Costco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less

Costco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less

Is the annual cost of a Costco membership worth it when pursuing a real food lifestyle? The answer is a big YES! Costco is a great source for real foods, including organic! Read this to find out how you can still save after the membership costs.

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

Do you belong to Costco?

If not, have you wondered if the Costco membership benefits are worth it?

With 90% of all Costco members renewing their membership each year, it’s easy to make a case that Costco has a lot of happy, loyal members who value their membership benefits.

I happen to be one of those card carrying, annual membership renewing, Costco members.

About once a month I grab a monstrous sized cart, flash my membership card at the door, and head straight to the back of the store where I can find some of the best prices on real, organic foods.

A Costco membership costs $55 each year for the privilege of shopping the 4,000 items that Costco sells. Your annual membership fee does offset some of the savings you will realize. However, if you shop for real and organic foods, the low prices at Costco really do make shopping there worth it.

Why do I feel the Costco Membership benefits are worth it?

I’ve created an extensive list of Costco deals and organic prices. And I’ve cost compared to see who has the best organic prices.

[Tweet “Hands down, Costco has the best prices on the real and organic foods I buy.”]

Is the annual cost of a Costco membership worth it when pursuing a real food lifestyle? The answer is a big YES! Costco is a great source for real foods, including organic! Read this to find out how you can still save after the membership costs.

How much can you save? Check out these Costco Best Buys for stocking your organic, real food pantry:

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil $21.49/78 ounces

To give you an idea of how good a deal this is, head over to the Nutiva website. There you will see that you would pay $21.99 for only 29 ounces! At Costco you get almost 3 times as much for less!

Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs $6.99/2 Dozen

If you don’t have a source of fresh, local eggs, the Costco price on organic eggs is significantly cheaper than what you would pay at the grocery store. I save about $1/dozen. Since we use a lot of eggs in our house, I try to buy all my eggs at Costco.

Organic Spinach $3.99/16 ounces

In my area, you would pay $3.99 for a small 9 ounce bag of organic spinach. At Costco, I pay the same amount as I would at the grocery store, but I get almost twice as much. Organic baby kale is also significantly cheaper when purchased at Costco.

Maple Syrup $12.79/quart

There is simply no substitute for real maple syrup. However, it can be costly. The Costco price saves me $4.00 per quart over what I would pay at my local grocers.

Active Dry Yeast $4.49/32 ounces

Hands down this is the best price on yeast anywhere. If you bake – even if it is in a bread machineCostco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less – your fresh loaves can be made for pennies. Since this is a large quantity of yeast, be sure to keep your yeast in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Other items that make it into my cart are frozen blueberries, organic coffeeCostco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less and whole organic chickens.

I know I can buy real food for less at Costco, so the membership benefits are worth the membership cost to me.

If you don’t need a membership right away, keep your eyes peeled for Costco membership discount offers through Living Social or Zulily. Both daily deal sites have offered discounted Costco memberships within the last 6 months. Although there is no guarantee they will offer another Costco promo, if you have the time to wait a few months and see, you can save a significant amount off your first year’s membership fees.

Now it’s your turn! I want to know what your Costco Membership Benefits are. What real food items do you get for less at Costco?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

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  1. I buy canned “sea caught” salmon for salmon cakes, and olive oil packed tuna. I’ve gotten their canned chicken, but it has some interesting added ingredients. I’ve heard they can have kerrygikd butter, but that it’s seasonal, and I buy vanilla extract from them….and I’ll keep thinking! Oh…baking soda in a big bag for cleaning, etc.

  2. One thing you failed to mention in the article is that you can pay for the Executive membership and it gives you 2% back – and if you don’t make up the cost difference after a year they will refund you the difference between the regular card and the executive one. I ended up getting my membership “free” last year as my 2% was $120 (the card is $110).

    I shop at Costco monthly and spend around $400 (yikes!) but that feeds a family of 9 (I do supplement with Aldi and Azure Standard co-ops)

  3. We do what Katie does and buy the Executive Membership. Ours also paid for our renewal. We are a family of 9 and do our basic shopping there and supplement with local grocery stores. I just wish they allowed my 18yo daughter to also be on our account so she could do that part of the shopping occasionally.

  4. Our Costco (Virginia) just started carrying Nutiva organic coconut flour 4 lbs for $6.99. Also, the coconut oil carried in this store is not Nutiva but Carrington Farms, is $16.99 for 54oz, organic extra virgin. I don’t recall the price, but I also purchased a 5 lb bag of organic gluten free all purpose flour blend. Love seeing Costco add more real food products.

