Costco Membership...yay Or Nay??

Decorating By floophs Updated 24 Aug 2009 , 2:47pm by snocilla

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floophs Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 10:21pm
post #1 of 20

I'm considering getting a Costco membership. I already shop at Super Walmart, Aldi & a local grocery store so the thought of stopping at one more place doesn't excite me. However, many people I know say that Costco is so much cheaper than other stores but they also say you have to know your prices. So I'm curious what are some items that are hands down cheaper there than any where else? (I'm not just referring to baking items.)

Thanks for your help! thumbs_up.gif

19 replies
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Doug Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 10:24pm
post #2 of 20

know your prices.

I have sam's club (would prefer Costco, but not in area) -- and on somethings -- lots cheaper -- especially if know will need large bulk amounts, but even there -- bulk is NOT always cheaper.

also, consider, can get more than cake ingredients at Costco.

I get all my laundry supplies much cheaper.
Lots of paper goods (esp. office supplies) cheaper.
Some toiletries way cheaper.

Consider it from ALL areas of your shopping.

(i REALLY miss their coffee!)

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costumeczar Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 10:54pm
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I used to have a Sam's Club membership and never used it because I was just never in that part of town. A BJ's wholesale recently opened up next to the place where my kids take their music lessons, and I joined because I can go there once a week, fill up on gas, and buy milk, which is $1 less than at Walmart. I figured that the money I save on milk alone (we go through 4 gallons a week) will more than pay for the membership. As long as you'll go shop there, the warehouse stores are definitely worth it. If you don't make it over there very much it might not be worth spending the membership fee.

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cakes-r-us Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 10:55pm
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I prefer Costco, but went with Sam's because (unless they have changed) Costco didn't carry dominos sugar, maxwell house coffee, or tyson chicken. It's been awhile since i've had a costco membership, but the the things I wanted most , and that I preferred were available at sam's.

Yeah, think about all of your needs.

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floophs Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 11:25pm
post #5 of 20

Thanks everyone. Maybe I'll just go in and see if I can get a 1 day pass and check it out.

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PinkLisa Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 11:25pm
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I shop at BJs every week and checked the prices versus my grocery store. Every item was 20%-25% cheaper. I have three children so the large items suits our family nicely.

Don't know about Costco though.

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MerlotCook Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 11:58pm
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I have to drive 3 hours to Costco, and I still save tons of money. I prefer the Kirkland brand to Sam's Choice, also. If you do the one day pass, just look. They normally charge 10% extra if you purchase anything with the one day pass.

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KathyTW Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 12:08am
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I guess I'm in the minority here, I have both Costco and Sam's Club memberships. I live 45 min from Costco and 3 hrs from Sam's so that is the main reason I have a Costco membership (the other is because they have the best meat!). I think the prices and selection are much better at Sam's, and if they USE it at Sam's you can buy it. Boxes, frosting, etc. Costco is not like that at all.

I'm not sure if you can get a day pass from Costco but I know you can at Sam's, you just pay 10% more that day.....the first time I went I spent enough that the membership was less than the extra 10%, so I just got one!

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cherrycakes Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 12:23am
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I love the Kirkland brand, which is the Costco brand. All of their products are excellent and they also carry beautiful gift ideas and decorations for Christmas (which is already coming to a Costco near you...) I'm not sure if it's the same in the US but in Canada we have the Executive Membership. It's $100 a year but we get a 2% rebate every year on all of our purchases. We're a typical family of four (kids are 3 and 6), but we get more than the membership back each year at rebate time. So, essentially we're getting our membership paid. What a deal!! icon_smile.gif

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Doug Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 12:51am
post #10 of 20

costco -> high end (like Harris Teeter, HEB, Lowes, Publix)

sam's club -> walmart (well duh!)

BJ's -> Walmart, Aldi, Save-a-Lot

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vickymacd Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 1:45am
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And an added note, consider the membership fee. Also, when your year is almost up, they send you a renewal notice. If you pay it before your year is up, Costco will try and screw you out of those months that you paid early. Beware when dealing with them. I have a Costco membership and have found I never go there anymore. When you buy in bulk, make sure you have room and storage for everything as well.

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floophs Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:02pm
post #12 of 20

Vickymacd, thanks for bringing that to my attention. It must be like so many magazines...they send you a notice in the mail 3 months before your subscription is even needing to be renewed.

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adonisthegreek1 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:17pm
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I'm not a fan of any store that makes me pay a fee upfront before I've made any purchase. I never thought I'd have a membership at either, but I ended up getting a membership at Sam's Club about 18 months ago. I was shopping around for a movie projector and a popcorn machine. After days of research, I found both online at Sam's and literally saved $400. Paying the $40 membership fee didn't seem so ridiculous to me then. I renewed my membership, because I can buy any of their bakery supplies that they use. I called Costco and they don't sell their supplies to customers.

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tiggy2 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:33pm
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I also love the Kirkland brand at Cotsco. I save a fortune on PS alone and they have the best spiral ham I have ever tasted.

