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Oct 18, 2008 05:41 PM

Costco in North Wales/Montgomeryville

Thinking about plunking down my fifty beans tomorrow. Before I take the plunge I thought I would ask my favorite group of people on the planet what they think. So Costco in North Wales thumbs up or thumbs down? I took a free tour, was immediately overwhelmed, could not find my car afterwards my head was spinning so. Luckily it was almost closing time on a saturday so I hiked over to Eastern Dragon for a quick bite and magically all the cars had gone and I could find mine he he! Secret chowhound tech. I know I can get my money back if I don't like Costco but if it sucks I'd rather not bother. What say you?

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  1. I love costco, I know it can be very overwhelming. But after a few trips you will get acquainted. You can't beat the prices and the selection. In the beginning you may over buy or see something that appears to be a good thing, but doesn't work out that way. I will always buy my apples at Wolffs, pick my berries at Willow Creek, and buy corn at Petes. But when I need 70 pounds of kitty litter and 8 pounds of butter. I know where to go. So go explore, get some kind of homing device for your car, and load up. It might
    be a long winter.

    1. We go to that Costco. It is the same as the other ones. Those warehouse-type places can be overwhelming at first, but I really like it. I find Costco has much better food than other clubs like BJ's or Sam's. Some of the food items we get there are:

      Frozen spinach & cheese ravioli
      Olive Oil
      Canned crab
      meat and seafood
      snack stuff for the kids

      It's also great for paper products, cleaning stuff, etc. I'll probably be there tomorrow myself.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

        I live very close to Costco and give it a thumbs up, it's worth the yearly fee IMO (and I think my wife would agree). We use it for different reasons, she primarily for things like food, me for things like 100% cotton dress shirts (made in Italy) for $19.99. They also have a very nice selection of flowers at very reasonable prices, which I occasionally bing home to said wife. Join, it's not overwhelming once you get to know the place.

      2. We have been members since the day it opened. We have the Executive membership. $100.00. Each year we receive a "check" in the mail, usually right close to $100.00. That pays for the renewal. It is like having a free membership. The first couple of years we had the regular membership. I buy books, small appliances, casual clothes, paper goods, cleaning supplies, vitamins and plenty more. Also, you will get coupons in the mail. They have a really nice selection of electronics too. Their meat is really excellent. Yesterday I picked up NY strips. 4 nice size steaks in the package for $28.00. Their bakery puts out great stuff. Can you tell I am a fan? Ha Ha. It is just my husband and I at home, but I find great clothing options for the grandchildren there as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: crazyspice

          I'm still nibbling my way thru a costco wonderland. I tried their vat of chicken noodle soup and I really liked the noodles but thought the soup was oddly seasoned, I guess I wanted more of a chickeny taste, but it was still good. Someone posted in Chains about their fishsticks and they have a whole blog about costcos:

        2. Thanks so much for all the great responses! I took the plunge, I knew chowhounds wouldn't steer me wrong! I got there about three-ish, took one last patrol around and got a lot of free samples. They took my debit card to sign up but from what I understand they only take am ex to buy stuff so I had to go home for my check book. I couldn't help notice what was sold out by the time I got back. Chicken pot pies-Gone! Rotiserrie chickens:sold out! I got the second to last gigantic apple pie. It was fun. My friend got freaked out by a gigantic can of tuna. I wanted some butter but you had to buy four pounds of it. I have an overactive imagination and I kept thinking that costcos has a hinged roof and the giants that the food was really intended for would flip back the roof and reach in for their giant sized vittles at anytime. Their big portions made me want to throw a party! How else would I use up that vat of guacamole that chowhounds swear by! I was stunned to see jamaican meat pies in the frozen food section. I haven't had them since I lived in south miami. So far I have tried the roasted garlic bread and the oatmeal cookies. A container of nuts bigger than a chihuahua and a pizza sized apple pie are patiently waiting for me at home. Guess I lived up to my username!

          14 Replies
          1. re: givemecarbs

            You can use your debit card for purchases at Costco. They also have an ATM there if you didn't want to go back home.

