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Why do you continue shopping at CostCo? I am underwhelmed. What do you appreciate about the warehouse store?

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We've had a membership for years-dropped it a few times and picked up Sams but Sams does absolutely nothing for me so hubby goes to CostCo again for new membership.

Our DD adores CostCo.

What do you buy there? Why do I need to shop there and for what things? Is it the dairy the deli, the coffee or meats? Do you really save money going there?

It's like Grocery Outlet or Trader Joe's-some shop there and love it for particular things, while others don't even wonder in.

What's so great about shopping at CostCo besides bulk?

  1. For me, the savings on alcohol and wine alone is enough to justify the annual fee ...

    40 Replies
    1. re: hawkeyeui93

      Unfortunately, grocery stores aren't allowed to sell alcohol in PA, so that doesn't help me. I think Costco is best if you have a large family and big grocery bills.

      1. re: danbuter

        danbuter, I think I agree with you. I used to shop there when we first got one in our area and hubby bought a membership. he was excited for me/us to shop there and thought we'd save big time on grocery bills. BUT..... > I was the coupon queen at the time and save usually about 75% off of our supermarket bills. I never came close to any kind of saving at CostCo and he finally said after checking out how much I'd spent at a jaunt there, you save so much more using coupons. I bleated out no kidding, CostCo wasn't for me. Plus, loved the challenge of couponing just to see how much I'd end up paying for a $189 food bill.

        1. re: iL Divo

          That would be a fun cost comparison with like products or brand products to do, for anyone so inclined. Probably already has been done.

          Costco has quite a few coupons, but usually there is not much interest for me what they have to offer in the food department. I rarely use them.

          1. re: iL Divo

            did that myself.
            costco gives better quality, and less processed foods.
            no more pizza bites for me, even if they are free!

          2. re: danbuter

            I am a single mom of one 12 year old and I get a lot out of shopping at Costco. I have the executive membership ($110 this year) and receive just under $100 each year in my rebate check. I save between $0.07 and $0.15 a gallon on gas. Even if I never stepped foot inside the Costco I would more than pay for the membership in what I save on gas. I go into the store at least once a week. I buy everyday items like milk, bread, fruit, lettuce, fish. I save $1.50 per gallon of milk. That alone times 52 weeks is another $70+ in savings vs. the regular grocery store.

            I also buy lots of gifts there. They usually have some type of special flower like orchids or garden basket. It differs with the season. Bestselling books. I bought a pot set as a gift for my brother at Christmas. I did a ton of research before buying at Costco. I saved $50 and got two extra pans in the box.

            I saved $300 on tires. Now that's not every year but it is a huge savings. I searched the internet for tire prices and called 7 different area tire shops to get prices. The best part about buying tires at Costco is I can drop off my car before I shop and they rotate/balance (for free, of course) while I shop so I don't have to make a special trip to another tire place.

            They don't sell alcohol in Costco stores in MD so I don't benefit from that savings but when I travel to Virginia I do stop in a Costco there to stock up on wine. I guess I do benefit after all.

            Last year I bought a major brand (designer) of sunglasses. I only paid $52 for them. I did my research after I bought them and couldn't find them for less than $200 on the internet (even at discount shops).

            Last but not least - prescriptions! Do your research and you will find that Costco is the cheapest for prescriptions. I was paying $42 a month for a particular prescription (at Target). Target did a price check for me at $11 a month. I thought that was great. I decided to go directly to Costco to see their price. It turns out that $11 a month is for non-members. You do not have to be a member to get a prescription filled there, btw. My member price for that same item that was $42 a month at Target? Just $12...for a 3 month supply!! And it's not a generic drug. It is cheaper for me to pay outright for a drug at Costco than to go through my health insurance anywhere else.

            p.s. I am not a coupon shopper. That's too much of a hassle for me.

          3. re: hawkeyeui93

            For me, the savings on alcohol and wine alone is enough to justify the annual fee ...
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            You don't have to have a membership to buy alcohol at Costco.

            1. re: TraderJoe

              I'm under the impression that that varies by state.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Liquor laws are Federal so no variation on Alcohol in the USA.

                1. re: TraderJoe

                  That's not the case, states set their own laws. My state doesn't allow Costco or supermarkets to sell alcohol other than beer and wine coolers. Only licensed liquor stores can.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Same holds true in TX. There's a liquor store attached to Costcos in TX that have a separate entrance and are managed separately. They're also open to the public. You can still buy beer and wine in the actual Costco store.

                    1. re: agoodbite

                      That wouldn't fly in NYS. Serious bizniz, getting a license to sell liquor.

                      1. re: mcf

                        This is true about NYS liquor licensing. But I shop at two Costco stores here in Queens and the one in Astoria has a a liquor store next door that almost looks like it is part of Costco, although thanks to our state law, it is not. However, the prices there are VERY good compared with most liquor stores in the area and I stop in every time I visit Costco...and it really just feels like part of shopping at Costco. I lived on LI many years ago and if I recall correctly, the Costco in Westbury has a similar set-up with a privately owned liquor store attached to the Costco warehouse/store.

                        1. re: Justpaula

                          Yes, the Costco in Westbury (where I usually shop) does have a "warehouse" liquor store next to Costco. Very good prices on hard liquors, some wines, etc. Their selection of wine is not always great and varies weekly, but they do have some standard items (Coppola Claret, Veuve Cliquot, etc.) that are always in stock and always WAY cheaper than any other store. I didn't realize the Astoria location had one too - good to know. Maybe I can convince my husband to go there, armed with this info - for some reason he hates the Astoria Costco!

                          1. re: biondanonima

                            I live in Woodside, and always used to shop at the Astoria one because it was the closest. I still do from time to time, it always easy to park there and for a Costco, relatively small and easy to to shop in. Plus, sometimes I start out with a walk along the waterfront. I am sure it is has one of the best views of all the Costcos in the country - :) . However since the one in Rego Park opened, I find myself in that one more frequently. It is definitely is larger (which *sometimes* makes it more challenging) with a greater selection. I don't keep kosher, but is has a very large offering for those that do. I also find the staff more helpful at that one. Because of it's relatively small size, I guess I can understand why your husband may not like Astoria. Have you tried Rego Park? No liquor store there, though, but there is an Aldi which I will also stop at when I am there.

                            From years ago, I remember the one on Westbury as always being a little too instense for me. Then, about a year and half ago, I was at the dentist right near it, on Stewart Ave. (my MIL is a hygienist - that;'s why I go so far for dental). I drove over and even in the middle of the day, the middle of the week, that parking lot was SO crazy that I hauled ass out of there and back to Queens!

                            1. re: Justpaula

                              LOL, the one in Westbury is ALWAYS a nightmare. We usually go out there when we also need to go to Walmart and/or the mall, but since the Rego Park location opened I've been going there more and more - we live in Sunnyside, so it's much closer than Westbury - but of course no Walmart and only the Queens center Mall, which SUCKS. Where is the Aldi?

                              You're right about the Astoria one being on the small side - and you're probably right about DH hating it because of that. I think the prices are a little higher than elsewhere, too.

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                The Costco in Westbury is too crowded and the parking lot is awful. When we visited friends on LI we would go to the Farmingdale store. Much nicer than Westbury. Yes, a little further out, but we were going to Plainview anyway. And there is a TJ and Fairway in Plainview.

                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                  My usual Costco is Farmingdale, but I occasionally go to Westbury with MIL... it's definitely much more crowded, but not nearly the horror show that my single trip to a Brooklyn one was. Manageable, but not as pleasant as those farther east. Plainview Fairway is worse on weekends or week days until about 4 pm or so.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    Maybe the Westbury Fairway will take some load off the Plainview store. I'm sure the parking will be better in Westbury and it will be one of the new format stores, like Stamford, Paramus and Pelham, which are better with crowds.

                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                      Things could be worse. All your parking, along with all the best items in the store, could be overrun and bought up by them durn foreigners from the frozen North: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/15/a... ;-D>

                              2. re: Justpaula

                                Hah hah! That parking lot is not for the weak of heart. Getting there 5 minutes before opening is the only way to go. And just imagine what that whole Old Country Road/ Meadowbrook Parkway area will be like once the new Fairway and TJ's open - ugh!

                                1. re: EM23

                                  I didn't know a TJs and Fairway were opening - are they going in that new shopping complex just west of Walmart/Costco???? If so, I'm going to be a happy girl (except for the traffic, yikes!).

                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                    Be happy! TJ's is going in to the new complex you referred to and Fairway will open (reportedly in August) in the old Expo site on Corporate Drive.

                              3. re: biondanonima

                                Thanks for the info about wines... should have read further!

                                1. re: mcf

                                  LOL, I should have too - I just typed a more detailed answer to your question, having not seen this post!

                              4. re: Justpaula

                                Thanks, Paula, I've been to the Westbury store, have never noticed the liquor store. Good wine selection? I am in the area every Thurs.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  There is a Stew Leonard's liquor store over on Glen Cove Road with a much larger, and competitively priced, selection of wines. It is less than 5 minutes from Costco. The liquor store at Costco has good prices, but a much smaller selection.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    The liquor store (called Westbury Liquors) is right next to the Costco, to the right of the tire center if you're facing the building. The wine selection isn't terrible - they regularly carry several large national brands (Barefoot, Yellowtail, Bogle, etc.), plus a smaller selection of nicer wines in the $15-25 (which changes a bit, but there are certain things they always have, like the Coppola Claret, Veuve, etc.) and a small selection of expensive wines (like in the $60-100 range). They also have an everchanging selection of what I assume are overstocks from other stores, which are generally cheap but not always good. I have found some winners, but I've definitely bought some losers as well.

                                    The liquor selection is pretty standard and they only carry large-ish bottles, but the prices are excellent in comparison with my local liquor stores.

                          2. re: TraderJoe

                            This article shows the states where you can ask for an "Alcohol Pass" to go into the store. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04...
                            (AZ, CA, CT, DE, HI, IN, MA, MI, MN, NY, TX, VT

                            )

                            Liquor laws are NOT Federal.

                            1. re: Cathy

                              "Liquor laws are NOT Federal"

                              I stand corrected. I always thought only beer and wine varied by state in the sense that Costco could force you to buy a membership to purchase.

                              1. re: Cathy

                                The article is wrong in that in NY, alcohol (other than beer) cannot be sold in a store selling other things. No supermarket sales, no 7/11 sales, etc... - only liquor or wine stores. The only way around this is for the store to have a separate building/entrance and separate ownership.

                              2. re: TraderJoe

                                It is absolutely done by state. Massachusetts sets a limit on the number of grocery stores in a chain that can sell alcohol in the state. (I think it's currently 3 stores in a chain). This means that some Costco stores can sell it; others can't.

                                1. re: Isolda

                                  I agree ... In Iowa, the alcohol and wine are sold by Costco inside the store [and nestled between the bakery and meat counter] ...

                              3. re: CindyJ

                                Cindy, I think you're right. I must admit to buying Dom Perignon there a few times as gifts because it was a bit less per bottle.

                                But, another thing that gripes me no end is having to use a debit card or AE for either gas or the main store if I don't have enough cash. I don't know why that's their policy, oh well. And I can't use cash for gas. Very dumb.

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  It used to be cash or checks only inside the store, so they finally added the AMEX Credit Card and more recently, debit cards.

                                  I think it is *very* smart to not deal in cash at the gas station- no double checking membership, no employee dealing with needing to get/handle change for 32 vehicles constantly (vehicles leave as soon as pumping fuel is done) and (most of all) no cash to be stolen by a gun wielding thug.

                                  1. re: Cathy

                                    Cathy, before they exclusively took AMEX they exclusively took Discover. I got a Discover card years ago for that very reason.

                                    1. re: Arthur

                                      True. I forgot about Discover.

                                    2. re: Cathy

                                      gas stations have slots where you put the bills in. with CostCo they could have you put your card in (that way it's verified) then stick your cash in ($10's or a $20) or these days the monetary bill is a 'C' note :( even at CostCo.

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        I live 2 miles from "my" Costco. It is in an area of the country which has earthquakes, and also, a County which lost all electric power for more than 12 hours last summer.

                                        I fill my fuel tank before it is half empty, religiously. That means less than $20. I would want to fill my tank AND get change each time I fill up.

                                        Costco would have to employ four people instead of the two now working- one to give change, one to walk and check pumps and help with cards not working (as they do now), someone to give change-and get more change if necessary(the person who could get robbed) and someone to relieve each worker, the one relieving the one handling cash would have to cash in and cash out to balance and show no pilfering. The system, the way it is, works.

                                        You could purchase a Costco Cash card or several and use those at the gas station.

                                        1. re: Cathy

                                          Carhy I live on a fault line myself. $20 gets me about 4 gallons of gas which isn't close to half a tank.
                                          I don't understand what your post is about and don't need another card to carry around. all my point is I'd like to occasionally buy gas with cash.

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            My point is that cash businesses are victims of crime and Costco gas stations- outdoors away from the main building-would be targets for theft. The company is avoiding that possibility by not dealing with cash.

                                            My other point was that I don't just put in $10 or $20, I fill the tank.

                            2. A few of the things I can rely on being available at a fair market price with a minimum of driving around town:

                              OJ not from concentrate (in1/2 gal. containers that my 92-year-old mom can lift)
                              paper products
                              RX & food supplements
                              gas
                              See's candy gift certificates (good for a pound, not a dollar amount) that I can treat as chocolate futures
                              dental insurance for a family member

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                "not from concentrate"... you think they squeeze it all the year long? I buy the frozen stuff, which at least never tastes like tic-tacs.

                                1. re: Chowrin

                                  No,silly, I don 't think they squeeze year-round, but that's a different discussion.

