Costco recommendations?
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  1. #1
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Default Costco recommendations?

    Next week, we're receiving some money and plan to go to Costco for a pantry and freezer restock. We've been needing it since DH got laid off and the money we're receiving will be used for that.

    Anyone have recommendations on what to avoid at Costco, what to look for and just a general great way to save money while stocking our cabinets nice and full?

    The first and only time I've been to Costco, I spent $20...

  2. #2
    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    How did you make it out of Costco and only spend 20?? Lol

    I love Costco...we shop there once a month. Most things are brand name reliable products at a great discount, or their Kirkland brand, which I find very good.

    We buy canned tomatoes, canned corn and green beans, dried fruit, chips, newmans own grape juice (awesome!), Keurig coffee cups, pitas, tortillas, raisens, goldfish crackers, dried roasted almonds, pickles, baking supplies, cereal, granola bars, spring rolls....then toilet paper, paper towel, garbage bags, dish washing tabs....etc

    Then you see weekly killer deals like 24 cans of Pepsi for 9.22. Needed that!

    I don't coupon and found this is the best way to save money on a lot of products. Just be smart about how much you will actually use. It may take a few times of going there to know which things you need.

    Be prepared to spend more than you think. We used to push 300 a trip...now I'm down to average of 100 a trip.

    If you want to save money and only buy food...AVOID the middle.....killer deals on books, DVDs, seasonal and clothes......hard to resist.

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    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    For me, there are only a handful of items that I buy religiously from Costco.

    *Milk
    *Eggs
    *Butter
    *Sour Cream
    *Coffee Creamer
    *Coffee
    *Bacon
    *Sometimes fresh meat - It varies. I just have to check and compare the price each visit.
    *Oranges
    *Broccoli and/or Brussel Sprouts


    I avoid paper products, cleaning products, cereal, pasta, sauces, and most items in those isles simply because at my Costco they are way more expensive than my regular grocer.

    I go once a week and spend between $50-$75 per trip.

    Hopefully your Costco will have better prices than mine. I would shop at Sam's, since the prices are cheaper. However, the shoppers at the one here are less than pleasant. I feel safer at Costco.

    Hope you find lots of goodies to fill your pantry!

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    Registered User mzpepper's Avatar
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    I always buy toilet paper, dishwasher gel detergent, plant-based Laundry detergent, and stretchy kitchen bags on a regular basis. Most of these items last a very long time. At our Costco they give you the coupon price even if you don't bring your coupons in but you might check with Customer Service.

    Whatever you do: DO NOT get close to the muffins or you will find that they are irresistable. You will have them in your cart against your better judgment

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomToTwoBoys View Post

    The first and only time I've been to Costco, I spent $20...
    PLEASE tell me you were so overwhelmed you didn't know what to buy!!!!! If I get out of there for under $100 I figure I did good!!!

    I buy certain things there..............the Splenda, certain frozen products (talapia, cod)that I have tried and liked (tried some I didn't like too). Will buy butter
    there IF my reg. stores haven't had a sale and I am low........otherwise, I can beat their price. Their TP is good but if you shop sales you can beat the price.
    Their meat----in the meat dept.----is all good but PRICEY!

    The one thing I ALWAYS BUY is their rotisserie chicken............love it. I eat it for a couple meals and then cut off what is left, put in freezer, and boil the body for some great flavored chicken broth/soup. $5 for a good flavored, cooked chicken is worth it to me............I then have a decent meat for lunches too.......don't have to buy lunch meat.

    I always check their spice aisle.............and use their garlic and dehyd. onions...........since I won't dehyd. my own! And they usually have good quality cinnamon.....and I use a lot of it.

    I agree with the comment about their muffins........but I can pass them up...........you have to buy too many and I don't like the way they mix or don't mix them. Wish we could pick a box of our own choosing.

    And...........you GOTTA HAVE A GERMAN SAUSAGE/HOT DOG...............with sauerkraut................where else can you get lunch for $1.63? (the price here with tax)

    KNOW YOUR PRICES................much of their stuff is not such a great deal if your stores have decent sales..........but it is most always great quality and if something isn't, they take it back.............no questions asked. A friend has returned frozen fruit, frozen fish.......and I returned some pickled asparagus (seal had leaked)....never a problem and never a question.

    I DON'T buy my coffee there but I do buy it at the Costco in Boise when down there as they carry the White Cloud brand...........which I like. I stock up---or did last time I was down there! Have requested mine to carry it.............to no avail.

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    Registered User Mom2-3's Avatar
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    Costco is our main store. We buy paper products, pet items, coffee, meats, bread, eggs and almost all our fruits and veggies. They have a lot of organic products too.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    I think you guys could definitely benefit from shopping there provided you go armed & ready. Eat a hearty meal before you go. Know your prices, bring your price book (hopefully it was recently updated & note your sizes!!) and calculator and wear loose comfortable clothing with shoes w/great support. Oh and leave the kids at home if you can. Seriously the first few times I went to Costco, I took 2-3 hours b/c I was continually going up and down each aisle looking at everything and trying to figure out if it was a good price.

    We usually buy: bread, milk, cream, eggs, block cheese, yoghurt (big containers & individual portions), broc florets, baby carrots, mushrooms, brussells sprouts, romaine lettuce, mesculin mix, berries (if price is low enough)

    The meat may seem pricey vs groc store specials but their quality is always consistent and excellent. (beef, pork & poultry) Their rotisserie chicken is $7.49 here and is a decent size vs the groc stores.

    Other random stuff we buy from there - pharmacy items & supplies, baking items, they're generally cheaper especially if you buy their store brand (Kirkland) and I only buy dishwasher tabs when they have a promo/instant rebate. There's other non necessities - baked goods, treats, HBA etc but its not always the best price.