            1. re: mitchh

              Oh kewl, thanks mitchh. So what treasures have you found at Costco? I swear on halloween I'm dressing up as Laura Croft from Tombraider and going to Costco. I keep expecting to see a group of monsters behind one of the giant displays! Did I mention I have an overacitve imagination?

              1. re: givemecarbs

                I buy whole chickens in two-packs. Also the package of two chuck roasts. I leave one whole for braising and cut the other one up for stew and repack and freeze in two packages. Hazen says that thighs are the tastiest part of chicken, so I buy those six paks of thigh packages to bake in tomato sauce. They have pork roasts and tenderloins packed with seasonings/marinades so they are ready to cook. If you bake, look for 25# bags of All Trump high gluten flour. Look for Carr's ginger-lemon cookies and crackers. And nice cheese selections. I just got some French cheese that comes in a little wooden crate. It tastes like a cross between cheese and butter. And salmon at great prices. And on and on and on .... The only thing the Pa stores do not have is wine. Thank your PLCB. But your card is good when you cross the line.

                1. re: yayadave

                  Wow imagine if they had wine. Maybe someday in Penna. I can't wait to go back now that I have taken the plunge. Thanks for all the suggestions. I can see I'm either going to have to take a calculator or a stop watch to make sure I don't go costco crazy. I don't know if it is just this store but I did get a little costco culture shock. On sunday a woman approached me in line with a hand scanner and asked to see my card. I think I only had ten items so she scanned them real quick before I ever reached the cash register. All in all I had to show my card three times, and they did have at least one person near the exit checking receipts and counting items. Sort of like at Best Buy. I guess it makes sense, I think I spent more at Costco than I usually do at Best Buy. I don't know if they always do this or sunday is just a really crazy day to go there.

                  1. re: givemecarbs

                    They always check at the door. Week ends are a good test of your sales resistance. That's when they sample everything. If you get their little kit of cleaner for your glasses, you can come back for free refills. Oh, don't forget the dog and soda on the way out. $1.61 in PA. I was there on Friday and they had a coffee machine, maybe a Nespresso, as a feature. I didn't check the price.

                    I just checked their web site and it looks like they handle Keurig. Maybe that's what I saw.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      Gonna try the little food court next time! I think I just have to hit the bakery last and not go anywhere near there until I'm ready to face my total bill. I had to use some resistance on sunday on non-food items. Twice I walked past nine little teddy bears all in different sweaters for only 9.99 I was gripping the shopping cart handle so hard my hands broke out in a sweat! Also had to resist checking out the nice looking winter boots. Probably what I should really do is just bring 5.00 in cash and my costco card, try the food court and look over everything and familiarize myself without being impulsive. Oh, and an empty paper bag to breath into if I start hypervenilating. :)

                      1. re: givemecarbs

                        Like a lot of other warehouse stores, you are tempted to buy more than our can possible consume just because it looks like such a good deal. We have a large upright freezer, plus good freezer space in two refrigerators, but even then I sometimes find myself taking the frozen items (example, appetizers) out of the carton & just storing them in their plastic bag. Some of the things we buy:

                        Cheese, especially the blocks of sharp Vermont cheddar. A great bargain if you are a cheese-a-holic. I buy an extra one every year to stuff in my hubby's Christmas stocking, along with one of the gigantic sticks of pepperoni. Their dips/hummus are also very good & great for last-minute entertaining. Pair them with bags of the pretzel chips or pita chips.
                        Meats. My sister loves their flank steak. She buys it in bulk, then takes it home and vacuum seals in in a marinade in prtions that are suitable for a meal. I do the same with whole pork loins.

                        I've just fallen in love with their Chicken Burgers -- in the same section as the cheeses and sausages. They are very tasty & only need to be heated through. Also like all of the cool varieties of brats & chicken sausages.

