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

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

Post by champion_ham »

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]

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.
I think you meant to reply to the “Reasons You’re Not a Costco Member” thread.
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Fletch
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Fletch »

Reasons we shop at Costco:

Fair prices, often significantly lower than local stores.

Quality products (e.g. produce and meat is much better than our local grocery stores).

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

Post by Tdubs »

Watty wrote: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:55 pm
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.
This.

There are lots of reasons to shop at Costco, but for most food items, price isn't one of them. In the last year, I've shifted a lot of my shopping away from Costco.
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Random Musings
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Random Musings »

Not always the cheapest, Costco is a good place for us as it is five minutes from our home. Would not do it if an hour away. Good prices on glasses, hearing aids (for my Mom), free tire rotation is nice, extended warranty on electronics, rental car pricing, gasoline, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and sales items. Kids like their loss leader rotisserie chicken. Problem with produce? Return, no questions asked. Don't use the pharmacy as it is closed on Sunday. Return any fresh foods at my local Aldi's or Walmart (let alone unopened packaged items) and get the third degree. Ours is busy, but not to the degree I have seen in other areas of the country.

Also, unless they have changed their policy, if you don't reach the rebate amount relative to the cost of your membership card, they will pay you back the difference.

When people talk about "long lines" at the gas station, how many cars deep are we talking about? The worst I have seen is about 2 cars at the pumps and two cars waiting in the queue. I typically get my gas on the way to work when there has never been a wait.

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

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: 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
That seems to be the one. I couldn't tell from the bag in the image you posted, but the ones I remember were small enough to stab with a toothpick and eat as a single bite. Grocery store meatballs are always too large (and too cheesy), so they don't work as well in a crock pot at a Christmas party.
criticalmass
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by criticalmass »

fortfun wrote: 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...
If you don't shop at Costco to make a membership worthwhile, Costco policy allows non members to make purchases with a Costco Cash Card. You can ask a friend or family member to buy one (also available online). Just show the Cash Card to get in the door, and inform the cashier that you are paying with a Cash Card and not a membership. Note that if your purchase exceeds the value of the cash card you still are restricted to paying the balance with debit, Visa, or cash. This is Costco store policy.

Also, anyone may enter a Costco with a pharmacy and make purchases at the pharmacy. This is federal law.
In Massachusetts, anyone may buy alcohol at Costco (and BJ's etc) whether they are a member or not. This is state law.
In New Jersey, anyone may buy fuel at Costco whether they are a member or not. This is state law.
GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars »

I figure the $2K I saved on hearing aids pays for renewals for a while. :D Hearing aid batteries are also way, way cheaper at Costco. (Tip: if you have a parent who uses hearing aids, find out the battery size and check on Costco's price. I so wish this had been available when my dad was spending his very hard-earned money buying batteries at the drugstore.)

The auto rentals have almost always beat what I can find through other sources and they don't require that the reservations be prepaid.

Nuts (we freeze them) and avocado oil, organic meats, poultry and veggies. We love the Victoria White Linen Pasta Sauce -- great tomato flavor and no added sugar. Q-tips, TP, paper towels. Brush head replacements for our Sonicare toothbrushes are much cheaper at Costco than at Soopers.

I avoid snack foods there - we don't need a jumbo box of anything snacky.

Great price on Christmas trees and great quality.

We shop for most of our food at King Soopers...but the frequency with which our store is remodeled means that my chances of finding what I'm looking for any given day seem to be not much better than figuring out where Costco has stuffed things. I think we're on the 3rd remodel in 5 years. :oops:
HIinvestor
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by HIinvestor »

As I type this, I am wearing a merino wool T-shirt I bought fit $17.99 at Costco.com and a pair of merino wool socks, 6pr for $19.99, plus my warm chenille sweater I just bought for $16.99 at Costco.com. I saw a similar sweater listed by another retailer for several times the price. I also have 2 wool stocking caps for $14.99 (I’m going to keep one and give the other as a gift).

I have Gloria Vanderbilt jeans @ $11.99/pair from Costco as well. They fit great and I can’t find the price elsewhere. I also have a packable down jacket I got the other year for only $19.99.

