Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

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fortfun
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Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by fortfun » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:59 am

I know Bogleheads love Costco! Recently, I purchased a membership to get a black Friday deal on a Microsoft Surface 6 (someone posted on this forum). Since I was there (1 hr round trip) I figured I would pick up some groceries. I was a little disappointed to find that many/most items could be purchased cheaper at my local King Soopers (milk, eggs, butter, etc.). Many other items were so large that I'm force feeding the family to make sure they are not going to go bad (i.e. broccoli casserole the past two nights). So why does everyone love Costco so much? As I said, it's a one hour round trip drive for me to go there, so I won't be purchasing gas, etc. there. Even the Kirkland brand was more expensive than my King Soopers (milk 2.40 a gallon compared to 1.99).

Things I purchased that seemed to be a good value:
2 giant jugs of olive oil. Who knows if we will be able to finish them before they go bad.
1 giant bag of walnuts. Storing in fridge, hopefully won't go bad.
1 giant bottle of real maple syrup.

Just about everything else I purchased was more expensive/similar to my King Soopers. I did find a deal that gives you $60 dollars worth of free coupons to pay for the membership (free paper towels, free hand soap, etc.) so I don't feel too bad about purchasing it, yet...

z91
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by z91 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:08 pm

You have to know what to buy. I stopped buying stuff that I'd never finish like a 60 pack of hot dog buns.

The greatest thing about Costco to me is the satisfaction policy. I never abuse it but there are times I've taken advantage of it. For instance we had a rice cooker fail after 14 months and when I brought it back they gave me a cash refund. Same with the raspberries I bought that had mold in the middle of the pack.

The satisfaction policy also extends to your membership, so if you end up disappointed then just get your money back for that too and stay with King Soopers (never heard of this place before..).

champion_ham
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by champion_ham » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:09 pm

Here are a few items we consistently purchase at Costco:

Gas, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, $1.50 hot dog, wine, chicken, etc., etc.

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fortfun
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by fortfun » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:21 pm

z91 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:08 pm
You have to know what to buy. I stopped buying stuff that I'd never finish like a 60 pack of hot dog buns.

The greatest thing about Costco to me is the satisfaction policy. I never abuse it but there are times I've taken advantage of it. For instance we had a rice cooker fail after 14 months and when I brought it back they gave me a cash refund. Same with the raspberries I bought that had mold in the middle of the pack.

The satisfaction policy also extends to your membership, so if you end up disappointed then just get your money back for that too and stay with King Soopers (never heard of this place before..).
Thanks for the suggestions. It's part of the Ralph's chain (CA).

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Blueskies123
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm

champion_ham wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:09 pm
Here are a few items we consistently purchase at Costco:

Gas, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, $1.50 hot dog, wine, chicken, etc., etc.
Their chicken is probably the best deal. $5 for a turkey-sized chicken already cooked. Gasoline is also their best deal if you have one with gas.

quantAndHold
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:44 pm

IIRC, the stuff in the store is marked up 0-14% over their cost, so some of it is a good deal, some just okay. Things that are loss leaders at the grocery store may not be cheaper at Costco.

Besides toilet paper and paper towels (and laundry detergent, shampoo, batteries, etc), there are big discounts on random "one time purchases" like appliances, mattresses, window coverings, vacations, caskets, etc. For example, when we moved, we needed window coverings throughout the entire house. We saved enough on that one purchase to pay for the membership for many years. We got a high end mattress for about $500 less than we would have paid for same or similar elsewhere. Same with the clothes dryer, although we had to wait for a sale on that one.

And yeah, every time we go, it's roast chicken night.

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Watty
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Watty » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:55 pm

There are lot of threads on this that you can lookup.

Since you live an hour away it would be hard to justify the membership so you might want to get a refund on it. If you want you could then go to maybe once a year with a friend that has a membership.

It is true that you can usually often find things cheaper elsewhere when they are on sale but at least around here one thing that I have never been able to beat them on is meat since the quality of the Costco meat is a lot higher than normal grocery stores.

