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Sep 1, 2009 04:38 PM

*Anti-Foodie thread warning* For COSTCO shoppers....

I know that this is the very antithesis of foodie but I have a question.

I don't have a COSTCO membership however I'll be needing to stock up on some things soon and wanted to know:

1) Do you absolutely need the membership to shop there or can you just walk in? Is there a one-time visit fee?

2) If you've ever happened to buy cereal in bulk from there, at how much would you estimate a 12-pack of Special K (Vanilla, haha)?

I know that one is a bit random but I know of a website that sells them for 55$ US and I'm trying to decide which would be the best offer?

*Bonus round: An estimate on Grand Pre Milk packs?

A HUGE thanks in advance for any answer to this esoteric inquiry! ;D

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  1. I'm not entirely sure about this but I think you can shop at Costco without a card if you pay an extra charge of something like 5% on your bill.

    However, Costco isn't your best option for cereal or UHT milk in bulk. They don't really sell cereal that way, anyway. They sell larger formats that often come out to two regular boxes.

    The places where you can get that stuff by the case are the bulk and cash & carry stores like Aubut, Mayrand, and Presto. I don't know if Provigo Club Entrepot sells those things by the case, but it's certainly worth looking into as well.

    Presto Les Entrepôts‎
    5400 Henri Julien
    (514) 279-1408‎

    15 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Dunno about that: I tried to pay a visit to the Marche Centrale Costco within the last 6 months or so, just to look around & see if a membership would be a good fit for my small household. They wouldn't even LET ME IN without buying the card first.

      (But then again, I made the mistake of asking the greeter if this would be okay, instead of just waltzing in like I belonged there...YMMV) ;-)

      1. re: anachemia

        Like I said, I'm not 100% sure. You might need to be accompanied by a member to get in, though.

        1. re: anachemia

          I know what you mean about being barred entrance. I just wanted to go and eat some hot dogs at the costco in marche central and i ended up having to explain myself to two greeters before they let me in.

          1. re: blond_america

            Woah, this is a lot of great information! Thanks!

            I looked up the websites you linked up and Aubut would seem like the best option for me; Bulk buy, accessible (near Atwater, correct) and the prices seem good.

            Do you have any experience with it? Price-wise is it really a real saving (cereal and milk-wise, haha)?

            1. re: BoomerKid

              Costco really isn't your best best for a lot of things. Whenever stuff is in shipping crate quantities, it might seem like a good deal, but Costco's food prices are pretty high on most items.
              Reggiano and Padano are good deals there, as are the lactase pills to go with them (my favourite duo at Costco)
              Cereal is cheaper in the regular supermarkets.
              Tuna, despite coming in massive quantities, is way overpriced.
              Tofu is pretty cheap.
              I can't compare prices on most processed foods, because we hardly buy any.
              If I didn't have lactose intolerance and didn't need to buy lactase enzyme, we wouldn't bother with Costco. That pays for the membership.

              We finally went into Aubut and spent about half an hour checking things out. Really not at all impressed, pricewise. Not at all. On pretty much anything we looked at.

              1. re: bomobob

                What wholesale places do you go to that are cheaper than Aubut?

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  SnackHapppy are you generally happy with the prices at Aubut?

                  I checked their website, they're near a metro and and have no Membership/entrance fee. That's perfect for me.

                  BUT how do you find the prices there? Especially on these goods?

                  Thanks in advance!

                  1. re: BoomerKid

                    I've never bought cereal or milk in bulk there, so I can't say. As far as buying other items in bulk I'm fine with their prices, but I haven't compared thoroughly with all the other places. Their prices for retail items are on par with most supermarkets, but you save money when you purchase by the case or in larger formats.

                2. re: bomobob

                  You'd better check the supply of the Kirkland lactase pills at your Costco.

                  I went to the one in Burbank, CA yesterday and they were out and only had the LACTAID® brand, 90 tablets for $15.99. I went to the Los Feliz , Los Angeles store and they only had 6 boxes left ($14.99 for 180 tablets) so I bought two boxes.
                  Plenty of the LACTAID® brand. I asked the pharmacist if they were discontinuing the Kirkland brand and he said he wasn't sure, but if there was a star on the price sign the item is going to be discontinued, but I didn't see one. Just strange since they always have plenty of the Kirkland brand.
                  Let me know if you find something out.

                  1. re: monku

                    Update on Kirkland Lactase pills.
                    Went to the Alhambra, CA Costco this morning and they had a new package design for the Kirkland Lactase pills. Same price and 180 tablets for $14.99.

                1. re: blond_america

                  "Greeters", ha! Sound more like bouncers to me.

                2. re: anachemia

                  Same happened to me. Vowed never to come back. I usually get to drive thar before I buy it.

                3. re: SnackHappy

                  Does anyone know whether aubut carries Barry chocolate boxes? i usually buy them at Mayrand, but this place is a lot closer to me.

                  this is what i usually get.


                  Or if you know of anyone selling this closer to verdun where i live, i would appreciate it.

                  1. re: hala

                    Yes, I believe Aubut does carry what you need from Cacao Barry. I haven't bought, so I cannot comment on the price.

                4. You might be able to slip in through the front door, but you won't be able to make any purchases unless you have a current membership card.

                  You can always buy a membership, buy your stuff and then say you were disappointed with the membership and they'll refund your membership fee in full, no questions asked. Maybe wait a week until you go back and get a refund on your membership.

                  1. I haven't tried this but I heard that if you ask someone with a Costco membership to buy you a Costco gift card, then you'd be able to buy groceries (even without a membership card)

                    1. You could try just walking in, looking confident and saying "my spouse is already in there, and he/she has the only membership card" - they'd probably let you slip in, so you could check out prices. Alternately, you could head to the "food court" area directly, instead of into the store itself, and sneak in to the store that way. Either way, I don't think they'll let you buy anything, but at least you could check out prices.
                      For me, savings on big-ticket items like car tires make a membership more than worthwhile. For something like a one-time cereal purchase, probably not...