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mixinvixen Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 11:52pm
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we are outside nashville, tennessee, and as pathetic as it seems, sams and costco is pretty much our weekly entertainment!!!

costco: we buy alot of furniture fact, just bought our tv console there that we've been looking for for over a year. we also bought our leather storage ottoman from there a couple of months ago. we purchased our washer and dryer from there several years ago, along with our dyson vacuum cleaner. they have a great return policy for that kind of thing, so we're covered if something needs to be returned.

they have a great photo processing center and do a really wonderful job on our pictures/discs. we also order our christmas cards and stamps there.

i get all my laundry and cleaning products there when they send out the monthly book of coupons. oxy, spray and wash, tide, downy, clorox, windex, etc.

when we had our daughter, and now when we have the little guy we're expecting, we buy all our diapers, wipes, desitin, formula, and baby bath from there. we saved so much by buying the baby stuff there, and expect to save even more when this little guy arrives.

we get great meats from there...i think the best! far better than kroger and walmart!!!!!

i also get alot of fruits and veggies, along with bagged tyson meats and other entree type foods, and all my bulk cake items like unsalted butter, 3lb tub of sour cream, 3 lb thing of cream cheese, 36 eggs, 7 lb bags of confectionary sugar, 25 lb bags of sugar and flour, ziploc bags.

we also get the majority of our clothing from costco. we wear ralph lauren, polo, calvin klein, etc...all from there at a bargain price. my daughter wears hart strings and other high end clothes...from costco! i buy shoes there, bikini panties, camisoles, regular and sports bras, socks for me and my family. i just bought my daughters fall and winter coats there gettng her ready for is a london fog...and for the two of them, i wrote a check for only $49.

i go to sams for regular food also, but especially go there for their bulk catering items, like aprons, chafing dishes, spatulas, measuring cups, foil, saran wrap, etc.

free samples at both warehouses make it worth the stroll!! not to mention that they serve pizza in the cafe areas that are like a $1/huge slice...the three of us can go there and eat dinner/shop and only spend a total of like $5 for dinner, including our drinks!!!!!!!!!

as a member, you also can get discount packages on resorts, disney, hotels, cruises, cars, home repairs, carpets, etc.

we also buy the majority of our christmas list for family at the warehouses.


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ZlatkaT Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 12:27am
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Nay for me!!
I joined Cosco after my kids were born. I drove there every 2 month or so, and discovered, that my family don't need all the big stuf, and I felt, that I was spending much more money, that I intend to. It makes you gonna shop and spent $$. I am glad that I am out of there. Later I discovered that Trader Joes is cheaper and healthier on dairy, eggs, milk, and the bread is wonderful!! Also the shopping is WAY more enjoyable, than crowded Cosco. For other big stuff I go to the Smart and Final (membership free), I buy there sugar, flour, peanut butter and cereals, laundry stuff etc. But for daily needs Trader Joes is my store. Occasionally Vons. I discovered, that my monthly grocery cost is quiet down.

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CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 2:48am
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by vickymacd

And an added note, consider the membership fee. Also, when your year is almost up, they send you a renewal notice. If you pay it before your year is up, Costco will try and screw you out of those months that you paid early. Beware when dealing with them. I have a Costco membership and have found I never go there anymore. When you buy in bulk, make sure you have room and storage for everything as well.

They have to include the remaining time in your current membership, not just start the year from that point on. That would be big time illegal. They have to give you a specific amount of lead time for renewal, which is why you get it 3 months in advance, but you don't have to renew until the last minute if you don't want to. And Costco will remind you each and every time you go until you do renew, so it's not like you can forget!!

BUT, if you haven't been a member for awhile and want to start back up, make sure they don't charge you for the time you haven't used that year - just from today to the end of what your year was - or make sure the new card gives you a full year's membership. At the Costco I used to go to, my renewal date was 1 year from when I joined, not a calendar year.

You can get a Guest Pass to look around, but I don't think you can buy anything. Like anything where you have a membership, their objective is to get your membership $$, so they don't want you to just buy the one day on a Guest Pass and never come back.

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JCE62108 Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 1:32pm
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I was thinking out this too. I go through PS and cake mix like water!! I dont know that a membership would be worth it for just PS, cake mix, and flour though. Its really $40? wow I thought it was like $10 or something.

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carleen2140 Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 2:21pm
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I work at Costco, but not a Costco employee. I'm one of those ladies that hand out free samples. You do not need to be a member to visit the Pharmacy, (for prescriptions)Photo shop, or the Eye Clinic. You do need to be a member to shop for anything else in the store. I do believe you can visit the store without a pass, but keep in mind if you see something you really want, you will not be able to puchase it. 2 names are allowed on one Costco card. My daughter who is divorced with 4 kids, but does not live with me, has one card on my membership, and I have the other. I get the coupon book mailed to me, she doesn't. Only one book per membership. We're suppose to split the cost of the membership. (that is I pay the year and she is always going to give me the money, but we know how that goes... It's been 3 years of "Oh darn I ment to pay you my half of Costco card"). Costco stores are sometimes cheaper than The good thing about is they don't always charge shipping. So if there is an item you want to send to someone in another state, then your better off letting handle it.

I will say it amazes me everyday when I look at the carts of products people buy. Just last Saturday I was set up near the household items and I seen 5 skids of mattresses restocked. I paid $1200 last October at a different store, because I never thought of going to Costco for mattresses, for the same ones they had for $499 a set. twin or queen.
Hangers are 50 for $15. and better than the ones you see for $1 a piece on TV.
Keep in mind that what I see is only one store. Costco has to be doing something right for so many shoppers to be members. I have heard customers tell me they are members of both Sam's and Costco. What they can't get at one , they get at the other.

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snocilla Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 2:47pm
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The way Sam's works: You can get a personal membership for $30 per year, or a business membership for $40 per year. To get a business membership, just tell them the name of your business and how many employees you have. They will then allow all of your employees a card. My membership is through me Father-in-Laws resturaunt, so the company pays for it (even better!). We save a ton on diapers, formula, paper towels, powdered sugar, basically anything non-perishable. I also buy meats and split them up and freeze meal size protions. I don't buy a lot of fruits and vegetables there because they tend to go bad before we use them. One big thing though, my husband researched a GPS system, spent weeks researching prices, and finally figured that the cheapest he was going to get it at walmart, Best buy, etc was about $400. I walked into Sam's Club and got it for $300!

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