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Is a Costco membership worth it?

Is a Costco membership worth it?

Old Apr 6th 2015, 8:23 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

I use Costco for paper towels, toilet rolls, boxes of tissues, big bags of rice, bulk dog treats, EVOO, vitamins, boxes of Reese's peanut butter cups, two-packs of a nice roasted garlic/olive oil ciabatta (they freeze well). They have a decent mozzarella that is much cheaper than the local supermarket's brands; their big bags of pignoli are also cheaper and keep well. I have ordered my eyeglasses from them in recent years and been happy with the name-brand frames they carry. Gas is expensive in CT and they have low prices my OH takes advantage of as he drives by frequently. Unfortunately, everything I save is prone to evaporate on the good deals they have on new hardcover books . . .

Here, the prices are better than Target on the items I buy -- TJ's is not convenient to me and I am not a Walmart fan.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 8:50 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

I shop there every few weeks. I scratched my glasses and a year later they replaced the lenses free of charge. They have great bargains but you do need to know your prices. I would never buy their bagels( they are just awful) but their muffins are really good. They have a 90 day return policy on electronics.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 9:40 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Even fuel at Costco is not always cheaper than the local 76 or whatever.

Aren't they switching from AMEX to another card later this year?
I assume you'll still be able to use AMEX on Costco.com, where you've been able to use MasterCard and Visa for years.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 10:05 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post

how can TJ's possibly save money??? Unless it's on wine....I can go in there, spend $100 and still have nothing for dinner.
Trader Joes, very reasonable prices on certain stuff like frozen goods, dairy, dried goods and snacks as well as beer.

Meat is pretty pricey though and fresh fruit/veg is hit or miss. Some locations are great, others not so much and sometimes very seasonal in the quality.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 10:17 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Even fuel at Costco is not always cheaper than the local 76 or whatever.

Aren't they switching from AMEX to another card later this year?
My father has a new Costco Cerdit Card from Capital One Visa.

I've known people in the past who obtained the AmEx which included Costco Membership and a "cash back" feature.

BTW, not all Costco stores carry the same merchandise. There is a business supplies [including restaurants] location here in LA. I've noted that locations can vary by the ethnicity of the catchment area.

They are usually quite competitive on tires -- they use nitrogen to fill the tires and they do free pressure checks and refills.

Last edited by S Folinsky; Apr 6th 2015 at 10:21 pm.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 10:32 pm
  #36  
 
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
.... BTW, not all Costco stores carry the same merchandise. There is a business supplies [including restaurants] location here in LA. I've noted that locations can vary by the ethnicity of the catchment area, ..... .
That is likely true for every major food retailer, across the industrialised world. Round here only some Kroger franchise stores carry British groceries. Only a few Sainsbury's in the UK carry American groceries, but those that do have quite a good selection. Availability of things like Indian groceries vary significantly in both countries.
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Old Apr 6th 2015, 10:55 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Seriously though.."Will it save any money compared to Von's/Safeway?"
For Safeway, they have online "Just for U" and electronic manufacturer's coupons that when selected, they become part of your account and if you purchase those items after swiping your Safeway card, you get the discount.

Since Safeway started the program a couple of years ago, I saved an additional $600 which I would have never saved if I had to clip coupons since that is too time consuming and cumbersome where as going on-line and just clicking on what you may use once a week takes about 5 minutes and after that, everything is automatic.

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Old Apr 7th 2015, 12:15 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

When it was just me and Mr Chog it wasn't worth it. Then we had the small chog- when she was very small it was convenient for mass buying stuff nappies, wipes, bleach etc and not having to do lots of smaller shopping runs.
Now she's bigger we're thinking of dropping it again. She's nearly out of nappies and we find that generics at the supermarket and meat/veg at the ethnic Grocery is cheaper and/or better.
I do like their lamb and the carters brand pajama sets for small chog but we'll not be renewing our membership this year
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 2:43 am
  #39  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I suspect that much of Costco and BJ's business comes from people who refuse to shop at Walmart, so things that appear to be a bargain at Costco/BJ's are only a bargain compared to TJ's, Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Wegmans, Target, etc.
Could be. Other then Vancouver which has Whole Foods, most of the rest of the region only has basic grocery stores which are all essentially the same except some charge more then others, but none are upscale really or sell anything unique and then there is Wal-Mart as the sole general retailer that doesn't require a membership.

