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(Some Guy)   "Even though I spent over $500, I probably will have to go to the grocery store tomorrow." Why yes, we ARE talking about Costco   (lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com) divider line 280
    More: Interesting, warehouse clubs, Bulk purchasing, Costco, Yonkers, Sam's Club, pallets, Brian Wansink  
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24508 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Apr 2012 at 10:01 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-22 10:32:33 PM  
I bought my wedding ring at costco... I like to tell people I bought my ring at the same place I buy my groceries... and sometimes my pants.
 
2012-04-22 10:32:49 PM  

Too_many_Brians: revrendjim: Jamdug!: Is Costco any different from Sam's Club? I don't think there are Costco stores in my area.

Yes, Costco has quality meat and produce.

but don't buy the potatoes or apples. They are frozen in shipment and become mealy faster than store bought usually.

and yes i tested it. store bag lasts in the dark for about 3 weeks, costco usually one goes in a week and then by the end of the 2nd week you are trimming large quantity of potato darkness.

/takes potatoes seriously.


We've got a National Grocer in my area wjich I think is somewhat similar to costco. However NG seems to cater more to the convience store and restaurant crowd. Their potatoes seem to last pretty well. I think we've been working on this bag for most of a month now, without spoilage
 
2012-04-22 10:33:37 PM  
I prefer the go-to-Traders-Joes-when-I'm-hungry method of shopping. I never waste food and never spend more than $30 getting yummy things.
 
2012-04-22 10:33:55 PM  
I've taken a couple strolls through some of these "warehouse club" stores. The discounts don't even come close to being attractive for the quantities they're selling them in.

Like you can save 10 cents per jar of peanut butter if you get a box of 12 jars. My thought is that if you're just a regular guy trying to find a deal, that little amount of savings isn't worth having to buy that much. And if you're a small business or for whatever reason do go through that much peanut butter regularly, I'd think you could probably be able to find a supplier where you could save more than just 10 cents.

I've never been WOW'ed by any prices at these places.
 
2012-04-22 10:35:00 PM  
Bad thing about warehouse stores is all they sell is the the high dollar name brand items .
Looking for a store brand corn? Forget it, your buying the high dollar green giant. Which even by the case, is still more expensive than the store brand.
 
2012-04-22 10:35:45 PM  
I justify my sams club membership for the discount on the gas. At 20 cents a gallon difference compared to other stores it's about the only reason I have a membership at all. Didn't know about the huge difference in how costco treats their employees versus sams club though, I'm going to look at switching from sams club over to costco for that reason alone.
 
2012-04-22 10:37:35 PM  
We just bought $280 at Trader Joe's yesterday. It was only a cartload and a half, but damn it adds up quick.
 
2012-04-22 10:38:13 PM  

stevenvictx: Bad thing about warehouse stores is all they sell is the the high dollar name brand items .
Looking for a store brand corn? Forget it, your buying the high dollar green giant. Which even by the case, is still more expensive than the store brand.


Not at Costco. They'll sell you Kirkland brand canned corn, 12 cans for around 8 bucks IIRC. And let me tell you, even the Kirkland brand canned corn blows any other store brand and most name brands out of the water.
 
2012-04-22 10:38:33 PM  
I've listened to the old Coke commercial 20 times - 1) I'm in love w/ the chick 2) who is 32 ? 3) I can't stop playing it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1NeogMh1JI&NR=1&feature=endscreen
 
2012-04-22 10:38:47 PM  

Jamdug!: Is Costco any different from Sam's Club?


Yes. Costco loves you.

homepage.mac.com
 
2012-04-22 10:39:03 PM  

stevenvictx: Bad thing about warehouse stores is all they sell is the the high dollar name brand items .
Looking for a store brand corn? Forget it, your buying the high dollar green giant. Which even by the case, is still more expensive than the store brand.


Real Cheerios are so much better than store brand oat o's.
 
