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

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

Post by jmk » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:37 pm

Costco has good prices on name brand items. If you're a non-name-brand person, you can often get a better deal at e.g. Trader Joe's.
However, there are plenty of exceptions where the name brand on sale at costco is cheaper than generic, or you prefer name brand,

jlawrence01
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Location: Southern AZ

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

Post by jlawrence01 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:21 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:59 am

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...
For the record, King Sooper's is one of the Kroger family of stores. Kroger's is the largest chain of grocery stores in the country and is present in 38 states.

Several friends have purchased me Costco memberships over the years as I cook for them. I have tried to make it work but I am like the OP. I do much better at Kroger and Winco Foods stores.

As for the return policy, I have NEVER been refused a refund at ANY store not names Best Buy. My experience is that you can return nearly anything to MOST retailers. Walmart even gave me a refund on the TurboTax that I could not get to load. Some places like ALSI give you a double satisfaction guarantee where you get a refund AND a replacement.

I have always been reminded that there are some markets - like NoCal where Costco saves you a ton on gas - 20-30 cents per gallon. My experience has been that they are no lower than Kroger's gas when you factor in your fuel points.

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

Post by MJS » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:52 pm

My cat considers CostCo's beef jerky to be the finest possible commestibile. Cardboard boxes, gift wrap, cupboard doors - nothing stops him from finding the delicious double bags. Unfortunately.

michaeljc70
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:29 pm

jlawrence01 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:21 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:59 am

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...
For the record, King Sooper's is one of the Kroger family of stores. Kroger's is the largest chain of grocery stores in the country and is present in 38 states.

Several friends have purchased me Costco memberships over the years as I cook for them. I have tried to make it work but I am like the OP. I do much better at Kroger and Winco Foods stores.

As for the return policy, I have NEVER been refused a refund at ANY store not names Best Buy. My experience is that you can return nearly anything to MOST retailers. Walmart even gave me a refund on the TurboTax that I could not get to load. Some places like ALSI give you a double satisfaction guarantee where you get a refund AND a replacement.

I have always been reminded that there are some markets - like NoCal where Costco saves you a ton on gas - 20-30 cents per gallon. My experience has been that they are no lower than Kroger's gas when you factor in your fuel points.
Are you buying sale items at Kroger or Winco? We need to compare apples to apples (or as close as possible). Some people only buy things when they are on sale (me mostly). Some don't. We don't have Kroger where I live (well, we have a discount chain they own- Food 4 Less). I find that Costco prices are almost always cheaper than non-sale items at Jewel, Whole Foods, Mariano's, etc. where I live. I find that meats/poultry/veggies are cheaper when on a good sale at Jewel or Mariano's. I don't think I've ever seen one item cheaper at Whole Foods on sale or not than Costco, but I rarely go there as it is overpriced IMO.

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

Post by falconsfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 pm

srt7 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:27 pm
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.
If you are referring to bottled water, please tell us where you can find it cheaper. At my Costco you get 40 bottles for $3.

kacang
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Location: CA

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

Post by kacang » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:12 pm

Many of the stuff we buy from Costco have been mentioned by others. Plus we have 2 boys (one is a teenager, another in early 20s) and their friends sometimes hang out at our home, so we NEED to buy snacks and food in bulk.

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

Post by Nate79 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 pm

The value of Costco's return policy can not be underestimated. We purchased a mattress about 2.5 years ago from Costco.com and are not happy with it and will be returning it for a full refund, no cost (likely will get another one from them as replacement but is not a requirement).

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

Post by Kennedy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:15 pm

Clothing: leggings, tights, slacks, sweaters, winter vest, jacket, boots.. Love them all
Toilet tissue, paper towels
Bouillon
Cereal
Organic eggs
Frozen seafood (crab, lobster, scallops, cod)... all the highest quality
Beef tenderloin... expensive, but the quality can't be beat
Suit cases
Jewelry
Tires
Glasses/Contact lenses
Sunglasses
Kirkland batteries
Kirkland wine... Other brands of wine
Ibuprofen (amazing price)
Flowers
Slice of pizza at their deli... or "chicken bake," frozen yogurt (yum)
Cookbooks
Winter coats
Socks, underwear
Chairs, mattresses
Selected produce... I no longer buy avocados since they ripen all at once
Mortgage x 2
Auto/Home insurance
Rental cars (best price around)
Frozen ground beef hamburger patties
Frozen raw chicken wings

This sums up how I feel about Costco: 1) If Costco doesn't sell it, I don't need it; 2) My house was the house that Costco built...

