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Costco Membership

Costco moved into our area a year or 2 ago.  We have never had a membership because we don’t usually buy in bulk and we use coupons.  Aaron loves to cut coupons & price match, so we save lots of money each week at the grocery store.  I love walking out with the receipt saying we saved $50+ in coupons! 

Last week I found out that I needed new tires on the van.  I had a quote from the dealership and wanted to get some prices from other local stores.  Costco ended up being the least expensive, even after we purchased the membership ($50).  I brought the van in and decided to browse the store while my tires were being changed.  That left me approximately 1.5 hours to walk around the store with my mouth hanging open.  Needless to say, I am not sure that we actually saved any money by purchasing our tires at Costco because I believe I spent what we would have saved on groceries. 

What did I find?  Perhaps a better question would be what didn’t I find.  I didn’t even make it to the non-grocery side of the store.  Sigh.  I think I have a problem. 

First, one of the things I liked best about Costco was their labeling.  Kirkland Signature brand Loratidine (Claritin) was clearly labeled “gluten-free” and was $12.65 for 365 pills.  Folks, that is one year!  I stood there and read the label & sign over & over again because I was certain that I couldn’t be seeing or processing things correctly.  The cheapest place I have previously found generic Claritin was Walmart and they charge $4.99 for a 30-day supply.  Not only did I buy one for myself, but I called my mom to see if she needed any!  Most of the Kirkland Signature brand medicines and vitamins were very clearly labeled “gluten-free”.  I love when companies make my life easier. 

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Onto the food.  While I never did find the organic or gluten-free department that the membership guy claimed they had, I did find plenty of gluten-free products throughout the store.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken that said “gluten-free” on the label.  It was only $4.99 and was very moist & flavorful.  Maranatha Almond Butter was less per ounce than the Trader Joe’s I had been buying; the produce was priced well, as were the meats & cheeses.  I can see spending a lot of time at Costco in the future.  A couple of products that I have to spotlight before I run….

Naked Nuggets were spotted in the freezer!  We loved the Naked Nuggets and will be buying some again very soon.  I also found these products when searching “gluten-free” on Costco online. 

Okay, are you ready for one of my favorite deals?  Check out the size of this jar of Vlasic Pickles – $3.69 for this (put a Blackberry in for size reference):

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See why I have a problem?  Funny thing is that these pickles will be gone in no time, as Jon has developed an obsession with them lately.

Do you have a Costco close by?  Do you shop there? 

30 comments to Costco Membership

  • stace

    WE just got a membership last month and we are loving it. We got the $100 card but will be 2% back at the end of the year. In a month I have spend about $2000. Remember I have 7 kids. I bought a vacuum sealer for meats, so I can get a two pack of roast or a three pack of whole chickens and save them. The meats are great! The fresh fruits come in nice large bags. The organic and GF things are with the reg food up here at Costco. I like it. It is saving us money that $2000 also have the sealer in it and a new indoor grill . . . The service is great. they will unload the cart and reload the cart after.

  • Kim

    I love how they unload & reload the cart! I tried to talk Aaron into the $100 membership, but he wasn't going for it. LOL! I can see where having that membership with 7 kids really pays off. Great idea on the vacuum sealer!

  • cindy

    I love Costco! You can't beat their prices on cheese – and they carry 2 brands of gluten free lunchmeat that are delicious – Columbus turkey and Dietz & Watson lunchmeats. Their spiral ham is delicious and last year they redid their glaze to make it gf! Sometimes they carry Bell & Evans breaded chicken breasts and they are really good. A suggestion to Costco shoppers: take a moment and write in their suggestion book to carry more gf items. I have also spoken to a manager to request more items and they said they are actively pursuing more items. Any time we can save money on gf items it's a good thing.

  • We have had a Costco membership for almost a year. It's great for the environmentally friendly Kirkland brand laundry and dish detergent, and shampoo/conditioner. At our store they carry organic chicken and some produce. Kerrygold grassfed butter! Frozen organic berries and broccoli. I don't eat too many processed GF products, but they do carry the Food Should Taste Good mutltigrain chips which I buy. I just got a great convection toaster oven for $50. Tess got some great dog beds :) And I saw the Kitchen Aid stand mixer for $169.00.

