Costco: worth it?

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j0e0r7
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Costco: worth it?

Post by j0e0r7 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:37 pm

I'm in a long-distance relationship so I'm living by myself right now -- so no need to buy in bulk. But I'm considering a possible Costco membership. What are the advantages over, say Target or Amazon.com? I'll probably bite the bullet on a membership, but kind of want to know what I'll get for my $$. Never been in the store before. Is it possible to go in without buying the membership in advance??

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bob90245
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Post by bob90245 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:49 pm

Don't know if the $50 pays for itself over the course of a 12 month membership (your mileage my vary). But where I live, their gasoline is nearly the lowest in my area. But it's fun shopping there if you consider penny pinching a participation sport. :wink:
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DA
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Re: Costco: worth it?

Post by DA » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:00 pm

Instead of eating lunch out, stop by around noon and visit all of the sample stations. Very Bogleheadish. You've paid for your membership before you know it. :)

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Fletch
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Post by Fletch » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:03 pm

My opinion of Costco:

Generally very high quality food and merchandise (better than Target or Walmart)

Generally the lowest or very low prices

Limited selections

Limited customer service in the store but great on the phone if you need something

Excellent warranty (forever on everything but most electronics which are 90 days)

Slow check out lines because the store is usually very busy

If you plan to buy any large appliances or tires you will certainly pay for your annual membership ... or if you buy most of your food and household supplies there you will also pay for the membership.

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Post by Wabbit » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:07 pm

I don't think Costco is worth it if you're living by yourself, although you could stock up on non-perishable stuff, or things you can freeze. The food items come in such large packages you might not be able to eat it before it goes bad. I think that Target is fairly competitive on prices these days with them anyway. Costco might let you look around the store if you indicate you are interested in a membership but want to look first. You should be able to compare prices of the things you buy online. Costco and Target online prices should be the same as in the store (I think) but remember Amazon sometimes charges shipping.

I actually think someday they will merge with other warehouse stores to form something like Cost-Mart Depot. Then when you say, "I'm going to the store", you mean it because there will only be one store! :)

IL Int Med
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Post by IL Int Med » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:12 pm

Costco is good if you're someone who buys name brand goods. if you're a generic brand shopper, you won't save much.

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Post by dkdoy » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:25 pm

Fletch wrote:My opinion of Costco:

Generally very high quality food and merchandise (better than Target or Walmart)

Generally the lowest or very low prices

Limited selections

Limited customer service in the store but great on the phone if you need something

Excellent warranty (forever on everything but most electronics which are 90 days)

Slow check out lines because the store is usually very busy

If you plan to buy any large appliances or tires you will certainly pay for your annual membership ... or if you buy most of your food and household supplies there you will also pay for the membership.

Fletch
Agree with Fletch, people tend to focus on price, with Costco quality is excellent and they really back up the products that they sell.

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Ducks
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Post by Ducks » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:29 pm

Also agree with Fletch. If you are looking at buying a HDTV or such, their warranty/return policy cannot be beat.

Use the Costco Amex + Executive Membership for 3% back on all purchases (in form of costco gift check).

A single person can do okay with Costco... if you have a secondary freezer. ;)
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Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:38 pm

Agree with Fletch on all points. Because of the limited selection you can't just go there with a shopping list of items and tick them off. However, for anything that we need that Costco happens to have, Costco is a good place to get it. Assuming you can make use of the slightly-larger-than-usual sizes.

On price, I think we about break even over the course of a year.

Some items I often get at Costco: Kirkland-branded tuna fish. Apples and pears. Batteries. Hallowe'en candy (full-sized candy bars in boxes of 24 or 36). Vitamins and other daily-dose over-the-counter medicine like low-dose aspirin. Some kinds of office supplies--e.g. ink-jet cartridges IF they have the right kind. Oatmeal. When I worked in a place where our manager bought the coffeemaker and we took turns buying coffee, I found the Kirkland-branded coffee that came in individual one-pot-sized tear-open foil bags to be just right.

