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17 Grocery Items That Are So Much Cheaper at Costco

Costco's prices consistently beat out those at Kroger—and we've rounded up the best deals.
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If you've not been indoctrinated into the cult of Costco, you may wonder if it's really all it's cracked up to be. It took a friend in rapture over the price of raw salmon that he bought for sashimi—no, it's not advertised as that, and yes, I do it now, too—to get me into the club store. Like most people who enter the vast wonderland of bulk goods, I immediately saw what all the fuss was about.

My household bought a membership that very day (along with a couple of pounds of salmon) and we've never looked back, even when we traded our big old Victorian with a massive walk-in pantry for a much more streamlined house. I've made it my business to keep an eye on whether things are truly less expensive, even if you're not there to buy vats of mayonnaise. And yes, there's enough stuff there that comes in manageable quantities, even for a household of two, to make it easily worth the $60 annual cost.

I took a spin around my local warehouse in Louisville, Ky., the other day after asking my social media friends about their favorite grocery essentials. I compared the posted prices of these items at Costco with the regular prices at my usual grocery store, Kroger. I did find one thing that (surprise!) wasn't cheaper at Costco. Haas avocados cost $7.39 for a bag of six, or $1.23 apiece. Meanwhile, at Kroger, a four-count bag cost $3.89, or 97 cents each. But for everything else, I found better deals at Costco—in some cases, much better deals.

Here are 17 things that are cheaper at Costco than a regular grocery store:

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water
Photo: Courtesy of Costco
Nutrition: (Per 1 Bottle)
Calories: 110
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 65 mg
Carbs: 27 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 24 g)
Protein: 0 g

I could drink a gallon of this pink water a day, but it is bonkers expensive in grocery stores. At Costco, a 6-pack of 14-ounce bottles is $13.89. That's $2.32 a bottle, or 16.5 cents an ounce. At Kroger, it's $4.99 for a 16-ounce bottle, or 31 cents per ounce. Yes, basically double! Look, even if I only drank one bottle a week, this one thing alone would pay for the membership—almost twice.

 10 Popular Costco Items That Just Dropped In Price

Walnut Halves

costco kirkland walnut halves
Photo: Costco
Nutrition: (Per 1/4 Cup)
Calories: 200
Fat: 20 g (Saturated Fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 4 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g)
Protein: 5 g

Throw what you're not eating right away in the freezer and start tossing walnuts in salads, granola, or into your waiting mouth for a snack. At Costco, a three-pound bag is $8.99, or 19 cents an ounce. Meanwhile, Kroger's biggest bag, at 32 ounces, is $17.99. That's 56 cents an ounce, or almost triple.

Mini Babybel Original Snack Cheese

babybel mini snack cheese
Photo: Costco
Nutrition: (Per Serving)
Calories: 70
Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 150 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 4 g

Is it the little red wax shell that makes these so fun? No matter, they're the perfect bite-sized snack. At Costco, 36 of these guys is $13.79, or 38 cents each, and you'll go through them surprisingly fast. At Kroger, an 18-pack is $11.49, or 64 cents apiece.

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Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A two-liter bottle of Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil
Photo: Instacart
Nutrition: (Per 1 Tbsp)
Calories: 120
Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 0 g

We buy it by the liter for everyday cooking and it's fine in dressings, too. At Costco, a 2-liter bottle of Italian EVOO is $21.79, or $10.90 per liter. Meanwhile, Kroger's Private Selection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is $38.99 for the same size, so $19.50 per liter.

Smoked Salmon

Photo: Courtesy of Costco
Nutrition: (Per 2 Slices)
Calories: 70
Fat: 2.5 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 600 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 12 g

Is this everyone's breakfast staple, or just mine? At Costco, you get two 12-ounce packs of smoked salmon for $22.99. That's $1.92 per ounce. At Kroger, you pay $8.99 for four ounces, or $2.25 per ounce.

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35 pack of patriotic themed coca cola
Photo: Amazon
Nutrition: (Per 1 Can)
Calories: 140
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 45 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 39 g)
Protein: 0 g

Soda, pop, Coke—whatever you call it, soft drinks are always a good price index. At Costco, a pack of 35 cans of Coca-Cola is $16.99, making it 49 cents per can. At Kroger, a 12-pack costs $9.99, or 83 cents each.

Chobani Greek Yogurt

A container of Chobani brand strawberry yogurt
Photo: Chobani
Chobani Greek Yogurt Strawberry (Per 5.3-oz Serving)
Calories: 110
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 55 mg
Carbs: 15 g (Fiber: <1 g, Sugar: 14 g)
Protein: 11 g

The Greek yogurt trend is apparently still going strong, and this creamy version is a popular choice. At Costco, you can score a variety pack of 20 Chobani greek yogurts for $15.99. That's just 80 cents for each 5.3-ounce container. At Kroger, a four pack of a single flavor is $4.99, so $1.25 apiece.