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

Post by weltschmerz » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:52 pm

falconsfan wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 pm
f you are referring to bottled water, please tell us where you can find it cheaper. At my Costco you get 40 bottles for $3.
Be careful. I would love to buy my bottled water at Costco, but they only seem to sell their own "purified water" which can be very low pH (<5). I believe low pH water is bad for the teeth, leaches out the minerals. I like to drink mineral water of high pH, so here in California, I drink Crystal Geyser, which is > pH 7. I also avoid all the popular brands like Dasani and Aquafina for this same reason.

Bacchus01
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:56 am

oko wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:17 pm
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.
Completely true. I mentioned above as well. We went to Dominican Republic in Dec 2016. Fantastic resort and comparative prices on the same resort and same flights anywhere else was 20% higher AND we got a $650 cash back from Costco AND we got like $350 cash back on our credit card. AND we got about $650 in resort credit.

This year we are going to Riviera Maya. 20% lower AND we get $1,300 cash back AND we get like $350 cash back on the credit card. And we get $6000 in resort credit (although it's hard rock, so you pay for 25% of anything you use).

And their rental car prices cannot be beat. I've never found a better price.

michaeljc70
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

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

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:25 am

jlawrence01 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:21 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:59 am

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...
For the record, King Sooper's is one of the Kroger family of stores. Kroger's is the largest chain of grocery stores in the country and is present in 38 states.

Several friends have purchased me Costco memberships over the years as I cook for them. I have tried to make it work but I am like the OP. I do much better at Kroger and Winco Foods stores.

As for the return policy, I have NEVER been refused a refund at ANY store not names Best Buy. My experience is that you can return nearly anything to MOST retailers. Walmart even gave me a refund on the TurboTax that I could not get to load. Some places like ALSI give you a double satisfaction guarantee where you get a refund AND a replacement.

I have always been reminded that there are some markets - like NoCal where Costco saves you a ton on gas - 20-30 cents per gallon. My experience has been that they are no lower than Kroger's gas when you factor in your fuel points.
Have you tried to make returns after 30 days (or whatever a store's policy is)? I returned a wine chiller that costs $600 that broke days after the warranty ended (around 13 months old) and Costco didn't blink. Try that at Walmart or wherever, That covered my membership for 10+ years.

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

Post by iamblessed » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:14 am

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 pm
The value of Costco's return policy can not be underestimated. We purchased a mattress about 2.5 years ago from Costco.com and are not happy with it and will be returning it for a full refund, no cost (likely will get another one from them as replacement but is not a requirement).
Did you put that on a Citi credit card?

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

Post by Nate79 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:56 am

iamblessed wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:14 am
Nate79 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 pm
The value of Costco's return policy can not be underestimated. We purchased a mattress about 2.5 years ago from Costco.com and are not happy with it and will be returning it for a full refund, no cost (likely will get another one from them as replacement but is not a requirement).
Did you put that on a Citi credit card?
It was on the AMEX card just prior to the switch. I don't think they care.

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

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:49 pm

It depends. They have many things that are definitely a much better deal than anywhere else, starting with their Gas. If you live close enough to gas up consistently at Costco that one item is enough to justify a membership.

Next is their Bacon! We go through enough in a year to make the membership pay for itself.

We tend to buy:
- coffee (great value!)
- TP
- paper towels
- margarita mix
- bacon
- trash bags (another great deal)
- yogurt
- shredded cheese
- butter
- meat, chicken (excellent!)
- printer paper
- envelopes
- clothing (on occasion)
- multi-packs of chips
- books
- gift cards

I've stopped buying Wine, Trader Joes seems to have the best value.

