Costco is quickly becoming a store of choice for organic food shoppers as they continue to add new organic food options each month from organic meats to produce, packaged products to dairy. In my experience over the years. Costco consistently has the cheapest base prices on organic products compared to other grocers.
Whole Foods on the other hand, has a bad reputation for having high prices, however, they do have good sale prices and offer many money-saving organic coupons each month. In my price comparisons in the past, Whole Foods actually didn’t rank too badly with their base prices compared to stores like Trader Joe’s.
I was curious to see, how much cheaper Costco is over Whole Foods, so I compared common food staples, like bread, dairy products, meat, olive oil and others that tend to be harder to find coupons for. Here’s what I found.
Costco Vs. Whole Foods Price Comparison:
Costco came in lower in every category but organic milk. If you were to buy these items on a regular basis, you’d save more at Costco. Let’s say you bought 1 lb. of quinoa, 16 oz. of olive oil, 2 loaves of whole wheat bread, 2 dozen eggs, 2 gallons of milk, 1 lb. of butter, 1 whole chicken (3 lb.) and 3 lbs of chicken breast every month. At Whole Foods, you’d pay $78.40 a month, or $940.80 a year. At Costco, you’ll pay $65.40 a month, or $784.80. Just on these items, you could potentially save $156 per year.
Some things to keep in mind…. Costco sells products in bulk, so you may end up with more than you need. They also have a yearly membership fee of $55, so be sure you’ll save at least that by shopping there over other stores. Costco does not generally offer sale prices (they do offer instant rebates, but rarely on these types of products), while Whole Foods will have 3-day sales that often include these types of products (like whole organic chickens for $2.29 lb).
Because Costco sells things in bulk, I couldn’t do a direct price comparison, so I broke it down by what you’ll pay by volume. For example, Costco doesn’t sell a gallon of organic milk, they sell 3 64 oz. containers together.
I also wanted to include grass fed ground beef in my price comparison, but Costco only offers organic ground beef (not grass-fed). If you’re okay with it not being grass-fed, you’d save in this category as well, as Costco offers organic ground beef for $5 lb., and Whole Foods offers organic grass-fed ground beef for $9.99 lb.
I didn’t include packaged products in my comparisons, as those tend to be easier to find deals on at stores like Whole Foods, when you combine sales with coupons. If you’re looking at base prices though, Costco comes in lower than Whole Foods on packaged organic products. So, if you’re not into couponing, Costco’s a good choice.
Organic produce is hard to compare prices on as it’s seasonal, but in general Costco offers lower prices on organic produce than Whole Foods, but has less of a selection than Whole Foods does.
What are your thoughts? Is buying a Costco membership worth the savings over Whole Foods for you? Be sure to stay tuned for more store comparisons to help you make the best choice for your budget! Sign up for my free daily newsletter here.
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