Costco Membership Discount

*IT’S BACK* Costco Membership Offer – Coupon & Card Bonus (Living Social)

Costco Membership Discount

Costco Membership Discount

Costco Membership Offer

This popular offer is back! Living Social just launched an offer for Costco membership today you might want to consider!

For $55, you’ll receive: a Gold Star Membership*, $20 Costco Cash Card, and high value coupons ($30.97 value). This offer is valid for NEW members for their first year only.

* I want to point out that this is the same price you’d pay for a Gold Star Membership if you went through Costco directly. The advantage of purchasing this Living Social deal is the $20 Costco card and the high-value coupons. There are coupons for a free apple pie, a free rotisserie chicken, and a free Kirkland Signature™ case of bath tissue! You can also get three months of free Identity Guard service (a $40.47 value).

Here’s how to take advantage of this deal:

:: Create a Living Social account (it’s free and easy)
:: Add the Costco Membership deal to your cart & purchase

If you were thinking about starting a Costco membership, I’d highly recommend you consider this – you might as well take advantage of those freebies!

You have until September 15, 2014 to sign up for this deal. After that point, you’ll need to redeem your voucher by December 15, 2014.

Head to Living Social to check out the additional details and to take advantage of this offer.

Speaking of Costco, be sure to check out the latest installment of Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco for a humorous peek at some of the best (and most random) deals I found on my last foray through the store.


Costco: Top Coupon Mailer Deals Sept 4 – 28


If you shop at Costco, you should have received your monthly coupon booklet in the mail recently. My pal Melody at This Beautiful Frugal Life does an excellent job about visiting the store each month these come out and determining the pricepoints. The cool thing about the Costco coupons is that they are good for a full month. These deals are good clear through September 28th, so you’ll have some time to take advantage.

I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite deals for the month – the deals that I think actually beat what you could get with coupons or shopping at your regular grocery store.

Keurig-Brewed K-Cup Packs (80 ct): $32.99 (limit 5)
Works out to $0.41/per cup

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack (52 ct): $6.79 (limit 2) 
Works out to $0.13 per packet

Capri Sun Variety Pack (40 ct): $5.99 (limit 4)
Works out to $0.14 per pouch

Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar Baked Rice and Corn Puffs (16 oz)$3.49 (no limit)
Note: this is a huge bag!

Starbucks Frappuccino (12/9.5 oz): $12.99 (no limit)
Works out to $1.08 each

Scotch-Brite Sponges (18 ct): $9.79 (limit 5)
Works out to $0.54 per sponge

Palmolive Liquid Dish Soap (90 oz): $5.99 (limit 2)
Like paying $0.66 for a 10 oz bottle!

Duracell Coppertop Batteries (AA, 40 ct or AAA, 32 ct): $12.99 (limit 10)
Works out to as low as $.32 per battery

Kleenex Cottonelle Ultra Bath Tissue (36/225 sheets): $14.69 (limit 4)
Works out to 1.4 cents per square foot

Make sure to check out the full list of Costco Mailer Deals at This Beautiful Frugal Life. For other random Costco love, check out my recent Costco Trip and see the cool stuff I found (warning: some of my finds have nothing to do with getting a deal).

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco (August Edition, 2)

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costcoboromirAs much as we like to think Costco is a place that saves us money, secretly we also all know it’s a place we end up coming home with things we never set out to buy – like neon colored wiper blades, shaved ice machines, and greeting card organizers.

Earlier this year I decided to embrace the paradox that is Costco with a less than serious series entitled “Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco.” You can read the past editions by perusing the Costco category on this blog.

Yesterday the kiddos and I paid a visit to Costco to scope out some back to school food items. I also was in desperate need of kitchen garbage bags (I was down to re-using plastic sacks). True to Costco shopping style, I ended up with a few more things than I bargained for.

DSCN0011 (800x600)For the last month or so, furniture has been featured in the prominent seasonal section of my Costco store. How about yours?

DSCN0012 (800x600)The kids adored this cool sectional sleeper bed sofa. At just $599, the price sure seemed right. The size wasn’t super big on this either, so I think it would work well in an apartment/studio situation or in a den or home office that doesn’t have a lot of room.

DSCN0013 (800x600)My daughter enjoyed this lounger for $199.99. Whenever I see these things, I think of a psychiatrist’s office (is that just me?).

DSCN0014 (800x600)This storage ottoman is way cool – think of all the storage possibilities! Toys! Magazines! Books! Blankets! It was just $99.97.

DSCN0015 (609x800)My daughter eyed this 315-piece Alex Art Set for $17.99. It got a prompt NO because I could envision 315 new things to pick up off the floor or counter.

DSCN0016 (518x800)Ticonderoga pencils, 96 ct for $9.49. I’ll help you with the math: that’s buying 8 dozen pencils for $1.18 per dozen, or $0.098 per pencil. Yes, that is a great deal!

DSCN0017 (800x632)Oh hey! It’s our October Book Club pick: Boys in the Boat! I’m hearing good things about it, and can’t wait to start. It’s $9.99 currently at Costco. Incidentally, I also found two of our past reads, Unbroken ($9.99) and The Fault in our Stars ($7.99). I recommend both of them.

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Costco: Top Coupon Mailer Deals: August 7 – 31


If you shop at Costco, you should have received your monthly coupon booklet in the mail recently. While I don’t have the time or interest to match up these coupons to store prices, my pal Melody at This Beautiful Frugal Life does! (So why repeat what someone else is already rockin, ya know?) The cool thing about the Costco deals is that they are good for a full month. These deals are good clear through August 31st, so you’ll have some time to take advantage.

I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite deals for the month – the deals that I think actually beat what you could get with coupons or shopping at your regular grocery store.

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats (54 ct): $7.69 (limit 2)
Works out to $0.14 per snack!

Frito-Lay Variety Pack (54 ct): $9.39 (limit 3)
Works out to $0.17 per bag!

