When it comes to grocery shopping on a budget, it is very hard to beat Costco. If you have room to store massive quantities of food, the warehouse club has amazing prices on everything from avocados to baked cheese snacks. We wanted to know which grocery buys were the most budget-friendly, so we went right to the experts: the people who work there.
Turns out, the Costco forum on Reddit is full of friendly Costco employees with tons of behind-the-scenes information about the ins and outs of everybody's favorite big big-box store. According to Costco employees, these are five of the best deals in the store.
1. Pork loins
"The butcher [has] the biggest deal on meat anywhere, and that's not considering that the quality is also superior." says CostcoSkDestiny. Multiple people showed up to sing the praises of Costco's gigantic pork loins. The packages are about five pounds each; luckily, the meat makes for fantastic leftovers, and you can cook some and freeze the rest for later. With rebates, the pork loin can be an even bigger deal. We heard one customer managed to get an entire pork loin package for just 86 cents.
2. Hot sauce
"Frank's Hot Sauce, when it's on sale is the best deal around," says TheAubiOne. "The two-pack usually goes for $7.99 at my Costco, but with the $2 instant rebate coupons, they are a must buy." Not all warehouses have the exact same hot sauce, though. Some stock Frank's, while others carry Cholula or Tabasco. Either way, it's worth looking into if you like to slosh spicy stuff over everything you eat.
3. Rotisserie chickens
Several people — employees and shoppers alike — were quick to nominate the $4.99 rotisserie chickens at Costco. Not only are they some of the cheapest rotisserie chickens on the market, but they're also among the tastiest. Rumor has it, the birds are actually loss leaders for the store, which means they don't make any money on them, but they use them to get shoppers in the door and hopefully buy something else while they're there. You can pick up some veggies and have a complete meal for way less than $10.
More on Rotisserie Chickens
4. Anything with the Kirkland Signature label
"Basically anything Kirkland signature — almond milk, tortilla chips, frozen pizza," says user Time_Feeler. Costco's Kirkland Signature products really are almost always a good bet, for everything from olive oil to Prosecco. For example, a box of Kirkland Signature Japanese sencha green tea with matcha produced by Ito En costs $15 for 100 bags at Costco. That's only 15 cents a bag, and half the per-bag price of the same product anywhere else.
5. Massive, 10-pound packs of ground beef
Reddit user Fixall had a brilliant suggestion for getting very low-fat ground beef at an enormous discount: Ask the meat department for a 10-pound tube (sometimes called "chub"), which is the way the meat is sent to Costco to begin with.
Other users were skeptical of whether or not it would actually fly to buy ground beef from behind the counter at Costco, but two people say they tried it, and it actually worked. "The butcher was a little surprised that I wanted a whole chub but he weighed it, labeled it, and passed it out the window to me," says Bokkasrealm. "The cashier ringing it up said he had never seen it before."
As with many grocery items at Costco, prices vary by location. But the super-lean chub is generally much cheaper than the regular ground beef. Great news for people who are looking for a deal, and for people who want leaner beef. (Just portion it out and freeze it in smaller packs when you get home.)
What's your favorite budget grocery buy at Costco?