                                  1. re: Chowrin

                                    "I buy the frozen stuff, which at least never tastes like tic-tacs"ahhahahahhaahh :)

                                  2. re: Stephanie Wong

                                    +1, to the max. Their meat and seafood are top of the line for this part of the world. Their vitamins and supplements are very good and well priced. They have seasonal stuff is sometimes fascinating.
                                    When possible I get my gas there. It's almost on the way home and the prices are among the lowest and the quality is good

                                    1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                      See's certificate...never seen it there or online?

                                      1. re: randyjl

                                        In the warehouse. Ask for them as what is displayed is letter-sized cardboard with a barcode, which is exchanged at the checkout for the actual See's gift certificates.

                                        1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                          They have them regularly at the stores in Western Washington - saw them today in Woodinville.

                                          1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                            Can you use them online or just in See's stores? LOVE See's!!

                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                              Just in the stores.

                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                From the FAQ section of sees.com:

                                                "Can I redeem See's paper Gift Certificates on sees.com?

                                                Unfortunately we are not able to redeem Gift Certificates via our web site. Gift Certificates can be redeemed through our Mail Order Department by calling 1-800-347-7337. Please advise the Customer Service Representative that you have a Gift Certificate. The Gift Certificate and a check for postage and handling can be mailed to:
                                                See's Candies, Attn: Cecile Young,
                                                P. O. Box 93025,
                                                Long Beach, CA, 90809-3025
                                                Once the gift certificate is received we will ship the candy."

                                                jbsiegel, are you located in a store-free area?

                                                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                                  Unfortunately, yes...See's store-free!

                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                    Check your local shopping mall. We're also See's-free, but a mall near us has a limited selection in a kiosk where I can go for a nuts and chews fix.

                                            2. re: randyjl

                                              I've never knows See's candy certs are there either.

                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                With all the giftcards. I see the See's cards around Christmas, not all year.

                                              2. re: randyjl

                                                I'm guessing the See's certs are regional. We have certs in Minnesota that are for local restaurants.

                                                1. re: randyjl

                                                  I'm in California & have purchased them in Northern & Central California warehouses.

                                              3. Their meats are of higher quality than what I can get in my neighborhood, at about half the price. Cheeses, nuts, milk and eggs as well. They have very good prices on household products (I buy paper towels, TP, tampons, razor blades, OTC medications, vitamins, laundry and cleaning supplies there), especially with coupons.

                                                There are also a few things I can only find at Costco - Nina brand San Marzano tomatoes, for instance (at an incredibly low price, too). Two pounds of Brussels sprouts for $4. Amylu brand chicken sausages. Flap meat. The list goes on.

                                                Add in the fact that the Costco Amex (available only to Executive members) is the best rewards credit card I have, and I am a major fan of Costco.

                                                1. They are renowned for their choice beef. if you ever make stew...roast...brisket...
                                                  I get good deals on root veggies.
                                                  Also, they price fairly -- their price for olives changes as the year goes on.

                                                  1. Usually sometime in the Fall, they get in containers of vanilla beans. Two vials with about six or seven beans apiece for very low price. Can't vouch for the quality, but I'll sacrifice a bit for the savings.

                                                    1. Cambazola, Balderson Cheddar, Chevre, canned tomatoes, Annie's Mac + Cheese, liquid Ivory Snow, magazines + paper towels.

                                                      1. Hands down better for staples - toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, Kleenex -- stuff you buy all the time.

                                                        I used to buy all the team refreshments there when I was a team mom (baseball, football, soccer) -- fruit, Gatorade, bottled water -- saved a ton of money.

                                                        Suggest you take a day when you've got some time. Wander the aisles. Compare the prices *and* the quality to what you ordinarily buy. You'll see pretty quickly what the moneysavers are, or where you get higher quality for the same price. (Stilton cheese at Christmas, anyone? Oh, yum)

                                                        But the stuff *I* liked and bought when I had a Costco aren't going to be the same products you like or buy -- so there's really no way to give you a definitive list.

                                                        1. I'm buying less and less at Costco. Staples have gone way up in price. I now have to be very careful. Laundry detergent even when on sale at Costco is now more $$ than the local stores for the same brand as are many of their items now. I do like the convenience of buying in bulk as it saves trips to the store.
                                                          Choice meat is choice meat. Fish at Costco has taken a nose dive. No more AK scallops, the pond raised Salmon is much different from just a few years back.
                                                          I have made a couple of good scores on Prime all natural sub-primal NY strips this year.
                                                          Costco also jacked membership prices 10% this year. I think we're really feeling the changes from the new CEO.
                                                          Membership is still worth buying for us but our savings have dwindled substantially.
                                                          The days of the hassle free return seem to be gone here and at times I really get tired of the thugs in the check out seeing how hard they can toss my items in the cart.

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: TraderJoe

                                                            "I really get tired of the thugs in the check out seeing how hard they can toss my items in the cart."

                                                            What's that all about, I've wondered. Do some love to throw/bruise produce that is vulnerable? The last time, I SMILED and asked not to throw my produce, I was snapped and with "I've worked here long enough to know not to throw produce." Snarling Queen of Mean - luckily I can walk away and let spouse do the check out.
                                                            These are usually new people that are from where? I don't know, but they aren't the 'regular' checkout people in my area.

                                                            I noticed another boxing out person of your description yesterday - it was not pleasant. in the past I have avoided some of these people when going through the line, and from now on, I think I'll just let spouse go through the line.

                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                              The cart thugs seem to vary by location. In my area we have multiple locations. The one I shop at most often even the regulars seem to make a game out of smash the groceries. I bought a case of Bells a few weeks ago and they tossed it in the cart so hard it broke several bottles. LOL
                                                              The other store I frequent is very good about not doing this and when I've returned big ticket items to that store I've even received a phone call to make sure my return went smooth.
                                                              My best guess is that it's the store manager that makes the difference.

                                                              BTW I really love the Kirkland estate EVOO.
                                                              I really hate some of the slick marketing.
                                                              A good example is the Spanish Saffron. Costco went from packing five grams in a bottle to one gram but they kept the price and the package/bottle the same. Grrrrrrrr
                                                              I also miss the organic peanut butter!

                                                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                This definitely varies by location - I've never had anyone throw anything in my cart. In fact, the people who pack the carts at the locations I frequent (Westbury and Rego Park, NY) are extremely efficient and seem to know just what order to pack things so that the fragile stuff (eggs, etc.) end up on top, etc. They also allow you to leave heavy things (like cases of beer and water) in your cart and just use the scanner gun to scan the price.

                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                  Wow - I agree. All of the cashiers & baggers at the Costco locations around here (& we visit several) are really polite & really careful with the purchases. When we bought our huge-screen tv, they went out of their way to safely get it into our vehicle, & were very pleasant & funny while doing it.

                                                                  I'd complain to customer service at your location if I were you, rather than bash the whole conglomerate because of one bad egg.

                                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                    The only rough handling I ever saw was a carton of really ripe raspberries that the dummy stuck in the box sideways and squished half of them.

                                                                  2. re: biondanonima

                                                                    I'm in metro Detroit and have never had a poor employee experience at Costco.

                                                                  3. re: TraderJoe

                                                                    Yes, miss that organic peanut butter, and the almond butter in glass jars.
                                                                    Buy each year the Kirkland EVOO.

                                                                    1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                      Bells - I take it you are in the Great Lakes region? I hope you caught that before you got out of the store.

                                                                      In the San Diego, you'd almost never see that. If they had a cart guy break an alcohol bottle, I suspect he'd be shifted to trash duty, or out the door, tout de suite.

                                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                                        Bells - I take it you are in the Great Lakes region? I hope you caught that before you got out of the store.
                                                                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                        Yup and no I didn't catch it until I saw them leaking over every thing right after exiting. It was a major hassle returning but the laws make that pretty tough on the store so I can't fault them for that. It didn't help any that Bells skipped the six pack carriers in the 12 packs so its just 12 loose bottles in each box.
                                                                        @ The poster who's a little worried about bashing. Yes I've talked to the manager at the store. It's been that way at that one store for years and the conglomerate owns that egg.
                                                                        The other local store we go to is night and day different but it's a bit further and in the opposite direction of where we normally shop.

                                                                    2. re: Rella

                                                                      I have a different experience. I've shopped at Costco for years, both in California and Pennsylvania/D.C. area. I always find people working at Costco extremely pleasant to deal with, and they all seem to be in a general good mood. Makes me want to work for Costco. They never rough handles my produce - and I buy a lot of fresh produce from Costco.

                                                                  4. We buy a few food items there, but for us the paper goods and dishwasher detergent are reasons for visiting. I like having rolls of tp, paper towels and napkins in the house. We have bought electric toothbrush replacement brushes there, and a few other items.

                                                                    I like the frozen salmon burgers, some of the coffee, the tuna, some of the fresh stuff out of the cold room, and that's about it for food. I won't spend the $ for the large packs of meat. I prefer reduced fat cheese to full fat most of the time. Most of the frozen stuff is too processed for me. So, I don't buy all that much food there. We visit only every other month or so. So its a tossup whether it is worth it.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                      I agree with much of what sueatmo says. I have a basement and even though I think I could beat Costco's prices on paper towels/TP/dishwasher detergent if I shopped judiciously, I'm much happier buying it in bulk and not having to deal with it for a couple of months

                                                                      Foodwise, the Kirkland tuna is the best canned tuna I can find at any price. They have Tillamook cheese ridiculously cheap compared to what it is at any other store. Big jar of Garden Fresh salsa at close to the same price the tiny tub is at other grocers. San Pelligrino lemon and orange soda at half the price.

                                                                      I

                                                                    2. For me, it's not about bulk but, rather 'unit cost' for the quality of their products. You'll be surprised the price difference from regular super markets. I also save .10 per gallon on gas. Over the years, I have purchased computers, tv's, tires, small appliances etc and saved hundreds. That's money in my pocket for other uses.

                                                                      So what are you underwhelmed about?

                                                                      1. All for the reasons above, but I think they just have some interesting things. Things I've never tried before.

                                                                        1. Cameras, gas, booze.

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: gordeaux

                                                                            Same here and MUCH more, but there are times I get a little peeved instead of just being glad they've had a certain something for years and years and years. Case in point: I've bought organic carrots there for years; yesterday they said they'ved deleted 'organic' carrots and now only have conventional - just when I was thinking that they were getting more and more organic produce for me to purchase. Oh, well, Costco produce is not my main squeeze - I mean my main purchase. Yesterday - a new camera.

                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                              Costco is really cutting back on the organic products here as well. The biggest pain is when you really like a product and they stop carrying it. The Organic carrots were a bargain.

                                                                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                i noticed that as well - i was so disappointed to discover they had switched over to conventional carrots! i really hope they keep the organic spinach & lettuces.

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  Costco in Bay Area has organic carrots. It's definitely by area, as I know for example that the ones in the East Coast carries Organic evaporated cane sugar for a great price, but can't find any in California's location. I'm always annoyed to find great brand-name products getting pulled and then being replaced with Kirkland brand - which has the same ingredients and maybe standards, but the taste is not the same.

                                                                                  I generally get gas at Costco, artisan lettuces, avocado (not a great price anymore), garlic, onion, raw shrimps - they are the best for what they charge, organic chicken, racks of lamb, breads, rotisserie chicken, olive oils, spices, compostable plates and utensils, carbonated water, smoked salmon, limes, bulk baking soda, batteries, shampoos, cetaphil lotion and cleansers, toilet paper, "better than bouillon" soup bases, organic chicken stock, Cheerios, Ling LIng potstickers, ... I try to get most items when they have coupons or rebates.

                                                                                  What IL Divo said is correct regarding the savings though - if you have the patience to collect and use coupons, as well as monitor week to week ads from your local grocery stores, your savings will far exceed what you would typically save from buying at Costco. I just happen to not have the patience, so Costco is my one stop shop, I can get almost everything I need for my household in one place, less time driving & hunting around. I like their customer service so I'm their loyal customer. Their return policy is just awesome, they try very hard to make you happy. One time my friend's newly bought GPS was wrecked by the airline because they forced her to check-in instead of having it as a carry-on. She was so bummed she tried her luck by talking to Costco, they replaced it for her no question asked.

                                                                                2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                  The organic carrots are still available in the Costco stores in Kirkland and Woodinville Washington and if anything there is an increase in the organic produce being carried.

                                                                                3. re: Rella

                                                                                  My Costco always has organic carrots.

                                                                                  1. re: cstr

                                                                                    Yes, mine did, too - for years. No more now. I did buy them at another grocery, though at a higher price.

                                                                                    I believe the little tiny carrots are organic, but I don't buy them because they seem slick, for some reason, and the rinse water is not clear.

                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                      nope. the baby carrots are conventional now too.

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        Wonder what else will go that way of strictly conventional. I thought Costco was tilting the way of organic. I did go to my local Giant/Martins and bought organic full-grown carrots.

                                                                                        Wegman's in the area of Gainesville, VA does carry some organic, but it is hit-and-miss with veggies. I recall Whole Foods used to be 'about' available organic produce, but I have not gone there for sometime until a week or so ago when I went just for entertainment (Fairfax), having a good time in their coffee department - there is none like their coffee department and their wine (upstairs by the ordered glass, priced by the glass). Whole Foods, that day, there was a woman who has lived and worked in the Amazon; she was demonstrating a chocolate (quite, quite expensive) and so good. Later that day, I did a youtube search and there she was in the Amazon. Fun stuff.

                                                                                        But back to new demonstrations at Costco, I love them. For example, the demonstraiton of Gunther-Wilhelm knives hooked me in for a couple; even though I do have Shun knives and a few other name-brands.

                                                                                        Who could not, if even not purchasing these knives, home equipment, etc. not love Costco for that. They are still the best, IMO.