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

Post by Starfish » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:51 pm

Costco in my area has decent quality cheese. Not great but good enough, especially for the price. I would never by shredded cheese though.
Also good meet, some good wine (the selection is not that large but the prices are good), good beers, scotch and bourbon, good meats. Veggies and fruits are fresher and better quality than in normal stores.
In terms of quality and price is good. In terms of value is debatable: it is very easy to buy too much and then throw away spoiled food, especially for smaller families. From this point of view is not very bogleheadian, you have to have very good control and be calculated to get the value out of it. It is not that easy.

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

Post by Point » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:56 pm

The trick to shopping at Costco is to buy what you can carry— don’t use a cart. That keeps you away from the nice to have stuff and focused on the need to have stuff. If you don’t get an ROI on the item in a year- don’t buy it.

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

Post by sport » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:00 pm

Starfish wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:51 pm
In terms of quality and price is good. In terms of value is debatable: it is very easy to buy too much and then throw away spoiled food, especially for smaller families. From this point of view is not very bogleheadian, you have to have very good control and be calculated to get the value out of it. It is not that easy.
We are a family of two. We find dealing with the large quantities very easy. If something is too large for us, we don't buy it. We still buy enough to make our Executive Membership worthwhile.

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Socrates28
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Diamonds!

Post by Socrates28 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:49 pm

I just purchased my fiancees engagement ring there

took it to my jeweler for sizing who was impressed by the quality and price

they also sell nice high end watches too

niceguy7376
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by niceguy7376 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:50 pm

The new costco in North Atlanta suburb has the facility to refill propane tanks. Right now, it costs $9 odd (the highest in the last few years I have seen and I filled many at $7 range) to refill the tank and a new tank costs $20 (it has a dial to show how much is still left).

Before this, we bought the blue rhino tank for $50 and used to exchange for $20 each time.

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

Post by windaar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:59 pm

Our family found that going to Target and using the 5%-off red card was best for us. No more waiting in line forever, no more buying more product than we need just to “save,” no more pushing a weighted down cart a mile into the parking lot and having to carry all of that stuff in the house where there wasn’t enough room to easily store it.

michaeljc70
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:33 pm

windaar wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:59 pm
Our family found that going to Target and using the 5%-off red card was best for us. No more waiting in line forever, no more buying more product than we need just to “save,” no more pushing a weighted down cart a mile into the parking lot and having to carry all of that stuff in the house where there wasn’t enough room to easily store it.
The groceries at my Target are all overpriced. I haven't found them to be competitive at all.

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

Post by mindgap » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:51 pm

windaar wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:59 pm
Our family found that going to Target and using the 5%-off red card was best for us. No more waiting in line forever, no more buying more product than we need just to “save,” no more pushing a weighted down cart a mile into the parking lot and having to carry all of that stuff in the house where there wasn’t enough room to easily store it.
The Targets I have been don't really have a good selection of organic products. So its a no no for me.

Gas price was down yesterday at our costco to $3.10. The gas station (Chevron) next to my house was $3.76.

Per 10 Gallon fill up I save around $6.60.

Times 20x per year is around $132 in savings.

That alone is a reason to go to Costco which is 5 minutes from my house.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Costco membership is worth it solely for the 2.5 pound bag of spinach for $4. Comparable spinach at Safeway is $5 / pound.

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

Post by sport » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:42 am

mindgap wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:51 pm
Gas price was down yesterday at our costco to $3.10.
Wow! The Costco in my area is $1.94. A few days ago it was $1.81.

rj49
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by rj49 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am

Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.

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

Post by fareastwarriors » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:40 pm

It's just a grocery (+department) store, more or less. Don't get hung up on it.
If Costco doesn't work for you, just move on.

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

Post by iamblessed » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:45 pm

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
It's a big time saver to. For an example take shampoo if I buy it at costco I am guessing it might last five years. There are many other thing like that I can get several years out of. So for me it is not only the money but a big time saver in the long run. Of course I don't go at peak times either.

Bacchus01
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:51 pm

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
That's true for some. Not true for many.

Have 3 kids. Have two of them be teenagers. Food NEVER goes to waste around here.

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

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:56 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:51 pm
rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
That's true for some. Not true for many.

Have 3 kids. Have two of them be teenagers. Food NEVER goes to waste around here.
Wow! Such deep feelings about something as simple as a store. "Sad, sad seniors"? That's rough there. Tell us how you really feel.

Bacchus01
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:04 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:56 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:51 pm
rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
That's true for some. Not true for many.

