Costco Versus Walmart: Which One Is Less Expensive?

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Seriously, what’s better than finding everything you need under one roof? There’s no denying that we all love shopping. However, hunting down products individually is nothing but time-consuming. People who have a busy life cannot afford to waste time shopping in different stores. Thankfully, department stores save you from this hassle.

Talking about department stores, the discussion won’t be complete without mentioning Costco Wholesale and Walmart. While it’s widely speculated, in this article, you’ll find out which supermarket chain is less expensive.

A Few Words About Walmart

Starting with Walmart, it won’t be far from the truth that Walmart is one of the most recognizable names in the supermarket arena. Headquartered in Arkansas, the company came into being in 1962. It has been on a crest of a wave ever since.

The first Walmart store was opened in Rogers, Arkansas, by Sam Walton, a former soldier, and a shrewd businessman. By the time he opened what was then called the Walmart Discount City Store, he had already found instant success as a store owner, keeping the shelves packed with a diversity of products. By the time Sam Walton died, he had opened 1,960 Walmart stores.

As of 2021, Walmart had more than 11,000 stores worldwide. Without a shadow of a doubt, it has never compromised on the quality of its products and never let its customers down.

A Few Words About Costco

Costco is a well-known retail store chain based in America. The company is headquartered in Washington, and today, it is up there as the fifth largest retailer in the world. It was founded by James Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman in Washington.

Costco operates on one of the best business models, which is entirely different from other stores. Instead of spending money to get you into their stores, you pay them to enter. It is called the mandatory subscription-based business model. In simple terms, one has to be a Costco member to shop there.

The quality products and affordable prices at Costco have always kept the customers coming. It has around 55 million members worldwide, 90% of which renew their memberships every year. Costco’s business model sounded crazy when the company was founded, but with their sheer determination, they have proved everyone wrong.

Costco Versus Walmart Price

Costco vs. Walmart price has always been a hot topic for a debate. Since both are industry leaders, the customers often wonder which one is less expensive. So, is Costco cheaper than Walmart? Well, here is a comparison of the Costco and Walmart prices.

Household Goods

Costco has a slight edge over Walmart as far as household goods are concerned. Costco operates on memberships, so its customers often buy products in bulk. It’s no secret that when you buy in bulk, you always get a discounted rate. On the other hand, products are sold by units in Walmart.

It is pertinent to know that not every household item is less expensive at Costco. However, most products tend to be less expensive, such as eggs, milk, detergent, mouthwash, tissues, and so on. In contrast, it turns out that some products are overpriced at Costco as compared to Walmart, such as meat, stationery items, products for offices, fruits, and vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, customers end up saving a great deal of money by buying goods in bulk. However, not all items can be purchased in bulk. For instance, buying fruits and vegetables in a bulk quantity would be a complete no-brainer as they will spoil over time.


Although none of the companies are supermarkets, both expanded their wings and started offering groceries. Unlike Costco, Walmart is not known for selling its grocery items in bulk. However, as things stand, Walmart has a broader range of products compared to Costco.

Shoppers who are in a hurry always prefer Walmart to Costco. Imagine you had to buy some milk after your long day at the office and you end up going to Costco. But, the items cost less at Costco only when you buy them in bulk, hence in hindsight that milk carton might cost you a bit more than Walmart.

This is why people often make a special trip to Costco, where they spend quite some time and buy products in bulk. Furthermore, the self-checkout lines at Walmart can also save a great deal of your time.

Ready-to-Eat Items

Walmart is also a winner when it comes to offering ready-to-eat items. A hot food section offers fresh products, and the customers get their taste buds satisfied. You get many options to choose from, such as meat, seafood, and many more.

On the other hand, Costco is not famous for its ready-to-eat dishes. As compared to Walmart, Costco offers fewer dishes, which of course, offends hungry customers sometimes. However, they do offer kosher items, unlike Walmart.

All in all, both Walmart and Costco have their perks. If you rush or want to grab something to eat, Walmart will work fine for you. Whereas, if you want to buy products for your family in bulk, Costco is your place to go!


As far as cosmetic products go, it’s not recommended to compromise on the quality of beauty and health products just to save a few bucks. So, it’s not about the price, but the quality of the products that you should consider.

What gives Walmart an edge over Costco here is that they offer an extensive range of products. They sell products of pretty much every famous brand, and hence, they offer more products than Costco.

Needless to say that you can’t just go and buy a beauty product depending on its price only. These products are not meant for all skin types. So, most people prefer a certain brand for beauty items. In that case, the chances are that you’d find your desired product at Walmart.

However, if the product you are looking for is available at Costco, you can buy it from there as well. But bear in mind that the health and beauty products are not meant to be bought in bulk because it’s only a matter of time before they expire.

Which One Is Less Expensive?

So, is Costco less expensive than Walmart? Well, there is no plain and simple answer to this question. It all comes down to what you intend to buy. If you want to buy an item in units, Walmart will be fine for you. But if you are from a big family and want to stock up on things, you can’t go wrong with Costco.

Since Costco asks you to buy a membership first, you’d have to pay that as well. But despite the membership fee, Costco is far less expensive than Walmart when it comes to buying in a bulk quantity.


Walmart and Costco Wholesale are the giants in the supermarket arena. While both operate on different business models, shoppers are often confused about their prices. In a Costco versus Walmart price comparison, Costco is less expensive than Walmart, but Walmart is more convenient for quick shopping.


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