Our local stores have recently introduced self-checkout aisles which really speed the checkout process when you only have a few items.
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Post by flowerbuyer » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:38 pm

We love Costco. I buy large packages of meat, and re-package and freeze it for much less cost than if I buy at other stores. Also buy staples, canned goods, cleaning supplies, office supplies. Hey, even my wedding ring came from Costco! Gas prices are the best around, and we get 3% cash back on gas purchases with the Costco/Amex card.
They extend warranties to two years for electronics, and have a concierge service to call for setup advice, etc. Electronics can be returned for full refund within the first 90 days.
I find their Kirkland brand to be very good to excellent.

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Post by MWCA » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:50 pm

For just two of us. We did not think it was worth it. Perhaps if the gas lines were shorter and the Cosco itself was not so far.

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Post by FamilyMan » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:53 pm

To me, I think you have to have a shopping list going into Costco. The place is great for paper towels, toilet paper, veggies, etc. My problem is that I splurge on the non-essentials, like a big jar of pickles!!! Then my bill is through the roof.

FM

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Post by BobB » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:07 pm

I make back the membership on eyeglasses and wine. The free samples are a bonus. Costco online is convenient and can be returned at the store with the same great return policy as store made purchases.

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Re: Costco: worth it?

Post by cheapskate » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:10 pm

j0e0r7 wrote:I'm in a long-distance relationship so I'm living by myself right now -- so no need to buy in bulk. But I'm considering a possible Costco membership. What are the advantages over, say Target or Amazon.com? I'll probably bite the bullet on a membership, but kind of want to know what I'll get for my $$. Never been in the store before. Is it possible to go in without buying the membership in advance??
One thing that is way cheaper at Costco than elsewhere is auto tires. If you have to get new tires even once, it pays for the membership.

The tires at costco come with a lifetime warranty - they'll fix flats for free !

Other than tires, Costco is great for TP and Kitchen Towels and such - non perishables. We've found that even with 3 kids, buying food there results in a lot of wastage - probably enough to negate the cost benefits.

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j0e0r7
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Post by j0e0r7 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:10 pm

Thanks everyone for your helpful info! Think I'm going to join ...

tomd37
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Costco - Vision & Prescriptions

Post by tomd37 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:12 pm

I know from personal experience Costco save members a bunch of money on eyeglasses or contact lenses. We don't have any day-to-day prescriptions, but have a close friend whose wife requires a lot of expensive prescriptions. He says Costco has the best prices by far.

Their customer service return policy is excellent. Just make sure you understand the policy on electronic items ahead of time.
Tom D.

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Post by cheapskate » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:14 pm

One more thing - if you are a big costco customer it pays to get executive membership. This costs $100 (instead of $50). But you automatically get 2% of all purchases as a rebate check (in addition to any Amex rewards).

The nice thing (as explained to me at our local costco) - if your rewards don't total $50, you will still get $50 back. So this seems like a no-lose situation.

I don't have personal experience with this though - although we are members we aren't heavy shoppers.

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Re: Costco: worth it?

Post by simplesimon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:21 pm

DA wrote:Instead of eating lunch out, stop by around noon and visit all of the sample stations. Very Bogleheadish. You've paid for your membership before you know it. :)
OR just head to the food court. $1.50 hot dog and soda, $2 slice of pizza, $1 frozen yogurt, and other delicious stuff.

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joe8d
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Post by joe8d » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:22 pm

While in Target the other day,I notice that they were setting up a bulk purchase area.The items were in larger quantities than normal with lower per unit prices.Obliviously intended to compete with the warehouse stores.
Last edited by joe8d on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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leod
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Post by leod » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:46 pm

it is worth it depending on which items you buy and if you buy in bulk like diapers, tissues, etc..you don't have to buy warranty on tires.

they used to have a good return policies on electronics but not anymore.
apply for their amex card if you decided to get the membership.

you can shop for a day and see their selections, then decide if you want their membership.

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Post by MWCA » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:24 pm

Ah that was the other reason. Our PenFed visa card would not get rebates when shopping at Costco. Since we do our shopping exclusively with a cc card.

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Costco Rocks!

