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Thread: Costco what to buy?
01-19-2011, 01:24 PM #1
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Costco what to buy?
So for Christmas my dad got me a Costco membership and a gift card for 100 dollars. His thinking was I could use it to buy meat. Well that is not going to work because I only have an apartment size freezer, and it is just my daughter and me. So I was thinking that I should maybe get things like T.P, flour, sugar baking supplies. Things I use alot of because most of the stuff I make is from scratch including my bread. What other kinds of things would be good to have in bulk. I am going tonight (I haven't been yet) because I need T.P. I am not sure if that is all I will get or not. But I don't want like 12 cans of tomato soup or anything because DD does not eat anything tomato. Any suggestions?
01-19-2011, 01:42 PM #2
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We also were given a membership as a gift, but I find very little at Costco that isn't better priced somewhere else.
Some of their produce is well priced, but it's hard to eat it fast enough. I bought the big packs of celery when my daughter was going through a celery craze, but unless you have someone eating 5-6 stalks a day (like my dd) it's too much. We used to buy the oranges.
Apparently the meat is great, but I keep forgetting to look.
I bought flour for less there, but the price has since dropped at the regular store. Crackers & granola bars are a good price, cereal is not. Olive oil is cheaper there.
The store roasted hot chickens are a great deal if you don't feel like cooking - cheaper than a raw chicken here.
Good deals on bread, pita bread is especially cheap at ours - less than half what the grocery store charges.
I looked at shampoo and stuff last week and it was overpriced.
SDM has much better deals on TP and sugar.
01-19-2011, 01:44 PM #3
When the discount stores have sales - they can't beat out Costco but things we buy things there b/c of their consistent quality or lower pricing. Dempster bread, meat, plain yoghurt, milk/cream, cheese - when there's in-store coupons offered, eggs, sometimes the bags of brussels sprouts/broc florets, chips (jumbo bags but no one 'needs' chips right?), dishwasher tablets. They do have in-store coupons you receive when you enter each time however they scan down automatically at the cash so its more of a flyer. Random things go 'on sale' ie: coffee, laundry stuff, paper products, food etc. Just gotta be sure to check out whats on that week when you walk in.
Other bulk items that are fairly priced with the rest of the world (non Costco world) are the HBA items & meds/vitamins but once you buy them there, you prob only buy once/yr b/c its so 'bulk'.
We generally buy produce at the discount stores or at the Asian market b/c it is cheaper and not in bulk so we can buy what we need vs bulk quantities and end up with wasted food/money. We don't find buying paper products from Costco to be cheaper though (TP/paper towels)
My suggestion to you since this is your first time - take a notebook and pen with you - make a list of things you 'think' you want to buy from there and note the date/prices. Each visit, continually check on those items and you will see how the prices fluctuate from time to time and you will learn when the promo's occur.
Costco is great at suckering a minimum of $100 out of you/visit unless you've caught on to them - they give tons of free samples and its more then just 'chips' - we're talking hot food here and drinks hoping you'll give in and buy them and of course 'in bulk only' b/c its "Costco". I know its still going to be there next week and i try to stick to my budgeted amount and list of items each time I go in. Helps to know your prices and rate of consumption before you go in. Allow at least 2 hours on your first trip as well b/c you'll be awestruck. If you're lucky, you'll be going to a location that has a gas bar which is usually 5-8 cents/L cheaper too.
Enjoy your first time there
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01-19-2011, 01:52 PM #4
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they have a nice spice selection , if there is something you use alot of then you can get large bottles there.Personally I love their book and dvd selection. It is excellently priced. They do have some great prices on otc medicines as well . I get acid, diarehha and ibuprophen tablets there for great prices. In the summer my dh likes to get steaks there but that is a huge treat for us. My MIL just got my dh a new card for his birthday . We don't use it much but it's nice to have for a few things. The bottles water is usually a good price to.
01-19-2011, 02:04 PM #5
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I have a Costco membership and get lots of use out of it. But, I am in the U.S. and our prices most likely differ from yours.
Some of the things I buy there are:
*Milk - $2.15/gallon ($3.50/gallon at the cheapest competitor)
*Bananas - $1.32/3 lbs ($0.49/lb at the cheapest competitor)
*Butter - $3.79/5 lbs ($4.99 at the cheapest competitor)
*Eggs - $1.35/18 eggs ($2.10 at the cheapest competitor)
*Bottled water - $3.78/32 bottles ($4.99 at the cheapest competitor)
*Dishwasher detergent - $7.99/250oz ($10.99 at the cheapest competitor w/sale and coupon)
*Ground turkey - $1.79/lb ($1.99 at the competitor's best sale price)
*Potatoes - $7.99/10 lbs ($9.99 at the competitor's best sale price)
*Turkey bacon - $5.69/3 packages ($3.49 per package at the competitor)
I typically will not buy paper products or any cleaning supplies other than dishwasher detergent and laundry soap from Costco. In our area they can be bought much, much cheaper when on sale and combined with coupons at other stores.