                                                                                4. re: gordeaux

                                                                                  husband has bought a few HD TV's there. forgot.
                                                                                  we used to buy giant bags of dog food there but now only one huge dog, I'm ok with local Von's.

                                                                                5. Swim suits (for lap swimming), See's candy certificates, TP, frozen organic blueberries.

                                                                                  1. A week before Easter I traveled 270 miles to St,Louis for my Costco fix, I do this 2 to 3 times a year we are not privy to Costco's here in Harrison,Ar, and none in Springfield,Mo, which Sam's Club making sure that they don't build in Springfield,makes our life harder but none the less doe's not stop us from going to Costco.
                                                                                    Anyhow we usually stock up on Kirkland Columbian coffee,steak's plus whatever meat's that look good,we alway's take a cooler,of course the baked chicken usually we buy 3 then freeze some of it,anyhow what I'm getting at the specials they have for the Holidays are fantasic.
                                                                                    On the way home we alway's stop at Sam's to fill up on gas,this time though we decided to go in, to check out the Easter special's TRUST ME not one easter special,even noticed that they raised the price of the chicken by one dollar, don't like their chicken anyhow, just the I'dea though.
                                                                                    You all Don't know how lucky you are to have A Costco near you,as for me lookind forward to my trip to Kansas Costco in July.

                                                                                    1. Cheeses, organic mixed baby greens, Australian lamb and organic chicken from Coleman, frozen scallops, cases of V8, pesto, computer printers, lawn chairs, patio plants and perennials and bulbs, household paper and laundry staples, organic canned tomatoes, fresh flowers (though I like Trader Joe's better), toiletries... and more cheeses.

                                                                                      1. paper products
                                                                                        wine & booze
                                                                                        organic eggs
                                                                                        organic spinach
                                                                                        green tea bags
                                                                                        Saigon cinnamon
                                                                                        Kirkland HE laundry detergent
                                                                                        Cascade dishwasher packs
                                                                                        trash bags
                                                                                        dental floss
                                                                                        replacement prescription eyeglass lenses
                                                                                        Swiffer refills
                                                                                        certain nutritional supplements

                                                                                        i'd be spending A LOT more on all those items if purchased elsewhere. i don't buy much food at Costco, but everything else absolutely makes the price of membership (and the annoyance of navigating the store) worthwhile.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          I know it's from another thread but their Kirkland Albacore is the best canned I've found anywhere. I still have 4 cans that I am happy to see in the pantry.

                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                            i've heard the Kirkland is good, but since the cans aren't BPA-free i won't buy it (do they even offer a no- or low-salt variety?).

                                                                                            i'll stick with Trader Joe's unless Costco has the Wild Planet without salt. thanks for the suggestion, though!

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              "i'll stick with Trader Joe's unless Costco has the Wild Planet without salt"

                                                                                              Ohhhh I goota try that! Love the TJ's Organic crunchy salt free PB as well.

                                                                                        2. Food items:
                                                                                          - yogurt (regular and greek)
                                                                                          - beef
                                                                                          - chicken
                                                                                          - eggs

                                                                                          Non-food items:
                                                                                          - gas
                                                                                          - tires
                                                                                          - electronics (lifetime warranty is hard to beat)

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            "electronics (lifetime warranty is hard to beat)"

                                                                                            Costco no longer has a lifetime return policy on electronics and there never was a life time warranty AFAIK. Their return policy changed a few years ago. Ninety day returns now and only select electronics get a two year warranty.

                                                                                            1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                              The 90-day return policy only applies to televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touch screen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones. That is a lot of stuff but it's far from all of the electronics merchandise sold by Costco, and every other item in the store has no time limit for returns.

                                                                                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                From the beginning, it was a lifetime return policy. Then people abused it and began returning computers, cameras and televisions when newer models came out.

                                                                                                The policy still is 'guaranteed satisfaction on every item we sell with a full refund' http://shop.costco.com/Customer-Servi... other than the aforementioned electronics

                                                                                                1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                  Yes, thank you to both Arthur and Cathy for the clarification.

                                                                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                    "From the beginning, it was a lifetime return policy. Then people abused it and began returning computers, cameras and televisions when newer models came out."

                                                                                                    Here the sales people at Costco encouraged people to buy cameras for vacation and use them or return them when new models came out. Costco touted that as a membership perk so I don't think we can call it abuse really.

                                                                                                    90 days is still a great return policy for electronics and I was thankful for it last year when a new flat panel TV died after 85 days. No other store I can think of would have given me a return. The 1 time price match is nice as well and I got $200 back on the TV I replaced the defective one with when Costco had a price drop.

                                                                                                    1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                      much of the abuse was focused on tv returns after the super bowl game.

                                                                                                      1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                        your store seems to have exceptionally poor service. may I ask where it is?

                                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                          "your store seems to have exceptionally poor service"

                                                                                                          Whooosh. Lost me there. Return and price drop policies don't change from store to store AFAIK. ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                            I think it should be obvious to all but the most gullible, naive or opportunistic person that this couldn't possibly have been the official policy of Costco ["encouraged people to buy cameras for vacation and use them or return them when new models came out. Costco touted that as a membership perk "], but just some greedy unscrupulous employees -- I'll take a wild guess here and say they were likely in Northeastern US area stores -- who were just trying to up their sales.

                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                              "I'll take a wild guess here and say they were likely in Northeastern US area stores "
                                                                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                              Saw that happen in stores from NY to HI so it was pretty widespread at one point. I do agree it was wrong on some level but people hear what they want to hear and ultimately Costco is responsible for their employees. If people are encouraged to abuse the system they will.
                                                                                                              Last week when I was shopping there was a woman returning a cart of groceries with each item half gone. Looked like some one had an office party and was "unhappy" with every thing they bought.....or every thing that wasn't 100% consumed.

                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                Exactly, it was not Costco policy to be the new rent a center for free.

                                                                                                                regardless of the claims that employees encouraged people to buy, use and then return for a new model my own morality would not allow for me to do that.

                                                                                                          2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                            Electronics and tires at Costco is getting a little far afield for Chowhound -- we'd ask that people please let these subthreads go.

                                                                                                    2. A tire purchase alone can justify the cost of membership. I just bought a set of Bridgestone Ecopias for my Prius for $388.00, installed including CA sales tax with their coupon promotion of $70.00 off. The best local competitive price was $580.00.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Brooks

                                                                                                        Another bonus with a Costco membership is the complimentary "tire service" if you happen to hit a nail or something. I took the vehicle in to their tire bay center to have a leak fixed...No charge for the repair. The tires weren't even purchased at Costco...they were the car's original.
                                                                                                        It sure helped me out on a Sunday morning. Who knew?

                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Brooks

                                                                                                          The guys that rotate and balance my tires at the Costco here do a much better job than the dealership and it's free if you buy your tires at Costco. Very nice indeed. I'm really glad Costco started to carry Bridgestone again.

                                                                                                        2. We're hard-core long-time Costco regulars - like from back in the days when it was called "Price Club". Have yet to purchase anything from their own "Kirkland" brand line that hasn't been excellent.

                                                                                                          Items we buy regularly & from nowhere else:

                                                                                                          Kirkland Brand toilet paper
                                                                                                          Kirkland Brand paper towels
                                                                                                          Scoopaway cat litter
                                                                                                          Kirkland Brand marinated artichoke hearts - gallon jar
                                                                                                          Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil by the gallon
                                                                                                          Various nuts, some Kirkland brand - pistachios, cashews, mixed nuts
                                                                                                          Kirkland Brand various dried fruit & "trail" mixes
                                                                                                          Large bags of dried Shitake mushrooms
                                                                                                          Contact lenses

                                                                                                          Items we buy frequently or when we have a taste for them:

                                                                                                          Kirkland Brand Marinara Sauce - 3 quart-size jars to a package
                                                                                                          Castella Brand "Greek Meze" - a quart of pitted green & Kalamata olives with pepperoncini peppers & feta cheese in a nicely-seasoned oil marinade
                                                                                                          Various fresh cheeses
                                                                                                          Various fresh pastas
                                                                                                          Gold's Brand cocktail sauce - quart jar
                                                                                                          Various frozen ravioli (there's a brand filled with spinach & parmesan that's fabulous!)
                                                                                                          Various frozen potsticker dumplings
                                                                                                          Various frozen snack/appetizer-type items - nice to have on hand, & all have been good
                                                                                                          Fresh "take-home-&-bake" pizzas
                                                                                                          Fresh whole rotisserie chickens - their own rotisserie chickens are the best of any I've tried from local markets. Crisp-skinned, moist/juicy, & flavorful.
                                                                                                          5-pound sacks of multicolored (blue,yellow,red) tiny baby new potatoes at nearly the same price I pay for a 1-pound bag at the supermarket
                                                                                                          Avocados
                                                                                                          Various fresh fruit

                                                                                                          Once in awhile purchases:

                                                                                                          Books
                                                                                                          DVDs
                                                                                                          CDs
                                                                                                          Jeans & other casual clothing
                                                                                                          Small appliances (rice cooker, Keurig coffeemaker, pasta machine, indoor rotisserie, etc., etc. Our Panasonic microwave came from "Price Club" back in 1994 & is still going strong!)
                                                                                                          House & garden plants
                                                                                                          Fresh flowers (long-stem roses are always available in a number of colors - not just "red" - & normally last at least a week & a half!!)
                                                                                                          Wine

                                                                                                          Oh, & we also got our gorgeous huge-screen tv there at a steal of a price. In fact, I'd have to say that probably 99% of the electrical/audio/video equipment in our home came from Costco.

                                                                                                          Since they're always adding new items, we're always finding new favorites, so it's hard to remember everything, but I'm guessing you can tell that we're big fans. :)

                                                                                                          Oh - & it's just the two of us, yet surprisingly enough - NOTHING goes to waste.

                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                            I used to buy cook books at Costco - haven't in months now -- Their cook books on the table is now very sparese - at several of the Costco locations. A disappointment. Now and then I will find a DVD/Blue-Ray or a set of videos, but not often do I find anything of interest in both departments.

                                                                                                            In my store in Winchester, the red wine selection in the $15-30 range is IMO overwhelmingly California wines. (Not good for those who like a broader selection.)

                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                              cook books, in general, are on the downslide cause of free recipes online.

                                                                                                              1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                Even at Costco, the many good cookbooks that are selling 'retail' $35-$40 are being sold in the price of lower $20's. Of course, if they don't carry any, I just can't buy any.

                                                                                                                Last week as I was commenting about Costco's lack of cookbooks to my husband, a guy across the table said, "I guess they don't think people read anymore." Their loss.

                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                  REALITY CHECK: It's Costco, not Barnes & Noble.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Arthur

                                                                                                                    Yes, you are correct. It is not a speciality store.
                                                                                                                    They should have less selections for books, wine, etc.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Rella

                                                                                                                    There are/will be plenty of cookbooks for sale starting in November- for use as Christmas gifts.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                      I have noticed a shrinking of the book section at our local Costco (Chantilly VA), but they give the book buyers plenty of space in the Costco Connection magazine.

                                                                                                                2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                  wow Bacardi, you ought to be a spokesman. which is precisely why I asked. appreciate your input.

                                                                                                                3. costco ice cream. (vanilla and their new caramel). insanely good (I think it's haagen dazs's factory, judging by the calorie count)

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                    OH YES. I forgot to mention the Kirkland ice cream - it's one of my favorite Costco products. Better than Haagen Dazs, in my opinion, and only $10 for two half-gallon containers - a steal. I'll have to try the new caramel flavor soon!

                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                      Report back, please. I've been gazing at this for a couple of months now. I don't often buy the Kirkland ice cream because it is so good that we just can't quit eating until it is gone!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                        I'll give it a hearty recommendation! we have liked it so well, we have gotten it twice (a full gallon) since it's been out. and there's only two of us!

                                                                                                                    2. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                      I refuse to believe the vanilla is made by HD because it's 10x better.

                                                                                                                      1. re: azveggieguy

                                                                                                                        Agreed - I think they make it in a crack den, because it is truly that addictive.

                                                                                                                    3. We make back our annual fee in cornflakes. We can sometimes find them at the grocery store, in very small boxes at very high prices. For the same price as a small box at a regular store, we can get a jumbo pack at Costco.

                                                                                                                      For me, Costco is a place where I can get stuff that I can't get affordably elsewhere -coffee beans, canned tomatoes, Western style sausages, bacon, breakfast cereal, olive oil, large jugs of vinegar, some types of cheese, tortillas, frozen berries, lamb. Plus, as we take a cab home after a Costco run, it's convenient for stuff like dish and laundry detergent.

                                                                                                                      And I've bought a few one-off items, like a bread maker, and a sewing machine. It's also a good place for single malt scotch at a reasonable price, and sometimes they have good beer.

                                                                                                                      I rarely buy the fresh stuff - it comes in sizes too large for two people. And I don't even look at the pre-prepared stuff, as we don't have much freezer space, and don't really eat that sort of thing anyways.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                        Organic eggs
                                                                                                                        Bags f raw walnuts and pecans
                                                                                                                        Bags of baby carrots
                                                                                                                        Lots of vegetarian cheese
                                                                                                                        Canned salmon
                                                                                                                        Bread
                                                                                                                        Oatmeal
                                                                                                                        Toilet paper
                                                                                                                        Paper towels
                                                                                                                        Printer ink
                                                                                                                        Cat food, wet and dry
                                                                                                                        Batteries

                                                                                                                        My friend gt me hooked. Now I'm a huge fan of the store!