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Frozen Chicken Breasts

a bag of frozen chicken breasts from costo
Photo: SharpStickinYourEye / reddit
Nutrition: (Per 4 oz.)
Calories: 110
Fat: 1.5 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 280 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 23 g

I still don't know what we do with the 100 pounds chicken we eat annually here in America, but I know where it's cheaper. At Costco, you can buy a 6.6-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts for $17.99, or $2.77 per pound. At Kroger, you pay $10.99 for a three-pound bag, working out to $3.66 per pound.

S. Pellegrino Sparkling Water

san pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water
Photo: BJ's

Nothing says bougie dinner party like San Pell, but you can shave a few cents off every bottle when you shop at Costco. It's $21.49 for a 24-pack of 16.9 ounce bottles at the warehouse, or 90 cents each. At Kroger, a 12-pack of the same is $13.99, for a $1.17 cost per bottle.

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Costco Spindrift Sparkling Water
Photo: Courtesy of Costco
Spindrift Lemon Sparkling Water (Per 12-oz. Can)
Calories: 3
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 1 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 14 g)
Protein: 0 g

Is this the favored fizzy water in your house too? A variety pack of 30 cans is $18.89 at Costco. That's 63 cents apiece. At Kroger, it's $6.99 for an eight-pack, or 87 cents each.

Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars

costco yasso bars
Photo: Instacart
Mint Chocolate Chip (Per 1 Bar)
Calories: 100
Fat: 2 g (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 55 mg
Carbs: 16 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 13 g)
Protein: 5 g

A popsicle by any other name? These creamy, low-cal treats can be an expensive after-dinner habit. At Costco, it's $11.89 for a box of 15, or 79 cents a pop. At Kroger, a four-pack is $5.49, or $1.37 each.

 10 Best Costco Frozen Treats To Buy Right Now

Dunkin' Ground Coffee

dunkin' original blend medium roast ground coffee
Photo: Costco

For Dunkin' devotees, you can make the coffee at home. Get a 45-ounce can at Costco for $21.99, or 58 cents an ounce. At Kroger, it's $19.99 for 27.5 ounces, so 73 cents an ounce.

Almond Butter

A jar of Kirkland Signature almond butter
Photo: Instacart
Nutrition: (Per 2-Tbsp Serving)
Calories: 210
Fat: 17 g (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 7 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g)
Protein: 6 g

Stir it into smoothies or yogurt, or eat it by the spoon, and have at it, if you're buying it at Costco. A 27-ounce jar is $5.99, or 22 cents per ounce. At Kroger, the same $5.99 gets you a 16-ounce jar, working out to 37 cents an ounce.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch

bulk boxes two bags inside cinnamon toast crunch cereal
Photo: Sam's Club
Nutrition: (Per 1 Cup)
Calories: 170
Fat: 4 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 230 mg
Carbs: 33 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 12 g)
Protein: 2 g

Admit it, you buy it for the cinnamony milk left in the bowl. At Costco, a box of two 24.75-ounce bags runs $7.99, or 16 cents an ounce. At Kroger, a bulk 32-ounce bag costs $6.99, or 22 cents an ounce.

Organic Chicken Stock

kirkland signature organic chicken stock
Photo: Costco
Nutrition: (Per 1 Cup)
Calories: 10
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 440 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 2 g

How many recipes don't start with chicken stock? This staple is way cheaper at Costco. A box of six 32-ounce cartons costs $9.99, which works out to $1.67 a carton. At Kroger, it's $2.79 for a single 32-ounce carton.

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Marcona Almonds

marcona almonds
Photo: Courtesy of Costco
Nutrition: (Per 1-oz. Serving)
Calories: 180
Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 60 mg
Carbs: 8 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 5 g

Fancy cocktail nuts for the win. At Costco, you get a 20.7-ounce jar for $9.99. That's 48 cents an ounce. At Kroger, a 6-ounce bag is $4.99, or 83 cents an ounce.

Nature Valley Granola Bars

Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut Granola Bars
Photo: Costco
Sweet 'N Salty Peanut (Per Serving)
Calories: 170
Fat: 8 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 140 mg
Carbs: 20 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 4 g

Great to stuff in a backpack, purse, or glovebox for when you're hangry. A 48-count box is $15.89 at Costco, or 33 cents a bar. At Kroger, it's $3.79 for a six pack, or 63 cents per bar.

Dana McMahan
A freelance writer for a dozen-plus years, Dana is an award-winning journalist who's contributed to outlets including Food Network, Rachael Ray, Local Palate, and Real Simple magazines; Kitchn and Apartment Therapy,,,, NBC News Today, the Washington Post, London Telegraph, and lots more. Read more about Dana
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