2012-04-22 10:39:11 PM  
The trick is to go into Costco, make a beeline to get a hot dog and a Pepsi. (With sauerkraut! )

Eat the hot dog before you go shopping so you don't:

1) Look like a pig when going after the free samples.

2) Won't be overly hungry so you won't be shopping with your stomach.

3) Have something to drink to wash down the free samples.

4) Not look like a pig when scarfing down the free samples.

5) Get a refill on your way out as you're waiting for your receipt to be checked.

/Loves me some Costco...
 
2012-04-22 10:39:37 PM  
shop smart and you'll save money...
 
2012-04-22 10:40:32 PM  
I've never been to Costco, I've just never lived near one. I have a Sam's membership, but I let it lapse after I left my job several years ago since the job paid my membership. I'm taking some classes now and Sam's will give you a $15 gift card if you buy a "collegiate" membership and give them your .edu address. It says I get the card again when I renew.

There are a number of things that are not cheaper at Sam's, and I usually try to only get the big staples now. It definitely does not replace the grocery store for us.
 
2012-04-22 10:41:12 PM  

sokisoy: I bought my wedding ring at costco... I like to tell people I bought my ring at the same place I buy my groceries... and sometimes my pants.


I bought a human kidney there once for a transplant. I only needed one, so I sauteed the other one.
 
2012-04-22 10:41:30 PM  
I dropped my costco membership last year - it just was not worth it. I can get better quality meat and seafood cheaper, gas was only two cents cheaper than the going rate, a local employee owned chain (Woodman's) has better prices on almost everything grocery related, all I was buying was TP and paper towels. I did get a set of glasses from them that were so awful I got an immediate refund - you could see the wavy lines from poor manufacturing. I also dropped my Sam's membership because the local store is very dirty and impossible to check out of.
 
2012-04-22 10:41:32 PM  
It saves if you know what to buy. One of the reasons I have a membership, besides my inlaws buying it initially, is that flour is cheaper. I bake and cook and can get a 50 pound bag of flour for like $15 instead of $5 for 5 pounds at a grocery store. Also butter and milk is cheaper. I am going to spend more during a trip to costco buy the items I am going to buy will last awhile. If you have an extra freezer and a pantry, costco pays for itself very quickly.
 
2012-04-22 10:41:55 PM  

Draskuul: Medical prescriptions are also a bit cheaper, even cheaper than Wal-mart's "top 500" or whatever generics they do cheap.


You don't need a membership at Costco to use the pharmacy.
 
2012-04-22 10:43:10 PM  
I joined for two years but let my membership lapse. I have no need for 50-litre drums of mustard as I'm a bachelor. The vegetable prices were okay but give that I live right downtown, to have to get on the highway to save three cents, well, no point, eh. If, however, I was a fat man wearing plaid shorts and driving a minivan with a vaguely angry wife and two ungrateful children, yeah, I might be a Costco member.
 
2012-04-22 10:44:29 PM  
Parthie Orth? Did her parents have lisps?
 
2012-04-22 10:44:51 PM  
Do you think there's any correlation between the ability to buy one gross of the latest prepackaged, processed wonder food at discount prices, and the average North American ass size?
 
2012-04-22 10:44:58 PM  
This is the real reason people love Costco...
www.californiatravelexpert.com
 
2012-04-22 10:45:05 PM  

buzzcut73: Not at Costco. They'll sell you Kirkland brand canned corn, 12 cans for around 8 bucks IIRC. And let me tell you, even the Kirkland brand canned corn blows any other store brand and most name brands out of the water


Pretty much any of the Kirkland products beat the corresponding name brand. They're pretty great.
 
2012-04-22 10:45:22 PM  
Costco? Pork jerky FTW.
 
2012-04-22 10:46:03 PM  
Once a quarter to Costco for meat, dry goods, and toiletries. Local market for perishables. Saved $1200 the first year.
 