Post by BigFoot48 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 pm

In addition to $1.50 hot dogs with drink, Costco has an unlimited return policy (except for televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones which are limited to 90 days.) They don't even ask why you want to return it. I returned a digital photo frame that failed after two years. They looked up my purchase, made in another state, in their computer. I just bought a camera there and am glad I have 90 days to evaluate it, unlike most other retailers.

We buy TVs there, gasoline, eye glasses, milk, juice, steaks, the best pumpkin pies, tools, vitamins, clothing, tires, batteries and books, to name a few things. We usually go once a week.

And yes, you can get a complete meal by circling the sample ladies. I asked one once, and she confirm she had her "regulars".
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Post by epilnk » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:59 pm

cheapskate wrote:One more thing - if you are a big costco customer it pays to get executive membership. This costs $100 (instead of $50). But you automatically get 2% of all purchases as a rebate check (in addition to any Amex rewards).

The nice thing (as explained to me at our local costco) - if your rewards don't total $50, you will still get $50 back. So this seems like a no-lose situation.

I don't have personal experience with this though - although we are members we aren't heavy shoppers.
Agreed. When we had two in diapers with one on formula we switched to the executive membership and it easily paid off. We also shopped at costco more often in those days. Right now though I don't think our shopping habits justify even a basic membership, so we haven't renewed in a few years. The best deals are for those who visit frequently enough to take opportunistic advantage of their variable inventory.

Linda

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teacher
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Post by teacher » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:21 am

My son just bought a bedroom suite at Costco. Excellent quality!

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Post by RTR2006 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:23 am

We love Costco. Being very Bogleheaded I bought three bottles of 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild in 2003 for $278/btl and sold 2 of them (I'm keeping #3) last year for $1250 each.

Image

:lol:

Not all the deals are that good, but they have a policy of trying to not make more than 14% markup on what they sell. You do have to do comparison shopping, as you may end up buying 6-12 of something when the single item for sale price may not be much more than on a per piece basis, but if you're like us and everyone else we know, your standard Costco shopping list will include TP, tissue paper, paper towels, Odwalla OJ, cereals, and Advil. Plus the occasional LCD TV, tires and don't forget to get a smoothie on the way out!

RTR

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Post by RJSachs » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:04 am

MWCA wrote:Ah that was the other reason. Our PenFed visa card would not get rebates when shopping at Costco. Since we do our shopping exclusively with a cc card.
You can buy Costco cash cards online using a PenFed (or any other) Visa card and then use the cash cards at the physical stores.

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Post by Ducks » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:07 am

MWCA wrote:Ah that was the other reason. Our PenFed visa card would not get rebates when shopping at Costco. Since we do our shopping exclusively with a cc card.
I have a Costco Amex card that I use only for Costco purchases.
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Post by sport » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:17 am

Ducks wrote:
MWCA wrote:Ah that was the other reason. Our PenFed visa card would not get rebates when shopping at Costco. Since we do our shopping exclusively with a cc card.
I have a Costco Amex card that I use only for Costco purchases.
Presumably, you are aware that the Costco Amex card has some excellent rebates: 3% on gasoline and restaurants, 2% on travel (hotels, cruises, airfare, car rentals, etc.) and 1% on most everything else. I always try to use mine for restaurants and travel.

Jeff

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SpringMan
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Post by SpringMan » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:37 am

They have a good return policy. Returned a digital camera with a cracked LCD after about 40 days. They think I may have inadvertently banged the LCD against something. I do not recall doing so. They gave me 100% of my money back anyway. I recommend them highly. However, we live far enough away that it is inconvenient to shop there often. Our membership has recently lapsed.
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Post by MWCA » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:02 am

jsl11 wrote:
Ducks wrote:
MWCA wrote:Ah that was the other reason. Our PenFed visa card would not get rebates when shopping at Costco. Since we do our shopping exclusively with a cc card.
I have a Costco Amex card that I use only for Costco purchases.
Presumably, you are aware that the Costco Amex card has some excellent rebates: 3% on gasoline and restaurants, 2% on travel (hotels, cruises, airfare, car rentals, etc.) and 1% on most everything else. I always try to use mine for restaurants and travel.

Jeff
No I was not aware of it. Thank you for the heads up.