Annie’s Bunny Snacks Variety Pack (36 ct): $8.69 (no limit)
Works out to $0.24 per bag!

San Pellegrino Mineral Water (12/25.3 oz): $11.49 (limit 4)
Works out to $0.95 per bottle!

Yoplait Go-Gurt Simple (32 ct): $4.49 (no limit)
Works out to $0.14 per tube

Arm & Hammer Oxi Clean Max Liquid Laundry Detergent (160 loads): $11.79 (limit 5)
Works out to $0.07 per load!

Finish Powerball Tabs (110 ct) on sale BOGO (2/$14.49, limit 5 offers)
Works out to $0.065 per tab, GREAT stock-up price!

Huggies Snug & Dry Plus Diapers: $32.99 (limit 2)
Works out to $0.15/diaper (size 3)!

Huggies Natural Care Plus Baby Wipes (1160 ct): $19.99 (limit 2)
Works out to $0.017 per wipe!

Make sure to check out the full list of Costco Mailer Deals at This Beautiful Frugal Life. For other random Costco love, check out my recent Costco Trip. It was actually my daughter’s 5th best day of her life.



Finish® All-In-One Dishwasher Detergent Powerball Tabs 110ct 220 Finish Powerball Tabs for $16.99 + FREE shipping (less than 8¢ apiece!)

Finish® All-In-One Dishwasher Detergent Powerball Tabs 110ct

Finish® All-In-One Dishwasher Detergent Powerball Tabs 110ct has a great deal right now on Finish All-in-One Dishwasher Detergent Powerball Tabs (my fave) – right now you can get a buy 1, get 1 free deal on the 110 ct. packs which are priced at $16.99 with free shipping.

Once you add the first item to your cart, the second item will be added automatically. That means you’ll pay just $16.99 (+ tax) for 220 tabs, which is less than 8 cents apiece and a sweet deal in my book.

Please note that this price is good for Costco members only (non-members will have to pay a minimal surcharge of 5%, or $0.85). There is a limit of 5 free packages.

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco (August Edition)

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One does not simply "pop into Costco"

My daughter recently started ranking the best days of her 6-year old life. It went like this:

Best Day Ever: the day we made ‘smores at my friends’ house over their firepit
2nd Best Day Ever: the day we got our puppy
3rd Best Day Ever: the day I took her to Costco and she got a slice of pizza the size of her head
4th Best Day Ever: the day we left for Disney World

Yes, folks, that’s right. My daughter ranks the day she went to Costco as a better day than when we took her to Disney World. (Gee, we could’ve saved a lot of money, now that I think about it!)

Judging by the carts coming out of my local Costco, it looks like many other folks treat a trip to the warehouse store similar as they would a trip to Disney World. OK… that might be a gross exaggeration, but still.

Here are some of the deals along with some of the random stuff we found on her 5th Best Day Ever (the second time we went to Costco, this past Monday):

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Fitbit Flex + 2 Bands: $97.99. These things seems super popular – do you own one?

DSCN8444 (514x800)Instead of renting a Rug Doctor, how about owning one? At $400, it’s quite a bit – but I suppose you could find ways to justify it if you rent one an awful lot or pay someone to steam clean your carpets on a regular basis.

DSCN8446 (600x800)This $23.99 drying rack would be perfect now that the summer is here!

DSCN8448 (600x800)Halloween LED lights – is it really almost that time again?

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Welp. Maybe it is that time of year. And Costco will be there to help you see it through.

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Do you ever peruse the book section at Costco? They have some surprisingly good stuff in there. I found The Fault in our Stars ($7.99), which our book club just read and LOVED….

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I also spotted one of our next reads, The Boys in the Boat ($9.99). I’m hearing really good things about it!

DSCN8451 (632x800)My daughter had fun looking at all the kids’ books.

DSCN8458 (600x800)We also found some really good deals in kids’ shoes. My daughter really, really, REALLY wanted these girls’ Skechers for $19.99, but we passed for now. I hope I don’t regret this later, because that is a really good deal for Skechers!

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We also couldn’t help but notice these adorable Hello Kitty rainboots for $17.99. They also had Batman ones.

DSCN8460 (600x800)Kids’ Crocs for $12.99!

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These women’s 2-pack pajama bottoms are on sale right now for $11.99. I bought some a few months back and have to say, I love them. Super comfortable!

DSCN8452 (800x600)There was also quite a bit of furniture at my Costco store. I loved this trunk for $229.99. But what to put in it? Blankets? Books? Spanish gold?

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We enjoyed a couple samples today. This was So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream and it was GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I would’ve eaten about 8 of these if I wouldn’t have looked like a sample hog. My daughter enjoyed hers too.

DSCN8469 (600x800)Two words: NUTELLA SAMPLE!

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Pineapple plates + napkin set = $12.99. It was only after I got home that I realized these would be *perfect* for my book club next month (we’re reading Moloka’i, which is set in Hawaii.)

DSCN8463 (800x714)WOAH – this is a really fantastic deal! Glad Matchware, 24 + 4 bonus piece set for just $4.99 after instant discount! I totally picked one of these up for that price!

DSCN8464 (600x800)This was another great deal: 12 pack of Vita Coco for $8.62 (and NO LIMIT!). I rarely to never buy coconut water, but at less than $1/per bottle, I jumped. I figure these will be good to have for those days I do extra long workouts.

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I was intrigued by these salad kits. They had Santa Fe Chicken as well as Caprese. Each included 2 complete salad kits for $5.99. Of course, I could always just make my own Mediterranean Chicken Salad and call it a day!

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HOW ADORABLE ARE THESE?! Small bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider for just $6.99 after instant discount. That works out to just $0.58 per bottle!

DSCN8472 (495x800)WHAT are THESE?! Coconut chips? I was sooooooooooooooo tempted by these, but at $9.79 for the bag, I just couldn’t do it. If you’ve had them before, I’d love to know what you think.

