There's little doubt that shopping at Costco saves money, and it's convenient for stocking up in a single trip. But can budget-conscious consumers feed a family for an entire month without shopping anywhere else? Cheapism.com drew up a Costco meal plan with four weeks' worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for a family of four, including two young children. The total cost came to just under $475 (prices may vary by store). That's about 15 percent less than the "thrifty" grocery budget of $561.10 prescribed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (for a two-parent household with two preschool-age children, based on food costs in May 2016). Because the ingredients are sold in bulk, the total was calculated based on unit prices for the food used during the month. Many items are frozen or non-perishable, so any excess provides a foundation for next month.
Raechel Conover worked on this story. Read more of her stories here.