Thursday, July 3, 2014

First Ever Costco Run

I was always against going to the big warehouse stores, as I believed you could always do better using coupons and shopping sales at the regular stores. I still believe you can do wonderfully that way. However, I decided to give the warehouse stores a try. I do know that bigger isn't always a better deal, so I tried to keep that in mind on my first Costco run.

I am a firm believer in stocking up, whether it is toilet paper or frozen and canned foods. There are weeks where you might be tighter on money. Having a stockpile will make sure you can still have healthy meals on the table. Over the past few months, my stockpile has dwindled. We have had a lot of extra expenses and I have had to go with the bare minimum in shopping.

My goal for Costco, is to get most of my meat and dried goods. I am currently saving up for a freezer chest, so that I can stockpile more frozen goods. Costco also seems to be a pretty good place to get things like pull-ups. I was thinking of getting the dog and cat food there, but I do not like the idea of buying 100 bags. So for that I will continue to go to Walmart or the pet store.

I plan to go to Costco twice a month. I will split my stockpiling list in half, so I will get half the first trip and the other half of the list on the second trip. Here is how I intend to split up the lists:

Trip One:
Chicken - breast, thighs, whole
Pasta - wide variety. I got a package this time that had three different kinds.
Canned tomato products - (paste, diced, sauce)
Milk - I got three half gallons this time. We usually go through a gallon and a half a week, so we will probably have to get milk for the second week.

Trip Two:
Beef - ground, sirloin, roast
Pork - huge pork loin to cut up half into chops and use the other for a roast.
Rice - I love rice, so I will buy a nice sized bag.
Frozen Veggies - I found that my youngest prefers frozen veggies (peas, green beans, mixed)

Each trip will be filled in with other items that I need to replace from my stockpile.

I will continue to get my Bountiful Baskets every week. My hope is that I can go to Costco for meat and dairy. Then I will use my Bountiful Basket to plan my weekly meals. I want to try to get my grocery shopping down to twice a month. My goals for the month are $400 a month on food. I have a budget of $100 a month for Bountiful baskets and two Costco visits of $150 each.

In addition to my food purchases, I will continue to buy my detergents and household items at Target, Walgreen's and CVS. With coupons and buyer programs, you cannot beat the prices. For the household items, I have a budget of $125 a month. This includes pull-ups, cleaners, dog/cat food, etc.

This month I will save up all of my receipts. At the end of the month I will do a blog post sharing all the items I purchased, how much I spent and what meals I was able to make for my family. If it works out, I will do this every month. I hope that it will help me to stay on budget and to be accountable.

If you have any tricks of the trade, please share them with me in the comments below.