We have a freezer and a lot of the things we buy are either already frozen or we freeze them so that we are less prone to wasting any food.

momvesting
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by momvesting » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:56 pm

Yes, there are certain things, like milk and eggs, that I never bought because they are cheaper at the grocery store. There are other things, like a 5lb box of grapes or a mega pack of Tylenol, that my family just could not finish, but you just have to find the items that are the best deal for you and your family. Also, some items are only better than your local grocery or big box store when they are on sale at Costco. To be honest, we usually do a year of Costco, then take 6-12 months off, then do another year on another promo. Here are our Costco favorites:

Maple syrup
Chia seed tortilla chips
on sale cereals or oatmeal
on sale granola bars
fish oil pills
allergy pills (I use a lot so the packs of ~600 pills are a great deal and do get used)
olive oil
various spices (their stock varies a lot)
jar of minced garlic
$5 rotisserie chicken
Starbucks frap bottles
Skinny pop
bagged frozen fruit
some of the refrigerator pastas (lobster ravioli, cheese tortellini, etc.)
organic peanut butter
rice
cheese sticks
bouillon (beef and chicken, it is a paste)
name brand toilet paper when it is on sale/coupon is cheaper than I can get elsewhere if you are a brand snob like me
dishwasher soap when it is on sale (ditto on the brand snob thing)
occasional random clothing and swimwear items
occasional large quantities if we are hosting a dinner or party, like the cakes and pies are WAY to big for my family but great and cheap for a large gathering, same for many of the fresh fruits and veggies.

Hope that helps you some. I hear you, some of the items are not great deals but you will find some that are

RickBoglehead
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:59 pm

We never buy eggs, rarely milk (unless it's cheaper), never fruit or vegetables.

But look at Costco apples. They are perfect - packed in a holder that keeps each one separate. Not at all like the grocery store. But Costco cannot compete with a major grocery chains specials. When the grocery store has strawberries for $1.25 a pound, Costco is twice that.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:42 pm

Does Costco still sell those large bags of frozen appetizer-size meatballs? They were my favorite product fifteen years ago.

ladycat
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by ladycat » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:50 pm

You can put the walnuts in the freezer, they'll last a long time. I do this with all nuts I buy in bulk (almonds, sunflower, pine) so they don't go rancid.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:36 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:42 pm
Does Costco still sell those large bags of frozen appetizer-size meatballs? They were my favorite product fifteen years ago.
These, perhaps?

https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signatu ... 10832.html

DW and I are hitting Costco tomorrow to buy stuff for our Christmas party. Meatballs will be in the crock pot with spaghetti sauce. Always a crowd favorite.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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alpenglow
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by alpenglow » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:49 pm

We buy the Japanese Green Tea by Ito En, avocado oil, fish oil, and lots of other random stuff.

Elysium
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Elysium » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:50 pm

What I have learned is that you have to develop an understanding of the products at costco and then figure out what products are best suited for your lifestyle, then balance it out with other stores. It takes time to develop this efficiency and once you have it then it will benefit you. Otherwise you will end up with stuff you cannot consume, wasting more money.

I buy paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, detergents, dish washing liquids, oil, cereal, pasta sauce, pasta, kids mac & cheese, and gas. I almost never buy produce and meat, we get this from whole foods which is more expensive but we like the quality. Lately I started buying organic eggs at Costco which is half the price of WF. I am learning more about our consumption habits vs what is best at costco and calibrating it further. Another thing I recently bought is cereal / protein bars which my teenager likes to grab and run in the morning on the way to school, otherwise he will end up eating nothing in the morning.

Another overlooked item is Costco travel, it can save you tons of money on car rentals if you travel. I now almost exclusively rent through Costco / Budget at rock bottom prices. You can get rental from Avis / Hertz at double or triple price by going direct, while Budget / Avis is same company at the same lot is a secret not many are aware. I used to work for a big consulting company that had discounts at Hertz / Avis which used to be pretty big, but Costco started beating that price and I since then stopped using company price.

Some of our friends have purchased vacation packages through Costco, turns out very good deals than anywhere else for same location. One person bought a car through them, and on and on ...
Last edited by Elysium on Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runner3081
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by runner3081 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:52 pm

We can find comparable prices on almost everything outside of Costco... except their brand of Nutella.

Nonethless, we haven't had a membership in about 5 years.