DSCN8470 (600x800)A huge box of fair scone mix for $6.69. This would be positively dangerous in my house – scones are my absolute FAVORITE fair treat. And oh great, I’m craving them now. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, thanks Costco!

Here is my shopping trip for the day:

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The Coconut Water + Gladware for a total of $14.48 (that includes tax). Not pictured: one slice of cheese pizza for $2.18, the size of my daughter’s head.

After all, this was her 5th Best Day Ever.

For past Costco reports, deals, and chatter, see my Costco category. So what deals have you snagged at Costco lately? What items have you bought on impulse lately – and why did they catch your eye?





Costco: Top Coupon Mailer Deals: July 3 – August 10

Costco deals

If you shop at Costco, you should have received your monthly coupon booklet in the mail recently. While I don’t have the time or interest to match up these coupons to store prices, my pal Melody at This Beautiful Frugal Life does! (So why repeat what someone else is already rockin, ya know?) The cool thing about the Costco deals is that they are good for a full month. The deals I’m about to share with you below are good clear through August 10th!

I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite deals for the month – the deals that I think actually beat what you could get with coupons or shopping at your regular grocery store.

Vita Coco Coconut Water (12/11.1 oz): $10.69 (no limit)
That works out to $0.89 each, which is a solid price!

Jif Peanut Butter (2/48 oz) : $7.19 (limit 2)
This works out to $3.59 each, or like paying $1.35 for an 18-oz jar. I consider anything under $1.50 a stock-up price, so this is a great deal.

Starbucks Frappuccino (12 ct): $13.69 (no limit)
This works out to just $1.14 per bottle!

Kirkland Signature Environmentally Responsible Dish Detergent (135 oz): $6.89 (limit 1)
This is like paying about $0.50 per 10-oz bottle; solid price!

Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner (6/24 oz): $6.29
Clorox Clean-Up with Bleach (32 oz Trigger + 180 oz Refill): $8.29 (limit 5)
This works out to $1.04 per bowl cleaner, great price!

Brawny Mega Pick-A-Size Paper Towels (15 ct): $15.99 (limit 2)
This works out to $1.06 per roll  (less than $.02/square foot)

Make sure to check out the full list of Costco Mailer Deals at This Beautiful Frugal Life. For other random Costco love, check out my recent Costco Trip with Kids post.

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed….until I went to Costco (June edition, with kids)

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One does not simply pop into Costco.

Since January, I’ve been doing a monthly feature I call “Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco.” I figure that at least 88% of most people’s purchases at Costco are unplanned, and my goal is to celebrate that.

These posts highlight the deals, the drools, and the randomness that makes Costco the amazing place that we plunk down $200 for 8 items (and then mentally justify our purchases on the long drive home). As my kids are out of school, I asked if they wanted to come with me today or stay home with dad. Of course, they wanted to go to Costco.

DSCN7875 (800x439)My son’s first question was “what’s for lunch?” I didn’t plan this outing super well and realized that we were setting out to do our grocery shopping during lunch hour. (A big “no no,” I know.) I decided to have my kids eat first to prevent some of the begging later. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten at the Costco food place, but the prices sure seemed good!

Each of my kiddos got a slice of pizza and an ice cream and I paid just about $7.50. NOT bad.

DSCN7878 (800x560)Have you ever had one of these Costco pizza slices? My goodness, they are just HUGE. As you can see, my kids had to work hard to eat them! My daughter could barely eat 1/2 of her pizza and 1/3 of her frozen yogurt too. I guess the Costco proportions shouldn’t have surprised me, but they did.

DSCN7881 (800x437) (2)While the kids were eating, this sign caught my eye. Did you know you can phone-in an order for pizza? At $9.99 for an 18″ pizza, seems like a deal to me.

DSCN7886 (800x600)Once the sugar high had set in nice and good, I knew we were ready to explore the store.

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Costco: Top Coupon Mailer Deals June 12 – July 6


If you shop at Costco, you should have received your monthly coupon booklet in the mail recently. While I don’t have the time or interest to match up these coupons to store prices, my pal Melody at This Beautiful Frugal Life does! (So why repeat what someone else is already rockin, ya know?) The cool thing about the Costco deals is that they are good for a full month. You can take advantage of these prices clear through June 1st!

I wanted to point out a few of the deals that are standing out to me this month:

Zico Coconut Water (6/1L) $12.99 (limit 2)
Works out to just over $2 each

Clif Kid Z Bar (24 bars) $10.79
Buy 1, Get $1 Ibotta offer
Bottom line: $9.79 after Ibotta offer (works out to $0.41/bar!)

Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee (2.5 lbs) $15.49 (limit 5)
Works out to $6.19/lb or $4.64 per 12-oz package (I consider that a stock-up price for Starbucks)
Starbucks Via Instant Coffee (24 ct) on sale $12.74 (limit 5)
Works out to $.53 each

Palmolive Liquid Dish Soap (90 oz) $5.99 (limit 2)
This is like paying $.66 per 10-oz bottle!

Finish Powerball Tabs (110 ct) $11.49
or Finish Jet-Dry (32 oz)  $7.49 (limit 5)
This works out to $0.10/load for the Powerball Tabs

Dove Men + Care Bars (12 ct) $7.49 (limit 2)
Works out to just $0.62/bar (great price!)

If you are a Costco shopper, make sure to check out my Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco post from last month.

For the full list of deals, please see This Beautiful Frugal Life!


Costco Members: FREE Baby Essentials Sample



Are you a Costco member? If so, I have a great freebie to share with you – it’s a Baby Essentials pack and it includes the following items:

  • (2) Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers – Size 1
  • (1) 8-ct pack of Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes
  • (2) Kirkland Signature™ Diapers – Size 1/2
  • (1) 5-ct pack of Kirkland Signature™ Baby Wipes
  • (4) Single-serve packs of Enfamil® Infant Formula
  • (1) 0.75 fl oz Sample of The Honest Company Shampoo & Body Wash
  • Costco Exclusive Savings on Similac® Infant Formula
  • Information on Kirkland Signature™ Infant Formula

In order to claim the freebie you must be a Costco member and fill out the short online form (click the “Free Sample” link on the page to be directed). Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery; limit one free sample per household.