                                                                                                                      2. I bought a set of tires last year ($70 off) – best deal after searching online for a better price. That alone covered my membership fee for 2011.
                                                                                                                        From late May through October I stop in every week or two for a piece of wild Alaskan salmon (regularly half the price of what is sold in other stores). I reckon that it is equal to the membership fee alone. In addition I regularly buy:
                                                                                                                        wild Pacific halibut
                                                                                                                        live butter lettuce
                                                                                                                        cheese
                                                                                                                        Meyer lemons
                                                                                                                        sweet peppers
                                                                                                                        berries
                                                                                                                        sunblock
                                                                                                                        vinegar
                                                                                                                        seltzer
                                                                                                                        Kirkland shampoo and conditioner
                                                                                                                        And items I buy when they are on sale:
                                                                                                                        contact lenses
                                                                                                                        cleaning products
                                                                                                                        aspirin
                                                                                                                        allergy pills
                                                                                                                        toothbrushes
                                                                                                                        toothpaste

                                                                                                                        1. If you buy their hot dog and drink combo once a week at $1.50, you'll probably make back your $50 annual membership in a calendar year (i.e. 52 weeks)

                                                                                                                          I'm guessing that a similar hot dog and drink at most other fast-food places would be more than $2.50, easy.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                            Isn't it funny that a warehouse store like this actually has fairly decent fast food?? (Now we're talking fast food here, not haute cuisine guys.) Everything we've had here on the spur of the moment has been decent - pizza slices, yogurts, etc., etc. Nothing to complain about at all.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                              Hand dipped ice cream bar is utterly amazing.

                                                                                                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                              I'm pretty sure you can get food at most places without a membership. I've been to locations in California where they had a food window at the exterior of the store, accessible to all.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                In SF they would not let some people sneak in w/out card just to buy the pizza -- I guess they usually get away with it when guy at front is looking the other way.

                                                                                                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                Buy and eat the hot dog and drink the soda before you start shopping, you will be less tempted to buy on a whim....then as you leave re-fill the soda cup and you will make back your membership in 1/3 less time!

                                                                                                                              3. You know, you don't need a membership card to buy prescriptions. (I do have a card, tho) I used to call around to comparison shop the drug prices but Costco was always the winner so I don't bother comparing any more.

                                                                                                                                Tuscan olive oil (glass bottle, think it also says Kirkland on it) is great. Love the avocados. When they start to get a little bit soft, I put them in fridge and they can last about a week that way. Love the organic baby romaine. I found out my Costco gets produce deliveries Tues/Thurs/Sat so I try to time my visits for those days. Their plants and trees are excellent and great price -- I just bought 3 delphinium plants for $10.

                                                                                                                                Litter in the green plastic. Although, they've gone from 30 lbs to 35 lbs -- kills me to lift and carry upstairs.

                                                                                                                                They carry 2 kinds of Wild Planet tuna -- I love the white one, not packed in water nor oil. I love the Knudsen cottage cheese, great price and I can (usually) finish it before it goes bad.

                                                                                                                                Liberal return policy if you don't like something.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                  i've never noticed Wild Planet tuna at Costco. i'll have to check next time - if they carry the no salt added one i'll be VERY pleased, though i doubt they do.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                    I'm pretty sure it's not the no salt. They had 2 kinds: 6 cans for $13.99 (the one I buy, very white and firm) and a skipjack one for 6 cans for 8 something.

                                                                                                                                    I'd been wanting to try the chicken pot pie but the price was $17 or $18 dollars (big one) but the other day it was only $10 so I got it. Well, we didn't like it; only had a few bites and threw it away. I know they'd have taken it back but I didn't want to deal with it at that point.

                                                                                                                                2. I'm with you, Divo, I am simply not a fan of the place. I have availed myself of the prime beef, but I can get better from a local butcher (it's more expensive, but it's dry aged - besides when one eats beef infrequently, as we do, it's nice to splurge). Otherwise, CostCo is just not worth it - we simply don't consume anything in such volume. Honestly, the place and many of its patrons sort of disgust me. The giant carts full of processed sh*t, the overcrowded parking lot, the "Jerseyness" of my local store . . . yuck.

                                                                                                                                  Nevertheless, as you can see, articulating a dislike for the place is smacking a hornets nest. Maybe we should have kept it to ourselves?

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                    no flames, hornets etc, it's your chioce, it's not for everyone.

                                                                                                                                  2. Hi iL Divo!
                                                                                                                                    I love Costco and there are a myriad of other things going on then just the warehouse.
                                                                                                                                    Travel, tires, merchant services, gas, AMEX rebate program, optometry, RX..
                                                                                                                                    I get most of my fresh seafood..(King Crab, Ahi, Salmon, Shrimp, Halibut)
                                                                                                                                    Produce/cheese/wine and the deals on the orchids are incredible.

                                                                                                                                    You can have 2 people on an account so you could split the membership with your DD.
                                                                                                                                    I like the rebate program that covers my membership plus.

                                                                                                                                    1. Some of the things we buy there...

                                                                                                                                      Cat litter
                                                                                                                                      TP and PT (toilet paper and paper towels)
                                                                                                                                      Nuts (mostly bags of almonds, but pecans and pine nuts are also cheap)
                                                                                                                                      Beer and wine (they usually have some local beers and really good wine values)
                                                                                                                                      Soda
                                                                                                                                      Fresh seasonal fruits
                                                                                                                                      Candy (mostly for work, but also around Halloween)
                                                                                                                                      Chips and dips
                                                                                                                                      Clothes (I believe my entire ensemble today except the shoes came from Costco)
                                                                                                                                      Electronics (TVs, printers, cell phones, blu-ray players are all good bargains)
                                                                                                                                      Ink jet cartridges
                                                                                                                                      FoodSaver bag rolls (to store excess in the freezer and for sous vide cooking)
                                                                                                                                      EVOO
                                                                                                                                      Salt, pepper mills
                                                                                                                                      Vanilla (beans and extract)
                                                                                                                                      Whipping cream (when I want to make ice cream)
                                                                                                                                      Butter
                                                                                                                                      Some spices (Saigon cinnamon in particular)
                                                                                                                                      Vitamins, soap, shaving cream, razor blades, mouth wash, moisturizer, contact lens solution etc...

                                                                                                                                      We don't eat a lot of meat, but once or twice a year I'll get a whole tenderloin, trim it , cut it in to steaks and vacuum seal for the freezer. We also get the packages of chicken breasts that are separated in to six individual vacuum bags that we cut apart and throw in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                      We have the executive membership ($110/yr) and usually get a rebate check in the neighborhood of $200 each year from that, plus around $350 from the AE card.

                                                                                                                                      1. Furniture: Mission-style bed plus matresses; handsome red leather recliner; stylish collapsable sofa/guest bed; desk lamps.

                                                                                                                                        Two walkers - one with a seat and one collapsible three-wheeler -- both about $100 each.

                                                                                                                                        -- The bed, sofa, and collapsible walker were ordered from the CC website. --

                                                                                                                                        Weight-loss shakes (like Ultra Slim-Fast only tastier and cheaper).

                                                                                                                                        All the chicken broth I'll need for a while.

                                                                                                                                        1. Paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, tissues, foil and plastic wraps, really cheap organic milk, wine and beer.

                                                                                                                                          For parties, those cheese platters are a good bargain, as are the fruit trays. Not that they taste as good as something you'd do yourself, but they save time when quantity is the issue.

                                                                                                                                          I also buy cheap work-out tops there.

                                                                                                                                          1. If you buy conventional meat and farmed seafood than the price to quality ratio is very good. But I don't so it doesn't do me any good.

                                                                                                                                            I was just there two weeks ago with my mom, a member, and I found it utterly depressing. I thought I could stock up on a party we were having.

                                                                                                                                            They didn't even have a crummy version of organic milk! Nothing organic. Nothing natural. Everything was the super-processed HFSC versions that I won't buy. Even things like paper goods weren't something that I would purchase because they had nothing recycled and/or compostable.

                                                                                                                                            Edited to add- they did actually have some organic eggs, which $1 more a dozen than Whole Foods

                                                                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                              I buy organic chicken and organic ground beef at Costco, organic milk, as well as organic strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits and veggies. It probably depends on your area -- if the demand is not there, they won't carry it. I live in So. CA and we definitely have a demand for organic items.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                I live in LA but I was at a Costco in Orange County, Brea or Fullerton maybe. I looked everywhere, ever cold case.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                  http://www.thethriftymama.com/costco-...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                    best thing to do is ask the courtesy desk folks or call the store.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                  I'm in Minnesota and buy organic milk, chicken and ground beef at my Costco. There are quite a few organic veggie options too.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                    Odd, I've shopped at Costco in 3 states and multiple locations and organic milk and meat is always there.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                      If JudiAU's most use local board indicates her location (Los Angeles), that comment makes no sense. I'd be willing to bet my American Express rebate next year that every Costco in California carries organic milk. I suspect that Judi did not know where to look - might have been in an adjacent cooler, or maybe they had run out (that does happen from time to time, though on dairy products it would be extremely rare).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                        The Lodi CA Costco does not carry organic milk, but the Stockton CA Costco (about seven miles away) does. I haven't figured this one out. Since we live about equidistant from either one, we know which one to hit when we want milk.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                          I stand corrected, though I do find that a bit surprising.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                            So when can I expect to receive your American Express rebate? ;o)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                              I get my costco membership and AmEx rebates in January both in January. We are a family of two. Our membership costs $100, we received rebates $450+/- a few dollars.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting - my rebate was about the same (family of 3, though).

                                                                                                                                                                ricepad, you will get that rebate the next time I'm in the Lodi/Stockton area.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                  Something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath....

                                                                                                                                                                  Ya know, I'm in San Diego a couple of times a year...?

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                You should fill out a request, on a comment card, to stock organic milk.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                  One of these days, I will....in fact, I think I submitted an online request a little while ago.

                                                                                                                                                    2. This is sort of a curious thread, as the OP has already clearly stated her (which is a bit curious too, as both IL and DivO are indicative of the male gender in Italian) opinion of Costco. And there are so many existing threads about what products people like or don't like at Costco this (week, month, year) that it's hard to believe we need more data on this.

                                                                                                                                                      Either you're a warehouse person or you aren't, and that's fine. Many of the criticisms of Costco -- taking only a single Credit card, limited selection, surly help in some locations -- are common to all warehouse chains or vary by location or region of the country. Some people love the thrill of the chase and hunting down bargains at various grocery stores or have a lot of time to clip coupons. I don't have the time or patience for either, so I rely on Costco. I just recently did a small catering gig where I priced out the cost of goods using the best sale prices at supermarkets I could find, and the costs were $380.97, but by buying all the food at Costco, my food costs were $200.58.

                                                                                                                                                      As was pretty eloquently stated in one of the earliest responses above, in terms of fresh meat and produce, Costco generally has better quality than our local stores at about half the price. For us the larger sizes are not an issue as we have plenty of storage space. It certainly wouldn't make sense if you live in Manhattan and are taking the subway home to try to schlep a 36-pack of toilet paper.

                                                                                                                                                      But yes, we always have to tell the checkout people not to put the big juicy boxes of fresh cut pineapple on their sides. At least here on the West Coast they are pleasant about it, unlike at the Norwalk, CT store, which is widely regarded within the chain to be the worst store in the whole company.

                                                                                                                                                      WRT Organics, we're actually noticing a shift towards them at our store, and I'm not pleased. They're forcing me to pay more for products which are arguably not better for me or for the planet, and they certainly don't taste better.

                                                                                                                                                      But really, if you've been there and don't like it, don't shop there. No one is forcing you to like it. Perhaps it is just not for you.

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                        il Divo refers to the singing group consisting of gorgeous Italian men, if I'm not mistaken. www.ildivo.com

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                          Ah, got it. Thanks for the clarification.

                                                                                                                                                          (Of course, that raises a slew of other questions, but we'll leave those for other boards....BTW, none of the four are Italian.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                            shows you how much I listen to them! I am aware of their existence, but probably couldn't tell you who they were if they stepped on my toes.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I find their quality across the board to be very good unlike Sam's. It is one of the few places that lets me buy organic products and produce and not empty my wallet. I think their meat is better than most grocery stores. You have to do a bit of planning to avoid waste, but I really appreciate Costco. Oh, and their return policy and warranty on electronics is hard to beat.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Point 1. It's not CostCo, its Costco. They have better meat than anywhere you could ever buy unless you went to a butcher shop. Meat is rated in the US. Prime, Choice and Select. Prime is almost only sold to restaurants, although Costco does carry some cuts of Prime. Choice is what Costco sells and Choice is what all supermarkets sell. I live in Canada not the US, so liquor is not an option here unfortunately although I have been to Costco in the US and the liquor selection is outstanding and outstandingly cheap compared to anywhere else. Other than the meat selection, the selection of everything is better, cheaper. OK you are buying bigger quantities, but unless you don't have room to store it, who cares? You'll save money and the products are top notch.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chefmagnum

                                                                                                                                                            The "larger quantities" aren't all that large generally. Sure, you can still get 50lb bags of rice, but more often than not you're just buying multi-packs of retail size cans/jars. The frozen foods are 2-3 times the size of retail stores but are also largley individually-wrapped.

                                                                                                                                                            Our kids are mostly out of the house but we still entertain. A few large barbecues in the summer and a few parties the rest of the year. We get a lot of supplies for those parties at Costco.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chefmagnum

                                                                                                                                                              My gf and I dumped our Sams membership for Costco and have loved it. The savings on our daily allergy pills have paid for the $55.00 membership, we can get a 365-count bottle of Kirkland "Zertec" for $15.00. We used to spend $12 or more at Walmart for a 90-count.