Gas from our Costco is normally a few cents cheaper per gallon than the bottom of the rung competitors and several cents cheaper than the higher quality competitors.
01-19-2011, 02:07 PM #6
You've mentioned wanting to stock up for emergency situations, how about hand-warmers and other emergency type devices like flashlights, batteries, oil lamp perhaps, to fill that need without having to dip into your current income for it? It would possibly give you a sense of security and you would be prepared faster than trying to shell out $20 here and there for each item.
Just a thought. That is a great gift but if its not for you, at some point during the year let him know gently so you don't keep getting it every year. Maybe say, "I loved checking out Costco, but man I am getting such better deals at such&such grocery store I don't know if I used it to its full benefit." Then he can figure something else out for next year.
01-19-2011, 02:12 PM #7
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when I was married I used to shop Costco all the time, especially for their meats. And they do have different prepared foods that are of decent quality that you don't see in regular supermarkets.
Since I've been divorced I hardly every to into the store. Their rotisserie chickens are very good and cheap, usually around $5 and the milk is less expensive, usually around $2.
I think the suggestion of going, walking around with a pad and pen is a great idea 'cause like another poster mentioned, you can easily spend $100 without even blinking an eye as everything seems to be between $10-$15 because you buy in bulk.
01-19-2011, 02:48 PM #8
Costco is a great store. Especially if you want to eat healthily. They have a lot of organic foods and healthier options for cheaper than the grocery/specialty stores. The items I buy there consistently are:
clothing- great deals
steelhead fish (like salmon)
There are a lot of other items that are great deals, but not on my healthy list so I don't buy them. There are items to avoid as well as they are not great deals IMHO such as toilet paper, paper products, cleaning supplies, cereal, soft drinks.
I'm pretty strict with myself when I go there or I'd spend too much- I generally spend under $50 per trip. Honestly, if money wasn't an issue I"d probably do almost all of our shopping there. They stand behind their products and items are good quality. Have fun shopping!
01-19-2011, 02:56 PM #9
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I buy the tomatoes and sauce (in cans) there for less than $3 a gallon and then bring them home and put them in smaller containers to freeze. Its a little cheaper than buying the jars at the store.
I am not sure if you have a pressure canner, but I buy the carrots, celery, and some other things and can it. Its cheap there and I don't have a lot of other options here in the city.
Their beef is a good price and you could can that too, but I wouldn't do it unless you had a little practice first.
Also, you may want to check out their cleaning supplies, I know they used to have a great deal on dishwasher detergent, but I haven't bought any there in a few years. Same with Dog Food.
01-19-2011, 07:45 PM #10
It was difficult to find things at Costco that was cheaper than other local stores. The only things that came close consistently were:
Some cleaning supplies
Milk / Butter / Cheese
Spices (especially the giant containers of garlic powder and pepper)
Olive / vegetable oil
01-19-2011, 09:16 PM #11
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We have Sam's here, but here is the stuff that's a better deal:
-over the counter meds in generic form are super cheap
-the aforementioned rotisserie chicken
-good quality cheese... gourmet type stuff in reasonably sized packages
-socks and underwear
01-19-2011, 09:27 PM #12
costco/bj's/sams are more about conveneince than cheapness. that being said, i do buy quite a bit there though. just depends.
ditto on the rotissierre chix. yummy.
they sell these burgers that we call mini steaks...fabulous! filling. yummy...did i mention fabulous? buy a pack and break them down in servings for your family. you wont be sorry. i think they are called sirloin burgers?
tp, papertowel, clorox wipes...all the stuff you hate to run out of...thats what i buy..cuz i hate to run out. just bugs me....
you can sometimes get a pkg of 2 whole chix cheaper than the grocery. just double check prices.
the cheapest i EVER get of BJ's is $150....my norm (every 4 wks or so) is around $255...but, that includes some meats, water and other stuff.
i do agree w/ all the other posters about just taking a stroll around and checkig out prices, sizing, etc.
01-19-2011, 11:05 PM #13
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dog food (excellent quality)
dish liquid (kirkland brand)
canned chicken and tuna
coffee (excellent quality)
kirkland soap (like dove)
I look at their coupon book every month. Sometimes there are good deals!
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