Speaking of Costco, make sure to check out the Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco post I shared last week. I found a ton of awesome things!

Thanks, Thrifty & Thriving!

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed….until I went to Costco (May edition)

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costcoboromirIt’s time once again for me to share some of the things I found at Costco that I suddenly decided I needed today. After a somewhat boring trip to the Business Costco Center in Fife last month, I decided to head back to my regular old Costco in Federal Way where they’d have plenty of random stuff, free samples, and wine.

Here are some of the drools and deals I spotted.

DSCN7326 (600x800)I found a small assortment of veggies and plants in the front of the store. These huge tomatoes are selling for $9.99 and would be a good size to pick up if you’re just now getting around to starting a garden.

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In the seasonal display area, you’ll find lots of patio furniture right now.

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They were offering this pressure washer for $269.99 after instant rebate. We actually bought a pressure washer a few years ago and I must admit, it’s nice to actually own one instead of renting or borrowing one! It’s kind of fun using it to clean off your driveway.

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Costco: Top Coupon Mailer Deals May 8 – June 1


If you shop at Costco, you should have received your monthly coupon booklet in the mail recently. While I don’t have the time or interest to match up these coupons to store prices, my pal Melody at This Beautiful Frugal Life does! (So why repeat what someone else is already rockin, ya know?) The cool thing about the Costco deals is that they are good for a full month. You can take advantage of these prices clear through June 1st!

I wanted to point out a few of the deals that are standing out to me this month:

Heinz Picnic Pack on sale $5.89 (limit 2)
Includes 2 ketchup, sweet relish and yellow mustard
Bottom line: $1.47 per bottle

Gatorade All Stars (24 ct) on sale $10.49 (no limit)
Bottom line: $0.43 per bottle

Naked Juice Variety Pack (12 ct) on sale $10.49 (limit 4)
Bottom line: $0.87 per bottle

Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedge (32 ct) on sale $6.69 (no limit)
Bottom line: $0.21 per cheese wedge

Arm & Hammer Oxi Clean Max Liquid Laundry Detergent (160 loads) on sale $11.79 (limit 5)
Bottom line: $0.07 per load

Kirkland Signature Ultra Soft Bath Tissue (30 roll) on sale $11.99 (limit 4)
Bottom line: $0.39/roll
(As a comparison, I found Scott’s toilet paper for $0.31 roll at Fred Meyer yesterday)

For the full list of deals (it’s a nice, long list, too!) make sure to pop by This Beautiful Frugal Life!

You might also want to see the fun (and somewhat boring) discoveries I made at my recent visit to the Costco Business Center a couple weeks back!

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco (April – BUSINESS edition)

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I don't always go to Costco, but when I do, I go to the Costco Business Center.

In 2014, I launched a new monthly feature all about Costco (you can read Jan, Feb, and March if you want). As much as everyone touts Costco as a store to save money, I think it’s also a store to spend money. And mostly on stuff we never planned on buying in the first place. So my series is a celebration of the spend-save paradox that is Costco. The response has blown me away, to say the least. These Costso posts now receive more traffic than most of my other store posts combined and even managed to gain a small mention on HuffPo. (This leads me to believe I should keep going with the series.)

As I pondered this month’s post, I asked myself, “Angela, what can you do to make the April edition a little bit more interesting?” And what I came up with was I could visit the Costco Business Center in Fife.

What's the difference between Costco and the Costco Business Center? I decided to find out.Now I think I may have visited the Costco Business Center years ago (or maybe not, I have a bad memory), but the point is, I don’t recall anything about it. I’ve heard folks say that they sell a lot of the same things and without the crowds/lines of the regular Costco stores.

Call me silly, but I have this secret fear about going to stores like Cash ‘n Carry or the Costco Business Center because well, I’m not a business. I mean, I have a business,  but it’s this blog and I don’t really need stuff like coffeemakers or 1000s of paper towels or 18 cases of copy paper. So part of me wonders if I go in there, will they hassle me about what kind of business I have? This fear was heightened when I pulled into the parking lot only to realize I’d left my Costco membership card at home. “Now they’ll grill me at the membership counter!” I thought. But guess what? They didn’t. Turns out Costco Business Center isn’t just for businesses or hipster Costco shoppers. If you have a Costco membership card? They’ll let you in. No secret handshake required.

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco (March edition)

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Costco has ALL THE THINGSIt’s no secret… Costco has ALL THE THINGS.

As much as we say we shop at Costco to save money, most of us end up leaving with a twinge of guilt as we scramble to justify to ourselves why it is we just spent $336 on 8 items. This year, I decided to launch a monthly feature called “Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco” to celebrate the love-hate relationship most of us have with this store.

As I shared in my February edition, one of the ways Costco works to get us to part with our money is by constantly shifting around their merchandise. This constant shifting confuses customers into wandering down strange, new aisles and finding strange, new wonderful things. Things they didn’t know they needed… until they went to Costco. (See how I came up with the idea for the title of this series?)

 While it’s still rainy and dreary outside, Costco would have you believe it’s the middle of summer. Take a look at what I found at my store today and you’ll see what I mean…

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Down the seasonal section of the store, you’ll find lots of bags of dirt, organic fertilizer, and Sluggo. I did grab two bags of this Cedar Grove Potting soil for $6.99 each to pot up some huckleberry bushes. In my defense, “dirt” was actually on my shopping list today.DSCN5160 (800x600)

I’ve been waiting for Costco to stock this double drum tumbling composter again! It is $149.99 and yes, it very awkwardly made its way into my cart (and even more awkwardly made its way into my car). I can only hope my husband will be excited to put this together for me tonight.

This is actually a pretty great price for a double drum composter like this and I’ve been waiting to buy one.
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Look at all the pretty watering nozzles! Only $19.99.

