Tuesday, March 03, 2009

ASK THE AUDIENCE: Costco

Just wondering what y'all think. I am a bargain die-hard, and if I'm not getting a great deal, then I hate it. So, as I checked out at the Costco today I was amazed to see the 5 items I bought totaled $74.89! Can you believe that?!? I was shocked. If I'm dropping that much dough at the grocery store, I have a cart full. So I got to thinking...WHAT REALLY IS THE BETTER DEAL?





ASK THE AUDIENCE:


1. What do you buy at Costco? and Why?


2. If something is really cheapest at Costco, can you let me know?

24 SPLURTS:

Kristina P. said...

I don't buy at Costco. There's only two of us, so I just don't see the need.

Rach said...

I find that a lot of things are cheaper at costco...but I'm not sure if that goes for the mainland. Flour, cereals, bread, frozen veggies are cheaper there. But fresh veggies are cheaper at the grocery store when they are on sale, and i'm sure other grocery items are cheaper when they are on sale. Some things like flour is also a Better price from the LDS Church place.

tina said...

We buy the following from Costco and tend to spend between $100-$200 about every 4 to 6 weeks, but some items don't have to buy for several months.

Items purchased less often: laundry soap, dishwasher soap, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, pull-ups (or diapers whatever the stage), paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, shaving cream, razor blades (super expensive, but not sure they are less elsewhere).

Grocery items purchased more often: milk (definiely think it's cheaper there), bread, eggs, tortillas, chips for lunches, caprisuns, gatorade (Costco brand), yogurt, shredded cheese, noodles, spaghetti sauce, chicken nuggets, chicken breasts, hamburger (1 pound frozen logs), diced tomatoes, mac & cheese, carnation instant breakfast drink, Nestle Quick, cocoa mix, pancake mix, syrup, ketchup, bananas, fruit snacks, tuna fish, canned chicken, cream of mushroom soup . . .

So, that's a big list and I am sure I am missing something. We don't have to buy all that stuff all at once, it all runs out at different times. We sometimes get cereal there, but usually do malt-o-meal bag cereal. Some canned goods are cheaper at Costco, but I have some are cheaper at the grocery store, just have to compare.

I hope that's not too much info for you! We have always been Costco loyals.

Maman Pélissié said...

The organic salad is something I get every time. It is cheaper than at the store for sure, and even if I don't use it all before it goes bad, I never feel bad because it was cheaper to start!

gurrbonzo said...

Oh, Costco. So wonderful and yet so dangerous. As long as you don't go hungry, it's usually a bargain, but it always involves a lot of willpower on my part to make it out under a billion dollars. I always get baby wipes there, and laundry detergent, and milk. And garbage bags! The end.

The Van Leeuwen Family said...

We buy our milk, cheese (block & shredded), paper goods (plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper), their boxed organic chocolate milk, & some other random things. Those things I've found are cheaper @ costco vs the grocery store. But if I watch the sales @ the stores I can usually find everything else I'm looking for for cheaper (and in smaller sizes that won't go bad as quickly). We used to buy a lot more at Costco but have scaled back recently finding that on many of our "normal" things we can find cheaper on sale @ the grocery store. We are loyal costco shoppers & always will be!

The Price Family said...

We buy cheese, cereal (on occasion) diapers, wipes and laundry soap. But all of those items don't have to be purchased every month. I think Costco is good for items like that. You can get tons of ziploc bags and they last for a while. Stuff like that.

Kayleen said...

ditto on what Tina said

Shayleen Lunt said...

Erin - I recently let my membership expire for seven months to see if I really could save money without going to Costco. I started doing the coupon thing, CVSing and shopping at Walgreens (if I lived in UT, I would shop at Rite Aid too) too. I found that there are tons of things cheaper at those stores (aka, diapers!). After going several months though, I realized that there are several things that I just really like from Costco and so we took the plunge and bought another membership. (This is besides the point, but it's already paid for itself because of the HECK of a deal we got on our sofa!) I love their almonds, laundry detergent, clorox toilet tablets, batteries (so much cheaper there even after shopping with coupons for duracell and energizer), yeast, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, olive oil, girls Easter dresses ;), flower bouquets, tortillini, ravioli, frozen broccoli, etc. Hope this helps.

Weight Family said...

I love Costco, it can be super expensive, but I agree with what the others have said... there are some things you can't find much cheaper and the store is fun. And for me, it's all worth it for the cheap formula and delicious tortillas!

the fowlers said...

when we lived in provo, we ate at the little costco concessions stand at least once a week. it was the absolute cheapest way to eat out and the pizza is good. wow, is that lame or what?

there isn't a costco near here. it isn't worth driving an hour and a half - except to get a great deal on my camera at christmas.

Piglet de' Erin said...

Fowlers...I totally laughed at your comment. The funny thing is that is one of my biggest 'loves' about Costco. Mark and I meet for lunch at Costco at least once a week!

big8smiley said...