    • Melissa

      I was curious if you knew for sure if the dish detergent is gluten free? I looked at the label and I didn't see anything but just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

  • Love, love, love Costco! I am there once a week. I go mainly for the fresh stuff, I don't buy organic fruits and vegetables unless they are comparable in price, so my usual weekly shopping list is Fage Greek yogurt, a giant block of cheddar for my husband, veggie sausage patties for him, fresh fruit, tortilla chips and cherry tomatoes.

    Ours also has BRM quinoa and sometimes BRM AP GF flour mix or other random gluten free things/mixes that it appears they only get a pallet or two of. So it helps to make a run through the whole store once in a while. You'll find some surprises.

    I also buy:

    Lundberg brown rice,

    large bags of pinto beans,

    canned diced tomatoes,

    frozen wild salmon patties (great for me the non-veg),

    pasta sauce,

    some spices like cumin, black pepper, etc

    microwaveable brown rice bowls (for work and travel),

    Tasty Bite Madras Lentils (again good for work and travel),

    Mrs May's and Mareblu's GF granolas/bars (but I'm not a big fan of them anymore)…

    Also, some of their meat products are safe, like I noticed a container of pulled pork that said gluten free on it that I thought about getting recently for myself as I am trying to up my B-12 again.

    And at Christmas we found a safe ham and scalloped potatoes(!) that contained no gluten ingredients…we were in San Diego at grandma's on XMas Eve and so I went for it with no ill effects.

    I hear at some of the ones in the NWest they carry Rudi's breads…haven't seen it yet at mine here in the SW.

    We also buy their allergy meds (Aller-Tec/Zyrtec for us) at the incredibly low price! (Kim – you might try the Zyrtec, it helped eliminate my sinus infections along with asthma meds. After you already bought a huge bottle…)

    And we bought our most recent car through their car buying program. No hassle and a great price.

    So yes, we love Costco! Can you tell? And don't forget the paperback books!

  • Sara

    Hi! I just wanted to write you and thank you so much for your blog. I have been gluten-free for one year and am also a runner, so your blog is great! I will be attending OSU in the fall for grad school, so its really cool that you are from Columbus and have info about area restaurants. I am so excited to be living in a bigger city with so many gf options. Thanks again :)

  • Kim

    Wow….seems to be lots of great finds there!

    @Sara – You are welcome! I am glad I can help. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Shoot me an email if you can't reach me here. There are so many options in Columbus! I just did my Saturday run down on the OSU campus last week – it was a gorgeous day!

    Kim

  • I love Costco! We have the Executive Membership and we spend so much in a year that Costco pays us to shop there. I love their gluten free labels. It makes life so easy The rotisserie chicken is gluten free. I found some chicken meatballs that were gluten free and so delicious. We recently vacationed in Hawaii and guess what. Yep, we stopped off at Costco and got some greeat pricing on Kona Coffee. Welcome to the wonderful world of warehouse shopping. :)

  • @PaulaG – Thanks for the info on the chicken meatballs! YUM!!

  • katie b

    We love Costco too. But we have found that you have to be really careful with them buying bulk Kirkland frozen chicken parts. They used to be Foster Farms, but I guess they change to Kirkland so they can then source the cheapest supplier. We now have gotten 'glutened' numerous times by Kirkland frozen chicken parts. So far, the safest bag that Costco says is GF is the chicken breast fillets (still Foster Farms). We noticed our recent bag of breasts was individually wrapped—and we got sick :( The safest things from Costco are obviously clearly labeled Gluten Free if it is Kirkland, or Name Brands you are sure are gluten free.

  • Pam

    I love Costco too. I find Quinoa in a HUGE bag. Turkey breast whole that is found in deli is GF. One brand of Hot dogs. Zuchinni souffles from garden delites found frozen. Tasty bites Madras lentils. Rice crackers. Lots of the chips. More and more each day!