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Flymore
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Flymore » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:56 pm

I like the tub of assorted nuts especially with beer! :beer

goodenoughinvestor
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by goodenoughinvestor » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:59 pm

Electronics. The prices are "competitive"--sometimes, but not always, less than everywhere else, but they increase the warranty, returns are a breeze and if you have issues their concierge service will deal with say, Samsung, for you which is a great help.

MoonOrb
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by MoonOrb » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:11 pm

I love Costco but wouldn't have a membership if I had to drive an hour to get there.

Here's what we save money on:

Premade salad kits
Broccoli or cauliflower florets
Cubed butternut squash
Cashews, almonds, pecans
Vanilla extract
Vegan protein powder (frequently on sale at about $7 off the normal price)
Almond milk
Organic bananas
Frozen strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple chunks
Natural peanut butter
Oatmeal
Quinoa
Chia seeds
Hemp hearts
Tortilla chips
Salsa
Guacamole

Laundry detergent
Dishwasher detergent
Contact lens solution
Oil of olay with SPF 15
Shampoo and conditioner
Neutrogena SPF 55 sunblock
Ibuprofen
Batteries
Refills for printer ink cartridges
Gas
Auto rentals while traveling

A lot of the produce we buy we could get comparable prices if we either shopped around for deals or bought stuff that wasn't already prepped (ie whole crowns of broccoli instead of florets or entire squashes instead of cubes) but being able to get the convenience of the prepped products at the same or frequently better price is great.

Similarly, almost any electronic product we buy at Costco is unlikely to be found elsewhere for a price that's much better and we know we can take it back to Costco without hassle if it doesn't work or we don't like it.

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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by MarkerFM » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:28 pm

We live at least 1 1/2 hours each way from a Costco (used to live 15 minutes away). We still keep a basic membership for rental car discounts, and to order online. We have some old favorites, like the multi-grain crackers and mixed nuts. Also, their price on Wild Planet tuna (which is excellent) can't be beat. If you order $75 worth of grocery items, you get free delivery. Maybe once a year we pass near a location and stop in, but that's it. Wish we could more often.

Jb526
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Jb526 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:28 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm
champion_ham wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:09 pm
Here are a few items we consistently purchase at Costco:

Gas, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, $1.50 hot dog, wine, chicken, etc., etc.
Their chicken is probably the best deal. $5 for a turkey-sized chicken already cooked. Gasoline is also their best deal if you have one with gas.
Not so great of a deal if you realize the ridiculous amount of sodium per serving compared to simply buying a wholesome brand of skinless chicken breast and cooking it yourself.

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Other reasons I choose to not pay money to be a Costco member:
I prefer to buy my produce in small quantities several times during the week.
I can get household paper products (toilet paper, paper towels) at my grocery store for a similar or lower price without a separate trip.
The loyalty rewards at my local grocery store provide me with greater discounts on fuel versus Costco.
Large or multiple bottles of things like olive oil and condiments spoil before I can even use a third of one container.
Costco appears to be big on prepared/processed foods that have poor nutritional value. Frozen meatballs? Frozen fettuccine? It's really shocking what people will buy.
Last edited by Jb526 on Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

260chrisb
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by 260chrisb » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:35 pm

Well certainly everything at Costco isn't for everyone. You have to shop and for me it's about buying things that I can use or consume before they go bad based on a 1-2 person family. That said I'm not going to buy a year and a half worth of toothpaste. I'm not an impulsive buyer, thus not their ideal customer. TP, rotisserie chicken, Ritz crackers, Pita Chips, cheese, wine, liquor, and coffee are always a value as is gas but I'm not near one often enough to buy gas there. It took me more than a few trips to get used to it after being a Sam's club member for years.

texasdiver
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by texasdiver » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:40 pm

I've been shopping at Costco since the mid 1990s when they were just a regional chain. My experience is a follows:

Costco house brand (Kirkland Signature) is almost always going to be cheaper than comparable store brands or name brands elsewhere. However Costco bulk sales of name brand items aren't necessarily going to beat store brand items at other stores. So, for example:
  • Kirkland Signature Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, and pine nuts (3 items I buy) are always going to be cheaper than equivalent items at my local Kroger-owned grocery.
  • Costco bulk sizes of name brand items like Heintz Ketchup, Cheerios, Campbell's Soup are not necessarily going to be cheaper than Kroger house brand or generic equivalents of those items at my local Kroger-owned grocery.
In addition, I find Kirkland Signature (KS) products to be of equal or better quality than most other generic or name brand products sold elsewhere. But you learn this through trial and error.