                                                                                                                                                              Foodwise we love the 2 pounds of block cheese for $4.69 and we also love the 12 pack of 1/4 lb. Morningstar Black Bean Burgers for $12.99. We also switched our dog food from the pricey holistic food to Kirkland and saved a lot of money. The dog food is highly rated and has not affected our dog's fur quality. Overall Costco is a steal, even though it is on the other side of Houston from us!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Although this may not apply to you, should other new mom's read this thread, I will say that being unable to nourish my son by my breast and trying three name-brand baby formula's, I gave the Kirkland brand a shot and it was the best one for my child - no gas issues, etc. Of course, every child is different, but try it if you need formula. It cost about a third of the price of Similac or Enfamil which is A LOT of money in formula feeding terms. I heard a few times that the company that manufactures one of them also produces Kirkland. If anyone asls me to recommend stainless cookware I would not hesitate to direct them to Costco.

                                                                                                                                                              I find their bags of frozen, uncooked 21-25 shrimp a better price than the supermarket and definitely better quality (you don't get the feeling that they thawed a little at some point). Produce can be tricky, since it is just the three of us, but last time I was there I got a 4 lb. bag of Brussels Sprouts for not much more than I would normally pay for one of those little paper cup filled things they sell in the grocery store. Brussels sprouts last a long time. I look around and there are usually a few things that I can get at great price that I know I will use.

                                                                                                                                                              While I guess it falls into your category of "just bulk, whatever", I do like the packages of chicken. Sometimes I get skinless breasts, sometimes, bone-in, skin-on thighs but they both are packages of about 16, maybe (?), but vacuum sealed into sections of two each. So, if all else fails, between those or the 2 lbs bags of shrimp, I know i can always pull out something from the freezer and have dinner ready in a few hours. Some of the meat, though, I don't find are priced any more competitively than the butcher I can walk to most days.

                                                                                                                                                              Other than that, over the years, I have purchased thick, soft Tommy Bahama beach towels for about $12 a piece, Nautica, Calvin Klein, and Levi's brands jeans and other clothes for my husband, loads of vitamin and mineral supplements, plenty of "new release" books at discount, the best folding chairs you can find, lots of batteries in giant packages, and plenty of great, fresh, well-priced seafood during their regular weekend "seafood roadshows" (good seafood stored are hard to come by here in my part of Queens, NY.). I have used my Kirkland stainless cookware for several years and it is still in great condition and never fails me.

                                                                                                                                                              Oh, and I am heading there this weekend to buy a memory foam mattress topper. We HATE our mattress, but it is only 2 1/2 years old so I want to try the topper before laying out for a whole new mattress - the thing is, and this is something that makes Costco very cool and very worth the membership fee: you can return anything at anytime. So, if after a month or two, or ten, we realize we need to go for a new mattress, we can still return the topper. You can probably eat half a tub of Nutella and give it back (although I can't imagine why). But, yes, even if you just don't like it. For cameras, appliances, electronics, furniture, grills, toys, etc., this is an especially great feature, but also applicable to any food item you may buy - although I will readily admit that I am not the type to schlep back to a store to return any grocery item. But, you can.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                JP...I am curious about "good seafood stores are to comeby here in my part of Queens, NY"

                                                                                                                                                                There are two Costco stores in Queens , one in Astoria and one in Rego Park....I know and shop in at least 4 local fish stores within 2 miles of either store....If you like I will be more than happy to direct you.....BTW most of their fish, except the salmon is previously frozen....

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, PLEASE! I live in Woodside, and have had some bad experiences with fish markets and would appreciate reccs. I will go to the one on QB in Sunnyside sometimes just because it is the closest (actually the closest is just a block way from me, buy just. No.) I tried the one on the corner of 31st Street and 30th Ave in Astoria once and it wasn't bad and would go in again since it is across the street from my monthly doc appt. But I am usually underwhelmed by all of them, so I get the same quality stuff at Costco for less money, while I am already shopping there. It is my understanding that a lot the stuff at most fish markets is previously frozen anyway? Please correct my if I am wrong. That is why I usually rely on the frozen bags of shrimp from Costco. At least I know they were frozen while fresh and stayed that way.

                                                                                                                                                                  However, this time of year, I pick up stuff from the guy at the Greenmarket in Jackson Heights on Sunday...which is such a delight . This sub-thread is something we should probably be discussing on Outer-boroughs... :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                    I generally buy fish at Costco too, because the fish place on Queens Blvd (btw 44th and 45th, I think), is rather unreliable. Costco's fish may not be anything special, but it is consistently good, and that's more than I can say for the fish places near me.

                                                                                                                                                              2. It varies. I like their bags of limes (which they didn't have last week, grump grump) since I'm addicted to limeade, they have the cheapest prices for whole chickens around here, if I'm there when they have the fresh seafood guys I can get a good price on a whole salmon or a bag of shellfish.

                                                                                                                                                                We usually don't go with a big set list of things to buy, apart from staples like paper goods or party supplies. Last time we went we got an Italian cook book, a new keyboard, a fan to replace one that only works sporadically, socks, a big jar of pesto (which was very good), some prepared bao (which were also good), ravioli (which was just so-so), toilet paper, paper towels, fizzy water and freezer bags.

                                                                                                                                                                IMHO, it's worth it if you have the space to store things, or entertain frequently, or have a large family.

                                                                                                                                                                1. My reason for shopping at Costco is they put substantial effort into the products they sell and they put specific limits on how much any product can be marked up. They don't find cheap stuff and sell it. They work with manufacturers to come up with something. This applies across the board. Take toys. They go through thousands of toys to pick some they'll sell and then work with the manufacturer to add enough to the package - like an extra piece, like 3 instead of 2, etc. - that they feel it's right for their members. They test toilet paper - as seen on a recent documentary. They consider their niche to be vetting a smallish selection of merchandise, not as a distributor of what manufacturers make. Those packages of food, etc., like the packs of pasta, are presented and argued about and designed so Costco says it should all be penne or a mix or whatever. If you're at all familiar with the buying process at big retailers, they push it further.

                                                                                                                                                                  As for markups, Costco limits the markup on a brand name to something like 14%. It's like 12% for Kirkland brand - their private label. They have fired companies they've found selling for less elsewhere. This is also part of their niche: they see themselves as looking out for the interests of their members.

                                                                                                                                                                  As an aside, they also are known for treating their employees pretty well for the retail business.

                                                                                                                                                                  As a negative, they keep increasing the amount of prepared food. It's on the whole good tasting but the amount puts pressure on the space available for unprepared food. My hope is that Costco will use their immense power to drive lower salt, less fat and less sugar in prepared foods.

                                                                                                                                                                  As for prices, I can buy allergy medicine for very little. 365 generic Zyrtec is about $15. They now sell prescription pet medicine so I can get Advantage for $40 less than at the Vet. I get months of my cat's heart medicine for under $20. I can buy Kirkland brand lactase (generic Lactaid).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I don't get the allure either. Our membership auto-renews but I'm really thinking of cancelling because we almost never go there. The things people buy "all the time," we don't buy (paper towels, for example, which we don't use, bottled water, pop, etc are all things we don't buy). And things we do use like that, such as TP, we buy green/recycled, and they don't sell anything like that. There are no local products at all. The meat is inferior to what I can get from local farms and from my CSA, and same goes for produce. About the only thing I've bought there recently is the Mario Batali pasta sauce. Ours does not sell liquor and the wine prices are not better than our local grocery. And for a family of 2.5 (child of 3), giant tubs of perishable foods are not things we can use up before they spoil. I've also had some really bad stuff there, like their bacon, which I actually returned it was so awful, and the fresh mozz balls, which had zero taste at all.

                                                                                                                                                                    We have used it to buy select electronics at a discount, like our digital camera and GPS unit.

                                                                                                                                                                    30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                      Have you opened/eaten/tried the Mario Batalia pasta sauce yet? I bought a glass jar/bottle, but am concerned about trying it, as I did buy his deli item (with San Marzano tomatoes) at BJ's (in a plastic container $5.99). What a letdown!

                                                                                                                                                                      I do use his recipes for sauce, which I find quite good. I can't imagine him using this particular sauce in his restaurant. Yes, I did not care for it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                        The Batali pasta sauce is actually very good. Whether or not he would use it in his restaurant is arguable, but I'm pretty sure that's not the point.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                          This taste test of designer sauces places Batali in fourth place out of eight - the lowest of the "expensive sauces". . The link describes why it placed where it did. However, I think pasta sauce is a VERY subjective thing and all about an individuals preference. I make my own, but ocassionally I will buy a jar to have on hand and I know I actually prefer a slightly sweeter sauce which is probably not the mark of quality for most, but I like it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                          Pertaining to this thread, though, I am curious how much you PAID at Costco for it vs. the average $0.41/oz this article say it goes for in regular retail. That price is RIDICULOUS and I am curious what it went for at Costco.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/04/wh...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                            Costco sells the cherry tomato sauce, not marinara (which is what the linked article tested). FWIW, the Amazon ratings are better for cherry tomato than marinara. I believe it was somewhere around $7 for 2-24 ounce jars.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                              See my pic for the Cherry Tomato sauce which I purchased at BJ's -
                                                                                                                                                                              $5.99 for one 18oz jar. This is the sauce that I didn't like.

                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                Odd container. The ones at Costco are the standard sauce jars that everyone uses.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, if nothing else, it is much less expensive at Costco! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                    At BJ's it was in the Deli (Cooler) section. Did I mention, it is plastic, not jarred. Was it in a plastic jar at Costco?

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                The Mario Batali pasta sauce 32 oz. (which says Marinara it) and on the page of seriouseats you linked, is the sauce I bought at Whole Foods for $8.99 - same size which I have not opened yet. My calculation is $.28 per oz.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                  I can vouch for the Giada marinara sauce that beat him... very traditional homemade tasting.... and great body.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I buy it regularly. I really like it! It goes for about $8 a jar at my local grocery, and I think it was $9 or $10 for THREE jars at Costco. It comes in a glass jar like a traditional jar of pasta sauce, and it is not a cherry tomato sauce, just a marinara. As someone else said, taste is relative. Plus we have very few good choices in our regular groceries for jarred sauce, here in the land of Ragu and Prego lovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                  Must differ by region because our stores sell only the cherry tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting!

                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                While I do often buy paper towels, TP, and detergent at Costco for convenience and the ease of having them in bulk, I did read an article not long ago...I am sorry, but I don't remember where, maybe Consumer Reports, that broke it down and those items sheet for sheet or ounce for ounce are not all cheaper (and sometimes more!) at Costco - especially if you are a sale watcher/cupon clipper.

                                                                                                                                                                                I have found the same for meat. Per pound prices are rarely less than what I can get at the butcher...and i have two good butchers in walking distance to me. BUT, sometimes I will buy for convenience. Last Summer the price on boneless rib-eye was actually pretty good. We usually prefer bone-in, but my husband convinced me to buy a giant slab for $113 and he cut fifteen thick, thick steaks which kept us grilling for the Summer. They had perfect amount of fat and tasted great. But, on the other hand, after two dissatisfying experiences, I would never buy a roast beef there again

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                  JP....lets go to Cannelle Patisserie in Queens.....outerboroughs

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                    JP......Advise when you have found it...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                      There's no "absolute" rule with any store but if you're somewhat informed you can get good deals. Not everyone has time to shop several stores a week to look for the world's greatest deals but I can still smell a good value when I see one. Here's an example, Costco has Tide Pods for $20 (90-pack). The regular price elsewhere is $18 for 66. Even Amazon can't do better ($20 for 77). Is it an earth-shatteringly good deal? Maybe not, but I'm confident that it's a fair value compared to other places. There are many, many other examples.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The supermarket business has extremely tight margins so there's not an enormous amount of headroom for mark-up. Costco makes little to no profit on items (2/3 of their profit comes from memberships) so you always save something, but maybe not as much as when the manufacturer throws in an incentive.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                        I always wonder, with great envy, where people are finding local butchers who have better meat at lower prices than Costco. I've never found one, but that may have something to do with where I've lived.

                                                                                                                                                                                        When we were in Stamford, CT, we were throwing a BBQ, and one of our friends offered to bring the Baby Backs. I knew I could get them at Costco for about $3/lb and they'd have about an inch of meat covering the tops, but she said no, her butcher -- the most famous and revered one in the area -- had the best meat around and she'd take care of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        So I open the package when she proudly arrives with them and the ribs had absolutely been stripped clean of nearly all the meat, bones shining brightly with only a minimal amount of meat between them and no meat cap at all. And the price sticker -- $9.99 a pound. For almost 100% bone. I nearly cried.

                                                                                                                                                                                        [I actually did weep openly when she shoved me out of the way and threw them into a pot of water and boiled them for 45 minutes and then dunked them in BBQ sauce and threw them onto the grill until they were black because "that's the way my kids like them" -- but that's another story.]

                                                                                                                                                                                        As of today I can get Prime Rib-Eyes for about $10/lb at Costco, compared to about $20 per at the one Super that carries Prime in our area, vs. about $30 per at the Butcher in our area that carries Prime.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Anecdotal, yes.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                          I am with you on this, acgold. We have a Mexican butcher shop in my neighborhood that comes close to Costco's prices on certain items, but the quality isn't always as good. Also, they don't always have the specific cuts I want, nor do they carry Prime meat as far as I know. If I need meat and don't have time for Costco, I go there because they are MUCH cheaper than the supermarkets in the area, but otherwise, it's Costco all the way. The price/quality ratio simply cannot be beat, at least where I live.