    • christine

      i didnt even know what quinoa was till costco started carrying it.. i LOVE that stuff! and even more happy that i found out it is gluten free! ( i thought it was a pasta)

  • christine

    i am a 11 year employee of costco. the recent suge in products labeled gluten free at my store caught my attention. what is the huge deal about gluten free? is gluten bad? i had no idea what gluten even was… but one bored day at home i decided to research it and learned that to most of us gluten is believed to not be harmful. but to my daughter(17) it could finally end her "ibs". was it not ibs from the start? is this why we never resolved the issue? so last night i shopped our local staters bros ( i am on vacation and have to desire to drive 30 miles to shop at work haha) and to my surprise they carry no bread that is gluten free? or pastries or crackers…. i thought with costco beginning to caryy so many gluten free items that everyone must be by now…. but to my surprise costco and trader joes are the only stores around me that have these items…. and costco seems to sell them for much cheaper! i may have a biased opionion, but costco rules!!! after 11 years there i am still amazed at the low cost of most items… although you do have to buy in bulk.. and once again they have done it again with the gluten free!

  • Andrea

    I have CD and have been GF for almost 3 years. Have always read that gluten can only affect you if you ingest it. Well, I have been having trouble with an itchy scalp and recently realized that there is wheat protein in my shampoo! I stopped using it and the itching is getting better. I read that Kirkland makes a shampoo that is GF. Does anyone know how it's rated on Skin Deep? Is this a good product and is it cheaper to buy at Costco than on amazon.com? Would appreciate any advice. Thanks much

  • laura

    I have purchased the GF shampoo from Costco and it's great. I only use it now.

  • Chelsea

    As a celiac I also have issues with extreme skin sensitivity. Especially if you have DH, I recommend using gluten free soaps, etc. After I was diagnosed, I stopped using gluten containing hair products (I too had horrible scap problems!!) after this I have hardly had any problems with my reoccurant skin conditions. I only use Kirkland shampoo and conditioner and I LOVE IT!!! (we have also washed our cat in it after she had an accident and she didn’t mind the scent or anything! And she smelled awesome:)) my daughter and husband also use it and love it!

    We actually got a Costco membership after I was diagnosed with cd. Even going to whole foods and trader joes wasnt as easy or inexpensive as Costco. We especially like their wide varieties of gf cereals, especially “natures path organic crunchy vanilla sunrise”– we got a 26 oz box for 5 bucks! (anyone gf should try this cereal..it’s my daughter and non CD husbands fave too. We also buy Newmans own gf products there, gf ketchup and gf dressings. Our favorite salad dressings for anything and cooking are the organic ville sundried tomato and garlic vinaigrette and marinade and also the olive oil and balsmic. Those are our staples for chicken cooking. We get both for 5 bucks and under at Costco.

  • Laurie

    I am so glad to hear that Costco has GF products. I am going through testing now for CD, but since I quit ingesting gluten for two weeks I feel like I used to – at least 14 years ago, when I started to get sick but no one could properly diagnose me! I am sure everyone who is allergic to gluten knows what I am talking about. It is hard to have much of a life when your being continuously poisoned. I do find it challenging finding the flours for a good price. We are raising children and we have only the one income since I have been so sick. Is there a reason why rice flour, or tapioca flour should be so expensive? It seems since it is a genetic illness, it looks like two other family members have CD too. So I hope someone has some suggestions on how to live GF without having a grocery bill like a celebrity!

  • Heading to Costco in LI tomorrow…I really didn't think they had that many gluten free products last time I was there but tomorrow I will have to really go around the look…I am definitely going to look at that shampoo/conditioner as my current gluten free one online is expensive! I'm also dairy free so its a bit more difficult to find foods..I've gotten off the processed coldcuts so I'll see what else I find and report back!

  • Becca

    I find that twice now, meat products at Costco labeled gluten free have made me sick. Rotisserie chicken is the latest incident… Anyone else?

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