For me, the items I find to pretty much always been cheaper or higher quality or both are the following:

KS toilet paper
KS paper towels
KS dog and cat food (much cheaper than equivalent premium brands from PetsMart but more expensive than low quality Purina from Wal-Mart).
KS laundry detergent and softener
KS diapers, wipes, and formula (if you have babies which we haven't for 10 years so I may be out of date there)
KS dishwasher tabs
KS garbage bags, kitchen bags, and bulk packs of ziplock bags
KS olive oil
KS balsamic vinegar
KS frozen chicken and ground sirloin patties
KS whole bean coffee
KS batteries
KS vitamins
KS frozen vegetables (especially the sweet corn)
KS frozen fruits (for smoothies)
organic apples
organic milk and bulk packs of soy milk and almond milk
All wines (bottle for bottle I find wine at Costco to be $1-2 cheaper than the same thing at other local groceries)
most clothing, socks, shirts, shorts, pants, etc. Although sometimes sales at my local Fred Meyer beat Costco.

I also buy their big bags of spinach and grape tomatoes but you have to regularly cook with those items to make it worth it.

The dividend on my executive membership ALWAYS exceeds the annual cost of membership so shopping there is basically free. I also pass by our local Costco on a near daily basis and we are lucky to have one that is on a main street with easy in and out access with little traffic that is 5 minutes from my house so it is just as convenent for me as any other grocery. And it is rarely that crowded. I realize not everyone else is as lucky. Some Costcos are on highly congested freeway interchanges or just hard to get to.
Last edited by texasdiver on Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nate79
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Nate79 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:45 pm

We are selective what we buy. We either buy because of price or specifically for the high quality. We also really try to time our shopping schedule to their coupon rotation.

Some of the items we buy: Vitamins and OTC meds (various), pet RX, dog food, olive oil, chips, clothes, bedding, specialty cheese, ground turkey, some breads, fruits, salads, nuts, snack bars, electronics, LED bulbs. I'm usually checking amazon before buying non food items.

Big Dog
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Big Dog » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:52 pm

I love Costco but wouldn't have a membership if I had to drive an hour to get there.
Ditto.

We have several within a few miles of the house, so it's easy in and easy out.

Close location also makes the tire service worth it. Free balancing & rotation every six months, but usually a long wait. So I just drop off in the am, jog home as part of my normal workout, and get a ride back after lunch.

mariezzz
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by mariezzz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:04 pm

It may not be worth a CostCo membership if you have to drive an hour.

If you shop sales, stock up on those things that won't spoil (and as a bonus, have Trader Joe's in your area, which has a lot of organic options on produce, in smaller packages), on groceries, it's not all that difficult to match CostCo's prices (Trader Joe's also has a satisfaction guaranteed policy, and some really tasty, not-super-cheap options. If you shop at CostCo, wait for their sales before buying a lot of things.

If your electric utility works with Lowes/Home Depot to reduce LED bulb prices, those may be cheaper options than CostCo.
If you have a family that consists of more than 2 people, you're more likely to want to buy the larger amounts CostCo sells. For the frozen things like casseroles, mac & cheese: if you thaw them a little, you can take a butter knife (be careful) and divide up & repackage into sizes you'll use, then re-freeze & use over next few weeks. Yes, it's a bit of work.
CostCo has very reasonable prices on it's own-brand anti-histamines, some vitamins & supplements, if you're using things like that.
As many mention above, CostCo is good for the large items you don't purchase all that often, especially given CostCo's returns policy. Tires, glasses, mattresses, large appliances, etc. And for smaller things like batteries (in large packs - 9V prices are good, esp, if on sale), Sonicare replacement brushes, carbon monoxide detectors, 6 pound bag of baking soda (upon opening, take out some for baking needs, then use the rest for cleaning & litter boxes), walnuts (3 pounds), and so on.
Some people like their glasses - they're highly rated for getting the details correct. If you have progressive lenses & find that Zenni progressive lenses don't work for you, you may like CostCo. CostCo is more expensive than Zenni, but their progressive lenses are somewhat better (Zenni's work for me - they're not as good as the $250 progressive lenses I got some years ago - but they cost under $100 :shock: ).
Pet food: watch for really good sales at PetCo (esp. the $10 of $30 coupon) & PetSmart and you'll get better prices & more variety than at CostCo. PetCo & PetSmart will take the other's coupons.