                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: There is nothing that irritates me more than ribs with no meat on them, and I love Costco for that. I used to have a BJ's membership and I would buy bone-in short ribs there, and I'd have to pick through the packages to find a decent one because 3/4s of them would be full of bony, meatless pieces. Annoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                            Somewhat ironically, the one and only cut of meat I find disappointing at Costco are their Beef Back Ribs. The large thick meaty ends are cut off and the meat caps are removed, so only the thin connective layer of meat between ribs remains -- the exact problem I described with the non-Costco Baby Back Pork Ribs. I find I have the best luck with Beef Back Ribs at non-Chain or at least small chain Supermarkets that hand-trim Standing Rib Roasts to yield hand-cut rib racks. But then they're not cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting. Our Costco doesn't carry beef ribs, or at least not that I've ever seen. They do usually have the "boneless short ribs" but I don't really believe those are short ribs - I bought them once and the meat doesn't have the same texture at all. Luckily, our Mexican butcher always has short ribs (at a reasonable price!) and they're usually very good - you just have to be particular about which pieces you want.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                        rockandroller: It sounds like you are definitely not a candidate for Costco. Despite having only a wife and a young child, we have used our membership to save hundreds on diapers, children's clothing, etc. Further having the ability to buy liquor there for significantly less is a further reason to frequent it. I also find that the wine prices and surprisingly large selection [200-plus wines] beat out most non-sale prices in my local grocers and liquor/wine retailers.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, it just depends on lifestyle, for sure. We cloth diapered and used cloth wipes (we are almost done potty training, hooray!), and I buy all my son's clothing at seasonal consignment sales for pennies compared to what I'd pay for anything new. The only thing he always gets new are shoes, as I don't think used shoes are good for growing feeties.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I started going when I lived in LA and I remember the liquor deals being very good. Ours doesn't sell liquor, so it's n/a, and their wines are not any cheaper than the grocery, so there you go. We do have a grocery that does discounted gas for members (every $50 you spend at the store you get 10 cents off), so I get my gas discounted from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                            We also cloth diapered and used cloth wipes, but save a ton of $ at Costco on other things, . Kids clothes, pj's, and books; fresh veggies, frozen waffles (the best teethers ever!), and now that the kids are a bit bigger things like hotdogs, peanut butter, and of course food for the grown-ups too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                              We buy all his clothes/books/pjs on consignment, just way cheaper than new. The only thing I buy new for him are shoes and I get those from Stride Rite. I just don't have a use for a lot of the stuff they sell. The produce is not organic, and we buy almost all organic. Even if it was, their bag of lemons would take up half my fridge. I think the selection can vary a lot from place to place. I remember really liking it when I lived in California, but I was much more into eating processed foods and factory farmed meats then, so that may be the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                                I find a lot of the produce, at least in Western Washington, is organic. That may be something that is dependent on location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not to be nasty, but perhaps there is allure for people who are not in a position to, for example, buy meat from local farms.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course. Just giving my perspective. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                                                            we MUST buy GREEN fragrance free laundry detergent. Allergies (or something similar). Costco gives great price!

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Divo,
                                                                                                                                                                                            I like costco better than coupons. higher quality items. yummy fresh chickens, great carrots/potatoes. and the best price on garlic ever. local cheese, local noodles. it's all good stuff!
                                                                                                                                                                                            p.s. try organic tomatoes (canned) da best!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. They are an example for other businesses to follow. I love their products and customers are treated like they are valued and appreciated. A few months ago I bought Kirland Grape Juice (much better than Welch's). One of the lids was deffective and when I got home there was grape juice filling my back floorboard. Not only did I get a profuse apology from the manager, he also paid to have my car totally detailed! I did not ask for it; he just said it was the right thing to do! He made a customer for life!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Reminds me of the time my dear departed MIL inserted a custom CD recorded by a family friend into what she thought was the CD plsyer slot -- not! Hubby took jammed player back to Costco with no receipt & no original packaging & his mom's tale of woe. Not only did they replace the player but managed to recover and return the unique CD to her!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a fan of Costco service.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Eggs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                The incredible honey smoked salmon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Pecorino.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Fresh goat cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Fage yogurt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Nutritional supplements.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Two packs of Pam nonstick spray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Those items are all way cheaper than I can find elsewhere - and I'm a good shopper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Then throw in the good surprises - Tommy Bahama sheets for $30 that have proven to be AWESOME. Good clothing sales for men, especially around the holidays. And it's a handy, handy place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just bought their hot-smoked (Northwest-style) salmon yesterday and DH and I ate half a pound at once sitting. It's fantastic, as good as anything I've had in Seattle, and way better than what my local Whole Foods stores sell. I paid $11.99 for a pound at the Costco in Waltham, MA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is it this -

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.honeysmokedfish.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the stuff i get in Ohio and California, I LOVE it. But $13.99 a pound is the price I get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. For us, what is so great is that they have several items that we just can't get elsewhere because they are not produced in the US, let alone locally. We can't get them in the grocery stores, period. Costco is the *only* source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Other items, we cannot find of the same quality/to our liking in any local stores, including Trader Joe's, although we like them, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We do get our meat locally (by the side or animal, annually), but eat enough baby back ribs, that we have to supplement what we get from the one pig we buy each year. We like their ribs. I do agree with buying locally as much as possible, but, as an avid gardener with a family of commercial farmers who know the land quite well, local isn't always "best" or reasonably economical, so each person has to do what works for them. That being said, some items that make Costco invaluable for this family that eats as little processed foods as possible: goat cheese, feta cheese, blue cheeses (sometimes they have roquefort and sometimes gorgonzola picante and sometimes danish blue, but we like them all), pesto sauce, smoked salmon, mineral water (on this alone I have calculated that we save our membership cost 5 times over each year), kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, flour, rice, sugar, yeast, vanilla, peppercorns, butter, whipping cream, toilet paper, dried fruit, san marzano tomatoes, frozen chicken breasts, yogurt, wine, beer... and based on how much we spend there, I'm sure there are many more I can't think of. I do not coupon at all. I look every week (we get them in the free newspaper that is dropped on our doorstep) and the only coupon I can remember being useful in the last year or so was a coupon for batteries. No coupons for whole foods exist in those we get. Not even the, "buy a highly processed food and get 50 cents worth of fruit" coupons. Costco saves us quite a bit, and even more so in the wintertime, as our location allows only 5 months of gardening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finally, I like the way the company treats its employees and customers. There seems to be a general attitude of respect that is often lost in mega-corporations these days. I want to "vote" with my dollars for companies like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: velochic

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. We've been customers for decades now (from back when it was known as "Price Club"), & the cashiers, sales clerks, & customer service folk have ALWAYS been nothing but helpful & friendly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who has had their big, fat burger(?) patties? Comments on their taste?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. For us it's the QPR and the Costco Amex gives us more than our membership cost back. As one of the heathens who like Starbucks French roast if I use the coupons in the mailer I can save about the cost of our membership in the money saved over the Costco price of the coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The way they pay their workers and the benefits they get [though I know they work them hard and expect a lot from them] Which means you see the same people for years at your Costco. That way they can all recognize me and complain about me when I leave ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the stuff that we use and love: [household of 2 adults and I use the term loosely]

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The meat prime or choice is better than most of grocery stores and at a good price [Seattle]
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The boneless skinless chicken breasts in the 2 breast packs [Foster Farms 1/2 price of Grocery], Pork and Lamb are also at good prices $5.99 a pound for boneless leg of lamb. About $14 a pound for a rack of lamb that costs $30 in a local grocery store.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tru Roots Quinoa, best price around [also the sprouted beans]
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lundberg Organic Brown Rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kalamata and Castelvetrano Olives [we can use the large jars]
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 n 1/2 and heavy cream [half gallons but they keep pretty well and encourage you to make that creme brulee and alfredo and chowder and cream of asparagus soup and you really need to use heavy cream to make decent potatoes au gratin. [It's the only way the texture comes our perfect]
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Butter and for a treat the French butter with sea salt crystals
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sliced cheese at good price make lunches so much easier
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good blocks of cheese at good prices: Bergen Ost, Coastal Cheddar, Valbreso feta, Cougar Gold, delice de bourgogne, Manchego, the occasional surprise like the Tillamook Anniversary vintage cheddar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Balsamic Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tuscan EV Olive Oil and the regular Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking [I wish they still had the grape seed oil]
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The fresh spinach
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Avocados, peppers, melons, tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fingerling potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Red Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Medjool Dates
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Garafolo pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wild Planet Tuna
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good beer way cheaper than a grocery store [I like the Mongoose IPA or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale] with the occasional cool seasonal offering... Dead Guy, Deschuttes Red Chair.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wine can be good like the CMS for 7.99, Waterbrook Melange for 9.99.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Liquor is coming soon in Washington State
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamia nuts
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Smoked Paprika
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The salt and pepper in grinders
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dried young coconut and mango
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bolthouse Farms Carrot juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dave's Killer Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Torta Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pugliese, demi baguettes, rosemary and olive oil bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kirkland Natural Peanut Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                    That damn Chicago mix of cheddar and caramel popcorn that is TOO addictive.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seafood which is good but if it's fresh it freezes well if there is too much. A whole black cod for 7.99 a pound or a whole halibut for 6.99 a pound were some deals I got at seafood roadshows
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Frozen portioned cod is good
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stuffed grape leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                    whole wheat chapati that you cook at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Paneer
                                                                                                                                                                                                    A cone with way too much pistachio gelato from the food court.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and it the not food areas:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Charisma Bath towels
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Batteries
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gas
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Work Gloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cool flashlights
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Printer ink
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Goodyear wiper blades
                                                                                                                                                                                                    various other items that change occasionally. They always have a good toaster available. The glass storage things with the airtight lids. A good fishing pole with a decent reel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chandler Farms body creams
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Roadshows one of which made me buy a Gunter Wilhelm Asian Cleaver which is now my favorite knife and a nice little paring knife.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scotch Brite sponges
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eco Laundry detergent
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ocean sinus irrigation saline

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also shop for work so I spend enough time there to know where to find things. If you want to avoid the crowds go on a weekday evening around dinner time. Weekends can be crazy but not as bad if you go early, well before the samples come out. Opening and toward closing are the least crazy times to shop on any given day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did I mention the Costco Kool Aid?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes yes yes yes yes and -- WHAT?!!!! You get pistachio gelato from the food court?!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh deep DEEP envy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And to think I was happy with the swirl frozen yogurt... I guess we need to go to Seattle more often : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                        or So. CA where we have gelato as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm in So Cal! What am I missing? Where?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I tend to hit the Los Feliz and Burbank ones...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If they have it, it should be in the Food Court, as KP said above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's only at some food court locations in San Diego.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                SD, Morena location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Okay, you got me... QPR?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wait, wait, don't tell me... Quality/Price ratio?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not Queens Park Rangers gear? 8<P

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quality/Price ratio, yes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                "The way they pay their workers and the benefits they get [though I know they work them hard and expect a lot from them] Which means you see the same people for years at your Costco. That way they can all recognize me and complain about me when I leave ;) "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, the ones that have been here for 20 +/- years treat me so well, you'd think I was family,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yes - forgot to mention the "seafood roadshow" kiosk. Have found it to be THE place to get really nice-sized (as in not miniscule) mussels, which are really terrific for applications other than the usual steaming. They've also had terrific Cherrystone clams as well, which is nice since the majority of other markets around here only carry the tiny Top-Neck size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. -Prices/quality of meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Alcohol (some stores have an amazing selection like the one by OAK airport)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Seafood... yum, I just picked up a copper river salmon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Specialty stuff the East Bay store brings including: cheese, vanilla beans, alder wood grilling boards (didn't see them this year, good thing I hoarded it... and yes I used it for the salmon), truffle butter, certain roadshows, cream/dairy, paper goods and last but not least cook your own flour tortillas (can't eat them now since I'm GF, but used to love em and still purchase for parties).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Optical dept.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Kirkland GF stock (I think it's Pacific brand), but they take it off the shelf at Thanksgiving/Christmas... jerks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -good employer; after 10 years the SAME people are working there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do I save money? Depends on your definition of saving money. Is it getting more food for a dollar? Are you measuring bags of groceries, or are you considering price per meal? It is relative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly some of the specialty items they sell I would never buy, except they have a price that is close enough to something I would buy so I purchase it. In those terms, my DH feels Costco gets me to spend more money. My rebuttal to spending more money is this. I live on a budget, so how can I spend "more" money if I'm still living within my budget. It's my choice if I choose a lobster tail for a nice weekend dinner and then live on a roasted chicken and a Costco size of lettuce and veggies for the rest of the week. Where else can you spend $15-20 to have dinner/lunch for the rest of the week? The extra savings on some items allows me to purchase fancy items I love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am able to get out of Costco spending $20.00. it’s impressive what is in my cart. I can always feed a crowd even on that amount.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I don’t like about Costco, they have done nothing to address allergy needs. I also still am forced to visit 1-2 other stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eastbaychicks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Food court? Why does my Costco have no food court? Dogs and Churros and that's it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Randyjl: Where is your Costco?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. One thing that's fun for me is that they DO carry local producers, and I think that is extremely awesome. In the Bay Area, my Costco has started carrying Hodo Soy, an organic local artisan seller of soy products. I've also seen products by Sukhi and Fra'mani, which are also local food companies. They also offer great cheeses. It's definitely not a typical supermarket except at bulk. I really appreciate that Costco does interesting things with what they sell and customizes its offerings so well to individual markets (for example, selling oyster sauce in areas with a big Asian population).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: betterbeheaven