Have 3 kids. Have two of them be teenagers. Food NEVER goes to waste around here.
Wow! Such deep feelings about something as simple as a store. "Sad, sad seniors"? That's rough there. Tell us how you really feel.
I was specifically talking about food waste, but the OP comments seem to indicate he/she really looks down on a lot of "sad" people.

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

Post by smitcat » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:30 pm

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
I am sorry that Costco is too stressful for you use. Like others we find their vacations, hard goods and many foods to be great - even the home shipped items.

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

Post by Gil Gunderson » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:42 pm

Kirkland house coffee is roasted by starbucks (as stated on the package). In my opinion it is nearly identical to Startbucks house blend and cost $10.99 (used to be $9.99) for 40oz bag - Starbucks is 7.99 or more for a 12oz bag.

Coffee alone pays for my membership.

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

Post by sport » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:42 pm

The subject of "food waste" brings up an interesting question:
If I buy 16 hot dog buns at Costco for the same price as an 8 pack at the grocery store, am I "wasting" if I throw out 2 or 3 of them? Assume equal quality. This same question applies to a variety of food items when the quantity is somewhat large. A gallon of milk at Costco is about the same price as a half-gallon at the grocery, etc.

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

Post by Random Musings » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:09 pm

I've been to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Fred Meyer and Safeway (not Grocery Outlet). Only smiles there and young people. For some odd reason, and I can't figure out why, old and unhappy people at these stores are quickly escorted by a smiling staff member to a shiny door with the words "Soylent Corporation" engraved on it. It made me nervous, so I just went back to shopping at Costco with the sad, old people milling aimlessly around the store looking for some free green wafer samples.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:12 pm

Random Musings wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:09 pm
I've been to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Fred Meyer and Safeway (not Grocery Outlet). Only smiles there and young people. For some odd reason, and I can't figure out why, old and unhappy people at these stores are quickly escorted by a smiling staff member to a shiny door with the words "Soylent Corporation" engraved on it. It made me nervous, so I just went back to shopping at Costco with the sad, old people milling aimlessly around the store looking for some free green wafer samples.

RM
:D That's good.

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

Post by HueyLD » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:10 pm

I am very curious to know where rj49 lives.

I have never seen someone who met rj49’s description in a Costco warehouse. Rather, people seem to be just happy and relax at Costco.

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

Post by Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:18 pm

People who are happy and relax and Costco are in themselves the definition of absolute sadness :D
I mean you go to Costco to solve some problems. Yes, it's a nasty store. An industrial gray ugly building, but it does the job. I don't want to know anybody who relaxes there. It's not Seychelles.
I forgot to say that I also go to Costco to feed my kid with samples. Shopping and a meal. He is happy because we never buy that kind food (mostly junk food ans sweets) so he gets to try some. We are happy because we don't have to cook lunch or breakfast. Great success :beer !
Last edited by Starfish on Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by sport » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:39 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:18 pm
We are happy because we don't have to cook lung
You eat lung raw?

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

Post by Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:41 pm

Only when going to Costco :).
Corrected.

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

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:36 pm

For the past few years I have been looking forward to a Costco opening near me. Right now it looks as if that store has been put on the back burner. This thread has convinced me that I won't be missing a whole lot after all. I will simply have to continue mingling with the fun-loving healthy and happy shoppers at my local Walmart. Life remains good even if Costco isn't coming!

michaeljc70
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Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:40 pm

I wonder how they got to be the 2nd largest retailer in the US with all those sad, terrible customers and regularly priced oversized goods. :oops:

They are also the number one wine retailer in the US.

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

Post by Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:06 pm

Walmart is the largest and that one is REALLY sad.
Costco in my area is pretty high end, 100-250$ wine, 100$ cognac and scotch, lobsters, crab, expensive fish, pretty expensive cheese, expensive beer, expensive good meat.
However is not the same everywhere.
The happiest Costco I have ever seen was the one in Kauai... or maybe it was me....

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Socrates28
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For an example take shampoo if I buy it at costco I am guessing it might last five years

Post by Socrates28 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 pm

For an example take shampoo if I buy it at costco I am guessing it might last five years

really, I bought a 24 oz shampoo there last month.....shower much?

bad stereotype of Costco.