                        When my daughter was in college & living in a house with other girls, I used to buy bags of the frozen boneless chicken breasts. They are individually frozen, but live in a big bag, therefore easy to store. Also very convenient to take just one or two out to make a meal. It's nice to keep a bag in the freezer for emergencies -- kind of like "money on the bank".

                        Until my brother-in-law, who "eats" books got his Kindle, he used to buy a lot of reading material at Costco. Miscellaneous office supplies are good, but again you are buying in bulk. Do you really need 24 pens?

                        Sometimes I will buy the larger quantities of things like butter, then split with me daughter or sister.

                        When my niece was in college & playing sports, my sister would stop at Costco before going to her games & buy the pre-made trays of wraps. They were inexpensive, compared to what she'd pay for all of the ingredients to make them herself, and she didn't have to make them herself. The hungry girls gobbled them up & raved about them (OK, they were starving college girls).

                        I've purchased the box of chicken or beef taquitos to heat & take to neigborhood block parties. Tasty, and the ideal "finger food" for both adults & kids. Everyone asks for the recipe, so I just tell them: "Get in the car. Drive to Costco...."

                        I have never used much salt in my cooking, so I really notice it in prepared foods. I do find a lot of the frozen prepared food to be too salty for my taste, but that holds true for ANY frozen prepared food -- not just Costco's.

                        Do you need a last-minute dessert to feed a crowd? You've already discovered the pies, but check out the cheese cakes next time. Put it on your own fancy plate & no one will ever know.

                        You really need to pick a time when you think Costco is not going to be as crowded, then spend time just cruising around. Maybe you do it in sections because it can get overwhelming. We have a Sam's Club membership (we live close to Sam's on Welsh Road), but I recenty renewed my Costco membership. It's not as convenient for me, but I think I like it better. Right now the differentiator is that Sam's Club has cheaper gas for members. Costo in Monkeyville has a lot more in the way of big box store around it, though. It's also close to the quilt shop where I spend half my pay buying fabric. It alows me to rationalize that I can buy more fabric because I've just saved so much money at Costco.

                        Oh, now that all of the local supermarkets have those reusable bags (which I LOVE), I take those with me to Costco. Remember, Costco doesn't provide packaging. The cartons are not only hit-or-miss, but I find them awkward & heavy to carry.

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Do you have an issue with the receipt checker at the door with your items in the reusable bags? Not that I believe they really check everything, but I am just curious.

                          1. re: crazyspice

                            No. Sometimes need to take stuff out. Other times, I've left items loose, then put them in the bags as I loaded them in my car.

                        2. re: givemecarbs

                          I forgot to mention that I think the cookies at Costco are better than the cookies at Trader Joe's. That's serious stuff, right there.

                          1. re: yayadave

                            Been nibbling through a pak of oatmeal, macademia nut, and chocolate chip cookies. They are mighty fine. Going to look for peanut butter next. Going to give up on the The perpetual empty handed guest thread I think Dave. I loved your posts. I'm starting to get way too riled. Either that or send them all a copy of Gifts Differing. LOL.

                        3. re: yayadave

                          So any advice on how the heck to open that big plastic jar of kirkland brand mixed nuts that have been taunting me since sunday? I can see them but I can't eat them! Arrrrrrgh!

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            Too Funny! Doesn't it have a screw top?

                            1. re: crazyspice

                              He he! Yes but even my friend who lifts weights can't unscrew it. Since it is plastic if I really get desperate I guess I could stab it with a knife!

              2. I would only caution you with fish at Costco. I've gotten bad mussels and bad lemon sole there. And, I watched them putting the fish into the case, so I assumed it was fresh. NOT!!! However, they did take it back with a receipt. I do love their rotisserie chickens, you cannot even buy the chicken for that price. And I often get the shrimp ring. $9.99 for a pound of cooked, cleaned shrimp with cocktail sauce! Good meats, and it's a good place for candy and cookies around the holidays.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mschow

                  Maybe you have to be careful what day you go with fish. We've only ever bought salmon, and it always seemed pretty good. I would have heard the complaints, otherwise. TeeHee Fish is really tough everywhere, I think.