Costco In-Person vs Costco Instacart vs Amazon Fresh : Battle of Cheapest Groceries
Earlier this year, I shredded good amount of body fat. Once the fat loss period was over, I started my “gain” phase with goal of eating more calories than what my body needs to put on muscles. I’m into 3 months of gain phase now and I eat about 3000 calories per day.
Eating such amount of calories has definitely increased my grocery needs. As I try to eat healthy high quality food as much as possible, I’d like to keep the costs down too.
Signing up for Costco membership for my groceries was a no brainer. But I never analyzed how much of a difference it would make compared to other options like Amazon Fresh.
This is analysis of my today’s grocery run.
Costco In-Person shopping wins.
|Costco via Instacart Express Membership||$153.03|
The Items and Cost Matrix
|Item||Costco In-Person||Costco via Instacart||Amazon Fresh|
*Items are Amazon Fresh version of the same product
|Organic Bananas, 3 lbs||1.69||2.18||2.53|
|Nonfat Milk, 2 gal||4.99||5.46||6.19|
|Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt, 18 x 5.3 oz||7.99||8.73||15.99|
|Blueberries, 5 lb||9.89||10.81||19.81|
|Canned Pumpkin, 3 x 29 oz||6.89||7.53||19.17|
|Mission Soft Taco, 2 x 8 ct||5.99||6.55||9.58|
|Roasted Veg Melange, 4 lbs||15.49||16.93||14.40|
|Bread Organic 2 x 24 oz||8.39||9.17||10.98|
|Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Mix, 4.5 lbs||8.49||9.28||25.56|
|Organic Strawberries, 2 lbs||8.49||9.28||9.98|
|Mini Peppers 1.5 lbs||5.99||6.55||7.28|
|Organic Salsa, 48 oz||4.99||5.46||11.31|
|Organic Medjool Dates, 2 lb||8.49||12.01||12.32|
|Total 14 Items||$121.13||$136.68 Cart Total|
$139.35 With Instacart Express Fee
$153.03 With 10% Delivery Tip
$208.52 With 10% Delivery Tip
Notes and Thoughts
- This is not a scientific methodology and specific to my use case. But overall, I do find Costco the cheapest option.
- Why Amazon Fresh and not other grocery stores like Fred Meyer/QFC/Safeway/Walmart?
- I did analysis sometime back about this. Amazon Fresh has the best selection of all and has more-or-less same prices as other big selection grocery stores. Walmart is definitely cheaper in most cases, but I’ve had problems with the product quality from Walmart.
- Costco product quality is great. Their return program also helps if something is off.
- The $60 Costco membership fee can be recovered with one single trip to the warehouse.
- Selection of items at Costco can be limited. I have about dozen items which are not found at Costco but are available on Amazon Fresh. e.g. Ezekiel Bread
- I’d be going with model of weekly trip to Costco and order-when-needed from Amazon Fresh.
- Instacart Express membership is not worth it for me. With Amazon Prime, I get no-nonsense free delivery of Amazon Fresh.