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

Post by boglesmind » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:38 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:06 pm
The happiest Costco I have ever seen was the one in Kauai... or maybe it was me....
Neither. It's Kauai magic 8-) :D :D If one's in the right frame of mind, Kauai will do it for you :sharebeer

Boglesmind

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

Post by Elsebet » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:52 am

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage.
rj149 is correct here. I worked in IT for Costco for 4 years, these impulse purchases are their lifeblood which is why they were (are?) a little confused and slow with their internet shopping experience.
rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. <snip>In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
I have to say people at Costco are generally either neutral or happy in my experience, although personally I try to get in and out of that place as quick as possible because I don't like crowded places. The people haphazardly queuing up for samples is one thing I will say makes me more angry than sad since they block the aisles and seem to be completely oblivious that others need to get around them. This is something Costco was trying to figure out a solution for even when I was there.

I will say I sometimes do come out of Costco with a sadness not about the store or people but the fact that as much crap that is in there it is all going to be purchased and consumed. I think that part makes me a little sad in a philosophical sense that most humans seem to now be merely consumers of all this crap we are making and it's causing a lot of garbage and maybe even financial consequences for people. However that could be said of any large store, I sometimes feel the same way just looking at some aisles at Fred Meyer. At Costco it's magnified due to the sheer size and amount of stuff in those warehouses.

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

Post by JackoC » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:38 am

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Deals at Costco are usually wiped out by compulsive behavior, whether it's succumbing to the shiny big tvs at the gadget gauntlet you must pass through, or the hot dogs/ice cream/pizza you buy because it's a 'deal', or the loss through wastage. Buying in bulk + junk food temptations = more calories = worse health and shorter life. Then the intangible drawbacks including having to store the huge containers--my well-off parents have a shelf of the same kind of Costco Campbell soup, which to me is just sad, as was the huge jar of kalamata olives i had, which slowly rotted and made me sick of Kalamata for a year. Then I also feel sad and ashamed for succumbing to sample scrounging, rushing around with a huge cart to try all the samples I can from the sad, sad women in plastic hairnets reciting their spiel (as a beard owner, I also feel pity for the guys having to wear plastic facial hair covers). Then you get to deal with the vast parking lot full of SUVs, the long lines to save a few cents on gas, the sad seniors going to Costco because they're bored, the long returns/membership lines, having to get your purchases checked when leaving, searching for where you parked, and then being left with shopping boxes to recycle, after stuffing all your purchases into a fridge/pantry/garage already full of Costco stuff. Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals. Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
Observant, well written, opinionated posts spice things up. I basically applaud you for putting together and expressing those observations. And if you don't like to shop someplace then don't, obviously.

However as a practical matter of my view of Costco, those observations are mainly don't apply or aren't relevant to us. I wish everyone were happy, but it doesn't affect where I shop, and I generally try to avoid the (IMO) modern social media/internet driven bad habit of going around in 'social commentary mode' through my whole life. At Costco I'm shopping, not evaluating who is happy and sad. And actually to the very limited degree I care about the other clientele where I shop (also apropos to earlier comment 'Costco clientele is so rude') I find the atmosphere at our Costco generally an upper, foreign born people (the clear majority at our Costco) apparently making the 'American dream' work. Although I don't have a particular problem with the more uniform, monochrome yuppie clientele at our local Trader Joe either (that's within walking distance in our gentrified little city, Costco is 11 miles away; we also walk to Shoprite which features a more mixed pre/post-gentrification crowd and where we're more likely to run into people we know, though sometimes we also run into my wife's friends from her home country community at Costco).

On the more relevant issue of 'impulse purchase' and too big packages, I think we're pretty good at avoiding either one having honed our 'relationship' with Costco so many years. And the definitions here depend. Some people really need to just spend less money, even if they get less stuff they actually could enjoy. Those among them who realize this sometimes psyche themselves (and try to psyche others sometimes) into the idea you're getting *nothing* more for spending more and buying more. But it's, this is such a quaint and polite forum I'll call it, 'bull feathers' to project that onto everyone else. We probably should spend more money. There are simply different subjective perspectives on what's a worthwhile purchase. But do we walk into Costco see a cool TV and just buy it? No. Our current TV is 8 yrs old. We bought it when the last one died. We'll buy another when this one dies. But yeah we bought it at Costco. :happy For membership fee it's a matter of arithmetic: the cost of our membership net of Costco cashback is negligible compared to savings/value for the things we buy. S&P index funds at high or low ER are offering the same thing. Stores without membership fees are not offering the same thing as Costco. This is the basic fallacy IMO in the perennial one liners about Costco membership fee, or 'they make all their profit on membership fee'. I don't GAS (oops) what their profit is or where it comes from, but value from my perspective.

