Costco photo by Jonathan Weiss / Amazon photo by Evan Lorne
Have you ever wondered where you can nab the biggest savings? Amazon and Costco are two of the largest affordable retailers out there, and both of them carry all the essentials your household needs. The question is, which one is the better bargain to shop at?
Regardless of the prices, keep in mind each retailer has their own unique advantage. Amazon offers shop-at-home convenience and a handy subscription service — but you also have to wait to receive your initial product. Costco, meanwhile, has membership fees that need to be considered as part of your overall annual transactions. In order to access their great pricing, keep in mind that you’ll also have paid $55 just to get in the door, so you need to shop there enough over the year to net more than $55 in savings for it to be worth it.
Those thoughts aside, here are some side-by-side comparisons of everyday household items to help you figure out who has the better deal!
Price comparisons are just one way you can save a ton on everyday expenses. For the rest of your grocery shopping, try these 18 ways to save money on your grocery bill!
Charmin® Ultra Soft Bath Tissue, 30 Jumbo Rolls
Costco price: $26.99
Amazon price: $24.29
Buying toilet paper in bulk totally makes sense for a crowded household. At first glance, it seems like Amazon’s got this one — but shipping is $9 extra (several other sellers offer it with free shipping, but at a higher overall price). If you’re running low on TP, your best bet is to hit the bulk seller.
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Tide® Pods Spring Meadow Scent, 152-count
Costco price: $32.99
Amazon price: $40.81
I love the convenience of laundry pods, but they can be a little on the pricey side, so nabbing the best deal is essential. When you buy a bulk package at Costco, you’ll be paying just $0.21 per load of laundry, whereas at Amazon, it’s about five cents more per pod.
Shop your local grocery store and save with Tide coupons
Namaste Gluten-Free Waffle & Pancake Mix, 6-pack
Costco price: $29.99
Amazon price: $28.48
Costco and Amazon actually have identical base pricing for this item — but Amazon offers discounts when you sign up for their subscription service for auto-delivery of grocery items. If you’re looking for a quick fix for breakfast, this mix is a great place to start for easy, affordable meals.
Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes
Costco price: $17.49 for 6x 80-wipe packages
Amazon price: $12.75 for 3x 80-wipe packages
Keep germs at bay with these easy-to-use cleaning wipes. Amazon’s price for a typical three-pack is actually a bit higher than Costco’s, but if you have more than five Subscribe & Save items delivered in a month they cost just a bit more than Costco — with no membership fees required.
Make sure you get the best price: Check for Lysol coupons here!
Cadet® Butcher Treats Pork Links Premium Dog Treats, 2.15-pound bag
Costco price: $23.99
Amazon price: $24.80
Have some treat-happy pooches in your household? These grain-free treats are a gourmet pick that’s wonderful to have on hand for rewarding good behavior. And picking up a bag at Costco will save you just over $0.80!
Finish® All in 1 Powerball Mega Pak
Costco price: $17.49 for a 115-count container
Amazon price: $12.80 for a 90-count container
Get sparkling clean dishes in a flash with these convenient dishwashing pods. The (marginally) better buy here actually comes from Amazon — each tab will cost you $0.15 from Costco, while it’s just $0.14 from Amazon. That being said, you have to subscribe to receive the tabs on a regular basis to access that better price, so shop wisely!
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Back to the Roots® Stoneground Cereal
Costco price: $34.99 for 8x 10-ounce packs
Amazon price: $9.49 for 2x 10-ounce packs
Cereal is a household staple that generally has a long shelf life, making it an apt pick for bulk buying. Picking up a set of 8 packages will set you back $4.37 per box at Costco, compared to $4.74 on Amazon with Subscribe & Save. That being said, if you want a little variety, paying that extra $0.40 per box can be worth it — otherwise you could suffer from cereal fatigue by eating the same variety for half a year!
Myrto™ Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2-count 3-liter tin
Costco price: $64.99
Amazon price: $84.94
When you’re shopping at Costco, you have to be able to justify the initial membership fees as part of your purchases. The trick is to find items that offer steep discounts over other retailers. This premium olive oil (the ultimate chef’s staple) is a whopping $19.95 cheaper than buying an identical product on Amazon, for example, and will easily be used over the course of the year.
The bottom line
Generally speaking, you’re going to find better prices at Costco — when Amazon does edge out Costco, it’s usually by pretty marginal values and often requires you to commit to an auto-delivery subscription. That being said, Costco has those membership fees to consider. If you’re not a huge bulk buyer or you’re not taking advantage of where the biggest cost savings exist, it may not be worth it to invest in a membership.