Target closed up shop in Canada.

We do have Safeway but it's not the same as the US company, they sold it off a couple years ago. Same name different companies, but the Safeway's are just over priced Save On's which is the main chain.

Not sure how Publix, Wegmans etc compare to Wal-Mart as those chains do not exist in the US regions I have lived or if they do they operate under a different name.

Never been to a Trader Joes, but did go into a Whole Foods once, holy cow the prices were insane.

Wal-Mart here keeps pretty clean and organized stores, no worse then any of the other chains.

Last edited by scrubbedexpat091; Apr 7th 2015 at 2:46 am.
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 3:48 am
  #40  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

We used to only take out a Costco membership when there was something big that we wanted to get, then when the cashback bonus came round, if it was large enough to cover renewal, we'd renew. Otherwise drop out till the next big purchase.

But then another location opened up very close to us, and we use it a lot more. I normally buy gas there, and some groceries, but rarely "fresh" stuff as it is such large quantities that, even with 5 of us, its tough to get through the volume. I like some of the bread, but the kids turn their noses up at the muffins for some reason. I do buy meat and fish there, especially some of the multipacks (eg chicken breast/thighs) that go in the freezer and just pull out when needed. I also like some of their pre-prepared meals (the chicken pasta is gorgeous, as is the chicken noodle soup) but I only really get them when I know I'm going to be busy and need something quick. Their birthday cakes are good, and their pizzas are some of the best "take and bakes" around. We just had our annual cashback bonus and it was over 1500, so guess a) one of us must be spending some money there...:and b) we'll be renewing...

We had a new Sams club open close by a while ago, and I had a quick look in there. I think that may actually be a better bet for fresh stuff, as the volume packs seemed more manageable,but not sure I can handle 2 memberships, and Costco is more convenient....
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 2:50 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

How come chainstores vary so much from area to area?
I live in a nice part of Austin, the local walmart is horrendous, think kwiksave cheapest downmarket products, badly displayed and the whole place could do with a clean.
We have a TJ's and 2 wholefoods, Costco, a good HEB and a good Randalls within a few minutes of each other. TJ's has decided to stock what I would call "treats" rather than compete with the other stores, so nice wine, french/italian meats and cheeses, GF treats, lovely icecreams biscuits, chocolates.....God help my budget and waistline if I go in there hungry! It certainly wouldn't be possible to go and do a family food shop in there since they don't stock a lot of the basics.

Costco is great for glasses and prescription medicine for us and the dog. Dog medical stuff can be 20-30% cheaper there - we save the costco annual fee on the heartworm meds alone.
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 4:21 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I live in a nice part of Austin, the local walmart is horrendous, think kwiksave cheapest downmarket products, badly displayed and the whole place could do with a clean.
That sums up my local Walmart -- I shop there for bedding plants in the spring, as I don't have to go inside to buy them. The interior is so incredibly grungy!
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 5:35 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

We've got three Walmart SuperCentres just three miles from each other. They're all new and they're ok inside. But we also have a fourth (aren't we lucky!) closer to us, older, not a SuperCentre, and that often has empty shelves, disorganised, staff that don't know where anything is, and rarely more than 2 checkouts open.

One big Costco but no BJs or Sam's Club.
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Old Apr 7th 2015, 11:05 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

I am a big supporter of Costco. I love their no questions money back guarantee and I get 3 years extended warranty on all electronic items.
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Old Apr 13th 2015, 1:44 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Is a Costco membership worth it?

Took a Dyson cleaner back to Costco yesterday...I bought it September/October last year. No questions asked.
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