CostCo treats its employees extremely well and pay is good, and that's an aspect that appeals to many people.

The lines can be long, but they usually move pretty quickly. I find the receipt review at the exit very annoying.

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fortfun
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by fortfun » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:18 pm

Big Dog wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:52 pm
I love Costco but wouldn't have a membership if I had to drive an hour to get there.
Ditto.

We have several within a few miles of the house, so it's easy in and easy out.

Close location also makes the tire service worth it. Free balancing & rotation every six months, but usually a long wait. So I just drop off in the am, jog home as part of my normal workout, and get a ride back after lunch.
It's about 30 minutes, each way, depending on traffic. Slightly shorter leaving from my work. We don't live in a traffic congested area, so it's an easy drive. Really only got the membership for the great deal on the tablet. I doubt we will go more than once a month, if that. It's about 30 minutes round trip to the grocery store, so not horribly worse than that. I'll let DW check out the store and decide whether to keep the membership or not...

sport
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by sport » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:40 pm

Some things not mentioned above:

Costco carries some nice clothing for men, women, and children at attractive prices. The quantities for these things is usually *one*.

Costco has monthly coupons that reduce the already low prices on a variety of items. Some of these items repeat periodically, so you never need to pay the full price, if you pay attention.

Costco reduces some products for clearance throughout the store. You can identify them by a price ending in 97 cents. However, these specials are not advertised. If you want to find them, you have to search for them. This is Costco's method of getting people to walk through the store. You never know what you will find, and when they're gone, they're gone.

carolinaman
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by carolinaman » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:11 pm

I am long time Costco member. We rarely buy food there because it often requires one to buy larger quantities and we can usually do as well or better at grocery store. Things I buy: gas (Costco is only a few miles away), eyeglasses, hearing aids, OTC meds, electronics (computer, TV, other), cell phone and service, printer cartridges and other things. I fill my prescriptions elsewhere but could save some money doing them at Costco. I know this year I will get a rebate from Citi Visa for over $200 which more than pays membership.

My daughter used Costco to plan a South Seas trip and liked their service very much.

Costco provides excellent prices and value on what they sell. However, their selection is limited.

Given your situation, a Costco membership may not be cost efficient.

Tdubs
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Tdubs » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:16 pm

Regarding food items, I plug in prices on a spreadsheet to compare Costco, Walmart, and Aldi's. Aldi's wins almost every time. Costco has good prices on meat, particularly ground beef and some large quantities liquids such as olive oil. It also has the best prices on canned clams (because Aldi's doesn't carry them). Otherwise, almost nothing else.

Lesson, shop at Aldi's first.

Oh, buy tuna fish at Walmart.

blueman457
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by blueman457 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:26 pm

I'm not always convinced that things at Costco are always cheaper, but for the same price point they are at least of better quality.

Blue Man

bada bing
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by bada bing » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:29 pm

I'm a Costco fan. A couple reasons why that haven't been mentioned yet:

Costco pays a living wage, with good job security. Because of that, the help there
seems to have a better attitude and be a bit more proficient than typical in a discount
supermarket.

Most Kirkland brand products are a noticeable step up in quality from the store brands
at discount groceries. For a first time, blind buy, I have a lot more faith in Kirkland than
tightwad pride, or whatever a discount grocery names their house brand.

Costco gets in bulk buys of one time offerings. Sometimes these are well priced gems.
Liquor/wine under the Kirkland brand is an example. There have been runs of products that
were limited duration that are worth going back and stocking up before the stock sells out.

I've used Costco travel service for vacation travel and car rental several times where it saved
me big time compared to other booking agencies. You have to comparison shop though, because
it isn't always the case.

