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Thread: Thoughts on Costco?

  1. #11
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    Funny you should ask but DH and I made an afternoon of checking out the Costco which is 4 miles away to see if we should join. We made a long list of things we usually buy and went comparison shopping ( Yikes, I forgot to check kitty litter!.) I would say maybe half would save around 10-15% and the rest aren't any better or are higher than other places we usually shop at. Seems like everything is around $10 so I imagine folks walk out of there having spent hundreds on each visit. If we had a larger fridge/freezer and a good-sized pantry (we have neither yet) than it might be worth it. For now, probably not. Also, I did not like the frenzied customers and abundance of giant SUVs in the parking lot fighting for a better space - it just felt "conspicuously consumptive". We do pretty well just "cherry picking" sales at 3 or 4 places and I still order things from HEB back home when they have free shipping.

  2. #12
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    I have a membership, but rarely go there. It is a membership through the company. We tend to use Sam's club more, because it is more business targeted and carries things we need/use and is a backup place on some stuff.
    Costco has had a return policy that has cost them, and so they have changed it, but my understanding is they still get things like a lawn mower return, at the end of season/type of "rental" thing. I have seen and heard of people opening something food related (both human and animal) and returning it, due to "just don't like the taste". Hear a lot of people saying how they don't get out of one of these warehouse type of places for less then a couple hundred bucks.

  3. #13
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    Another Costco member here.
    I think it does tend to pay off if you have a larger household or small business, but I mainly like the fact that they do the quality control for me.
    So if I'm thinking of buying a small appliance, it's true they don't have a wide variety but what they do sell will be reliable.

    Also, their pharmacy, optometry/eyeglass, gas pumps and tire store are very popular and price-competitive. Gas is usually 5 or 10 cents cheaper, so if you have a multi-vehicle household that alone can pay for the annual basic membership.
    And as Jane has said, I appreciate that they treat their employees better and I want to reward that.

  4. #14
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    That's impressive on thegas prices! We have one opening in our town soon and there are sign up kiosks everywhere. Maybe the gas alone would make it worthwhile to join,. Hmm.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    We do most of our shopping at Costco. I don't like bargain shopping and it's nice to know that they offer a good product at a good price and I don't have to waste my time looking around for the best deal. I did buy our appliances at Sears because they have a better selection and I wanted smaller units than the average consumer. Ditto with the patio furniture, I bought it at Lowe's after finding that I couldn't find what I wanted at Costco. Other than that, we usually buy it there and they are always my first go to. I do buy fresh produce throughout the week at our local discount market.

    I love that they close their store and gas station for all holidays so their employees can have the day off. You don't see that much anymore.

  6. #16
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    I just looked up the one thing I would buy there, a specific brand of protein shake mix. It is a MUCH better price, last time I bought it I had a $5 off deal for Natural Grocers so that was a good deal but this looks even better. My sister has a membership so maybe when i am ready to buy again I will ask her to pick it up. It is not the same flavor, as bae pointed out sometimes it is close but not quite right, still vanilla is okay (I usually get chai flavored).

    Other than that, i had to wean my mom off shopping there for me. The number of rolls of paper towels would mean I made them into a coffee table because I don't have that amount of storage space!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Another Costco member here.
    I think it does tend to pay off if you have a larger household or small business, but I mainly like the fact that they do the quality control for me.
    So if I'm thinking of buying a small appliance, it's true they don't have a wide variety but what they do sell will be reliable.

    tire store are very popular and price-competitive. Gas is usually 5 or 10 cents cheaper, so if you have a multi-vehicle household that alone can pay for the annual basic membership.
    And as Jane has said, I appreciate that they treat their employees better and I want to reward that.
    Totally forgot we put new shoes on DHs rig. Saved us nearly $300!!!!!!!!!

  8. #18
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I agree on the optometrist and contact lenses. Great prices on both. I wear gas permeable hard lenses and they are about half the price I was paying at my old eye doc in NJ.

  9. #19
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    We've raised chickens. I know how much it costs to raise a chicken ethically, and deal with the processing. I can't imagine the lives those $4.99 chickens led. (Well, I can...) No thanks.
    Yeah, I've thought the same thing.

    DH says that their beef is the best--you can get restaurant-quality grade there (prime). But we rarely buy it because I very rarely eat red meat. When the kids come down in the summer, we'll splurge.

    These days I'm saving on coffee, dijon mustard and other condiments, anchovies, milk/half-and-half, laundry detergent, smoked salmon, brie, nitrate-free Italian deli packs, pot roast and lamb shanks (the boil-in-bag kind that are delicious and so easy), Bubba burgers (DH eats them breakfast, lunch, and dinner), Kodiak cakes and multivitamins. I'll also pick up DIL Huggies.

    I must say, I really enjoy the curated, limited choice approach.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    Funny you should ask but DH and I made an afternoon of checking out the Costco which is 4 miles away to see if we should join. We made a long list of things we usually buy and went comparison shopping ( Yikes, I forgot to check kitty litter!.) I would say maybe half would save around 10-15% and the rest aren't any better or are higher than other places we usually shop at. Seems like everything is around $10 so I imagine folks walk out of there having spent hundreds on each visit. If we had a larger fridge/freezer and a good-sized pantry (we have neither yet) than it might be worth it. For now, probably not. Also, I did not like the frenzied customers and abundance of giant SUVs in the parking lot fighting for a better space - it just felt "conspicuously consumptive". We do pretty well just "cherry picking" sales at 3 or 4 places and I still order things from HEB back home when they have free shipping.
    I'm like you in that I would end up spending WAY more if I went to one of these bulk stores. The fact that there isn't one close is nice and makes it very easy to not get a membership.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

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