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Costco in North Wales/Montgomeryville

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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
      Cereal
      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:
          http://addictedtocostco.com/2008/04/0...

        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.

                2. Congratulations on entering the world of Costco! I think you will find it well worth it.

                  We often start with having lunch - I think it's $1.50 for a huge hot dog and unlimited soft drinks.

                  We never go home without a rotisserie chicken. They are the best! We read that Costco sells something like 9 million chickens a year. (I may be low on that figure.)

                  The meats are excellent. Steaks, roasts, etc. - all good. We have liked the fish very much. The salmon is beautiful. A few days ago my husband bought the ahi tuna, and it was incredible - as good or better than in the top fish/seafood restaurants.

                  Then, usually a chunk of good cheddar or other cheese, and assorted goodies.

                  We recently discovered how wonderful the croissants are. We keep them in the freezer and then put one in the toaster oven (on bake) as needed. Really great!

                  The Kirkland products are consistently excellent. Try the paper towels, etc.
                  Also, the vitamins are a great buy.

                  We buy computer supplies, electronics, etc. We bought our lasts tv online. Of course, we had researched it and knew what we wanted. We saved a ton of money and it was delivered to our home.

                  If you ever need to return anything, it is easy; no problem.

                  Enjoy that Costco. It gets better and better!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: sylviag

                    Thanks! It really does feel like a hidden new world to explore! Now if I just figure out how to pour the kirkland brand milk without spilling it!

                    1. re: givemecarbs

                      If they're those square bottles, it's about impossible. Just pour some into a smaller container when you first open it. Or buy milk somewhere else.

                    2. re: sylviag

                      Those wonderful croissants make a great bread pudding, too.

                      1. re: yayadave

                        Do yourself a favor and pick up one of their gigantic pumpkin pies. I've never tasted a pie like it. And, don't forget to grab some whipping cream.....

                        1. re: the dog ate my homework

                          Got one yesterday and got home to read your post the dog! Can't wait to dig into it!

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            Speaking of pies, this past thursday I scored a Costco cherry pie! I've read about them on the Chains board but thought they were the stuff of legends. I usually freeze half of a costco pie as soon as I get it home. Not happening with this puppy. So good!

                    3. There are only two of us, but we always find things we "need". I love their spinach dip with Stacey's pita chips. I look forward to parties/summer to have the excuse to buy both. We do paper products from there too. As everyone says, you can never leave without a rotisserie chicken or two!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: KateForbes

                        Those chickens look great! Since I am new to Costco I couldn't resist people watching as I sat at one of the little refreshment stand tables trying fo finish my yogurt berry sundae. Saw a lot of lone shoppers, most carts loaded with paper products, one with just beverages, and someone was buying eight bags of the pita chips! Guess I know what I am buying next mission.

                      2. I would advise you against going to Costco (any Costco for that matter..) on the weekends. It is a ZOO and that HUGE parking lot fills up real quick. Especially when you are new to Costco and aren't that familiar with it!

                        YUM Eastern Dragon!

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Mag454

                          How about it! I stopped there yesterday to pick up some shrimp. I walked in the door and saw the lines for checkout all the way down the side isles and turned around and left. I had to send my husband back this morning. He was there when the doors opened. I really needed the shrimp!

                          I haven't been to Eastern Dragon in quite a while. Still great is it?

                          1. re: crazyspice

                            Hi crazy! Nibbling on one of their gigantic shrimp cocktails right now. Went today and at first (around five pm) it felt like bumper carts, the budget amusement park ride! (stole that from a webcomic: Basic Instructions.) And we missed the free samples! But things wound down and as I was making one final pass by the rotisserie chickens I noticed that the sign said 4.99 instead of 5.99. This was about five of six. It was kewl that the food court was still open and I could grab a yogurt berry sundae on the way out. Those things are addicting. I usually go to the other Eastern Dragon in towamencin but I was satisfied with what I got at the Costco's location. Just hot green tea, hot and sour soup and pork lo mein. My friend liked what he got too, some sort of chicken. The Towamencin location has an unfair hold on me. LOL. Christmas Eve was really really crazy this year and my friend and I ended up there for dinner, and somehow we landed there for Valentine's Day too. They have nice and inexpensive lunches too.

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              Dang! Are you telling me I missed Christmas this year? I thought the chickens were $4.99 all the time. I will visit ED again. Thanks.

                              1. re: crazyspice

                                Doh and double Doh! I wouldn't mind missing Chrismas some years. :) Guess I got confused on the pricing. That is what I get for charging all the way to Wegman's in Warrington last nite. Wegman's is the best late night emergency munchie run ever. I finally tried their cheesecake. Mmmmm nirvana! Oh and I got an apple crisp too. Nice and buttery.

                          2. re: Mag454

                            Eastern Dragon was like an Oasis that day Mag454. He he he! Yeah, it was the best excuse ever to eat out!