I live close to a Costco. I probably wouldn't travel a long distance to shop there. I don't buy
everything there, so Costco is an additional stop for me. Even with those drawbacks, I am still
a fan.

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Nicolas
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Nicolas » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:32 pm

Gasoline
Maple syrup
Wine — especially what’s recommended here —> https://costcowineblog.com
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. — Katharine Hepburn

Cheyenne
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Cheyenne » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:36 pm

I just filed the gas tank at Costco and bought 40 Duracell AA batteries for $12.99. I think that's a good price.

Tdubs
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Tdubs » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:37 pm

bada bing wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:29 pm

Most Kirkland brand products are a noticeable step up in quality from the store brands
at discount groceries. For a first time, blind buy, I have a lot more faith in Kirkland than
tightwad pride, or whatever a discount grocery names their house brand.
I buy from Costco when I think there is a qualitative difference in what they sell--good price on cheese for very good quality. But there is no reason to think there is a qualitative difference in many of the generic items.

TheHouse7
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by TheHouse7 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:43 pm

We will be getting:

Organic Dave's Killer Bread
Organic Honey crisp apples
Organic peanut butter
Organic spinach
Organic eggs
Organic frozen chicken, green beans, peas
Frozen Tyson reduced fat sasage patties
Kirkland Spirits
Tillamook
Kirkland tuna

If we can handle the quantity, it will save us $$$ to buy organic at Costco than the Co-op/PCC

+ We don't have to worry about quality with generous return policy.
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

Galaxy8
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Galaxy8 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:49 pm

I purchase most of my clothes at Costco. It's mostly "last year" stuff, but they have wonderful deals. A few example, I got a $29 Bass sweaters for $12.99, and $60 Tommy Hilfiger chinos for $18.99. Socks, active-wear, vests, etc are also pretty good deals for good brands. Another non-Costco deal is to buy plain Gildan t-shirts at AC Moore or Michaels. You can find them for 4 for $10 and they're good shirts.

sawhorse
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by sawhorse » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:57 pm

Their optical department is high quality at very affordable prices. There was a study comparing lenses from different chains, and Costco was more accurate to the prescription out of all of them.

Among consumer products, shampoo is a good deal.

I also live an hour away, so it's not worth it. I got a membership in order to use the optical department but didn't renew because the trip was too long to go frequently.

criticalmass
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by criticalmass » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:00 pm

Jb526 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:28 pm
Blueskies123 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm
champion_ham wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:09 pm
Here are a few items we consistently purchase at Costco:

Gas, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, $1.50 hot dog, wine, chicken, etc., etc.
Their chicken is probably the best deal. $5 for a turkey-sized chicken already cooked. Gasoline is also their best deal if you have one with gas.
Not so great of a deal if you realize the ridiculous amount of sodium per serving compared to simply buying a wholesome brand of skinless chicken breast and cooking it yourself.

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
What is the Costco rotisserie chicken sodium amount, and how does it compare with other roti chicken?

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Alexa9
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:05 pm

Paper towels, toilet paper
Appliances: washer/dryer, dishwasher, fridge
Electronics: TV, Camera, Computer, Printer, Phone etc.
Macadamia, walnuts, Olive/coconut oil
Seafood: crab legs, salmon, shrimp
Meat: Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork
Produce, Liquor, Wine (#1 US Supplier), Beer
Some clothing is decent, socks, underwear, coats, jackets, sheets, blankets, towels.
They have new things every time that are specials that look interesting especially food.
Great deals on quality mattress, desk, chairs, other furniture.
Gas, tires,
Glasses, contacts

They don't have everything but most of their stuff is quality and their warranty is top notch. 30 minute drive is worth it to me. Valuable if you have kids to feed.

Housedoc
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Housedoc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:07 pm

Schedule your tire appointment online,
https://costcotireappointments.com/login

Costco Prime Packer Brisket is a deal if you BBQ.
Rotisserie chix cheaper than I can grill myself buying 99cent a lb chix at Costco.
Many items are deals some are not. I have a Sams Club biz membership also. A deal on Folger coffee twice a year pays for it!