  5. We do the a Executive membership too.

    My Costco has organic grass fed beef, organic chicken, lunch meat, and sausages that I buy. They also carry lots of seasonal organic produce in addition to the ones you listed…sweet potatoes, apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, grapes, apricots, carrots, and lots of lettuces. They also carry organic milk, cheese, nuts, granolas, wine . I don’t buy the milk because we get ours raw, but I do know its a good deal! Oh, they also carry organic applesauce, chia pouches, happy baby baby food, juice, dried fruit, yogurt, and even organic convenience stuff like frozen pizza and Amy’s meals. They have definitely come a long way in upping their organic offerings the past couple of years!

  6. Thanks for sharing! This was a really interesting article! My mom has a Costco membership and as a college student, I don’t currently have one. I never knew Costco has such great deals on organic goods since that isn’t something that my parents really focuses on. However, now I really want one! Do you think a Costco membership would be worth it for a young, single person? Thanks!

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been thinking about a Costco membership because I see in a lot of blogs, etc. that they have good prices on healthy foods. But ours would be a 45 minute trip for me. So between the trip and the membership I’d have to know that they carry enough foods that It would be worth it for me. I’d love to hear more ideas of what healthy foods people are saving on by shopping there.

  8. Ok, you convinced me! The only problem is that the closest Costco to me is an hour away. Do you know if Sam’s Club has similar deals on organic and real food? There’s one about 20 minutes closer.

  9. I love Costco for the random sales! Whenever you see something ending in .97, grab it! Our family of 6 eat a lot of dairy, Costco has great prices on cheese, yoghurt, cream, and milk! We also save buying our grain products there, I usually freeze bread and bagels. They also have cheap photo prints, and passport photos!

  10. I am actually plotting a Costco visit later today!
    It’s thrilling how the number of organic items they have begun carrying over the last few years. I was blown away by the deal on coconut oil and always get it there. I get the maple syrup as well (they have an organic option now too). Cheese, organic bread, and nirate free lunchmeat are perpetually on my list (my husband is a sandwich guy). Organic raisins, peanut butter, chicken and ground beef are other favorites.

  11. Love Katie’s tip below! And this article, Andrea! Costco is now carrying Honeyville Blanched Almond, Coconut Flour and KIND bars in many stores – all for a lot less than you can find elsewhere. I am happy to see Costco not only increasing it’s organic food offerings, but it’s gluten-free selections as well! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Kelly

  12. YES!!! Of all the “how to eat real food on a budget” articles I’ve read, I’ve wondered why more people don’t recommend Costco! Even for our small family, we do almost all our shopping at Costco because it’s the only place we can afford the high-quality foods we desire. I’m excited to see it’s not some hidden secret!

  13. I too LOVE Costco. I haven’t done the executive membership but I do shop there often. I probably spend about 260.00 a month there. I get their organic chicken breasts and whole chickens, organic strawberries, blueberries and grapes. The one in NE has the best prices for those organic fruits! I also get organic chicken broth and organic gluten free fruit and nut granola bars. I buy all my frozen veggies from them, all organic, along with my eggs, whipping cream, salsa and other organic odds and ends. I LOVE their organic section, even organic juice boxes and popsicles make it into my cart at times. For eating healthy, organic, gluten free foods, Costco is my favorite, cheapest place to shop!

  14. Like you, I purchase coconut oil, yeast, and fresh organic produce at Costco. The organic chicken is still out of my price range (I wish that wasn’t the case). I also purchase organic sugar, olive oil, canned tomatoes/tomato products, and frozen fruits & veggies at Costco. I have their American Express card so I get rewards twice a year – once from Amex & once from Costco. With that membership, they guarantee that your rewards will be at least the cost of your membership. If not, they will reimburse you for the difference. That’s a pretty good deal you might want to look into if you shop Costco a lot. They can tell you at the membership desk if it would be worth it to you by looking at your account. Thanks for the post!

  15. I love it too. Whole organic chickens started arriving to our local Costco a couple of months ago. Which means that I am there once a week now, just for those. Their organic pasta sauce and quinoa are very decent too. You just have to be careful not to buy things that you are not sure about, because it will seem A LOT of it if you do not like it.

    I also like only having 1 option, or fewer options at least. It frees my mind of the weight of wondering which brand to get, too many options sometimes make me waste too much time at the other stores.

  16. We are not renewing our membership. A few deals on things for sure but the deals are on food I can and prefer to buy local such as meat, eggs, produce, dairy. I have to disagree with the writer that she is getting a deal on real food. Just because something is labelled organic doesn’t make it “real” food. I can almost assure her those organic eggs are not free range. Possibly free run but not free range. That organic label has pulled wool over our eyes. Huge topic that I won’t get into but local is always better and much better for the economy than Costco.