2012-04-22 10:46:08 PM  
Costco is for suckers. Money saving tip: find out when the best Asian grocery stocks new produce during the week. You won't believe the amount of fresh produce you walk out of door with for 20 bucks.
 
2012-04-22 10:46:08 PM  

justoneznot: I've taken a couple strolls through some of these "warehouse club" stores. The discounts don't even come close to being attractive for the quantities they're selling them in.

Like you can save 10 cents per jar of peanut butter if you get a box of 12 jars. My thought is that if you're just a regular guy trying to find a deal, that little amount of savings isn't worth having to buy that much. And if you're a small business or for whatever reason do go through that much peanut butter regularly, I'd think you could probably be able to find a supplier where you could save more than just 10 cents.

I've never been WOW'ed by any prices at these places.


Last time I bought nutella, it was two larger jars in a 2 pack. My local grocer had a smaller single jar for a couple of dollars less, you need to know what to buy.
 
2012-04-22 10:46:47 PM  
It's worth it to me to pay more to go to local markets for the simple fact it keeps me from going to Costco.

I feel like I'm getting fresher, higher-quality product, but I'm willing to accept that I may not be. Either way, I feel better about it, and I don't have to go through Costco and look all the depressing people buying cartloads of shiat in the eye. Same reason I don't go to Walmart unless I absolutely can't figure out where else in my small town to buy something.

Don't even get me started on Home Depot.
 
2012-04-22 10:47:30 PM  
I'm also a huge proponent of the frozen lasagna.

I, too, am a big fan of the theory of frozen lasagna.
 
2012-04-22 10:47:34 PM  
The trick at Costco is to buy Kirkland and to use coupons they send.

Kirkland organic olive oil, awesome. Very good.

Around the winter holidays, look for the chocolate truffles in the double box, made by a French truffle maker. They come in bulk but freeze them for later if you don't use them up...

Kirkland garlic powder is great.

Kirkland dry puppy food is some of the best you can buy for quality, a lot of breeders I met use it.

Kirkland almonds, 10 dollars for 3 lbs ( I think) are awesome.

Kirkland generic drugs are cheap.
 
2012-04-22 10:47:43 PM  

namatad: Customers may believe they're paying for a chance to save money, but some experts think membership fees actually cause consumers to spend more.

spend more than what??
more than similar people who are not members?

so these people buy food and then dont eat it - more?
or they buy more at costco and less at other stores?

when adjusted for geo-demographics, do costco shoppers buy more or less in total than other shoppers?
meh, I could look this up on my work computer, but then I cant share the results


Moreso that you buy stuff you otherwise wouldn't buy (more miscellaneous impulse buys, which Costcos are designed to get you to do) and when you buy in bulk you tend to consume more (in many cases a giant bag of chips from Costco lasts exactly as long as a regular bag from teh grocery store).
 
2012-04-22 10:48:21 PM  

Speedofdarkness: I, too, am a big fan of the theory of frozen lasagna.


One thing these places aren't short of is BIG fans.
 
2012-04-22 10:48:38 PM  
seedebtrun.com
4.bp.blogspot.com

Boom.
 
2012-04-22 10:48:54 PM  
Same story as most of the above posts. I go to BJ's weekly for a tank of gas (10-15 cents per gallon cheaper than other stations) and stop into the store nearly every time. Depending on what I need that week, I'll spend between $10 and $200. Even a trip for just the basics - milk, bread, and some kind of fresh fruit or veggie - is significantly cheaper than going to the supermarket, and unlike the other clubs mentioned in the article, they accept manufacturer's coupons as well as the club-specific ones they send to members monthly (which are how I decide which one frozen convenience food to buy when the previous one is gone, etc).

Knowing what you need and will use is always the key, no matter where you buy it. People who make mistakes in that respect will make more expensive ones at wholesale clubs, but smart shoppers stand to reap larger benefits. Article assumes all readers are of the former type and is therefore full of crap.
 