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I first found atta flour in areas of an India population.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And more Italian products in a big Italian population.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And so on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Just the savings on Costco-branded Zyrtec was sufficient to make a membership worthwhile. My car requires premium gas, and that has a larger price differential than regular gas does, so even more savings. Costco's gas station not being 24-hours is pretty stupid, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just bought a pair of 3TB external hard drives at a good price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since I'm single, I rarely buy any of the food. Two-pound blocks of cheese will just go bad. Their milk is not less expensive, but the two-gallon minimum is a PITA, and they don't carry dairy products from the local milk producers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of their packaging choices are odd as well. For example, Costco sells 24-count pallets of San Pellegrino orange and lemon sodas. Note that's orange *and* lemon, you can't get one or the other. I don't like the lemon because it's too tart, I just want the orange. The SP blood orange, however, is available in a single-flavor pallet. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have found that Costco has something for everyone, if you are savy.....i have been shopping at them since they opened here on the east coast, some 20 odd years ago....Back then I had small children at home, plus the inlaws living with us (6 persons) now it is just the two of us, so monthly shopping does not include large purchases of dairy or frozen desert....we will by some meat and poultry to re-portion and freeze, vitamins and some paper products....of course there are the family diners and events that we cook and prepare like we did when we were young, so it is then we "load up"...what we do now is buy certain items and split them with my sister-inlaw...such as a case of fresh veggies, or fresh fruit becuase by the time I eat a case of peaches, they will be rotten, or having made a glutten of myself, will be sitting on the throne for three days!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          'Costco's gas station not being 24-hours is pretty stupid, though'. Don't understand your statement. Costco gas stations are open at 6am. As with most stores they have posted hours, go when they're open. I save at least .10 cents p/gallon and their milk is always cheaper than super markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't understand the 'Costco's gas station not being 24-hours is pretty stupid' comment either...most gas stations have city ordinances with specific hours for open and closure times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              that's true enough and with Costco regarding their gas, I've never found it to be convenient to buy it there unless I'm passing one by and need gas. the lines alone are usually long and price is better but still not great. I can't fault them for that though, gas is high everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              their hours for the store too have always been short days to me, except around holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I guess that all depends where you live, here in Montreal, Costco Gas is always 6c/liter cheaper than everywhere else, that means i can fuel up my car with premium gas as required for the price of regular at all other stations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree lines can be ridiculous, but then, i try to avoid going on saturdays afternoon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Two gallon minimum? Where is this? Generally, here in Alabama, their milk is about $2.70 for a gallon of skim, which is around $.80 to $.100 cheaper than the average supermarket brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I will just say that I get angry when I see the coupon book that lists all the stuff i just bought and since you're buying big amounts, you won't be out of what you just bought when the coupon expires. At least half the fault is mine, I admit. But they do have a lot of coupons for stuff I buy there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They told me if you have kept your receipts you can come in and buy the product with the coupon to get the discount and then return it as you leave with the old coupon to get the full price refund.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                as you leave with the old *receipt*, I assume....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You don't need a receipt to leave - you have returned the product - but as Beach Chick says below you don't actually need a receipt to return something - just seems easier when there is a price change. I've never tried getting reduction without bringing in the item or receipt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can get the difference from the coupon price then what you paid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You don't need your receipt since they have a record of your purchases from your membership card.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heck, I bought a 50" Panasonic plasma TV 7 years ago an it was pricey but a good deal and I saw it dropped down $1k and I went up to the member desk and they gave me the $1k in cash and it dropped another $800 the following year and I got another $800 back...in cash!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, the moral of the Costco story is ask and you will receive..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seven years ago was before they changed the return policy on electronics to 90 days (they did that in Feb. 2007). So many people were doing what you did that they had no choice. So if you ask them now, on an electronics item that you bought since Feb. 2007, you will not receive (after 90 days).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had a friend who returned a set of pots & pans after 7 years cause they lost their non-stick capability, no box, no receipt, no problem!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The 90 day policy is on electronics; everything else can still be returned indefinitely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The limited 90-day return policy is not on all electronics. As I already pointed out above, "The 90-day return policy only applies to televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touch screen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones. That is a lot of stuff but it's far from all of the electronics merchandise sold by Costco."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Stopped into our local Costco yesterday for what I intended to buy: Jiffy 2 pk PB, a pkg of chicken breasts and pistachio 3 lb bag. First time I left empty-handed. Unit price was not competitive at all. First time I actually thought... I may not renew my membership.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                66 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't seen a super market beat Costco's price on PB, ever! let alone nuts. As for chic breasts, it depends on the brand and if a super market has it on sale (page 1 of their flyer) to lure you in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I guess the stores can vary quite a bit among Costco let alone among the surrounding competitors but I bought all three items for $5.25 less than it would have cost at Costco at a Shop Rite 3 miles down the same highway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Does Shop Rite have those items at those prices regularly, or was this a sale?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pistachio nuts were on sale (B1G1) but the chicken and PB was not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        eta: But I do shop weekly and everywhere. Staples in my kitchen such as these, it wouldn't matter to me if I bought them at X of Y store, just that I'm getting the best value for the same item/size. So if Costco can't beat a competitor that week, it wouldn't matter to me if the item was on sale or not...just that I got the best price avail. on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Costco gets plenty of my $ with or without their coupon offers but I do not find they can beat grocery stores lately on my items. However, I had gotten what I thought was a good deal on Vitamins recently @ Costco....and then later saw Walgreen's had a B1G1 that same week on the Vit's and it was a better offer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is interesting. It's been pretty well established, in this thread and elsewhere, that Costco isn't always the cheapest on every item. But as I was going out anyway, I thought I'd compare these three items at my three local supers to Costco prices, using the cheapest unit prices I could find at the supers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In my area, if you cherry picked and bought each item where it was the cheapest or on sale for BOGO (or B1G1) you could have come close to Costco on some items, but if you wanted to shop at only one place where the grand total was lowest, Costco came out cheaper. We're not known for especially low food prices here in the Northwest, but here's how it broke down (I assumed BSB for the chicken since it seems that's what everyone wants these days):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BSB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Costco $3/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Super $4/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Costco $2.16/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Super $3.81/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pistachio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Costco $6/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Super $8/lb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So multiplying the totals through to Costco sizes would have totaled about $49 for Costco, vs. about $71 for the Super, for a savings of about $22 at Costco. Again, you could have saved a few bucks by traveling to three different supers in my area and getting the best single price for each item in my area, but probably would have spent that in gas, and obviously other areas differ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting exercise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is interesting. Which is why I shop everywhere and comparison shop my way through my list. In my case, this week, on these items Shop Rite came out the better value.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But you said "I may not renew my membership".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't see how comparison shopping all year would have you come out ahead. Yes, you could only shop sales at Shop Rite or wherever, but you would not be getting every single item at less than the Costco regular price each week. You would have to buy in bulk there, and most of those markets having those 'loss leader' items on sale usually have a limit as to how much you can purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's right, for the $$ I'm paying to have a business membership and one free card, I'll give it a bit more time to figure out if in the end I'm there enough and using the entire store buys enough to warrant paying for another year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If I buy 3 jars of PB for less than the price of one @ Costco (oz to oz) I'm coming out ahead. If I'm buying more chicken pieces per pkg at a better sale than what Costco is offering that day I'm coming out ahead. And for nuts I'm definately coming out ahead buying in greater bulk than Costco offers it for my business needs. I don't need more than 10 of something a week when sales are offered. The B1G1's sometimes work in my favor, sometimes not on unit price. My shopping varies week to week and I don't shop the same stores week to week unless the buys bring me in. I do comparison shop very regularly though. And, I have never shopped exclusively at Costco. I have noticed a $1-3 increase in many items over a period of time. This most recent visit I was surprised at the unit prices and as I said it was the 1st time since 1991 that I walked out empty handed when I intended to buy things. Food, non food, online, extended member benefits-all variations on savings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe that one can often do as well or better in the supermarket as at Costco by timing purchases. I've said it before on these Costco threads, and it works for me. Furthermore, it seldom shows up in those "price comparisons" you see quoted all the time, here and in various publications. Here's what I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Remember that Costco (and many others) use the everyday low price pricing strategy, while most supermarkets use the high/low pricing strategy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most people shop at the market on a more-or-less regular basis, typically weekly. Most also know the things they need regularly. Take any particular item. While it is always cheap at Costco (everyday low price), it is sometimes even cheaper at the market, when on sale and those come regularly (high/low pricing). So when doing your weekly shopping, cruise the aisles and check the various staples you buy, and simply stock up on each when the price is low. No muss, no fuss. Of course most savvy shoppers who are willing to be systematic already know this. Using this strategy you can get most of what you need, at prices comparable to or even lower than Costco (and other "everyday low price" stores), and often while buying in quantities more appropriate to your actual needs. But this seldom shows up in those price comparisons, because the comparisons are typically done at a fixed point in time and so reflect the high price on most items, not the low "sale" price because they didn't happen to be on sale when the comparison was done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Each week I rec: at least 12 circulars in my mailbox, 20 company newsletters in my email box, e-coupons I write in for, x-tra deals on my cell phone, and deals at the store as I walk in. This has been the case for a good # of years already. I'm sure most people can say this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All it takes is one week of pouring over these offers to create a shopping strategy. I do it; I take full advantage of every offer I can use and on top of that I share my butcher orders and fishmonger orders with a neighbor and we split the cost right down the middle. So, while I know that the stores have a point to all this offering I learned a long time ago to shop what I need, not what is marketed to me. Whether I'm shopping for my family or my business selling me something I don't want, don't need or is more than I'm willing to pay for it (especially if I can buy it for less) isn't going to happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Continuing to shop at Costco means accepting bulk/unit pricing on certain items I once relied upon from the warehouse but can now finder cheaper a few miles away. Giving up membership means also giving up some of the bargains that remain (eyewear, film developing, car deals, fresh roses, some of the prepared items I enjoy, etc.) which is my dilemma....time will tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most of us need to factor time, gas, and the value of our time into our shopping plans. And many don't enjoy all that planning. I like a bit, but not too much planning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Absolutely, each of us has our own trade offs and decisions to make. I was only responding to questions that led to my own sharing here on this thread. I value my pocketbook as much if not more than my time. And gas, well that's a necessary evil no matter where I go in a given week. But planning, well I won't get anything done without a plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's funny how vigorously people defend Costco on this Board. It seems to fit into the prevailing zeitgeist quite well - don't accept any facts that might be contrary to your settled mindset.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I'm not worried. Who knows what drives people continuing to shop @ any store let alone one you pay to frequent. I'm cool with that. I've been a member of Costco since 1991 says the back of my membership card...for me, that's loyal....but so many competitors have come into town...well, I can't ignore the price wars as they benefit me and my shopping dollar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh, Costco is great and carries tons of brands that I can't find anywhere else in my city. Many don't "defend" Costco but try to explain to those who have a settled mindset against it and its concept that it can have value beyond dollars and cents (customer service, tire centre, photo centre etc.) Plus, my membership fee is covered each year by the 2% rebate they give, so I basically have access to those value-added services for free :D The membership is worth it for some people, and not for others, so don't try to rain on my parade!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maabso

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't agree that the 2% rebate cancels out the $$ you spent plus membership all year. The only free I clearly get is the one free membership card allowed with one paid business membership. In 1991, my business rec'd 12 free cards a year and we gave them to employees. I don't recall when membership began to change dramatically but it has changed quite a bit over time. When I 'ran' to my new Costco store in 1991 to open a business account it felt great, special, new. I stood there with dozens of people in the new warehouse energized....but today, as I said, the area is filled with shopping options for the same items. Heck, this morning Walgreen's was selling a dozen large eggs for .99, no limit. I cleaned them out. So, yes the Costco experience fulfills many needs but the cost over a year for using a paid membership (& can any of us say we use all the benefits that come with membership) has changed enough that I'm doubting my loyalty lasting much longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yikes, I didn't mean that it covers all of my purchases! I wish! Of course not everything in Costco is a better deal than elsewhere, and I probably will buy those items elsewhere, but it is the other stuff that keeps me coming back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maabso