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Check this out – these are the SAME 6 pack of women’s garden gloves they were $6.99 after instant manufacturer’s rebate a couple months ago. They were also found towards the back of the store in January. I suspect they may sell more of these just because of the placement and time of year.

By the way, I did buy these gloves at $6.99 and LOVE them. I am notorious for losing garden gloves (or accidentally leaving them outside and having them go icky), so this was a great deal for me. At $8.99, they are still a good value in my opinion.

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Also in the seasonal section, these pack of 4 Solar Dock & Deck lights for $26.99. I’ve been thinking of adding solar lighting to the garden, for those warm summer evenings that we have about 12 times a year.DSCN5164 (600x800)

This was the most tempting thing I found in the book section today – it’s a family recipe binder, and it was only $9.89. It included recipe cards, dividers, and page protectors. Wouldn’t this make a great bridal shower gift?

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Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco (February Edition)

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Costco BoromirLast month I kicked off a new feature I’m calling “Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco.” The point of the feature is to highlight the love-hate relationship many of us have with Costco.

It’s a curious thing when people say they shop at Costco to save money, yet wheel out $256 worth of dish towels, crackers, produce, and drum sets to their car. Instead of fighting this and getting defensive about it, my goal is to own it and share with you the stuff that’s likely to distract you when you walk in for the “2 things” you intend to pick up.

While this list will no doubt highlight some good values, some of it may just tempt you to overspend at Costco. You’ve been warned.

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Observation: Costco moved the books in my store. Last month, they were by the electronics. Today I found this section in the middle. I have this hunch that they just like to keep you on your toes. By moving things around, you never get too used to where anything is at. This forces you to browse.

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I am a huge Shel Silverstein fan and was delighted to find some of his books in hardback for about $10-12 each.

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Bob Books for $9.99. These books seem to be rather popular and are to help early readers out. Each includes a number of books, parent guide, site words, and more.

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I was nearly tempted by these animal-print fleece pajamas for $12.99, but resisted.

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However, I could not resist this 2-pack of lounge pants for $14.99. I actually have been in need of some of these as I tend to keep my pajama pants past the point of embarrassment. These will be going in my chest of drawers and I am finally throwing out the ones with holes I’ve been hanging onto. (I imagine my husband will be pleased by this development.)

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They had cute girls’ Easter dresses for just $15.99 today.
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Oh hey, it’s the long lost cousins of the Pillow Pets!

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Confession: I have a horrible weakness for super soft blankets. I already own a couple, but did pause a moment when I saw these queen blankets for $12.99. That’s a really good price. (And yes, I did feel them. They are soooofffttt. I’d love to climb on top of the box and just lay on all of them.)

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We are actually in need of new plates and these “earthy” sets really appeal to me. They were $49.95 each.
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I really don’t own many clips like these, but could see how they would be useful. Oddly enough, I found them on a shelf but with no price listed! I imagine they’d be about $15 or so. What do you think?

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I wonder how long this pack of 648 sheets of construction paper would last my kids? Honestly, this is the sort of purchase I’d be nervous to bring home. One look at that stack of paper, and the scissors would come out and then I’d be vacuuming little bits of colored paper for weeks.

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A set of two golf umbrellas for $19.99 seemed like a good deal to me! I don’t golf, but I do own a golf umbrella and I like them because you can stand multiple people under one. It’s a cost savings.

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Last month in this exact same spot, I found garden gloves for $6.99. Today? It’s a kayak for $299.99. This is just classic Costco for you. You really never know how they are going to shift things around.

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Have you ever had Costco roast chicken? It’s actually very, very good! I think $4.99 is a stellar price, too. Honestly, it’s sometimes hard to find one uncooked for that price anymore.

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I love the pre-packed typed dinners Costco sells in the deli department. Not always the most frugal choice, but I like to justify it in my head by saying it’s cheaper than take out! I found Korean BBQ for $4.99/lb today.

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One of you tipped me off recently that Costco sells these gigantic triangles of Beecher’s Flagship Cheese. This is pretty much the BEST.CHEESE.EVER.

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When I entered Costco today, I was given a coupon booklet for organic food stuffs. One of those items was this box of 32-ct organic Quenchers juice. After the coupon, it works out to $7.59 (or $0.24 per juice box!). That seemed like a decent price for organic juice, plus it should last my kids quite a while.

The coupons are good through March 2nd and they come off automatically at checkout. (My pal Melody’s got the full scoop on the Costco Organic Coupons… make sure to check out her blog.)

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Brittle… yeah, this caught my eye. I kept staring at it, so I finally just threw it in my cart. I’m bringing it to my book club tonight to share. (We’re discussing Eleanor and Park {Amazon Link}, in case you read it/are wondering/are thinking I made up the book club bit to justify this purchase.)

Ready to see my Costco shopping cart?

DSCN4444 (800x600)I bought some snacks for the kids’ lunches, a huge thing of organic spinach, some blueberries, the cookie brittle, lounge pants, macaroni and cheese (I’ve got a huge weakness for this stuff), plus 500 square feet of tinfoil. I wasn’t too pleased paying $14 for foil, but I feel I’m always running out of the stuff so I just bit the bullet. I’m hoping I won’t need to buy more foil until at least 2017.

My total? $93.11. I always say if you can leave Costco spending under $100, you’re doing pretty good. But $93.11 is dangerously close to the “Costco wins” mark. That was a narrow scrape. I better watch it next month.

If you like Costco, please check out:

Also, make sure to keep an eye on This Beautiful Frugal Life’s Costco Category. She does the Costco coupon matchups each month as well as reports on tips & tricks for saving money at Costco.

So, what have you bought at Costco lately? Did you totally splurge on something unexpected on a recent trip? Do you find your Costco store is forever rearranging their merchandise? Thoughts?


Costco – Current Gift Card Offers (Universal Studios, Movie Tickets & More!)