We get most of our prescription glasses and contacts from Costco. My folks got their hearing aids from Costco at 1/2 to 1/3 of the price elsewhere.

We also buy marked down produce and other items if we can use it readily or share it with family/neighbors/loved ones.

I bought metal water bottles — 2 for $15 or 20 (depending if you got the coupon). Also for the chenille sweater as gifts. Got some cute cardigans as gifts. They also had some board games for gifts @ under $20 apiece. My BIL buys many of his dress shirts and slacks from Costco as well.
Gnirk
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Gnirk »

I purchase paper towels, toilet paper , outdoor and indoor garbage bags, laundry detergent, dish detergent, organic eggs, organic spinach, organic spring mix, organic hummus( box of individual portions), flash frozen pacific cod, Alaska sockeye salmon, whole organic chickens( pack of two), organic ground beef, prime sirloin steaks which I repackage into smaller portions and freeze, and gas. I often buy clothing there, too, and other miscellaneous stuff.
But we have two Costco’s within 7 miles of us.
srt7
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by srt7 »

Few months ago Costco gave me the best deal for a mortgage loan.

Other than paper towels, toilet paper, cooking oil and gas I buy stuff from Costco for their return policy. I have only returned two items in many years of membership with them but there is something to be said about peace of mind with their outstanding return policies.

Recently shopped for drinking water and skipped Costco as they weren't even in the top 5 good deals for it.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by jabberwockOG »

Munir wrote: Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:33 pm Costco, Amazon, and Trader Joe's- cann't do without them :happy
+1
Different strokes for different folks, some people see real value where others don't.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

We do most of shopping at COSTCO except fresh vegetables and fruits. If I am looking for something and COSTCO has it, then I buy there. I am sure that COSTCO does not have the best price on everything, but I don't want to spend too much time comparing prices. We have executive membership and our annual cash reward is around $300 (also 4% cash back on COSTCO Visa) .
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black jack
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by black jack »

Kirkland Super Extra-Large Virginia Peanuts!

I buy almost all my produce at Costco (which is a five-minute walk from my house--but that's of limited help, since lots of stuff from Costco can't be carried more than a few feet without a cart). It's not cheaper than my grocery store, but is generally of higher quality; I recall last year buying a container of huge Dole strawberries that were around $2.50/lb, thinking that wasn't that great a price, then saw the same strawberries in my local grocery store for $5/lb.

A hidden benefit: in order to consume the produce in the large fixed quantities sold by Costco (4 pounds of grapes, 5 pounds of mandarin oranges, 10 pounds of apples, 5 pounds of peaches, etc) before they go bad, I eat so much fruit every day that I don't have room left in my stomach to eat crappy snacks.
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pierremonfrere
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by pierremonfrere »

fortfun wrote: 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...
If you don't shop there enough to justify a membership, just use the cash card loophole.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by RickBoglehead »

The value of shopping anywhere is related to the effort that someone puts into it, along with the goods/foods that one consumes.

Costco gas is usually noticeably cheaper than other stations. The 4% that the Costco Visa gives back is good at any gas station, so there's no benefit there to go to Costco. Many can't figure out that when the tank fill is on the opposite side of the car, the Costco hose reaches fine. That's Darwin's law in action, you get to see whether your fellow man/woman has a brain (most don't).

Eyeglasses are cheaper than most other options (except for web eyeglass companies, but I'm not doing that).

Kirkland brands are cheaper, and guaranteed (if you don't like how they taste, return them).

For every person who says that _____ is cheaper, a good shopper at a grocery chain will show them how that's not correct. Costco fruit and vegetables are usually pristine. Apples are in a plastic holder with each apple isolated by itself. They don't get bruised. You don't see fruit or vegetables that aren't ripe or are overripe. Conversely, you won't pay $.79 a pound for apples on sale, nor $1.25 a pound for strawberries on sale.

Do you value percentage savings or only dollar savings? If something is $.79 a pound somewhere and $.99 a pound somewhere else, do you say "I'm saving 20%" at the lower-priced store, or do you say "I'm only buying 2 pounds, $0.40 doesn't matter"?