2012-04-22 10:49:24 PM  

RogermcAllen: Smackledorfer: RogermcAllen: As a lover of Sam's Club, I'm not really sure what the hell the article is talking about.

What does the regular grocery store have that Sam's doesn't?

I can live pretty well on $75 biweekly at Sam's. If I bill my free time at $20/hr (pretty reasonable). Only shopping every other week saves me $40/month, which easily covers the monthly fee. While Sam's prices can't beat coupon prices, they usually beat standard prices. Again, time saved not clipping coupons and shopping sales is worth spending a bit more.

Besides, my mom is my guest member so it is really only $37.50 a year.

Um, Kroger has tons of shiat sams doesn't. More produce variety, triscuits and all their delicious flavors. Differing snacking options. Cereals, grains of all kinds really.

have you actually shopped at both?

I should clarify, Sam's has everything you need to eat nutritious well balanced meals. Sure you won't find everything, but it large parts of flyover country Kroger doesn't really stock much more produce variety than Sam's.

Who the hell needs 100 kinds of triscuits? Buy a box of the regular and season yourself.

Different snacking options? Have you ever seen the candy/chip/peanut/jerky section at Sam's? What else could you possibly need?


You asked, I answered.

If your new goalpost is minimum sustainability from a grocery store, a dollar store has everything anywhere else has too.
 
2012-04-22 10:50:26 PM  
I get my money back out of costco. Get it back in both what I get back from them and what I save at the pump, on top of the fact that their staple goods are pretty cheap(particularly cereal, where you get a giant box for nearly the same price you get the new miniature box at the grocery store, and toilet paper/paper towels) as well as things like prime steaks(~$12/lb, half of what it costs at a butcher that carries it), medicine(though target and walmart are also cheap), and vitamins(ditto?).

I can see where a single person would say they can't justify the cost, but when I was single I ate at the Costco food place a lot and that required membership(since it was inside the building, not every Costco is like this). You can save the costs there easily
 
2012-04-22 10:52:18 PM  

Harry_Seldon: This is the real reason people love Costco...
[www.californiatravelexpert.com image 504x374]


I can get a Costco pizza for me and the kid and we can have dinner, lunch the next day and dinner the next day out of it. I don't do it often, because pizza isn't exactly a health food.
 
2012-04-22 10:53:19 PM  

drewsclues: Costco is for suckers. Money saving tip: find out when the best Asian grocery stocks new produce during the week. You won't believe the amount of fresh produce you walk out of door with for 20 bucks.


And the freshness for most things is just unbelievable. I haven't shifted to Asian stores for meat because my local butcher ages things so well. But fish? My local fish market is pretty good and will clean and scale the fish on request; at the Asian market half the time they ask if I want it killed first. Now that's fresh fish.
 
2012-04-22 10:53:47 PM  
we save at least the membership cost at Costco just buying gas.

then we shop there with a short, specific list (batteries, big bag of m&ms, frozen chicken, peanut oil, etc) we do come across good deals on things like shorts or kids pjs but rarely impulse buy.
 
2012-04-22 10:54:11 PM  
Ms. YPAC works at one of those. Do we save money? Hell yes. And I like not having to worry about buying asswipe, garbage bags, or paper towels for several months.

Do we get everything there? Hell no! The local grocery store and farmers market is the go to for the perishables.
Shop wisely, though, and you can save money and hassle.

What's telling, though, is watching a fishing boat stock up for a 2 week trip. Couple thousand dollar order, and where do they go? Warehouse club.

For a single person or a couple? Prob not so much.
 
2012-04-22 10:55:10 PM  
Also, this idea that you're 'getting your money back' from somewhere you paid to shop is farking weird.

They don't do memberships because they make money on people buying them and then not shopping.
 
2012-04-22 10:56:00 PM  
I've never lived in a place big enough to store the giant pallet of TP or whatever that you can get at costco. I've never seen the appeal, either. My relatives and friends talk about all the great stuff you can get at costco, but to me its more than balanced out by the hassle of driving there and finding stuff in the huge store. Or it could be that my introduction to costco was the day before Thanksgiving in SF. Never again.

