My husband and I considered becoming Costco members for a while, but after a bit of research, we figured out that based on what we buy, the annual membership cost plus the overall cost of driving to Costco wouldn’t be worth it. However, I am a hawk when it comes to coupons and specials, and I keep a list of prices of usual grocery items from the three stores we shop at the most: Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and Fred Meyer.
I find that for the most part, I can get inexpensive, high quality produce from Trader Joe’s, but occasionally there will be a fantastic deal at Fred Meyer (1.29 /lb for fresh strawberries!). I can get really good deals on toiletries at Safeway by combining manufacturer’s coupons with Just for U and personalized prices. With Just for U and personalized prices, I can load coupons and “just for me” prices to my Safeway card, and end up with 2 boxes of Ritz crackers for $4.25, or cans of soda for about $.16/can, or bacon for $3.50/lb.
It’s not necessarily that I can’t get similar or better prices at a place like Costco, it is that I can’t take advantage of the spontaneous great deals that happen when I regularly peruse the grocery stores shelves for things I normally buy. I can pop into Fred Meyer after Crossfit 3 times a week.
Last week at Fred Meyer, I bought 34 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $57.28 ($1.79/lb). That’s about 3 months worth of lunches for Mr. LL and me. And I hadn’t even planned on buying chicken that day.