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Re: Costco - Vision & Prescriptions

Post by esetter » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:07 am

tomd37 wrote:We don't have any day-to-day prescriptions, but have a close friend whose wife requires a lot of expensive prescriptions. He says Costco has the best prices by far.
You don't have to be a Costco member to buy their prescription drugs.

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Re: Costco - Vision & Prescriptions

Post by Bulldawg » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:59 am

esetter wrote:
tomd37 wrote:We don't have any day-to-day prescriptions, but have a close friend whose wife requires a lot of expensive prescriptions. He says Costco has the best prices by far.
You don't have to be a Costco member to buy their prescription drugs.

This is true and why I use Sam's club for the Rx and Costco for their optical dept...IMO , Costco has the best optical and since all 5 members of our family needs this, Costco works great for us
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Re: Costco - Vision & Prescriptions

Post by gatorking » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:07 am

This is true and why I use Sam's club for the Rx and Costco for their optical dept...IMO , Costco has the best optical and since all 5 members of our family needs this, Costco works great for us
You should look into Zenni Optical.

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Re: Costco - Vision & Prescriptions

Post by Bulldawg » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:43 am

gatorking wrote:
This is true and why I use Sam's club for the Rx and Costco for their optical dept...IMO , Costco has the best optical and since all 5 members of our family needs this, Costco works great for us
You should look into Zenni Optical.
After hearing Clark Howard speak about Zenni ( and Costco), I gave Zenni a shot; wasn't impressed with customer service and really needed a human to hold my hand ( and measure the distance between pupils) .
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Post by beardsworth » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:06 am

An additional "attraction" of shopping at Costco, IMO, is their reputation for treating their employees better than certain other big–box store chains do, which in turn leads to a more dedicated workforce with less turnover and greater commitment to the company. At least that was the case as of this 2005 New York Times article (which you should be able to read without a Times log–in ID if your browser is accepting cookies).

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/busin ... wanted=all

We don't yet have a Costco in our town, but hope they'll be here eventually.

Marc

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Worth it if.......

Post by Nowizard » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:32 am

1. You love their multi-grain crackers
2. You enjoy having a foot-long hot dog or Polish sausage and unlimited cola refills for $1.50 (If you are really wanting a cheap lunch, just eat the samples from the many available throughout the store being prepared by people hired to give out samples of various food products).
3. You fill up your car with gasoline will shopping.
4. You have people over on occasion but do not want to fix food to eat. They have many choices for appetizers, snacks, desserts, etc. that are already prepared and very good
5. You enjoy good cuts of meat at reasonable prices
6. You love pumpkin pie during the Fall and late Winter months ($5.99, often discounted to $4.99 for a large, tasty pie).
7. You want AC filters at a much cheaper price than Walmart.
8. You want a very nutritious and delicious Fruit Medley for snacks at the office.
9. You enjoy fresh seafood such as Snow and King Crab, scallops, shrimp, etc.
10. You want to purchase automobile tires at a reasonable price.
11. You just enjoy window-shopping to see what they have that is new.
12. You want to purchase jewelry at discounted prices.
13. You want to buy wine or other liquour at the lowest price anywhere (This may not be a national occurrence, but in our area, each Costco has an adjoining liquour store that is not formally associated but is located near the front door)
14. You want to purchase eyeglasses at reasonable prices.

The key is whether it is convenient enough to go to regularly. We are a two-person family and do not find the quantities to be too "bulk" on many items.

Tim

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Post by sport » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:51 am

Nowizard wrote: We are a two-person family and do not find the quantities to be too "bulk" on many items.
Tim
We are also a two-person family and we have an executive membership. We live close enough to the store to make it worthwhile.

Jeff

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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:58 am

MWCA wrote:For just two of us. We did not think it was worth it. Perhaps if the gas lines were shorter and the Cosco itself was not so far.
We also didn't think the membership was worthwhile for us while I can certainly see the value for many couples, families and home businesses depending on how they shop.

We're not the big buyers of food in bulk because while I know that the costs per ounce are a bit cheaper at Costco -- what happens is that my wife and I would just end up eating more in any given week or month and so negating the cost advantages.