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              The excess crowds may have been due to a sports-packed weekend. There was probably a buying frenzy for the Penn State/Phillies/Eagles parties. Or Halloween. Or celebrating givemecarb's new membership.

                              GO PHILLIES!!

                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                Good point! Probably celebrating givemecarbs new membership. I should have known.

                                1. re: crazyspice

                                  Probably emailed an All Points Bulletin to all the local members so they could share in the good news and happiness.

                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    LOL! That's funny!

                                2. re: PattiCakes

                                  He he he! Love you guys! How 'bout them Phillies? So stoked for tonight!

                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                    You know it! My mojo is feeling the big win for tonight. I had to run into Costco this morning to check something out and at 10:00 it was awesome. I felt like I had the whole place to myself! The only downside was no goodies to sample.

                                    1. re: crazyspice

                                      WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                        WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

                            2. Posting here because I think this is a local Costco thing. Was there on sunday and David's Cookies had a temporary kiosk selling cheesecakes and tarts. Stupid free samples got me again! The next thing you know I have a pear cabernet tart in my cart! It is two pounds and cost 16.99 I think. The people peddling the wares were saying the cheesecakes and tarts normally go for thirty five beans. The tart is really delicious and the sample didn't even do it justice, it is even better once you get your fork into a whole piece. The slices are going down way too quickly as they are light and delicate but if I don't go easy my scale will notice. Not sure whether I should ban myself from Costco til Christmas week or go back next sunday and try to snag a different flavor if the people from David's return. Anyone else score one of these beauties?

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                No. But I am really jealous right now!

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  WOW! GMC, you went from being a doubter to being an old hand at Costco in about 7 weeks.

                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    It's true! It's true! I knew my fellow hounds wouldn't steer me wrong! Thanks so much again. I even finally did get those mixed nuts open. :)

                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      You make a Hound so proud!

                                      1. re: crazyspice

                                        Ooowwwoooooooooo! :)

                                  2. re: givemecarbs

                                    David's Cookies is back just in time for Valentine's Day! They were there tonight and will be til sunday. They were packing it in early, around seven fifteen ish though. I wanted to try one of the saucy mini cakes but I can understand them not wanting to slice into them right before they left. Lots of cakes and tarts to sample and buy again! They recommend warming the chocolate chip cookie one. The pear cabernet tart is still nice and light, but this time I went for the chocolate truffle one. It is patiently waiting in my freezer now, I don't know if I can hold out til Valentine's Day!!!!!!

                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      Hey Carbs! I was there this afternoon and purchased the small cake sampler for an event we are having this weekend. I was very excited to see them there!

                                      1. re: crazyspice

                                        Awesome! Have you ever tried them? They look sooo good!

                                        1. re: givemecarbs

                                          No. They had all their desserts out for sampling, but I had just finished lunch and couldn't even think about eating anything. Not being a big sweets eater, I will say, they all looked fabulous and I can't wait to serve them.

                                          1. re: crazyspice

                                            Davids Cookies the Costco road show dates on their website. Next time for North Wales/Montgomeryville is May 26- 31. BTW Chocolate chip deep dish cookie pie rocks when warm..mmmm. Here's the site:

                                            http://www.davidscookiescorp.com/

                                  3. Love that Cosco:
                                    Duck - it's 1/2 precooked, I finish it outside on the barbee grill
                                    A few great cheeses - cheap - we're hooked on Irish cheddar
                                    Rack of Lamb - goes on the barbee next to the duck. An easy way to entertain.
                                    Kirkland virgin olive oil - seasonal. I hope it returns in the Spring.
                                    Great breads from Canada.
                                    The French and Italian breads are pretty good.
                                    Frozen shrimp are first-rate.
                                    Pelligrino is $9.99/case.
                                    ... and lots more

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: alanalan

                                      Pellegrino is $9.99 a case - ON SALE! Regularly $12.89! When it's on sale, I buy four, which is like "Buy 3, Get One Free"! I'll agree on the breads and the cheese. Also, like the seafood kiosk that shows up occasionally - good clams and mussels.

                                    2. Woe is me! I've looked three times and I cannot find the uncooked flour tortillas people keep raving about at those other Costcos. Please tell me our costco has them and I just keep getting mesmerized by the bakery section! Yummy tortillas where are you????

                                      1. I've been a member for YEARS...the meats are excellent, baked goods are excellent, produce is good-excellent (depending on time of year), packaged & frozen foods ROCK....I give it a 2 thumbs up!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tomkeith

                                          Great Prime New York strip boneless steaks $10.99/pound. Much better than the common "Choice" grade - which is most of their beef. Now if I could only presuade them to leave the bone on ...

                                          1. re: alanalan

                                            If you are able to accomplish that, there would be many grateful Hounds!

                                        2. Saw boxes of meyer lemons at Costco today. 6.99 for a box and right next to the other lemons.

                                          1. David's Cookies is there, now thru sunday and they have a new pineapple cheesecake torte that is very good. I got that and also the chocolate truffle cheesecake that I simply cannot resist.