Whenever there is a thread on groceries and what people pay, I laugh. Family of two empty nesters, our 2018 grocery bill YTD averages $57 a week (food only), $64 a week including non-food (excludes alcohol). Last year was $53 and $57 respectively. Of the 2018 YTD grocery, about $1.60 of the $57 was spent at Costco. In other words, most of our grocery shopping is NOT done at Costco.

Here's some things we buy at Costco that are cheaper:

- Shredded cheese. Comes in a two-bag package. My wife splits it into small containers and freezes it. 37% savings
- Sliced cheese (not cheese food). 5 pounds. Same - repacked and freezed. Huge savings.
- Cereal (if you go through a lot). Large boxes. Used to be in flyer regularly, now you have to mostly catch in-store sales.
- Craisins, 64 ounce package.
- Kirkland Ensure (used to buy for in-laws). 30+% savings.
- Depends (used to buy for in-laws). Can't buy this cheap anywhere.
- Par boiled rice, 20 pound bag. $0.40 per pound. Go look at the price in your grocery store.
- Kirkland branded vitamins, toilet paper, etc.

Costco Visa gives you 2% back in store. Can't use Citi DoubleCash as it's Mastercard. Can use Fidelity 2% card.

In 2018 YTD, excluding gas, we've spent $220 a month on average (up 14% over last year), so with our Executive Membership we won't earn back the incremental cost at this rate. That's ok, because they'll refund it and apply it to next year.

Try it for as long as you want, your membership is 100% refundable at any time.
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bottlecap
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by bottlecap »

Costco's fruit is many times better quality than found in the grocery stores in our area.

Costco's furniture is of good quality and a decent price. 80% of the furniture we have in our home is from Costco. Most is going on 8 years and still looks good.

There are good deals on clothes, especially children's clothes.

Printer ink is a good deal, particularly when they put it on special.

The best thing about Costco is knowing that the overall quality is quite good and the prices are usually the lowest. If we see something we need, we can get it without thoroughly shopping the deal and know we are going to come out okay.

Of course, they also have a generous return policy if anything turns out to be not as billed.

JT

P.S. The meat is good quality at a good price, but much of the beef is blade tenderized, so I’ve stopped buying it.
Pioneer
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Pioneer »

criticalmass wrote: 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?
I think it's comparable to supermarket chickens. Sodium in this case is used as a brine, which isn't an uncommon way to marinate a chicken. In fact, most people brine their turkeys for thanksgiving. I love these little suckers and get them every time I go (once every two weeks or so). I carve down the chicken and use the white and dark meat for enchiladas, tacos, etc. Endlessly versatile. I then toss the carcass in the crock pot and make homemade stock. For $4.99, the value can't be beat. For health-conscious eaters, discarding the skin will cut down on some of the fat and salt.

I'm also seconding the meatballs. I make them several ways in my crockpot-- Swedish meatballs, BBQ meatballs, teriyaki meatballs, etc. It's a great crowd pleaser for Bible studies.
MJS
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by MJS »

CostCo's florist service, and flower delivery, has worked very well for me. Prices are significantly lower than the big florists. The bouquets and vase arrangements are the most useful, but if you ever need 100 red roses, then $80 isn't a bad price.
goodlifer
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by goodlifer »

I used the mortgage rates available to Costco members to bargain a better deal with my mortgage broker this year.

I had a lot of problems with a massage chair that I ordered through Costco and as soon as I said, "That's it. I'm returning this to Costco", the company suddenly had a technician scheduled and a large box of replacement parts shipped overnight.

Flowers were turning into a large expense since our daughter is involved in many performances in and outside of school. While the bouquets are only a couple dollars cheaper than Walmart, they are big enough to split so she can give flowers to her teacher, too.

The Tramontina pots and pans set is such a good value that I buy a set every time I see them available to give as gifts. I have noticed that Costco sells the stuff made in Brazil and Walmart sells what is made in China. I have both and have noticed a difference.

The bags of organic frozen fruit are more than twice the size of those at our grocery store and only a bit more expensive. The bags are not filled with mostly air, too.

I save more on their car rentals than my membership costs, and I usually only rent once or twice a year.

When they sell the magnums of sparkling wine, they are dirt cheap. I will buy a case or two for parties and roll up like a baller. :happy

On the negative side, their fresh produce is awful at our store. It will sit there rotting with gnats all over. The few times I bought beautiful apples there, they were completely tasteless.