We like to eat a variety of fresh fruit and so our shopping habits require us to buy them in small quantities weekly (pear, apple, orange, grape, peach, plums, strawberries, etc).

We have 1 baby but maybe in the future when we 2 kids it may be worthwhile for us but not at the moment based on our eating habits.

Costco also has lots of good ready-to-heat-up & serve frozen foods in bulk. Those seem pretty good options for quick & serve meals for families or busy couples. But again, my wife and I don't really eat those types of prepared meals.

Someone else also mentioned brand name products that Costco is great for. Yes if you compare say the brand name paper towel, toilet paper and shower body wash then you can save at Costco --- but for those items I simply buy the cheaper generic brand names elsewhere. Also, I don't need to buy the more expensive Pamper or Huggies butt wipes --- I find the cheaper Target brand wipes to be just as good and other parents have told me the same.

So there is certainly good advantages to using Costco and again it depends on how you shop.

Quick question for you guys since I haven't looked at the wine section at Costco. Are the wines more of the pricer name brand types or are there low cost wine options as well? I drink wine occasionally but not into name brands -- just whatever is low cost. Anyone here shopped for wine before at Costco and Trader Joe's? I know that Trader Joe's has a variety of good low-cost wine .... How does the 2 compare with respect to wine?
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ryuns
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Re: Worth it if.......

Post by ryuns » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:02 am

Nowizard wrote: 13. You want to buy wine or other liquour at the lowest price anywhere (This may not be a national occurrence, but in our area, each Costco has an adjoining liquour store that is not formally associated but is located near the front door)

Tim
Interesting. In CA, they still have the best deals on wine and booze and beer, it's all right in the store, next to the bakery.
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ryuns
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Post by ryuns » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:08 am

By the way, I just mooch off my mom's membership. I'm not sure what all the rules are, but they don't seem too stingy. They also gave me the business credit card because my mom's membership was originally issued under the name of my dad's dentist office, which hasn't existed for 18 years or so.

Anyway, that may work for some people who want to save the price of membership.
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dcd
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Post by dcd » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:24 am

I got tired of making trips to two stores for shopping so now I just go to Walmart for groceries and most other things that I might have bought at Costco.
Denny

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Post by atomicrc11 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:43 am

I can say that I feel it is worth it. Tires are definitely a great deal and every four months or so they have a coupon for $70 off a set of 4 Michelin tires. That is a great deal.

As for the rest, I buy their chicken tenders, salmon and tilapia. I separate them into bags as previously mentioned and they last me a whole month. Also, you can buy 4 Tropicana Orange juices for $10. At the store here they are usually between $3 each on sale up to $3.50 not on sale.

The tuna, ketchup and other condiments are great. They have boxes of cereal that have two bags in them. For the price you pay it is nearly the price of generic cereal but you get the name brand. Their deli meats are a good deal too. You get almost 3 pounds in three separate packages so you can open one at a time so it doesn't go bad. They taste great and only cost $4 per pound for turkey. In the store it is $8 per pound.

Also, they have great deals on socks and under shirts. Why pay for name brand when the Kirland brand is great and they are always under your shirts and in your shoes. I also get the same dockers they have at Macy's for $29.99 for $22.99. Now, they don't always have my size or the color I want, so I still go to Macy's for those needs, but when I see a good deal I snatch it up.

The drinks are also good. 32 cans of Coca Cola for $8.50, two 1 gallon jugs of Motts apple juice and milk is around $2 in my area for a gallon in Costco whereas the other stores are more like $2.50.

As mentioined, OTC drugs. For example, at the local drug store 500 tablets of Ibuprophen cost $14. At Costco I purchased 1000 tablets for $7.99. Half the price and twice the amount of pills!

I've also noticed that almost every product I buy, the packaging is recyclable, which is great. There are so many deals to be had, if you have the space to store things, this is the place to buy it.

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Random Musings
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Post by Random Musings » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:45 am

Costco - great for tires, glasses, meat department is good, excellent return policies, good samples to try (plus food court is cheap). Gas prices typically lowest (or almost lowest) in area.

Lot of good points, very few negative ones. Upgraded to executive membership, no risk and got some extra bucks back. IMO, better than Sam's.