    I find the prices vary by region. What is higher priced there may be lower here and vice versa. Have fun shopping, sampling foods if offered and bring your list!!

    Can't wait to hear what you bought!

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    The last time I went there, the only reason I spent $20 was when I got edamame (which is at an even better price than Superstore) and some of those frozen fruit sorbet things (which are omg so good!).

    I know so far on our list is chicken, ground beef, pork, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish detergent, dishwasher tabs, milk, bread, lunch box goodies and juice. I figure if I can get a healthy stocked chest freezer of meat, shopping for side dishes and things to make cheap meals will really benefit us. We use a lot of condiments too, so things like ketchup, mustard, italian dressing, etc is on the list.

  9. #9
    Licence to Kill Luv2BeFrugal's Avatar
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    Well, looks like I pick up pretty much what others do...

    My trips usually include some the following (whatever needs replenishing; usually in the $75-$100/mo range):

    ~ eggs
    ~ butter
    ~ tortilla chips
    ~ tortillas
    ~ refried beans
    ~ bulk whole grain brown rice
    ~ Kirkland brand Advil, tylenol, etc.
    ~ bag salad
    ~ frozen veggies, frozen berries
    ~ spices (they are SO much cheaper there than elsewhere!)
    ~ raisins, other dried fruit
    ~ oatmeal
    ~ whole bean coffee, vanilla syrup
    ~ razors and some other toiletries (I really compare prices when it comes to these)
    ~ some cleaning supplies (when the coupons make it a good deal)
    ~ laundry soap (best deal in town, for us)
    ~ we check there for major purchases before buying anywhere (electronics, appliances, etc.)
    Kace - married to Dh for 14 years

    Always pinchin' pennies!

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    I save so much more money from going to the grocery store and buying loss leaders. Our main reason for having a Costco membership is to save money on gas and using our amex card to get 4% back on the gas.
    Warehouse clubs are good for some items, but you can usually get items on sale at the grocery store cheaper. We do buy kirkland health care items.

  11. #11
    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomToTwoBoys View Post
    We use a lot of condiments too, so things like ketchup, mustard, italian dressing, etc is on the list.
    I think each store can be a little different on what they carry..........and Canada could be a lot different.......or are you going to one in the states? I didn't even know Costco was in Canada............if it is.

    The other thing I will check there...........the canned meat...............can usually beat their price on tuna......but have bought the canned salmon and sometimes, in the summer----the chunk chicken.........just to have on hand for sandwiches or ??? Nice to have to toss in a salad.........or just when you don't feel like cooking.

    I LIKE some of their bread..........but don't think it is a bargain AT ALL...........but I have no less than three bakery outlets in my area........with some good bread.

  12. #12
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Yeah they have a few in Calgary and a couple here, plus they're building a new one closer than the one we'd be going to.

    I think what I'll do (since I can't shop loss leaders here - transportation and time issues) is make my final list and go to Superstore next week. Superstore honestly has the best price in town on things (partially because a) I buy their No Name brand of items and b) they're even cheaper on the name brand items than Safeway, Sobeys, etc). I can check there for their price and when I go to Costco, I'll take a notebook with me with those prices in it.

    I'm not sure on buying milk because we go through too much milk to justify a trip to Costco every week, but I know of other things I can buy at once and then replenish that won't go bad.

    I'm going to add canned soup to the list too because we go through a lot of canned soup for things like chicken and cheese enchiladas, beefy mac n cheese, etc.

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    Registered User stinkbug's Avatar
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    We call it the 200.00 Store.

    Coffee, creamer, meat, canned chicken and tuna (their brand...very good) vanilla, trash bags, DW soap, TP, bath soap, dh's razors, vitamins.

    I have been buying dh's dress shirts there and they hold up 100 times better than the ones I was buying at Macy's.
    Stinkbug


    More wagging - Less barking

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    The things we buy at costco are:

    Milk
    Eggs
    Tortilla chips
    Tortillas
    Yogurt
    Frozen vegis (in the winter more when prices are higher for fresh)
    bananas
    bagged salad
    Salmon- once in a while
    Chicken Salad- once in a while
    Sushi- once in a while
    We consider other items there are coupons for- watch for deals

    Meats here are much cheaper at Kroger- we buy manager specials or weekly deals and it is MUCH cheaper
    Sometimes we will buy produce- sometimes items are less than grocery sometimes not.

    Good luck!

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomToTwoBoys View Post
    I can check there for their price and when I go to Costco, I'll take a notebook with me with those prices in it.

    I know of other things I can buy at once and then replenish that won't go bad.

    I'm going to add canned soup to the list too because we go through a lot of canned soup for things like chicken and cheese enchiladas, beefy mac n cheese, etc.
    My Costco has VERY LIMITED kinds of soup. They will have some of the larger cans.........the 'hearty' type soups but soups for cooking??.......nope, not much.

    If you CAN'T beat their price on TP.........stock up, good stuff. I will often buy some when our stores haven't had very good sales on it. Sadly....I buy the one that also has the paper wrapping around each roll (wish they would change that!!).............if you are on a septic, there is one kind NOT TO BUY.......forget which as I am not on septic tank.

    If you use lots of jam............and don't make your own..........or even if you make your own...........I have gotten some DIVINE jam there and am HOOKED on one brand................and I make my own.........but still buy it for variety..............and, for jam,.........decent price. It was a HUGE JAR......and $5.........not a bad price for good jam! If you want me to look up the brand (have a jar downstairs)....I can. It is sooooo good..........have gotten a couple friends HOOKED on it too.....................really good stuff!!

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