

I can't really think of any more, but those are my ultimate favorites.

At costcos, the only thing I would really buy there is the jar of artichoke hearts, they are the best deal, but I don't have costcos in my area.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 3:59PM
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