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

Post by Erwin007 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:40 pm

We are frequent Costco shoppers. We are a family of 5 and so buying in bulk isn’t really a problem for us. We also have a chest freezer in our garage so freeze some things for later use. I find their fresh meat to be of much higher quality and better value than our local grocery stores. In the last few months I’ve bought USDA prime bone in ribeye tomahawk steaks for $12.99 a pound, USDA choice boneless ribeye steaks for $8.99/lb and USDA prime brisket for $2.99/lb.

We also buy a lot of produce there as well. Recently bought an 8 lb bag of clementine oranges for $6.99. Saw them at the grocery store by our house later that week where a 3 pound bag was selling for $4.99. The berries at Costco are also higher quality and cheaper than our local grocery store most of the time—sometimes sales at grocery store will beat the price but without the sales the price is much lower at Costco for strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

We more than make up for our yearly membership fee by the savings on gasoline where it is often $.25-.30 cents cheaper per gallon than local gas stations (not even including the 3% cashback I get from using the Costco Visa card).

Travel is also a place where we save a bunch using Costco. For a long time I just thought they had travel packages but you can also reserve hotel rooms and rental cars through Costco. Just this late spring we went on a short trip to San Diego. I priced hotels through Costco travel, the hotel’s website, and services like Expedia and hotels.com. Reserving the same hotel room through Costco was on average $60 cheaper per night than either booking through the hotel directly or through a travel website. That two night stay saved us enough to pay for our yearly executive membership by itself.

Like others, I don’t give two hoots what other shoppers look like (as if other shoppers being happy or unhappy makes a slight bit of difference) and am not prone to impulse purchases. I suppose if that’s a problem for you that you don’t have self control when you go shopping at a store with lots of items and lots of good deals, then don’t go shopping there or just take cash to pay for everything.

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

Post by srt7 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:50 pm

falconsfan wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:00 pm
srt7 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:27 pm
...
Recently shopped for drinking water and skipped Costco as they weren't even in the top 5 good deals for it.
If you are referring to bottled water, please tell us where you can find it cheaper. At my Costco you get 40 bottles for $3.
Nope. I wasn't talking about bottled water. I was looking for some type of filtration system. Also, if I were looking at filtration I'd probably look at their bottled water service. Individual bottles can get old fast.
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

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

Post by criticalmass » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:20 am

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Holiday meals used to mean my mother's home-cooked recipes, now it's my sister buying Costco meals.


Sounds like a family issue rather than a store based issue. Why not find those old recipes (or make new ones) and do the holiday cooking for the family this year? You can avoid the Costco nemesis and make everyone in the family happy at once.

rj49 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 am
Savings are also difficult since it's almost impossible to shop unit price and there are no alternatives for most products, whereas with regular groceries I have a good idea of what a good price is and can alternate between Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. In investing terms, Costco is like Fidelity, offering a lot of cheap things to get you in the door but then counting on you buying things you don't need (as well as ignoring the membership price, as many investors don't comprehend the true cost of fees). In the end, though, I don't go go Costco for the same reason I don't go to Walmart or shop at a mall, because it's an unpleasant and stressful experience that makes me sad. YMMV.
Avoid compulsive behavior at any store by modifying your buying patterns. Don't let emotions control shopping. I've never bought anything at Costco or anywhere else of any value that I didn't need or couldn't make really good use of. When there is something I need, I enjoy buying it for less. I am only a very occasional Costco shopper, as the store is not convenient for me, but I've never experienced stress or sadness there.

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

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:38 pm

Primarily alcohol which is an outstanding value (especially Kirkland wine), cheese, meats, clothing, and household supplies. I'll also purchase some expensive items due to Costco's legendary return policy.

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