Same for their seafood. Sometimes I can smell it before I get to the seafood case. I will occasionally buy tuna steaks from Costco, but the majority of my seafood is ordered from a company in Alaska. I got into a disagreement with one of the people standing in the special seafood case about who has the best crab legs, so I brought my crab legs into the store in a cooler to show her. All she could say was, "Ohhh. Wow."

Their meat is starting to go downhill. We stocked up when they had steaks on sale for $5.99/lb and so far, it all tastes mealy. We bought a lot to serve at a birthday party and I was pretty embarrassed. Their chicken is always sticky because something leaked, and I don't think that they are stored cold enough.

Their gas isn't always the cheapest in our area, even after factoring in the rebate. There is always a long line, though.

And the biggest negative is the customers. I'm not sure if it is just my area or if Costco just attracts jerks, but the shoppers are the rudest people I have ever encountered. It isn't just on weekends when Costco is a madhouse. It is every time I go there.

All in all, I save a lot more than the membership costs so I keep it. Their business center is about an hour from me and I still go there every few months to stock up on lunch snacks and party stuff.
JackoC
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by JackoC »

Our Costco (next to Teterboro airport in northern NJ) has generally better produce, meat and seafood than local supermarkets. I could see that varying by location. The problem, obviously, is buying bigger packages of some stuff at Costco then you'd finish before it goes bad.

Otherwise as others have noted, we find Costco generally good value on a great many thing things, if the package sizes work, relative to the effort and time you'd have to expend to find things cheaper elsewhere. Not 100% the best, but not that often worth the effort to physically to traipse around to other stores to find a particular thing for less. For larger durable items that are easy to compare online that's not as true. And there are a variety of basic grocery items we don't typically buy at Costco for some combination of package size and/or we've learned over time the Costco price/quality is nothing special. We have a Shoprite and Trader Joe's both within walking distance, Costco is 11 miles away.

Clientele at Costco being especially 'rude' I would guess also varies by location and in the eye of the beholder. That's a non factor for us, and I'd say it's the opposite if anything compared to some other stores in the area, the Walmart across the way from our Costco, for example. We shop most places on weekdays to beat the worst crowds, because we can.
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

I'm surprised. I'm in the Seattle area and the fruit and veg price at our Costco almost always beats a supermarket price.
MP173
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by MP173 »

Love the $1.50 hot dog special. Makes a fun meal for the DW and I as we drive home (1x month).

Also love the roti chix. Makes an easy dinner.

I go because my wife wants to shop there. She has "her items" which includes flank steak, 5 - 1 pound frozen ground beef, household paper goods, wine, bagels, butter, milk, and some processed food items.

I purchased the last pair of eyeglasses there and while the price was low....there was a reoccuring "smudge" on one lens which appears about once per day. It was almost as if the coating on the lens was defective.

I believe the local Aldi has prices as low and without having to purchase large quantities....and yes, they pay their workers well.

We also love Aldi's cousin Trader Joes, but the closest one is an hour away.

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

Post by Gnirk »

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:52 am I'm surprised. I'm in the Seattle area and the fruit and veg price at our Costco almost always beats a supermarket price.
:thumbsup :thumbsup
pdavi21
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by pdavi21 »

The trick is to buy necessities and cheap stuff.
If you buy luxury and prepackaged foods at Costco, you are going to buy more of them and lose more money in the long run then just buying those at the local grocer (even if you save 5-50% and live like a king).
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Rupert
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Rupert »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 am Many can't figure out that when the tank fill is on the opposite side of the car, the Costco hose reaches fine. That's Darwin's law in action, you get to see whether your fellow man/woman has a brain (most don't).
Oh my god, yes. I thought I was the only one driven crazy by those people. Costco has posted giant signs explaining the stretchable hoses, but they just sit there, lemming like, anyway. It boggles the mind.
jdb
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by jdb »

Red wine, white wine, champagne and Kirkland Cognac XO. Also caviar in season, goes great with their champagne. Also cheeses which go great with the wines and cognac. I also pick up other stuff there like colombian supremo coffee and multi grain crackers and shaving cream and rotisserie chicken but mostly as a cover so people don’t think I’m a wino. Good luck.
Last edited by jdb on Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sport
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by sport »