I have had sort of the same effect at Target, though. I never seem to be able to run into target for a couple things. I always spend like $100.
 
2012-04-22 10:57:22 PM  
I'm surprised how many people say that the save with costco gas. There is only a two cent differential by me - cheaper to go to a local chain like Fleet Farm or Woodman's.
 
2012-04-22 10:58:52 PM  
So, at $150 a week, you go if you have a family...gotcha.
 
2012-04-22 11:00:05 PM  

Draskuul: Meh, the only reason I have a Costco membership is for prescription glasses. Even after the membership fee and them not accepting insurance their prices beat everyone out there, even Wal-mart, by a huge amount. Of course I can still do an out-of-network reimbursement request off my insurance making it even better.

Medical prescriptions are also a bit cheaper, even cheaper than Wal-mart's "top 500" or whatever generics they do cheap.

There just isn't that much I'd care to by there. I try to avoid too much frozen/processed crap, which accounts for at least half of what carry (in terms of food). There are some fair deals in other areas. The problem is *having* to buy in such bulk amounts. It's hard to walk out of there without spending low three-figures.


You should check out Zenni optical for prescription glasses. I've been using them for several years now & am very pleased with the selection and the prices. My glasses were under $70 and that included the shipping (4.95).
 
2012-04-22 11:01:05 PM  

Cluckity: Also, this idea that you're 'getting your money back' from somewhere you paid to shop is farking weird.

They don't do memberships because they make money on people buying them and then not shopping.


Eh, it's like gym memberships. People who get it and don't use it subsidize part of the cost of the people who do. So even assuming you're right in the large, that doesn't mean that it's true for everyone.
 
2012-04-22 11:01:32 PM  
There isn't a Costco near me: If there were, while I wouldn't necessarily need that much myself, I figure a bunch of people can pool the cost of a membership.

That said, the Kroger near us is really, really awesome. I think it used to be a Harris Teeter's, so it looks really nice, and the selection is really, really good (they even have a very large cheese selection!). It's like some sort of bastard child of Kroger and Teeter's.
 
2012-04-22 11:01:52 PM  
I did a survey of Sam's Club on the prices for the items that I normally purchase at Wegman's.

The items at Sam's were more expensive than at Wegman's for the most part or about the same.

I made a simple calculation. I cannot possibly recoupe my yearly membership fee with the savings on what I would purchase.

Sam's Club could not compete in the quality of the meat or produce.

Wegman's is a local company and is engaged in the community and treats its workers well.

Very simple choice.

Wegman's ALL THE FARKIN WAY.
 
2012-04-22 11:03:39 PM  

exvaxman: I'm surprised how many people say that the save with costco gas. There is only a two cent differential by me - cheaper to go to a local chain like Fleet Farm or Woodman's.


I've heard it varies by states depending on their pricing laws. Some places they're not allowed to cut the cost as a loss leader or something -- WI must be one of those places. But I can't vouch firsthand; I think I've been in one of those places exactly once.
 
2012-04-22 11:03:49 PM  
I go to Costco because the price is as good or better than the alternatives but the quality is reliably top notch. Someone else already noted the olive oil study in which almost everybody got dinged for cheating EXCEPT Costco (and TJ's). That's the case with many of their products. If you are looking for pastas you'll find that most everything they sell would only be sold as a premium product elsewhere at a higher price. It's all Italian, bronze extruded (it has a very rough surface that makes sauces stick to it). You wont find that in most pasts at the supermarket.

Ironically consumers perceive the limited brand selection as a plus - as in "surely they wouldn't limit us to just one brand if it sucked" it may sound unlikely, but its exactly how TJ's does it, too. That kind of assumption would vanish if they got busted mixing rapeseed oil in with their extra virgin olive oil (or melanine in their infant formula)
 
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