Did you know Costco is a great place to save on gift card offers? This is particularly handy to keep in mind as you’re planning a date night, vacation, or need to buy some gifts!

Here are the current gift card deals my pal Rachelle found at her Tacoma Costco. Please note that selection may vary by location and is subject to change at any time.

Wally Park Gift Card Costco

Wally Park – get TWO $50 gift cards for $49.99! These are valid at select locations only.

Universal Studios Gift Card Costco

Universal Studios – get 2 visits for $69.99! No blackout dates. According to the Universal website, regular admission is $84 (for ages 10+).
SpaFinder Gift Card Costco

SpaFinder – get TWO $50 gift cards for $79.99!
Brown Bear Gift Card Costco

Brown Bear Car Wash – pack of 5 Beary Car Washes for $39.99.

See's Chocolate Gift Card Costco

See’s Chocolates – 2 One Pound Gift Certificates for $28.99.

Pacific Grill Gift Card Costco

Pacific Grill – TWO $50 gift cards for $79.99.

Rock Pizza Gift Card Costco

Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits – 4 $25 Gift Cards for $79.99.

Cold Stone Gift Card Costco

Cold Stone Creamery – FOUR $10 Gift Cards for $27.99.

Stanley Seaforts Gift Card Costco

Palomino/Cutter’s/Stanley & Seaforts/Scott’s/Palisade = TWO $50 Gift Cards for $79.99.

Space Needle Restaurant Gift Card Costco

Space Needle Sky City Restaurant – TWO $50 gift cards for $79.99.

AMC Movie Tickets Gift Card Costco

AMC Movie Tickets – 2 for $16.99.

Regal Entertainment MOvie Tickets Gift Card Costco Regal Entertainment – 2 Movie Tickets for $16.79.

Want more Costco? Make sure to read my post Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco.


Well, this is Cool!


Today, like most other days, I decided to check on how traffic was doing for the blog. And lo and behold – I noticed a decent number of hits from Huffington Post!

After a little digging around, I found that the Stuff I Didn’t Know I Needed… until I went to Costco post was linked up to a piece they published today called 11 Things You Didn’t Know about Costco! And then, I *might* have done a little jig over here!


So if you’ve found my blog today via the Huffington Post – welcome, I’m glad you’re here! Please head on over to my About page to learn more about what you’ll find here.

Turns out that little post was among my most visited last month and it seems to have resonated with a lot of folks. I guess that means I’ll be continuing that feature on a monthly basis!

In case you missed it, please do check out my post Stuff I Didn’t Know I Needed… until I went to Costco

And if you’re hoping to save, head on over to this awesome Costco Membership Deal that’s running – it’s a great way to take advantage of a gift card + coupon offers if you’re thinking of opening a membership anyways! Finally, make sure to check out this $33 P&G Costco Rebate offer as well. When I reported it earlier this week,it was $30 – seems that they’ve upped the ante.


Costco: P&G $20 Gift Card Rebate Offer – NOW $33!


Costco P&G Gift Card Offer

Costco is running a special gift card rebate promotion: spend $100 on participating P&G products, receive a $20 Costco gift card. P&G brands include Pantene, Charmin, Tide, Duracell, Gillette, Dawn, Olay, and more.

UPDATE: Check it out – seems that this rebate was upped to $33 now!


Here’s what to do:

:: Purchase $100 of participating P&G products between 1/30/14 – 3/31/14 either in store or online. These do not need to be purchased all in one transaction.
:: Fill out the rebate form and have it postmarked by 5/1/14.
:: Limit two redemptions per name/household.

For more details and to print your form, please visit

Speaking about Costco, do you ever notice how you tend to go into the store for one or two things, but end up making some splurge purchases? If so, you might want to check out the new monthly series I’ve launched here at the blog. It’s called Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco. It’s part deal, part drool (and just a ton of fun, really).

Check out the January Report as well as the February Report.

Thanks, Cristie!

Stuff I didn't know I needed...until I went to Costco | The Coupon Project

Stuff I didn’t know I needed…until I went to Costco (January edition)

Stuff I didn't know I needed...until I went to Costco | The Coupon Project

Stuff I didn't know I needed...until I went to Costco | The Coupon ProjectEarlier this year, I promised to share more Costco deals with you. The truth is, for all its awesomeness, I have a bit of a bone to pick with Costco, and it’s this:

They are experts at getting you to part with your money.

Now I suppose the same could be said of many other retailers, but there’s something about being at Costco that suddenly inspires me to buy a new cookbook, or a new knife set, or a huge jug of vodka. People don’t just “pop into Costco,” they camp there for the better part of an afternoon (or day).

As I’ve been pondering this and how I might share Costco finds with you in a way that’s unique, I’ve decided – “hey, let’s just own this puppy. Costco entices us with all sorts of stuff, so let’s talk about that stuff. And maybe have a little fun in the process.” There are many blogs that take Costco shopping very seriously. But I have to be true to myself. I am just not one of those bloggers.

So with that, I’d like to call this new monthly feature “Stuff I didn’t know I needed…. until I went to Costco.” It’s kind of like a hybrid post – half deal/half drool. Sound good?

Great. Let’s get started.

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Tires. Did you know Costco sells them? They sure do. My store used to have them towards the back, but today I noticed they were up near the front, by electronics. Coincidence? I say, nothing is a coincidence when it comes to the placement of products at Costco.

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Costco actually has a nice selection of books. If you see this one, pick it up. It was one of the best things I read in 2011.

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OK so this one surprised me. Costco is selling the Chinook Coupon Book for $12.49. It’s $20 elsewhere and contains coupons for natural and organic products.

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Happy Light for $49.99. I bet they sell a ton of these here in the Pacific Northwest this time of year.

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Now I don’t need new bowls, but if I did, I could go for these. They were $14.99 for the set of 8.

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This would be kind of fun… if only I had a purpose for it. We don’t have a bonus room, bar, or man cave in the house. Any other ideas?