Rupert wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:20 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 am Many can't figure out that when the tank fill is on the opposite side of the car, the Costco hose reaches fine. That's Darwin's law in action, you get to see whether your fellow man/woman has a brain (most don't).
Oh my god, yes. I thought I was the only one driven crazy by those people. Costco has posted giant signs explaining the stretchable hoses, but they just sit there, lemming like, anyway. It boggles the mind.
I am well aware of the long hoses, and choose not to use the other side of the pump. I don't want the hose to scratch my car, and my shoulder does not permit me to hold it away. Please be assured that I am not a lemming, and I definitely have a brain. :annoyed
Rupert
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Rupert »

sport wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:41 pm
Rupert wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:20 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 am Many can't figure out that when the tank fill is on the opposite side of the car, the Costco hose reaches fine. That's Darwin's law in action, you get to see whether your fellow man/woman has a brain (most don't).
Oh my god, yes. I thought I was the only one driven crazy by those people. Costco has posted giant signs explaining the stretchable hoses, but they just sit there, lemming like, anyway. It boggles the mind.
I am well aware of the long hoses, and choose not to use the other side of the pump. I don't want the hose to scratch my car, and my shoulder does not permit me to hold it away. Please be assured that I am not a lemming, and I definitely have a brain. :annoyed
Very sorry to hear about your shoulder. The Costco gas station attendant will stretch the hose for you, and the hose is made of rubber so won't scratch your car. It has never scratched mine.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

The thing with Costco, IME, is that one of two things is often true:
1) The price is good for whatever the thing is, but only the premium version of the thing is available. (E.g., organic pasta, but not regular non-organic pasta.)
2) The price is competitive for whatever the thing is, but the thing is only available in vast bulk quantities. (e.g., cheese, but only by the kiloton.)

Still worth it for us for now, but it was worth more to us when we had one in diapers.
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Random Musings
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Random Musings »

MJS wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:35 am CostCo's florist service, and flower delivery, has worked very well for me. Prices are significantly lower than the big florists. The bouquets and vase arrangements are the most useful, but if you ever need 100 red roses, then $80 isn't a bad price.
Forgot about that. Our parents love the large amount of flowers they get, the price is very good and most people already have vases to hold flowers in. Typically, if you change water and trim off the bottom every couple of days, we get about two weeks to enjoy them. Once, the roses did not open up, returned them and got new ones. I do look over the selection to choose the ones that are getting ready to open.

With respect to fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood, generally good although it pays to look over the produce. Never have encountered "mealy" meats. I do not care for the thickness of their porkchops.

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

Post by michaeljc70 »

Where I live, just about any meat or veggie can be bought cheaper if you shop the local grocery store sales. Some people don't want to run around to a bunch of stores to save a few bucks. I buy all kinds of things at Costco. 60 granola bars for around $10. Tires and batteries for my cars. Electronics. Housewares. Olive oil and spices. Coffee. Gas. Prescriptions (no membership needed).
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Elsebet »

It's just two of us so I tend to not buy any perishables but I buy a lot of their pantry and frozen items. I also buy household items there. Our nearby Costco is crowded the entire time they are open so I have been using their delivery service more often and just going in for frozen items once in awhile.

There have only been a few things I am disappointed with, one being the sheets I bought a few years ago that are already deteriorating. I was going to buy replacements at Costco since they are now a slightly different brand but they only have light colors and I prefer dark, so I bought them from Amazon instead.
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heyyou
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by heyyou »

Things that are loss leaders at the grocery store may not be cheaper at Costco.
Yes, but for retirees the cost savings on glasses and hearing aids is substantial, not just a few hundred, but thousands for a retired couple. Yes, you can be tested for both without a membership, but I believe that you cannot buy the products as a non-member.
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by John88 »

    In the San Jose they have a seafood road show in summer months where they sell whole wild caught coho (silver) salmon. They are very nice maybe 5 to 10 lbs each. Perfect party sizes.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by bottlecap »

    Rupert wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:20 pm
    RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 am Many can't figure out that when the tank fill is on the opposite side of the car, the Costco hose reaches fine. That's Darwin's law in action, you get to see whether your fellow man/woman has a brain (most don't).
    Oh my god, yes. I thought I was the only one driven crazy by those people. Costco has posted giant signs explaining the stretchable hoses, but they just sit there, lemming like, anyway. It boggles the mind.
    On my vehicle, stretching the hose to the other side at Costco results in the pump shutting off every few gallons pumped. It's annoying. I generally try to avoid that, even if I have to wait.

