Yesterday, Lauren and I made one of our periodic shopping trips over to Costco warehouse, where there are always great price deals to be found. We approach the occasional Costco visits with two objectives, to find deals on items that we consume on a regular basis and to find deals on items to add to our long term storage as part of our overall survival preparedness plans.

Costco is a membership-only warehouse club chain, the largest in the United States, with other locations in the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. They are the third largest retailer in the United States, and the ninth largest retailer in the world. This gives them extremely powerful leverage for price discounts.

No matter your objective, buying products for survival preps or for every day consumption, shopping at a major warehouse chain store (e.g. Costco, BJ’s, Sams, Makro, or Price Smart) can definitely save you money. You will be forced to deal with larger quantities at these stores, but that’s Okay if you shop smart. That is, don’t buy something that will spoil before you can consume it all, or otherwise have a way to re-package into smaller quantities for later (this does not work for everything).

Here are a few examples of some things we purchased during our last Costco trip, and why.


Costco (Kirkland) Roast Beef in a can

These 12 oz. cans are a good choice item to add with other foods in a 72 hour survival kit and are also a good item to keep in with your other longer term food storage items. The price was $2.50 per can.

Some reasons why this is a good food storage item

  • It is Beef (meat – protein)
  • No refrigeration required
  • It will last years (I recently consumed the contents of an older can that I had, dated “Best By” 2 years ago. It was absolutely fine)
  • It is Fully Cooked (perfect for a survival kit)
  • Each can contains 320 calories


Jif Peanut Butter Twin Pack

These are seriously big jars of peanut butter (48 oz. each) that we bought for $8 for both. That seems like about half what we would pay at the local grocery store. We buy peanut butter for regular (occasional) consumption and also for survival food storage.

Peanut Butter is a very good survival food because of its very high calorie content. If you eat too much of this, it will be showing up on your waistline before long… each of these two 48 oz. jars contain more than 8,000 calories! I keep a smaller jar of peanut butter in each one of my 72 hour car kits along with the rest of the variety of foods.


White Rice

We picked up two 25 lb bags of white rice for $7 each. White rice will last a very long time, especially if packaged properly (freeze for 24 hours kills any possible buggies, return to room temperature, 5-gallon food-grade pails with oxygen absorbers). Do not use brown rice for long term storage because it will spoil quickly from the oils it contains.


Gallon size Ziplock freezer bags

This has to be one of the greatest inventions ever. We use quart and gallon size Ziplock bags for all kinds of things, not just foods. We picked up this monster box of 152 gallon size bags for $10. That’s only 6 cents per bag! You will pay a lot more than that at your local supermarket.

So, although I advocate supporting a locally owned community grocery store (if you even have one in your area these days), there are times when saving money on items is just a bigger priority. Warehouse clubs don’t have everything, but it is well worth an occasional trip to extract the deals that fit with your needs and budget.

Shop Smart.

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