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The first Costco in our state is opening this weekend. We had a Sam's membership many years ago but dropped it when we started boycotting WalMart. DH likes that kind of shopping, but we live in a very small space and I'm concerned we may not have room to store quantity items. And the location is not convenient so would be a stock up store only -- probably a couple of times a year.

I generally refuse to pay to go shopping -- I won't even go to craft fairs that charge admission. But DH insists a Costco membership would pay for itself.

For those who are familiar with Costco, do you like it? Is it worth the membership fee?
 

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Well, I don't know about in your area but just this past weekend I price shopped Sams & Costco. After making a price book of what I would consider what I'd buy the most I decided that I'm not joining either one.

Also, with the exception of dairy items Sams was cheaper than Costco.

The other thing you have to factor in is that you cannot use any coupons and on items that you'd usually have coupons for you should try to factor that in your unit prices.

My suggestion, price shop them first vs where you'd normally buy those items. If the total savings won't be greater than $50 a year then don't join.
 

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Keep an eye on your mail and your newspaper; oftentimes these stores will have a coupon for a one day pass. You could use it to go on your 2-3 times a year trip, or just to do some price comparisions and see if joining will be worth it to you.

Also, see if a friend or relative has a membership or wants one. I think you can put 4 people on a membership; you could split the cost with them.
 

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i agree with trying out the place with a one day pass. i just got one in the mail from Critsy and I will definitely be trying out our local store.
 

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I didn't need a pass. I just simply asked if I could come in and look around to see if I wanted to join.

Both stores let me in with no issues.
 

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Costco has definite benefits. Dh just got a pair of eyeglasses and exam at Costco and it was $100 less than his exam and glasses last year at a regular optometrists office. Also we find it worth the membership for tires and car batteries. Much less than other places. All of these services cover the yearly fee along with additional savings too.
 

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^^^Ditto, Auntie

Costco does offer coupons. They send out a coupon book six times a year (maybe more) and they include great discounts on electronics, furniture, paper goods (yes toilet paper and paper towels), baby products, meats, automotive, bakery. In fact the only thing I've never seen them list a coupon for was milk, eggs & butter.

And they treat and pay their employees very well. Average $13/hr with good benefits. Plus on weekends and evenings, they have two people who help you through the line, one who rings and one who unloads and bags.

Their membership fee is a little higher then Sams but I'm willing to pay that for better service and happy employees. AND if you get their $100 membership you get cash back at the end of the year on your purchases
 

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AND they carry organic at very reasonable prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They sent out coupons to advertise the new store. You have to be a paid member to use them. With the new store I'm sure they will allow some looking around. Good to hear about the organic. I just will not go to Sams -- no way.
 

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We've had a Costco membership for years. We go about once a month and do a mega stock up (and if you go Friday night or on weekends they have oodles of samples out...almost enough for a meal!). Also, we do our eye exams, glasses, and my contacts there. They have a little place to eat, too that is fairly reasonable as far as "out to eat" prices go.

We get the bulk of our frozen food there as it is considerably cheaper than anywhere else in town...good quality, too. It's also a great source for baking products (yeast, baking soda, baking powder, etc.)...though, it can't beat the pre-Thanksgiving sales on sugar in the grocery stores.

I don't know what your other sources are where you live...but up here it's a great deal! It's $40/year for us. Well worth it... :)
 

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I joined Costco last week after writing a bunch of prices. I calculated that if all I bought was one gallon of milk per week I would recoup my yearly membership fee. Vitamins and OTC medications are a big savings there, as well as baking supplies, cleaning supplies (laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, etc.), frozen vegetables, etc. You do have to know your prices, because there are also expensive things there.

I also live in a small place--a 1.5 bedroom flat--so while I won't be stocking up with a six month supply of anything or buying a 1 gallon can of corn, there are still plenty of things I can use. I'm also not above storing toilet paper under the bed. :screwy:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We haven't been up there yet -- I realized going when there would be a huge crowd was not a good idea. We may still go look around some, but I don't know if we will join or not. I don't do well with huge stores. It took getting sick at the grocery store this weekend to remind me. I think it's something to do with the lights, but I'm not sure. Doctors aren't interested. Anyway DH has to go shopping with me "just in case."

We'll probably actually decide later -- there's no real hurry. It might be worth it if we had more storage room -- DH could go by himself with a list. But I really doubt it would work with our teeny tiny little apartment.

Thanks for the reponses however -- I'll keep them in mind if we do decide to go check it out.
 

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genieb, I sometimes have panic attacks at large stores :ack:... could this be what is happening to you? I take medicine to control it.