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I’m not going to lie… this interlocking flooring nearly made it into my cart. It’s just $9.99 and is about 8 feet long. I was thinking it would be handy to put under the puppy pen area in my kitchen. Costco, you almost got me on that one… almost!

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Three headlamps AND batteries for $9.99?! Crazy.

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This Water Blaster was definitely eye catching, being right on the end of an aisle and all. It was $11.99 after the instant $4 rebate.

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Am I the only one that likes to look at the expensive liqueur behind the glass cabinet? Look at this cute little guy I found today.

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Best Turkey Price Roundup – as of 11/21


This is a great week to be watching for the best prices on turkeys at stores! I thought I’d provide a round-up of what I’m seeing right now along with my thoughts on each deal.

I’ve updated this post as the new grocery store ads have posted for the week.

Fred Meyer Turkey Price


Free turkey with $150 + purchase OR $0.49/lb with $100+ purchase OR $0.69/lb with $50+ purchase and in-ad coupon. $150 purchase has some exclusions, for instance alcohol and gift cards – the standards. This deal runs through Saturday, November 23rd.

My thoughts:

This is a deal worth considering *IF* you are planning on making a big purchase already at Fred Meyer or you normally spend about $150 a week on groceries. Personally I don’t generally spend $150 weekly on groceries, so this deal would not make the best sense for my family. It’s not “free” if you have to spend an extra $50-75 than you normally would. If you normally spend $75 on groceries, you’d be better off sticking to that budget and paying the $0.69/lb. You’d end up paying $13.80 for a 20-lb bird and your total grocery cost would be $88.80 – see why that’s still better than finding a way to pay $150 for a “free” bird?

Some of you are still very excited about this deal!

Reader Melissa shares: “I appreciate living within the weekly budget for food but am always willing to stock up on things like toilet paper and shampoo and soap and toothpaste (those items that i always seem to have coupons for and will always need) to get the free turkey. I find that helps me to not go through the store thinking ‘I just need to spend another $20 and then ending up with $20 of chips and pop and cookies and stuff that I don’t really need.”

QFC Turkey Price


On Sunday, QFC revealed this year’s turkey deal – get a turkey for $0.59/lb each with a $30 minimum purchase. While that’s not as strong as last year’s $0.49/lb price – this is still a solid deal in my mind and particularly so due to the low minimum purchase price requirement. I’ve confirmed that QFC is continuing this offer through 11/28.

Reader Angela shared: “We don’t need to buy many groceries right now so I am loving the QFC deal.”

If you’re headed out, make sure to check out this week’s QFC deals. I also plan on scouting out some unadvertised deals for you later today (11/21), so you might want to sit tight!

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Pacific Science Center Membership Discount – Costco Gift Card Offer

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Pacific Science Center Membership Discount

I sometimes get asked about finding discounts for local venues, such as the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. This one in particular can be a tough nut to crack as it rarely to never pops up on daily deal sites. Today I spotted what I feel is a noteworthy deal at Costco for a discount on an annual membership to the Pacific Science Center: pay $79.95 for a full year for a family of up to 6 people.

Let me break down why this is a decent deal, worth considering.

Regular admission to the Pacific Science Center is as follows:

  • Adults (ages 16-64): $14.00
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $12.50
  • Youth (ages 6-15): $10.25
  • Child (ages 3-5): $7.50

So a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids ages 6-15) would expect to pay a whopping $48.50 for a single visit! Under this Costco deal, you come out ahead even if you only make two visits in a given year ($79.95 vs. $97). Obviously, this deal gets even more attractive if you have a family of 6, which can run up to $69 for a single visit!

Not only that, this package includes the following (from the website):

  • One year membership for up to 6 household members
  • Free admission to our permanent exhibits
  • Free admission to matinee laser shows and planetarium shows
  • 15 free documentary IMAX film passes
  • 8 exhibit guest passes
  • Discounts to special engagement exhibits, feature IMAX films, our onsite café and education programs

Alternately, you can purchase this same offer through!

Here’s another Seattle-related gift card offer I spotted:

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$79.99 for (2) $50 gift cards good for the SkyCity Space Needle restaurant or the Observation Deck. In my humble opinion, you’ll get a far better deal if you redeem the gift cards for the restaurant! Regular admission to the Observation Deck is $19 for an adult, $12 for a child. BUT, it’s FREE when you dine at SkyCity. Personally, I’d rather spend $62 on food and the Observation Deck instead of $62 on just the Observation Deck. See my point? However, neither option is really super cheap as SkyCity’s prices are SkyHigh, even saving on the Costco card. If you’re just after a good view of the city, I advise you to check out these much more affordable (and some, free!) options you might not have thought of.

If you are local or planning a visit to the greater Seattle soon, I encourage you to check out my monster list of frugal things to do in Seattle. It includes lots of reader-submitted tips for saving on popular attractions, off-the-beaten-path stuff to do more and more.

Do you have any additional tips for saving at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle? Or maybe tips about buying gift card offers at Costco? Share away!

Costco Black Friday Ad Scan 2013

Costco Black Friday Ad 2013

Costco Black Friday Ad Scan 2013

Costco Black Friday Ad Scan 2013

Costco’s Black Friday ad is now available! I wanted to share some of the highlights of what to expect with you. One thing I love about Costco’s Black Friday plan is that it doesn’t involve a sale that starts on Thanksgiving! It also starts at 9 am so you won’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn. While supplies may be limited, the sales also run from Friday, November 29th – Sunday, December 1st – giving you a few days to snag them.

Some of these deals will be offered in-store while others will be offered online only at - for each category I’ve noted if it’s in-store or online.