I think you totally have to know the prices of what you usually buy. We went there to stock up on canned goods and found that what I buy at Macey's is cheaper than buying cases at Costco. I regularly buy a few things at Costco, but considering the membership I pay every year, I'm probably not getting a great deal there anyway! I get grated cheese, diapers, wipes, peanut butter, canned meat, toilet paper, and tampons. Occasionally fruit, salmon, or cheesecake. Those are for sure not a great deal, but they always look SO GOOD!

Nick and Emily said...

yeah, i think most of the food isn't a lot cheaper there but for sure the paper products and what not are. That's where we get all our TP. so if you by chance get toilet papered and it's not by that brand then if for sure wasn't us. ;)

Cruise to the Max said...

Yes, Erin and I do meet once a week at Costco for lunch, and to do some shopping on my lunch hour. I have to admit though that I never want to eat another Costco hotdog again. They are so disgusting.

Nikki said...

The commissary is cheaper. Join the Air Force.

Nikki said...

err... except baby wipes. I love Costco baby wipes.

sanaejames photography said...

cheese is definitely a good deal at Costco. we also buy the large bags of long green beans, broccoli, stir-fry veggies. I don't think their fruits and veggies are the best price, but we found that they stay fresher longer and taste really good.

Rach said...

Oh just found out that Costco hasn't changed their prices on their hot dog/drink deal since the 1980's....so that is definitely the BEST price.

Piglet de' Erin said...

Really? since the 80's? That is awesome...I have to say, I really loved Costco when we were in Hawaii because everywhere else is expensive, and there, i could feed my family for 5 bucks!

Kahilau said...

I just went on a mad price checking trip to costco here is what I found:
704 wipes @Costco=$14
704 wipes Walmart=$11.50

Fiber one bars @ costco= .25 per
Walmart= .50 per

canned veggies @ Costco= .66 per can
Walmart= .50 per can

Whole wheat (super healthy bread) @ Costco = $2.50 per loaf
Walmart = $4.50 per loaf

Canned chicken @ costco= $1.80 per can
Walmart= $2.10 per can

Razor refills @ costco= $2.50 per refill
Walmart= $3.00 per

Trash bags (13 gallon) @costco= $10 for 200
Walmart= $7 for 45 (WHAT THE HECK??)

SPAM (for you Hawaii people) @ costco= $1.30 per can
Walmart= $2.30 per can

Ok, is that too much info??? Sorry, I just found it interesting that some things were a lot cheaper and some were not.
If you have the money to pay out in a lump sum I think it really makes a difference on certain things. But we don't always have that so, walmart (with price matching) is best for us.

Piglet de' Erin said...

oh my gosh Kahi, that is awesome. I am so so so glad that you priced that out for me! isn't it amazing the price differences.

Bobbi said...

We don't have a Costco anywhere near here. The closest Sam's Club is an hour and a half away, but we still have memberships for both. Don't ask me why. I think, if you care about buying name brand things, then you can get good deals at price clubs. I'm okay with generic brands on most things, though, so there's not a lot for me to buy at Costco when I go. I think the main reason we keep our membership is because of their awesome return policy on electronics. We bought a VCR/DVD player at Costco once and returned and bought new DVD players like FIVE times over the course of SEVERAL YEARS because they would wear out and we would return them and get new ones. It was AWESOME!!! I also bought a commercial belgian waffle iron at Sam's for Christmas that broke after a couple of months, so I returned it and got a new one. I love stores with great return policies. We do love to eat at the food court as well, and pig out on samples on Saturday!!! Oh....and they do have awesome deals on furniture!!! When we finally get around to buying new dining and bedroom sets, I think they will probably come from Costco.

muggins mahooney said...

We get our t.p. and laundry detergents at Costco, but we don't have a card. We use my parents. I know if I carried my own membership I'd be dead.
My mom calls Costco the $10 store because you can average about 10 bucks for every item you stick in your cart. It's the truth.
I think the key to Costco is to stick to your list, which can be hard because Costco merchandises their products VERY well. For crying out loud you can walk out of that store on a Saturday morning weighing 5 lbs. more than when you walked in. They're good at what they do and they know how to appeal to your senses.
There are deals to be had at Costco, but you have to control yourself. If it's not on your list don't buy it!! It's not like you're missing a sale on the food. I don't think Costco offers sales on food, just coupons. You have to ask yourself is it worth buying an item that you weren't in the market for just because you have a coupon?
People go nuts and they will do anything for a deal. I see it all the time at work when we run Kohls Cash. You have to be smarter than the gimmick.
If you're trying to run a household on a balanced budget you know impulse buying doesn't work. .
After we get our t.p. and detergent we get a couple slices of pizza to share with the kids and gawk at the huge carts of king sized muffins, $50 wedges of parmesan cheese and cases of soda pop that people buy:) Cheap pizza and entertainment. You've gotta love Costco!