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Is a Costco membership worth it?

Is a Costco membership worth it?

Old Apr 5th 2015, 8:46 pm
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Question Is a Costco membership worth it?

We've been here nearly a month now and am finding that groceries/food shopping seems more expensive than the UK. We're on a tight budget until my EAD comes through.

Is a Costco membership worth it?

Will it save any money compared to Walmart, Trader Joes's or Von's/Safeway?

Thanks
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

The thing you have to remember about Costco, when it comes to food, is that most of it is packaged in bulk.

There is only hubby and I so we don't buy a lot of their offerings because it would be just too much and would take us months to use; and we have found that items such as toilet roll, kitchen roll are not that much cheaper, if any, compared to Target etc.

However, we do buy fresh salmon, fresh chicken, cheeses, bread, some dried goods, wine, some veggies, and frozen foods and found them to be good value.

We have also found some good household items there too.

Overall, it's certainly worth joining.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Personally I've never found Costco worth it but I'm single. The things that are cheaper, I don't use especially in the bulk packaging.

I suspect than some households like Costco since they typically have many free sample food stations throughout the store and with a family of four, the family can probably eat at least $10 worth of free food every time they go to the store.

Another thing is a large hot dog or Polish sausage plus 20 oz coke at their snack bar has been $1.50 for 27 years.

Hearing aids, glasses, and possibly TVs/appliances may make it worth it for some but it is usually the most beneficial when buying products in bulk.


Last edited by Michael; Apr 5th 2015 at 9:47 pm.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

All depends on your individual needs. Everything at Costco comes in bulk sizes so if you single, it's not generally worth it as the packaging is too much for a single and you pay a lot and end up with waste.

The Costco's here sell everything from dry bulk foods, to produce, to bread, meats and anything else a grocery store would but in large bulk size.

By weight though if you break down Costco prices, the prices are not really any cheaper in my experience and once you add in the membership fee, you may save nothing.

Example milk at my Costco is 4.47 but it's 4.67 at the grocery store, not much savings.

Ground beef at costco last time was 4.99lb but you had to buy like 10 pounds at once, vs 4.99/lb at the grocery but sold in 1lb packs.

I have yet to find anything that saves money at Costco except OTC pain and other medications, I get 500 generic ibuprofen for 6 dollars vs 50 at Wal-Mart for the same price.

But it's not enough to pay for the membership.

Some swear by Costco, but I do not see any savings vs Wal-Mart/Target/etc when broken by volume.

Last edited by scrubbedexpat091; Apr 5th 2015 at 9:54 pm.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Personally I've never found Costco worth it but I'm single. The things that are cheaper, I don't use especially in the bulk packaging.

I suspect than some households like Costco since they typically have many free sample food stations throughout the store and with a family of four, the family can probably eat at least $10 worth of free food every time they go to the store.

Another thing is a large hot dog or Polish sausage plus 20 oz coke at their snack bar has been $1.50 for 27 years.

Hearing aids, glasses, and possibly TVs/appliances may make it worth it for some but it is usually the most beneficial when buying products in bulk.

https://consumermediallc.files.wordp...hotdogsign.png
I got to Ikea for cheap hot dogs, I think it's 50 cents more but doesn't give me horrible acid reflux the Costco one's do.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

If you've got young kids, especially babies, then membership to these stores is usually worth it.

If you're just a couple, then probably not.

Costco, do have a good returns policy though, if you're getting a bunch of electronics.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

It's worth it for us. Plus, Costco meat checks are more thorough that some other brands. I.e they actually bother to do food safety checks.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Sort of, depends.

When I was just trying to buy day-to-day items I frequently found I could get cheaper at my local grocery through sales and/or coupons. I didn't have to buy in bulk and that reduces some spoilage losses for some items vs buying the stuff at Costco.

When I had kids and needed bulk items of some goods (diapers, water, juice box) I saved some money using Costco.

I should note Costco was an hour drive away which ran (at the time) about $15-20 in gasoline costs for the car. Sort of a petrol tax to go to Costco.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 11:39 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
It's worth it for us. Plus, Costco meat checks are more thorough that some other brands. I.e they actually bother to do food safety checks.
Costco has been having a good amount of recalls in Canada lately, the most recent one is Kirkland chicken salad.

They had some beef recalls last year as well (as did other retailers who bought from the same supplier)

They also had their permit to import fish into Canada suspended for not following the rules.

I am wary of Costco meat because of the amount of recalls they get involved in.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

You do need to check the prices at costco as some things are way more than elsewhere. But other stuff is cheaper. Shop wisely and be prepared to stockpile a bit and it should be worth the money.

We pick up nice big joints of meat from Costco as all the supermarkets here do stupidly small joints for a higher per pound cost.
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Old Apr 5th 2015, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

For us, yes, definitely.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Their gas/petrol is a few cents cheaper than the local gas stations. We got a set of good, name brand tyres, last year at a lot lower cost than local tyre places and even on-line. Admittedly, they were on offer, but you couldn't beat the price. We do buy kitchen towels, toilet paper, and detergent when they are on offer and some groceries, but rarely buy fresh stuff because of the large size packages. It has worked out to be worth it for us.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 3:45 am
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
You do need to check the prices at costco as some things are way more than elsewhere. But other stuff is cheaper. Shop wisely and be prepared to stockpile a bit and it should be worth the money. ....
We are members at BJ's, and it's about the same - some things are a bargain, others not so much. The BJ's sells milk at around $1-$1.25/gal less than the next cheapest we can find it (Walmart), so we're "ahead" even just looking at the milk we buy. Other things we buy selectively, usually when they on an offer.

To Penguinsix's point we probably wouldn't bother with BJ's were it not that we drive right past it fairly regularly. Between the cost of petrol and the time it takes, it wouldn't be worth making the trip just to shop at BJ's.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 4:07 am
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

If you are trying to save money in the short term try Aldi, not a great selection compared to Walmart but a double money back guarantee if you don't like what you bought
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

In our household there are three adults and two kids.

Between us we run four vehicles - Costco gas is always the cheapest in the area.
We do a grocery shop every two weeks and stock up on the family essentials: diapers, wipes, juice boxes, cereal, toilet paper, water etc. It always works out better value to buy those kind of things in bulk. We'll go to a different store for lesser used items and produce.

If you've just landed and plan on buying appliances etc you will save on he cost of your membership right there.

Finally, as Bob mentioned their returns policy is incredible. They will eat any and every return, regardless of age.
My brother-in-law recently returned a mattress that he had been sleeping on and purchased from them FOUR years ago. Costco covered the costs of pickup and he received a full refund.

My wife needed to return something recently and was stuck in the line behind a woman returning a luggage set she purchased nine years ago. They still took it back.
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