I love Costco. I always figure out the unit prices of groceries I purchase, and Costco wins almost every time. Of course, I have a pantry area (makeshift of vintage china cabinets without the doors, but it works!). With non-food items, I've found that you can purchase high-quality brands for the discount-brand prices. We saved a lot of money on tires, too. I'm very happy with my membership. And they don't take credit cards, so there's no chance of overspending :tay:
 

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I love Costco! It was the family outing every Saturday growing up, Dad would load us up and off we went. The best part for me was definitely the samples, plus we could get pizza at the food court. A huge slice that comes with a soda and free refills is only $1.50! Cant beat that! I actually just bought a membership of my own a few days ago. After getting in on a free pass and comparison shopping, I realized I would definitely be saving money, even with the $50 yearly membership. I realized that just on one item alone (cans of air that db needs) would make up the cost of a yearly membership. They also gave us a coupon booklet when we signed up, plus a free 18 in pizza! You can get an executive membership for $100, which gives you 2% back at the end of the year off most purchases. I got a regular membership and figured I would just watch how much I spent this year, to see if I would come out ahead.
 

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Pretty sure it's not a panic attack. Acts more like blood sugar or some type of seizure activity related to the lights.
 

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My Costco Experience

I have been a Costco memeber since '91 and on this site for two days. So I may not be completely on the same page as many of you...yet.

There is only my DH & I and over the years multiple cats and dogs. The membership started out as a cheaper way to buy cat & dog food - at the time it was more affordable than the Navy Exchange and I knew product would be on the shelf after driving there.

I was a Sam's Club member prior to moving to an area where Sam's doesn't exist and learned that I liked the quality of Costco products over Sam's hands down.

Now, I have found the old joke "Good luck to get out of Costco for under $100" extremely true. If you see something in there it may not be there on your next trip in. So the "buy it now" mentality takes hold quickly after telling myself "I'll buy it next time" and it is not there.

Costco definately feeds, literally, on impulse buying. You can goto out our Costco on the weekend and have a full lunch off of the food demonstrations alone. Breads, frozen appetizers, chili, soups, assorted drinks, snacks -- even storage bags to take home to try.

They do have coupon specials, called "Passport to Savings" throughout the year. Items from food, office supplies, appliances, furniture, vitamins, cold medicine -- over a year everything is covered. A lot of the coupons allow for multiple purchases as well -- one this last time allowed for 10 items.

The Costco near me has optical, hearing aids, photography development & emailing in photos for print, tire center (no oil changes), pharmacy (our insurance told us Costco is one on three approved pharmacies they would cover us at), wine (WA doesn't allow hard liquor sales in grocery stores like other states), fresh bakery, eat-in deli w/chicken caesar salad, pizza, cinnamon sticks & some yogurt thing. And a gas station that is as low as AM/PM/Arco stations here. The outside the store amenities are Closet Organizers, Kitchen cabinets (a builder friend swears these are awesome), granite/quartz countertops, garage doors, cars, window coverings, insurance, credit card machines...they cover a lot and my memory.

My personal rule was cash only at Costco. I then broke that rule when gas skyrocketed last year and got an AMEX card. On average, we go through $500 a month on gas. Ouch yes, and the rebate attracted us there. That is one card that gets paid off every month.

We spend enough at Costco through out the year so that we get a check back at the end of the year that covers our renewal.

I do shop around to check prices. My biggest surprise this year was a new digital camera -- it was $150 less at Costco than Best Buy, Circuit City and was 2 megapixels more.

I feel like I am rambling & I am happy to answer any questions you have.

patti
 

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When we lived in Az. we had a Costco...loved it...small appliances, tires/car stuff, large appliances for our rentals at a super cheap compared to others price, otc meds, soooooooooooo many things that way more than paid for the membership!!!! We are now in Ks. and have a membership at Sam's....here again with our rentals, the appliances are a big savings...along with all the rest I wouldn't be without it personally. Katy
 

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I love Costco. The membership cost is worth it. We have three cats -- just the savings on cat food paid for the annual membership. I told the cats that they were earning their keep and contributing to the good of the family. You will save LOTS on so many food and home items -- I'm still wearing a winter coat purchased from Costco in Fall 2001 and paid $35.00! Cannot count the number of Christmas presents I've purchased there for low prices (good quality).

Sadly, there is no Costco in WNY so when I moved back to my hometown I joined the one in Ontario, CA. That worked, but the drive is so long that it became too much of a bother. Now our dollar is so weak that it would not pay. Oh well.
 

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We have

a Costco membership. It is nearby and I buy all my gas there. That savings alone more than pays for our membership
 
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