RM

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Post by elbryn1000 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:13 pm

incidentally, if you opt to go the membership route, take a look here
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-dea ... rd1=costco

get some stuff for free :)

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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:18 pm

By the way -- you also don't need a membership to browse the floor to eat the free samples or to pick up a cheap pizza slice or hotdog & drink.

I just go there and tell the front-door person that I'm just browsing and may be interested in a membership and they let me in.

Well it's true -- I may consider a Costco membership in the future.
SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Any overconfidence in your ability, willingness and need to take risk may be hazardous to your health.

scpo
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:45 pm

Costco worth it

Post by scpo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:26 pm

They also offer funeral services items. When my wife passed away in 08 they had just started offering caskets. I bought one from them including shipping to the funeral home for a $1000. The same identical one from the home was $2400. The director asked if they could give me a better price would I consider. Well the so called best they could do was $1800.
State law says they have to accept a third party purchase as long as you notify them of the purchase.
The only thing I had to do was pick up the packaging which my son did.

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simplesimon
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Post by simplesimon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:28 pm

Kenster1 wrote:Costco also has lots of good ready-to-heat-up & serve frozen foods in bulk.
The frozen mini-pizzas and chicken pot pies (both microwavable and delicious) got me through college.

I like the roasted chicken which is much bigger and juicier than the ones I can get at Safeway.

Already mentioned is the alcohol which is the cheapest I can get anywhere. The hard liquors only come in the big size so for smaller parties it might be too much (but we always manage to deal with it :lol: )

S&L1940
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Post by S&L1940 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:48 pm

well worth the membership fee. and one thing I learned was never to hesitate to buy something you like but are not sure if it fits or whatever. firstly, you can return nearly everything - including spoiled food - without a question. secondly, some items, food, electronics and clothing, may not be there the next time you shop. they have their consistent products yet sometimes pick up seasonal or closeout merchandise at really great buys that may only show up one time or sporadically.

also if BJ's is in your area they may be worth a look. not as deep or as promotional as Costco but they take manufacturers' coupons and sometimes have packages that are larger than supermarkets but smaller than Costco. and their health and beauty and nutrition/supplement selection is better than Costco.

now if we only had Trader Joe's closer than Atlanta...

Rich
recovering procrastinator

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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:55 pm

simplesimon wrote:
Kenster1 wrote:Costco also has lots of good ready-to-heat-up & serve frozen foods in bulk.
I like the roasted chicken which is much bigger and juicier than the ones I can get at Safeway.
Interesting - I would like to try it someday. How much are they? I like the roasted chicken from Meijers which are pretty plump and juicy which once in a blue moon I will pick up and I normally pay $5.99. They're good last minute dinner options -- plus I can get in and out of the store fairly quickly with the self-serve pay kiosks.

But you can definitely recognize when visiting a friend's home as to who is a Costco shopper --- Kirkland branded items (e.g. water bottles, juices).

By the way -- if you bought a big jar of say pretzels and after 2 months of eating say half of it, can you return the whole jar for a refund if you found the remainder to be stale? Just wondering about the extent of their good return policies.
SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Any overconfidence in your ability, willingness and need to take risk may be hazardous to your health.

jegallup
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Location: San Diego

Post by jegallup » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:56 pm

Costco's good for all the reasons listed above, and I shop there often. But everything is organized and packaged in such a way as to almost compel you to buy more stuff than one or two people need.

The parking lot is a madhouse with people rolling giant barges of purchases in any and all directions.

The checkout lines are so long that you're not likely to go there to buy a single item that costs less than $20, or maybe $100.

Because all sorts of products are sometimes available and sometimes not, the Costco shopper is conditioned to buy more than he or she otherwise might, because these razor blades or this pair of socks might not be there next week.

There is (in my experience anyway) no store directory, so you're forced to wander through aisles of stuff you don't want to get to the stuff you do want.

Consumables are shrink-wrapped together to force you to buy three when you only need one.

My significant other, who is a long-time Costco adherent, observes employees there getting fatter and fatter as the years go buy. And as for the clientele...they match up pound-for-pound with Walmart quite well.
Last edited by jegallup on Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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