Best Food Deals at Costco: Comparing Prices on 50 Products

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SHOPPING SHOWDOWN

Can shoppers really save by skipping grocery stores in favor of warehouse clubs? Cheapism.com compiled a list of 50 staple products and compared prices by the ounce, to account for differences in quantity, at Costco, the largest wholesale club operator, and Kroger, one of the nation's largest grocery chains.

The results aren't surprising: Costco wins overall, with prices up to 67 percent cheaper on 38 items. Shopping at Kroger, even with its sales and loyalty-card discounts, netted savings on 10 items (prices were the same on two items). The savings were also much smaller at Kroger: 30 percent or less on all but one item, whereas Costco offered more than 30 percent savings on 18 items.

That doesn't mean consumers should ditch grocery stores entirely. Buying in bulk saves only if the extra food doesn't go bad before it can be used. Also, selection is more limited at warehouse clubs; brand-conscious buyers won't find many favorites on the shelves. And don't forget the membership fee: $55 a year at Costco, $50 at BJ's Wholesale Club, and $45 at Sam's Club. But here's where a Costco membership pays off -- and where it doesn't.

Related: 11 Types of People Who Shouldn't Set Foot in Costco
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SPINACH (FRESH)

Costco: $5 for a 40-ounce bag (12.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $6 for a 16-ounce bag (37.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 67 percent (24.9 cents an ounce)

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MAPLE SYRUP (LOG CABIN ORIGINAL)

Costco: $7 for two 64-ounce bottles (5.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.69 for one 24-ounce bottle (15.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 64 percent (9.9 cents an ounce)

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FLOUR TORTILLAS (MISSION, 8-INCH)

Costco: $4 for a 63-ounce pack (6.3 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.39 for a 17.5-ounce pack (13.7 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 54 percent (7.4 cents an ounce)

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CHOCOLATE CHIPS (NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE, SEMI-SWEET)

Costco: $9 for a 72-ounce bag (12.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $9.59 for a 36-ounce bag (26.6 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 53 percent (14.1 cents an ounce)

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ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

Costco: $5 for 3 pounds (10.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $7 for 2 pounds (21.8 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 52 percent (11.4 cents an ounce)

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QUINOA (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $11.89 for a 4.5-pound bag (16.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5 for a 1-pound bag (31.2 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 47 percent (14.7 cents an ounce)

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FROZEN WAFFLES (EGGO HOMESTYLE)

Costco: $9.89 for six 12-count packages, 88.8 ounces (11 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.59 for one 24-count package, 29.6 ounces (18.9 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 42 percent (7.9 cents an ounce)

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GROUND BEEF (85 PERCENT LEAN)

Costco: $19.58 for 6.55 pounds (18.7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5 a pound (31.2 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 40 percent (12.5 cents an ounce)

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GREEK YOGURT (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $5.79 for two 32-ounce tubs (9 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.59 for one 24-ounce tub (15 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 40 percent (6 cents an ounce)

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COOKING SPRAY (PAM ORIGINAL)

Costco: $7 for two 12-ounce cans (29 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.79 for one 8-ounce can (47.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 39 percent (18.4 cents an ounce)

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CEREAL (CHEERIOS)

Costco: $6.39 for two 20.35-ounce boxes (15.7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $4.49 for one 18-ounce box (24.9 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 37 percent (9.2 cents an ounce)

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WHOLE-WHEAT BREAD (NATURE'S OWN WHOLE WHEAT)

Costco: $4.29 for two 20-ounce loaves (11 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.49 for one 20-ounce loaf (17.5 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 37 percent (6.5 cents an ounce)

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MOZZARELLA (SHREDDED, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $10.89 for 5 pounds (13.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5 for 1.5 pounds (20.8 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 35 percent (7.2 cents an ounce)

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MIXED BERRIES (FROZEN, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $10 for a 64-ounce bag (15.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $11.59 for a 48-ounce bag (24.1 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 35 percent (8.5 cents an ounce)

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POTATO CHIPS (KETTLE KRINKLE CUT, SEA SALT)

Costco: $4.89 for a 2-pound bag (15.3 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3 for a 13-ounce bag (23.1 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 34 percent (7.8 cents an ounce)

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BOTTLED WATER (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $3 for 40 16.9-ounce bottles (0.4 cents per fluid ounce)
Kroger: $3.34 for 32 16.9-ounce bottles (0.6 cents per fluid ounce)
Savings at Costco: 33 percent (0.2 cents per fluid ounce)

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BUTTER (UNSALTED, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $10 for four 1-pound packages (15.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.69 for one 1-pound package (23 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 32 percent (7.4 cents an ounce)

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PEANUT BUTTER (JIF CREAMY)

Costco: $10 for two 48-ounce jars (10.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $6 for one 40-ounce jar (15 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 31 percent (4.6 cents an ounce)

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SEA SALT (FINE, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $2.79 for a 30-ounce jar (9.3 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.29 for a 17.6-ounce jar (13 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 28 percent (3.7 cents an ounce)

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POTATOES (RUSSET)

Costco: $10 for a 20-pound bag (3.1 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.49 for an 8-pound bag (4.3 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 28 percent (1.2 cents an ounce)

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CHEDDAR CHEESE (BLOCK, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $4.79 for 2 pounds (15 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5 for 1.5 pounds (20.8 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 28 percent (5.8 cents an ounce)

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MIXED VEGETABLES (FROZEN, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $6.49 for a 5.5-pound bag (7.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.98 for a 3.75-pound bag (10 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 26 percent (2.6 cents an ounce)

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SPAGHETTI (BARILLA)

Costco: $9 for eight 1-pound boxes (7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $1.49 for one 1-pound box (9.3 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 25 percent (2.3 cents an ounce)