    Sometimes work around it by holding it with one hand and stretching it all the way out by leaning with all my body weight as it pumps. It probably looks ridiculous to all you "smart" people in line, so I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

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

    Post by Cycle »

    We used a Groupon to get a membership. It costs a lot more to get groceries at Costco than Aldi. Dropped the membership after a year. The only thing I miss are the rotisserie chickens. Takes forever to go in and out.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by drzzzzz »

    The individual seasoned frozen salmon portions are great as well as the eggplan parm (which is on sale right now); also seltzer usually cheaper than in the store. Their sliced turkey packages and hummous are usually good deals as well, along with many of the cheeses. As others have said, you need to be selective on what you buy there - the quality of their meats is oustanding and their whole chickens are almost always 99 cents a pound. It is the return policy that is also just wonderful and if you use their credit card they either double or add another year to the manufacturers warranty.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by RickBoglehead »

    drzzzzz wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:40 am The individual seasoned frozen salmon portions are great as well as the eggplan parm (which is on sale right now); also seltzer usually cheaper than in the store. Their sliced turkey packages and hummous are usually good deals as well, along with many of the cheeses. As others have said, you need to be selective on what you buy there - the quality of their meats is oustanding and their whole chickens are almost always 99 cents a pound. It is the return policy that is also just wonderful and if you use their credit card they either double or add another year to the manufacturers warranty.
    That's dated info.

    Citi cards, including the Costco Visa (as well as other Citi cards including DoubleCash, now adds 2 years to the manufacturer's warranty. A 6 month warranty becomes 2 1/2 years. A 1 year warranty becomes 3 years.

    If there is a added extended warranty, like Costco provides on TVs and computers extended warranties to 2 full years, you end up with 4 years total.
    Last edited by RickBoglehead on Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by Bacchus01 »

    RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:43 am
    drzzzzz wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:40 am The individual seasoned frozen salmon portions are great as well as the eggplan parm (which is on sale right now); also seltzer usually cheaper than in the store. Their sliced turkey packages and hummous are usually good deals as well, along with many of the cheeses. As others have said, you need to be selective on what you buy there - the quality of their meats is oustanding and their whole chickens are almost always 99 cents a pound. It is the return policy that is also just wonderful and if you use their credit card they either double or add another year to the manufacturers warranty.
    That's dated info.

    Citi cards, including the Costco Visa (as well as other Citi cards including DoubleCash, now ads 2 years to the manufacturer's warranty. A 6 month warranty becomes 2 1/2 years. A 1 year warranty becomes 3 years.

    If there is a added extended warranty, like Costco provides on TVs and computers extended warranties to 2 full years, you end up with 4 years total.
    I think this is the reference.

    Costco, by default, makes warranties 2 years and using the Citi “doubles it” by adding 2 years. Both are right.

    https://www.costco.com/concierge-two-pl ... ranty.html

    This is the main reason I went with Costco on a new dishwasher. Including the rebate, Costco was about $30 more, but the warranty moves from 1 year 4 years vs HD. I did not know that Citi would have taken it to 3 regardless.
    core4portfolio
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by core4portfolio »

    Currently our buy at Costco on good value for vegetarians as
    Rice - Sona masoori - cheapest to get at costco
    Salt
    Honey
    Spinach
    Kale
    Avacado
    occasional cereals on sale
    pasta
    pasta sauce on sale
    kitchen towel
    charmin
    lot of winter clothes
    socks
    mozzarella cheese
    vitamin tablets
    Glucerna

    I also have Aldi within a minute walk but i felt costco quality is better on many products.
    I do buy grocery in Aldi also like tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, ginger, pomegranate, pineapple, banana and so on

    For any electronics, always keep the receipt or upload into google drive.
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    CWhea1775
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by CWhea1775 »

    We shop at Costco for many of the items that others have mentioned (wine, meat, electronics, household essentials like laundry and bathroom products, etc.) because of prices and because their quality is better. Their meat in particular is just a higher grade than I can find elsewhere.
    One other thing that has not been mentioned - Costco stores in Hawaii have virtually the same items, at the same prices, as the mainland. They are located near the airports on the islands we go to and we save an incredible amount of money compared to what things used to cost there. I don't know how they do it. In addition to tourists, the stores are packed with Hawaiians, so I think they appreciate Costco on the islands as well.
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    HueyLD
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by HueyLD »

    I shop at Costco not because I have to but because I want to.