Costco Black Friday Electronics Deals – In-Store

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HP Envy Touchsmart Laptop 15.6″ $999.99
Instant Savings Coupon – $200.00 (limit 5)
Final price: $799.99

SanDisk Flash Memory Card 
Instant Savings Coupon – up to $21 off (no limit)
(Depending on memory size)

Panasonic ZS25 20x Digital Camera $249.99
Instant Savings Coupon – $70 (limit 3)
Final price: $179.99

Nikon P520 Long Zoom Camera $449.99
Instant Savings Coupon – $150 (limit 3)
Final price: $299.99

Nikon D3200 2 Lens DSLR Camera $879.99
Instant Savings Coupon – $280 (limit 3)
Final price: $599.99

Garmin 3590 5″ GPS
Instant Savings Coupon – $50 (limit 3)
No price stated

SANUS Simplicity Flat-Panel TV Wall Mounts
Instant Savings – up to $35 (limit 3)
(Depending on variety purchased)

Sony 3D Blu-Ray Player with WiFi
Instant Savings – $40
No price stated

VIZIO 5.1 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Speakers
Instant Savings – $80 (limit 3)
No price stated

Sony Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Instant Savings – $30 (limit 3)
No price stated

ION Block Rocker Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Instant Savings – $50 (limit 3)

Sanyo Enloop Rechargeable Batteries – 8 “AA”, 4 “AAA” $24.99
Instant Savings – $5 (limit 3)
Final price: $19.99

Duracell LED 500 Lumens Flashlight $24.99
Instant Savings – $5 (limit 3)
Final price: $19.99

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Costco Cookbook

FREE Costco Cookbook

Costco Cookbook

Costco Cookbook

Costco shoppers: check it out! You can download a FREE ebook called A Decade of Cooking: the Costco Way. The cookbook contains nearly 200 pages of recipes that highlight Costco ingredients.

Here are a few examples of the recipes you’ll find inside:

  • Heirloom Lettuce Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Gorgonzola
  • Peach Bruschetta
  • Seared Fresh Brown Turkey Figs
  • Cheddar Soup with Granny Smith Apples

My pal Keri tells me Costco usually hand these out in the stores around Thanksgiving – but she’s never seen an e-version.

In case you missed it – you might want to learn about the Vitamix I saw at Costco earlier this week.


Costco Membership Offer: Get $50 worth of Coupons


If you’re looking to start a Costco Membership, sign up now and you’ll receive $50 in coupons including:

  • FREE Kirkland Signature™ rotisserie chicken
  • FREE Kirkland Signature Spring or Drinking Water, 35/16.9 oz.
  • FREE Kirkland Signature 48pk “AA” batteries – and more!

This offer is open to new Costco members only. To get it, you’ll need to print and bring this application form and present it to any Costco membership desk by December 31, 2013.

Costco Membership Fees & Benefits

There are two kinds of membership levels: Gold Star and Executive. (There is a also a Business Membership, but it’s not listed as an option for the above promotion.) Both the Gold & Executive Memberships will get you access to the warehouse as well as exclusive prices through the website. The Gold Star Membership fee is $55/annually and the Executive Membership Fee is $110.

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Vitamix at Costco: 5200s at Good Price!

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Today my husband and I took a quick spin through Costco. (OK it was a long spin because we walked up and down most all of the aisles!) While there, I spotted the Vitamix 5200S being sold at Costco for $374.99. I thought I’d share this find because I know some of you have been pining for a Vitamix!

Vitamix Costco Good Price Image

These normally retail for $400+ and the equivalent model is selling for $450 on Amazon right now. The suggested retail value of this model is $449 at

DSCN1781 (800x623)Included in the box:

  • Blender base with powerful 2-peak horsepower motor
  • BPA-free, shatter proof container with 64-oz blending capacity
  • Spill-proof lid with removeable lid plug
  • Tampler
  • Let’s Get Started DVD and Getting Started Plus recipe book

You’ll also receive a 7-year warranty. I personally own a Vitamix and it gets used all the time! I primarily use it to make green smoothies, but I also enjoy using it to puree soups and have also made salad dressings, desserts, and pesto with it as well. While it’s definitely not cheap, even with a deal, it’s my most used kitchen appliance and was absolutely worth the cost to me!

Vitamix Turbo

Another deal worth considering: Amazon currently has the Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2-Speed priced at $362 + FREE shipping. This model has the same 2-peak HP motor of the 5200S, but doesn’t have the same soft touch grip buttons as the 5200S. It doesn’t appear to come with the instructional DVD, but does have a smaller cookbook included in the box. The suggested retail value of this model is about $400.

If you’ve been thinking of a Vitamix? You might also check out my post on Saving on a Vitamix.


Zulily: Costco Membership + $50 in Coupon Savings for $55!


zulilycostcoOne of my favorite daily deal sites, Zulily, is offering up a rather unique deal for Costco! Yes, Costco!

For $55, you can receive a new Costco membership OR upgrade your current Costco membership to Executive Membership. Included in your membership are coupons good for:

  • One free rotisserie chicken
  • One free 48-pack “AA” batteries
  • One free 48-ct pack Kirkland water
  • More than $50 in coupon savings total!

This package is valued at $105!

Once you purchase this package from Zulily, your activation card and coupons will ship in 3-7 business days. Once it arrives in your mailbox, you can simply bring it with you to Costco and exchange it for your permanent membership card.

If you’re interested – don’t wait around. This offer is only good for another day! Head to Zulily to check it out. 



When does shopping at Costco make sense?


Have you ever wondered if Costco is really a bargain?

Here’s what my take is on it. In most cases you can easily outdo Costco’s unit prices with sales and coupons. But in the absence of a sale, what should you do? I’m delighted to share that Heather over at Queen Bee Coupons has done a LOT of legwork for you. Please take the time to check out her amazing Costco unit price compilation spreadsheet! This is the sort of resource I’d personally print out and add to my coupon binder for quick reference.

Want more of my thoughts on Costco? You might be interested to read a post I wrote last as part of my Coupon Myths & Misconceptions series entitled “I’ll save more shopping at Costco.” Finally, you might want to read an excellent tip I stumbled upon recently on the Consumerist about how to shop at Costco without buying a membership.

What do you think is a good bargain at Costco?