  17. We make up the $55 membership just by buying milk. It is at least $1 cheaper per gallon than anywhere else and at 3-4 gallons per week…. quite worth it! Plus gas, all of our meats, most produce, and many staple iems. We spend about $150 per week there. Another person mentioned that she finds stuff cheaper locally and thru farmers markets than at Costco. NOT the case in many places! Local stuff here is 2 to 3 times more expensive than Costco for us. For example, strawberries are $5.99 for a 3 pound package at Costco. They are $4.99 per pound at the local farmers market. Just one of many huge cost saving examples for us!

  18. I have a family of 11 and we love Costco, as well as Winco…(mainly their bulk dept.)
    We use the AmEx card on groceries and gas and pay it off each month. We get a nice check from both Costco and AmEx at the end of the year. We love the organic foods and veggies, specialty cheeses, as well as the nitrate-free meat items. We also buy lots of bulk items in 25-50 lb bags and feel we are getting the best quality brand. We think that by buying at Costco, we are able to eat a lot of foods that we normally wouldn’t be able to buy elsewhere due to the higher prices. Our closest Costco is 1 and a 1/2 hours away and it is well worth the trip. 🙂

  19. Sam’s club definitely has far fewer “real” food products compared to Costco. I think the only I was ever able to find at Sam’s was maybe some frozen organic produce and sometimes fresh organic produce. We have memberships to both. We kept hearing about all these great things at Costco and were so excited when we got a Costco about 30 minutes away. I don’t know if it’s worth it now to keep our Sam’s membership. We now get our coconut oil, almonds, almond flour, maple syrup, coffee kcups, organic frozen fruit & vegetables and a few cleaning products from Costco. We’ve not seen grass-fed, organic meat at our location yet.

  20. I love Costco too! In fact, I just wrote a post this week about why I love Costco and listing all of the great food choices we are able to purchase from there. While I do try to buy some local produce and eggs at the farmers’ market, we go through so much that it helps to be able to get larger quantities to supplement what we buy locally. Their organic frozen berries are almost worth the membership alone since we make green smoothies every morning. I also appreciate that most of their Costco-brand dairy is hormone free. I could go on and on because it really is where we buy a bulk of our groceries. Just because it’s on topic and such a coincidence that we posted similar posts this week, here’s a link to mine: (
    Oh, and we have an executive membership for the first time this year. I’m quite certain we will make enough back to cover its cost! 😉

  21. We also shop Costco a lot and have the Executive membership which gives you 2% back. If you also have the American Express card that attaches to Costco, you get an additional 1% back for a total of 3%, plus you get other %’s from other non-Costco shopping – like 3% for restaurants, but we rarely eat out anymore. We get all our gas at Costco as it is usually 5 to 10 cents cheaper per gallon than any other gas station around us. Our Costco is a ‘test store’, so sometimes something shows up but once it is gone, we never see it again. I need talk to someone at the store and see how this works, as there have been several items we really liked, but never saw again. We have two more stores we could go to, but one is 13 miles and the other likely 20 miles, whereas ours is just 3 miles from us. If they carried some of the items we really liked, it might be worth a monthly or six-weeks trip to them. I am happy to see more and more organic items in the store. As with any store, you have to know what you are buying, where it is from, and what the ‘rules’ are for stores to label stuff as they do. Otherwise, you are just lost in buying good, healthy food.

  22. I save so much money by purchasing in bulk. From vegetables to paper products, it is the only when to go when you have a big family.

  23. As much as I enjoy the savings on the real /organic food we buy at Costco, as a family of two it isn’t enough to warrant the expense, but the savings buying our grain free dog and cat food plus cat litter pays for our membership.

    Yes, even our animals get real food diets. 😉

  24. I buy frozen organic produce. Our church touts the benefits of “flash frozen in the field” vs “fresh” produce (which is probably a week old by the time it winds up on your dinner table, and lost 70% of its nutrients). Also, buy walnuts, almonds, and pecans in bulk. I hated their olive oil, but haven’t tried it in three years. Also, I love their kale salad package with greens, cruciferous veggies, nuts, dried fruit and poppy seed dressing packets, and always buy their rotisserie chx. Gas is great quality with cleansers that protect your engine and gives my Dodge better gas mileage. The snack bar is always a nice treat, too.

  25. I buy kerrygold grass fed butter. Almond butter. Wild caught salmon and organic chicken at Costco. Also almonds or cashews , wholly guacamole , bananas and some beef.

  26. The produce at Costco is awesome! We also buy organic peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, and cheese.

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