    The company’s philosophy lines up with mine and I gladly support their policy of treating members and employees well. I wish we have more companies like Costco.
    Bacchus01
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by Bacchus01 »

    With three boys at home, two teenagers, we go to Costco at least once a week.

    We actually are one of the few that don’t like their meat. We don’t eat a lot of meat, but when we do we buy from the local grocer.

    Things we buy regularly:
    - Gas - I fill up 1-2 times per week
    - Dog food - Kirkland brand is not the cheapest, but it’s rates very highly and is mich cheaper than the other premium brands
    - Bully sticks - our 90 lb dog loves them. And Costco is half the price of anywhere else.
    - Milk
    - Eggs
    - Waffles - kids fly through them
    - Protein powder - whenever they have a sale, I buy
    - Muscle Milk - same, buy on sale. Wife is a fitness instructor so she downs one of these before training
    - Toothpaste
    - Chicken pot pie - very good and will feed all of us easily
    - Chocolate Chip cookies - gotta have a vice
    - Steel cut oatmeal
    - Pancake mix
    - Syrup
    -Almonds
    - Dried cherries
    - Whole pineapples


    And, most importantly, Costco travel. Their deals are fantastic. We are headed to Mexico in two weeks.

    We don’t buy a lot of their fruits and vegetables as they tend to be on the ripe side and don’t last. Lettuce in particular is terrible at ours. Even the Walmart has fresher lettuce. I’ve also found that the books they have tend to be bad deals. We occasionally pick up some clothing items but they are hit and miss.

    TVs, XBox, applicants - the warranty alone often makes it worth it.

    I’ll add that the employees at our store are like 5 star compared to say walmart where I’m afraid to ask the employees something for fear of getting stabbed. And you get through checkout in no time at ours even if it’s really long.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by Nowizard »

    +1 for chicken, burritos, cheese, full grain bread, HVAC filters, toilet paper and paper towels, and, definitely, for those who need them, hearing aids which really show the insane mark-up. Same brand as a friend recommended that he purchased at a "discount" from a university Speech and Hearing Clinic where he is employed. Costco's were $600 less and has no charge for the thorough evaluation or follow-up appointments for which he paid an additional $200 and $800, respectively. Other friends have even greater, horror stories about pricing. Bought an Orvis, plush vest today for $30.

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

    Post by oko »

    The amount of money we save from Costco Travel PER YEAR is worth a few year's executive membership. Next time you rent a car, or go to Hawaii and Caribbean, just search all of the travel sites and compare it with Costco. For example, last year we went to Cayman, and the hotel price I got from Costco for just 4 days was a few hundred dollars less than any other travel site. I also did not pay the ridiculous $65/day resort fee because of Costco reservation, and also Costco gave us $200 food credit. With this money saved, my Costco membership is free for the next few years.

    Oh BTW: You get 2% back from the money you spent for the travel as a check also (for executive members). This is in addition to all of the savings above.
    Old Guy
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by Old Guy »

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

    Post by RickBoglehead »

    Bacchus01 wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:13 pm
    RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:43 am
    drzzzzz wrote: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:40 am The individual seasoned frozen salmon portions are great as well as the eggplan parm (which is on sale right now); also seltzer usually cheaper than in the store. Their sliced turkey packages and hummous are usually good deals as well, along with many of the cheeses. As others have said, you need to be selective on what you buy there - the quality of their meats is oustanding and their whole chickens are almost always 99 cents a pound. It is the return policy that is also just wonderful and if you use their credit card they either double or add another year to the manufacturers warranty.
    That's dated info.