JBTX
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by JBTX » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:25 pm

Signed up months ago to get my kid glasses. That worked out well, glasses were far cheaper. However I did walk around and bought a couple of things but I haven't been back

- it is 20 miles away and there is a lot of traffic getting in and out of there.
- I had no idea where anything was. I couldnt figure out the rhyme or reason of what was where. Sprawled all over the place. There would be food stuff in one aisle and bedding in the next.
- of a few key things I did find, it really wasn't that much cheaper if at all

I'll use again for glasses but doubt I'll use it for anything else. Most of my groceries I either do through walmart online pickup app or kroger (both pickup app and in store)

worthit
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by worthit » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:29 pm

As Jb526 mentions, the amount of sodium in most of the processed products sold at Costco and elsewhere boggles my mind. I am selective in what I buy from Costco and never buy processed foods from any grocery store for that matter. I do take advantage of gas though. But otherwise, it just encourages (in some instances forces) mega consumption IMHO.

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Munir
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Munir » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Costco, Amazon, and Trader Joe's- cann't do without them :happy

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Some of the things I buy at Costco = that are less than elsewhere
Looking over what I have and what I buy regularly or sporadically:

Frozen organic Broccoli florets
Frozen strawberries
Frozen organic cherries
Agave Syrup
Almond Milk
Lactaid Milk
Guacamole
Half & Half
Skinny Pop popcorn
Dave's Bread
Spaghetti Sauce
Bananas
Smoked Salmon
Pecans (kept in the freezer)
Black Pepper
Salad Spring Mix
Halo top Ice Cream
Blueberries
Chips
Sarabeth's Jams
Glide Floss
Calvin Klein Sweater
4 years ago LED TV
Windex
Optical Kit

moghopper
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by moghopper » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:45 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:21 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. It's part of the Ralph's chain (CA).
a/k/a Kroger.

Frankieg48336
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Frankieg48336 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:50 pm

champion_ham wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:09 pm
Here are a few items we consistently purchase at Costco:

Gas, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, $1.50 hot dog, wine, chicken, etc., etc.
Ditto and dont forget, coffee, aluminium foil, zip lock bags, good quality steaks. We cut in half and put in zip locks and freezer for later.

Audioarc
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Audioarc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:51 pm

I only buy specific things.
Organic Whole Chickens, Organic Ground Beef, Tenderloin Steaks, Beef Ribs, no antibiotic Salmon... Guinness Draught case when they have it, Mixed Unsalted nuts, occasionally red wine. Thick uncured bacon. Organic eggs... zip locks bags
I buy golf shirts for work and they have $15 golf shirts (I don’t need expensive ones). Restaurant gift cards occasionally save 20%.
Better quality and cheaper than local grocery chains in DC area. I combine the trip with other stops nearby. Anything else I normally use that won’t go bad like paper towels and napkins, dishwasher pods etc I buy. Most of these are a lot lower priced in quantity. You won’t find rock bottom but you will,find high quality at a discount.
They drop prices on a lot of things after the first week of the month so I never go 1st-6th.

dorothyday
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by dorothyday » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:55 pm

I buy about half of our food at Costco, mostly their organic frozen fruits and vegetables, bread, olive oil, soy milk, ketchup, olives, etc.

With just two of us, I find frozen vegetables particularly to be a good deal, we never have to toss food.

I also buy shoes, pants, shirts. I've used their VHS to DVD service. I might try their eyeglass section sometime.

stoptothink
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by stoptothink » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:00 pm

Watty wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:55 pm
There are lot of threads on this that you can lookup.

Since you live an hour away it would be hard to justify the membership so you might want to get a refund on it. If you want you could then go to maybe once a year with a friend that has a membership.

It is true that you can usually often find things cheaper elsewhere...
There are a million threads on this topic. IMO, Costco is only eclipsed by Apple when it comes to brand loyalty. I am a major comparison shopper, about 4 years ago I did a comparo and found that not a single item we regularly purchased was cheaper at Costco than other local stores. In the last few years I talked my mom and brother (who live nearby) into actually looking at their Costco spending, both eventually cancelled their memberships as well.

FWIW, I have lived all over the west and Costco is a very economical option in many other areas, it just doesn't seem to be here (Utah) and for the products which my family buys.

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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:02 pm

I removed some off-topic comments regarding the health effects of sodium levels in your diet (medical advice). As a reminder, see: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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