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ONIONS (SWEET)

Costco: $3.79 for a 5-pound bag (4.7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $1 a pound (6.2 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 24 percent (1.5 cents an ounce)

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VEGETABLE OIL (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $7 for two 3-quart bottles (3.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $6 for one 1-gallon jug (4.7 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 23 percent (1.1 cents an ounce)

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BOXED MACARONI AND CHEESE (KRAFT)

Costco: $14.79 for 18 7.25-ounce boxes (11 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $1 for one 7.25-ounce box (13.8 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 20 percent (2.8 cents an ounce)

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DIET COKE

Costco: $5.29 for four 2-liter bottles (2 cents per fluid ounce)
Kroger: $1.67 for one 2-liter bottle (2.5 cents per fluid ounce)
Savings at Costco: 20 percent (0.5 cents per fluid ounce)

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CRACKERS (RITZ)

Costco: $8.59 for a 61.6-ounce pack (13.9 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.49 for a 20-ounce pack (16.9 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 18 percent (3 cents an ounce)

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APPLES (GALA)

Costco: $7.79 for 5.5 pounds (8.9 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $1.69 a pound (10.6 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 16 percent (1.7 cents an ounce)

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ORANGE JUICE (TROPICANA PURE PREMIUM)

Costco: $8.29 for three 59-ounce bottles (4.7 cents per fluid ounce)
Kroger: $7 for 1 gallon (5.5 cents per fluid ounce)
Savings at Costco: 15 percent (0.8 cents per fluid ounce)

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PASTA SAUCE (RAGU OLD WORLD STYLE)

Costco: $7.59 for three 45-ounce jars (5.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3 for one 45-ounce jar (6.6 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 15 percent (1 cents an ounce)

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BANANAS

Costco: $1.39 for 3 pounds (2.9 cents an ounce)
Kroger: 55 cents a pound (3.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 15 percent (0.5 cents an ounce)

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KETCHUP (HEINZ)

Costco: $7.39 for three 44-ounce bottles (5.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $6.59 for two 50.5-ounce bottles (6.5 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 14 percent (0.9 cents an ounce)

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OLIVE OIL (EXTRA VIRGIN, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $12 for a 2-liter bottle (17.7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.29 for a 25.5-ounce bottle (20.7 cents an ounce)
Saving at Costco: 14 percent (3 cents an ounce)

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ROMA TOMATOES (ON THE VINE)

Costco: $4 for 2 pounds (12.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.29 a pound (14.3 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 13 percent (1.8 cents an ounce)

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MAYONNAISE (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $4.79 for a 64-ounce jar (7.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.49 for a 30-ounce jar (8.3 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 10 percent (0.8 cents an ounce)

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MILK (2%, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $2.69 a gallon (2.1 cents per fluid ounce)
Kroger: $2.79 a gallon (2.2 cents per fluid ounce)
Savings at Costco: 5 percent (0.1 cents per fluid ounce)

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CANNED TUNA (CHICKEN OF THE SEA, CHUNK LIGHT)

Costco: $13 for 12 7-ounce cans (15.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: 79 cents for one 5-ounce can (15.8 cents an ounce)
Savings at Costco: 2 percent (0.3 cent an ounce)

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BAKED BEANS (CANNED, BUSH'S)

Costco: $8.79 for eight 16.5-ounce cans (6.7 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $3.67 for one 55-ounce can (6.7 cents an ounce)
Savings: None

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SHRIMP (FROZEN, STORE BRAND, 31/40-COUNT)

Costco: $13.99 for a 2-pound bag (4.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $13.98 for a 2-pound bag (4.4 cents an ounce)
Savings: None

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GRAPES (RED, SEEDLESS)

Costco: $8 for 4 pounds (12.5 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2 a pound (12.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 1 percent (0.1 cents an ounce)

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BABY CARROTS

Costco: $5.79 for 5 pounds (7.2 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.69 for 5 pounds (7.1 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 1 percent (0.1 cents an ounce)

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CHICKEN STOCK (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $11.69 for six 32-ounce boxes (6.1 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $1.89 for one 32-ounce box (5.9 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 3 percent (0.2 cents an ounce)

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COFFEE (MAXWELL HOUSE ORIGINAL ROAST)

Costco: $8.69 for a 42.6-ounce canister (20.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $6 for a 30.6-ounce canister (19.6 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 4 percent (0.8 cents an ounce)

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TEA BAGS (LIPTON)

Costco: $9 for 312 bags, 24.9 ounces (3.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.50 for 100 bags, 8 ounces (3.1 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 14 percent (0.5 cents an ounce)

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SALSA (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $7.69 for two 38-ounce jars (10 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $5.79 for one 70-ounce jug (8.3 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 17 percent (1.7 cents an ounce)

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GREEN BEANS (CANNED, STORE BRAND)

Costco: $8 for 12 14.5-ounce cans (4.6 cents an ounce)
Kroger: 49 cents for one 14.5-ounce can (3.4 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 26 percent (1.2 cents an ounce)

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BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST

Costco: $23.74 for 8.51 pounds (17.4 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $9.71 for 4.78 pounds (12.7 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 27 percent (4.7 cents an ounce)

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EGGS (GRADE A LARGE)

Costco: $3.79 for 2 dozen, or 48 ounces (7.9 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2 for 1.5 dozen, or 36 ounces (5.5 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 30 percent (2.4 cents an ounce)

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VANILLA ICE CREAM (STORE BRAND)

Costco: $10 for two half-gallon cartons (7.8 cents an ounce)
Kroger: $2.50 for one 48-ounce carton (5.2 cents an ounce)
Savings at Kroger: 33 percent (2.6 cents an ounce)