    Citi cards, including the Costco Visa (as well as other Citi cards including DoubleCash, now ads 2 years to the manufacturer's warranty. A 6 month warranty becomes 2 1/2 years. A 1 year warranty becomes 3 years.

    If there is a added extended warranty, like Costco provides on TVs and computers extended warranties to 2 full years, you end up with 4 years total.
    I think this is the reference.

    Costco, by default, makes warranties 2 years and using the Citi “doubles it” by adding 2 years. Both are right.

    https://www.costco.com/concierge-two-pl ... ranty.html

    This is the main reason I went with Costco on a new dishwasher. Including the rebate, Costco was about $30 more, but the warranty moves from 1 year 4 years vs HD. I did not know that Citi would have taken it to 3 regardless.
    To further clarify, the only thing unique about warranties at Costco is that link you provided, the "2+2", which only applies to Televisions, Tuner-Free Displays, Projectors, Computers (excludes touch screen tablets) and Major Appliances (refrigerators (above 10 cu. ft), freezers, ranges, cooktops, over-the-range microwaves, dishwashers, washers and dryers). You get 2 full years of warranty on those items.

    The extension of another 2 years of warranty, the "#2" which is provided by the Costco Visa in their example, is provided by the Costco Visa, and most/all other Citi cards, ANYWHERE you use them. And, on any item. So if you buy a touch screen tablet at Costco, which has a 1 year warranty, you end up with 3 years. If you buy a electric toothbrush with a 6 month warranty, you get 2 1/2 years. But you'd get those exact same warranties anywhere you bought those same products, if you paid with a Citi card.

    Most other cards only "double" the manufacturer's warranty, and limit that, i.e. up to a year, providing a total of 2 years on something that has a 1 year manufacturer's warranty. Using a Citi card would get you 3 years in that example.

    Of course what's missing in all this is the return policy. If you're unhappy with that dishwasher, you can bring it back, however, impractical that is. Try and do that at Home Depot if you're unhappy. Not near as simple, if at all possible.
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by RickBoglehead »

    Cake should be added to the list.

    Costco makes a full sheet cake for around $18.99 that is very good. We're going to a wedding this weekend where they are using a Costco cake. Grocery stores by us can't touch it for the value.
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    GT99
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by GT99 »

    Wine is the #1 reason for me. Most bottles are a minimum of 10% cheaper than anyplace else (20-30% cheaper than grocery stores). The only place I've found that can compete on wine prices at all consistently is Total Wine (giant wine store chain if you don't have them where you live), but last time I checked they had similar prices, not better. We typically drink 4-5 bottles per week. That alone more than covers the cost of a membership over a year (I do the executive membership with cash back, and my annual cash back is more than the cost of the membership).

    A lot of folks want to compare the Kirkland brand items to store brands in other stores - that's a bad comparison. Kirkland brand is typically good to high quality product at low to mid-tier prices, not cheap product at cheap prices. Most Kirkland brand items are good values in my experience.

    Other reasons:
    -Meats - good quality that consistently beats grocery store prices in my area.
    -Dog food - The Kirkland Signature 'Nature's Domain' dog food is the quality of the high end brands that cost $50+ for a 30 lb bag, and it's typically around $40 for a 35 lb bag. With 2 dogs, we go through a bag every 4 weeks or so.
    -Clothes - not gonna lie, probably half my wardrobe is from Costco. I can get a 4 pack of high quality boxer briefs for $13. Even Amazon Essentials, which in my experience is great prices but low quality, is 3 for $16.

    I honestly haven't compared prices on basics like milk, eggs, toilet paper, paper towels, in a long time, but I do buy them at Costco.

    Big ticket items are hit or miss, in my experience. I bought a TV recently that had the same price on Amazon, but I went through Costco for the 2% cash back on my membership. I bought a garage shelving unit at Costco a couple years ago that I didn't compare prices on. A few days later I happened to see the exact same unit at Target for $40 less.
    aluminum
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    Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

    Post by aluminum »

    Most everything else has been mentioned, but one thing I didn't see is the Kirkland cling film. You do have to get 2 rolls, but it clings better than any other cling wrap I've used, and the dispenser box has a nice sliding cutter, as well as a sticky section to hold the cut piece flat until you are ready to use it.
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