New Year Grocery Shopping 101

Learn how to hustle [through] Costco so Costco doesn’t hustle you

So, if you’re like me, you’re probably looking in the mirror thinking “How the hell did I let myself gain 10 lbs. in the last two months?” Well, you’re not alone, I’m greedy too. I love a good holiday party and who can say no to 3 cups of egg nog in an hour? Certainly not me. (The soy egg nog is amaze-balls, btw.)

The key to navigating out of post-holiday pudginess is a good diet and plenty of exercise. I’m doing the Whole30 again (God help me) and jumping back into a rigorous exercise plan. When I did the Whole30 before, I had fairly rapid results, but I had to intricately plan all of my meals.

Lucky for me, for 7 years I lived 200 feet away from a Costco, so I could easily access their good deals without having to navigate through a nightmare parking lot. I frequently walked over with my granny shopping cart in tow. However, have you ever left Costco without spending at least $100? I swear that place is like a vortex that sucks you into thinking you need a new couch, heat lamps, 3 pounds of coconut oil and 25 pounds of almonds. I mean…what if there is a shortage somewhere?

Well, the key to getting through Costco without getting hustled is:

  • Always stick to your list. Always. Do not deviate.
  • Avoid the furniture section. It will suck you in every time.
  • Know what’s cost effective to buy at Costco versus what’s cost effective at regular grocery store — produce and meat are my recommended purchases
  • Check Costco coupons. I’ve never found any useful ones, but I imagine they have some

So, I love having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and a supply of chicken, beef and lamb chops. This is where you will go home from Costco a winner. They have insane deals on raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Sample Savings:
Local store: $4.00 for 6 ounces. Costco: $4.49 for 12 ounces. Savings: $3.50 on 12 ounces

The same great deals apply to their meat section. Unless I need to get poultry, beef or lamb chops in a hurry, I generally buy all my meat from Costco.

Ground beef: Local store: $8.99 per pack. Costco $21.00 for a 3-pack. Savings: $6.00 (if buying three packs)

Costco also has great deals on lamb chops which are a new obsession of mine. Have you seen the prices at Whole Foods for lamb chops? They’re faint-worthy. I recently purchased a rack of lamb chops at Costco for $14.00 and found a similar size at Whole Foods for DOUBLE the price. Hell to the N-O. Costco also has fish in bulk, but I feel weird about freezing fish and can’t guarantee quick consumption, so I usually venture away from the fish, but it seems to be a great deal for a BBQ or family gathering.

I no longer live 200 feet from Costco, but I do still live close. If you have a Costco near you, I would strongly suggest taking advantage of their great fresh food options. Your bank account will thank you. Just remember, follow your list and bring side blinders. Happy shopping and happy new year!

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