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I’ve often wondered if we’re actually saving on some of the items that are sold in bulk at Costco compared to smaller packages/sizes at retail stores combined with sales and coupons.  This week’s Costco in-store coupons are for products that I happen to have coupons for in my binder and so I’ve decided to calculate the per/unit cost to compare.

Dole Fruit Bowls

Costco: 20×107 mL Fruit Cups $6.99 after $2 in-store coupon = $.35 per cup

Independent Grocer: 4×107 mL Fruit Bowls on sale for $1.67-$1 coupon from back of Squish’ems box = $.17/cup *winner*

Facial Tissues

Costco: 20 boxes of Scotties Premium 2-ply $15.99 after $4 instore coupon = $0.80/box

Real Canadian Superstore: 16 boxes of Royale on sale for $12.97 – $1 OFF GoCoupons.ca = $1.34/box

Loblaws: Kleenex 6 boxes of 3-play on sale for $6.99 – $1 OFF when you buy 2 boxes from SmartSource insert = $1.08/box  (but since these are 3 ply, there will be fewer tissues)

No Frills 6 boxes of Royale on sale for $3.97 – $1 OFF GoCoupons.ca = $.50/box *winner*

Quaker Harvest Crunch

Costco: 1.6 kg box $4.69 after $2 in-store coupon = $.0028/g *winner*

Independent 750 g box on sale for $3 (i have no coupons at the moment!) = $.004/g

Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Costco: 3L $14.99 after $4 in-store coupon = $4.99/L *winner*

Loblaws: 1L on sale for $7.99 (our $2 OFF tearpad coupons expired in December ’12) = $7.99L

By comparing just these 4 products, I am going to draw my own conclusion that retail sale prices with a coupon offer more savings than the larger quantities at Costco even with the in-store coupons.  That being said, there are a few staples which are consistently less expensive:  milk and bananas come to mind.  I’m going to continue to compare prices before making big purchases at Costco.

By registering for the Costco e-newsletter on their web-site, I can stay up-to-date on which items have in-store coupons (aka are “on sale”) and I like to use Flyer On Fire to do a quick check to see if the items are on-sale anywhere the same week. 

If there’s an item I’m really serious about taking at trip to Coscto for (it’s a bit of a drive and I, like most consumers, find it difficult to resist adding extra Costco treasures to my cart.  I try to restrict my trips.) then I double check with the actual paper flyer (Flyer On Fire is sometimes incomplete) and flip through my coupon book.   It takes a little bit of extra time to do this research, as well as to find, clip & organize my coupons, that’s for sure.  But when my savings allow me to continue to be home for our family, my time is worth the savings.

Happy Couponing (or Costco-ing)!

Christa Clips ~ January 5, 2013

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