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No yikes. I thought you were referring to the rebate offsetting your membership fee, right?...but, I felt that isn't enough for me to warrant the price I would be overpaying on card usage/purchases during the year to get that rebate if I can shop elsewhere for less. That's all. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HillJ- I think I'm on the same page as you. My previous response was to MGZ who insinuated that those who enjoy shopping at costco have a settled mind-set to defend it, and I was just explaining that some people "defend" costco because it actually works for them, but of course not for all people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cheese at costco is nearly always cheaper than supermarket. ditto flour, and cans of tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've gotten some good buys on cheese at Costco over the years, I do keep an eye on that dept for lower prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            guess i ought to mention that da pittsburgh store's moz/provalone blend is local. dunno if you see it out where you are. but good for pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (also, the garlic! -- for the cost of five-6 bulbs at the supermarket, you get 20! and the onions! and the carrots!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course that can very well be the case. I never said otherwise. But it can also be true that many items when on sale at supermarkets are cheaper than at Costco. My point was that, on the whole, you can get many/most things as cheaply at supermarkets as at Costco by buying smart. And you don't have to pay for a membership, nor buy in huge quantities and end up with more spoilage. And most people have to go to the supermarket anyway, so going to Costco is an added transportation expense, which can be high since there are lots more supermarkets than there are Costcos so most people live much closer to the market than to the Costco. Factor all this in and, for most people, the value proposition of Costco becomes somewhat diluted. Bottom line: when the dust settles, the cult of Costco ain't all it's cracked up to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW, I am a Costco "member," but I don't worship at their altar as so many seemingly do. I buy there when it makes sense for me, and that's it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              most people are dorks. I shop once a month at costco, and WALK to the store otherwise (limiting purchases to "one bookbag full").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Costco costs me $20 per trip. For a whole month's groceries? fine bargain!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At my costco, people shop there for three months of food. Because it's a long way from wv.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                'But it can also be true that many items when on sale at supermarkets are cheaper than at Costco.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you need to factor in brand names, product quality and cost. A clear example where Costco wins - cheese prices. A clear example where the super market wins - chic breasts (on sale). For overall value and savings, smart purchasing at Costco will beat the super markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  there's also the quality issue. costco beef is best in the country for choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "costco beef is best in the country for choice."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Non-sense. Costco choice beef is no different than any other choice beef. There is only a few meat packers in the entire us and Costco and most grocery stores selling choice are selling the exact same choice meat from IBP Excel etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For me the value of Costco has declined considerably plus they've jacked membership costs 20%. I no longer save a dime on meat, paper products etc and we've stopped buying laundry detergent and items like that as Costco is now more expensive than many of our local stores plus.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are still enough items at costco to justify the membership but I'm spending about 1/3 of what I used to spend at Costco a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess things are regional, but from what I have seen Costco beef is TOP choice..... comparable to branded products like Excel Sterling Silver which is often as good as bottom prime. Nothing in my ACME or Shoprite has anywhere near as much marbling on a regular basis. My Sam's club switched from Sterling Silver to National Beef "Black Canyon" which is bottom choice super market beef "Small 00" marbling score" . Terrible Stuff!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Other than a friend who is a butcher, the only other place I have seen beef as well marbled is Restaurant Depot but that is a crap shoot, sometimes the primals are great & sometimes they are not. Have looked over more that 20 and walked out empty handed & other times looked at just 6 and grabbed a beauty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        from what I have seen Costco beef is TOP choice..... comparable to branded products like Excel Sterling Silver which is often as good as bottom prime.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Therereally is no such beast as "top choice" with in the standard range of beef that Costco (or any other choice beef from the main stream packers) and it's certainly not comparable to Sterling Silver or CAB choice. Both Sterling and CAB have grading requirments that go well beyond the standard designations for Choice meat. So in that regard those products could be considered the upper echelon of choice but that is not what Costco is carrying.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Costco is not paying more $$ for choice. They are paying less but buying more volume. The only control any buyer can place on the standard range of choice from packers like Excel, IBP, Nation etc is to watch the codes and reject meat from select plants.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Setting that aside the meat quality at Costco this year has been very good in my area. Most notably the Prime NY strip sub-primals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I first joined Sam's Club, at my store they were selling exclusively Excel Sterling Silver .....I believe the USDA certified program # was 2...... A/B maturity and the marbling score was modest 00 or higher. The only way I knew their meat was Sterling Silver was the 0x1 strip loin cryovacs were labeled Sterling silver. The meat in the case was not labeled but the cutter confirmed it was the same stuff. Bought many of their 0x1 's , aged them & they were great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sam's decided to go cheap and switched to National Beef's "Black Canyon" which has a marbling score of small 00 which off the top of my head I believe is the lowest marbling score within the choice grade. They wanted a cheaper product and they changed their contract specs and brought in lower cost / lower quality choice beef. If they can spec low choice, why can't Costco spec high choice for their private label "Kirkland"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As stated many times, from what I have seen of Costco's beef it is high choice / top choice / upper echelon or what ever term one wants to call it. It is certainly not low / bottom choice Black Canyon like Sam's Club beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom the only point I'm trying to establish here so others don't get misled is that no one at excel, IBP, National is separating upper end choice from lower end choice once the meat is graded.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The programs or brands you are mentioning such as sterling silver, CAB etc all have their own specific set of guidelines that are separate from standard choice beef. Those specs in many cases start with the animal on the hoof, Not at the slaughterhouse. AFAIK I've never seen fresh private label "Kirkland' beef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The fresh choice meat that Costco sells is just standard USDA choice from the major meat packers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 0x0 and 0x1 codes you are seeing on NY strip sub-primals in cryo are not marbling codes. They do indicate the fat on the tail. If you see 180, 172 etc those are IMPS codes. There is also no such beast as A/B maturity for choice meat in the sense that the consumer sees on cryo-sub-primals. I think you are probably referring to A/B maturity codes for inspectors. In that sense there is indeed Choice +, Choice 0, Choice - but beef is never stamped "choice +" etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Again if we were buying whole or half hanging beef we could apply those codes or our own set of parameters like Sterling or CAB. That's a different beast from CAFO slaughter house beef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In response to your question about lower end programs many of those programs receive a product we used to refer to in the past as "no roll". They are usually sub-primals that get mis-cut with a slip of the knife and have a chunk out of the meat or the fat. I've seen plenty of those at Costco as well
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At the same time I've really scored with Angus natural Prime NY strip sub-primals at Costco this year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So my main point here is that buying at costco can not take the place of being an informed consumer and selecting between the best sub-primals on the shelf. No standard choice beef is going to be all "choice +" unless it is part of a very specific meat brand or program.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Trader Joe......I know long post are confusing and hard to remember word for word. I will also say I am guilty as you know what when it comes to typing them & often have to re-read them several times if I have to refer back to an old one (And I wrote it !!!!) I know what the codes "0x1 & 1x1" mean & do not believe I referred to them as marbling codes. I think I used the terms "Small 00 & Modest 00 when discussing choice marbling. I believe I made mention that Sterling Silver's program specs Modest 00 or higher & an A/B maturity. I don't recall saying the maturity A/B is stamped on the cryovac. The only reference I recall making recently about "stamped" age is the date on the box which I used in the context of a baseline for aging at home. I thought "No Roll" meant ungraded & therefor no USDA stamp. The lower end choice product I made reference to is National's Black Canyon and their program specs Small 00 marbling or higher but there is no mention of cutting defects in the G-63 schedule.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your right about being an educated consumer being the most important factor. Unless I am in a terrible hurry I always walk past the meat case whenever I am in a supermarket or wholesale club. In terms of marbling, the choice strip steaks in the local Costco & BJ's consistently look close to prime & the choice strips in Shoprite consistently look just a little better than select. Are you sure Costco is buying standard choice for their Kirkland Brand & not a branded product with more stringent specs. I have been told that quality can vary from different pack houses within the same company. One old retired butcher told me the beef from one IBP plant in one part of the country could be consistently better than from a different IBP plant in a different part of the country. "IF" this is true, could this account for the nicer looking beef at Costco?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tom, If I miss-interpreted what you posted you have my apology. When ever I go through a post in detail it's only because I hope to help others understand what we are talking about. Meat grading should be simple but it can be a quagmire of confusion and marketing. In either event I hope it's clear that it's all in the spirit of talking with a fellow foodie and steak lover!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have never seen a Kirkland fresh meat program in regard to sub-primal or fresh beef. That certainly doesn't mean they couldn't change that in the future and they may have done some thing along those lines in the past with their frozen cut steaks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your butcher was spot on about different packing houses. I can't go into great detail but I can tell you when I've written SOP manuals for steak houses in the past that specify no beef from certain plants or even certain states. There will be regional quality variations and even seasonal quality variations as well as plant quality variations based on where they get their beef. If you read about Costco denying beef on the truck I'd venture a guess that the people signing for the delivery are checking the codes on the master cases. This tells us where the meat comes from and if it conforms to the master purchasing agreement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hope that helps. BTW I need to get my rear end to Costco and stock up before meat prices start climbing again!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you ever in Detroit drop me a line. We'll throw some steaks on the BGE and give them the official taste test. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dave

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Costco shows up, and says, we'll pay you extra for the best choice. Yes, they're buying from the same meat packers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Believe it or not, beef is an agricultural product... it is quite possible to get good, and really bad, within a grade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YOUR RIGHT......There are 3 tiers within the grades that are commonly referred to as Bottom, Middle & Top. Most supermarkets have contracts for top select or bottom choice for their generic beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Top choice is sold at a premium, often through Branded products like Certified Angus Beef, Excel Sterling Silver & IBP Chairmans Reserve. Depending on demographics, many supermarkets will bring in small quantities of these and sell them at a premium. Most top choice is bought up by food purveyors and sold to restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The difference in appearance between bottom choice vs top choice is instantly noticeable to the point where my 12 year old daughter could pull a top choice steak out that was mixed in with 20 bottom choice steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have been to Costco many times with friends & to date what I have seen in their meat cases was clearly TOP choice & on occasion bottom prime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also interesting is that Costco's price per lb for whole primals is very consistent with Restaurant Depot & US Foods top choice whole primal price and moves up and down with the market at the same pace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are 3 tiers within the grades that are commonly referred to as Bottom, Middle & Top
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry but that's a total and complete fallacy in a grading sense. Packing houses are not sorting sub-grades on standard choice beef. Certainly there will always be better individual pieces of meat with in a grade (does any one really think each animal will be exactly the same?) but there is no way for any CAFO packing house to separate sub-grades. I'd very much like to see some empirical proof of such a claim but you certainly won't find any credible source for such marketing hype such as the industry standard Meat Buyers Guide. It's truly amazing how stores are starting to play on uninformed consumers. The new Wally world "Prime" choice couldn't possibly be a better example....LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If they can pull better quality for their Branded products like Excel does with Sterling Silver, IBP does with Chairmans Reserve, National does with Certified Premium Beef, Rastelli's does Angus Elite,.... so on and so forth, .......why can't Costco do the same with the specs for their private label "Kirkland" ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "why can't Costco do the same with the specs for their private label "Kirkland"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Costco does not have a private label fresh meat program AFAIK. The sub-primals they sell are just run of the mill choice, Excel, IBP, National etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lets also be clear that Excel does not simply "pull" Sterling Silver at the slaughterhouse. Sterling Silver meat is a specific % of Angus, Fed a specific diet, aged etc. It's not processed at the same time as standard beef so if your under the impression that once meat gets graded choice some one is standing around hand separating the loins that look better you've been misled. That's simply not the way a CAFO slaughter house works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it is quite possible to get good, and really bad, within a grade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not only possible but a garuntee that this will be the result even with in the same master case. The point being that neither Costco or any other buyer can control that on cryo sub-primals. Buyers dealing with hanging whole or half beef certainly can select meat (think Peter Luger) based on their own peramiters but that has nothing to do with Costco.There's a world of difference from the big box slaughter house CAFO beef and meat packers buying hanging beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Membership went up 10% ($50 -> $55), not 20%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That would drive me crazy. I have no desire to go to multiple stores just to save a couple dollars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh rasputina, we all have different ways of shopping. I make daily, weekly and monthly purchases for my family, volunteer commitments and business. I've been shopping this way since Green Stamps and so far I'm coming out ahead of my personal curve. If I wasn't, I'd shop a diff way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Multiple store shopping is the only way I can stay ahead of my buying needs. If I could shop at one store for everything at the best quality and price, I would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you may want to consider 'dollar cost averaging' in your success formula. If you factor quality of the product, time, gas and more importantly getting sucked into purchasing non-sale items from a super market. You just may find that Costco will offer you a more consistant saving pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think it would be interesting to see the results of a one year experiment broken into either two six month increments or perhaps quarterly periods and switch back and forth between the two systems and see how things turned out when factoring in time, overall cost for purchases and vehicle operation costs and emotional equilibrium from spending either more or less "traffic time."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't forget to factor in the emotional trauma of going into a place like Costco too much for some of us. There's a lot of yuck there - shopping as well as available to purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the things I've learned from going to my local Costco is that Monday or Tuesday night seems to be the best days for avoiding crazy crowds and any emotional trauma. Also, out here in LA, the traffic situation is a LOT more traumatic than any possible shopping hassles once you reach the "safety" of the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No store will protect you from your own demise if you have not planned what you need to purchase from what you would like to purchase. Don't blame Costco or any other place for your lack of control. Stick to a plan and execute it, done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But it's so much fun to go in for milk and come home with an 80" Plasma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please tell me how you plan to sneek that bad boy by the 'boss'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's the only part I haven't figured out yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "No store will protect you from your own demise if you have not planned what you need to purchase from what you would like to purchase. Don't blame Costco or any other place for your lack of control. Stick to a plan and execute it, done."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I honestly can't figure out what this has to do with what I wrote. I am more likely to go to Costco and leave, empty handed, feeling disgusted by the experience than anything else. The only "lack of control" involved is in thinking that it might be better this time and I won't feel gross while in the place and observing what's going on around me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yinz outta come shop up here. less crowded, more swearing in foreign languages. fewer fat americans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "yinz outta come shop up here. less crowded, more swearing in foreign languages. fewer fat americans."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where are you, Montreal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    nah, pittsburgh. we've got the least crowded costco in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe Costco sells the Kirkland brand rose colored glasses in aisle 14 :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aisle 14? Is there a map so that I can find it from my car on my motorized cart? Is that where the lady is serving microwaved sausage patties with real, maple-like seasnin's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <<<<<No store will protect you from your own demise if you have not planned what you need to purchase from what you would like to purchase. Don't blame Costco or any other place for your lack of control. Stick to a plan and execute it, done.>>>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But it was you who earlier criticized regular supermarkets based on the premise that shoppers will get sucked into non-sale purchases. You also ignore the reality that often in Costco you have no choice but to buy more than you want or need and end up with spoilage (or its equivalent for non-fresh foods, having stuff sit on the shelf for years until you finally throw it out)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Really? Going to a store is trauma-inducing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    emotional trauma, LOL come on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know about emotional trauma but the combat shopping does get a bit old...LOL The parking lots here are a zoo unless your an expert in offensive driving. ;-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Way, way too many drivers in parking lots and on the street who consider themselves "experts" in offensive driving...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I only go there on weekday mornings and I avoid any day before a holiday weekend. As a result the store has few shoppers and I never have issues with parking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prime time for me is on weekdays - before noon or after 2pm. Weekends are fine - as long as I get there before 11am. After that, it does get INTERESTING...!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Costco never offered a consistant saving pattern for the items I bought there; since 1991. What they offer me are certain items I either can't buy elsewhere at that price or items on my list I was willing to buy at that price. No different than how I shop anywhere else. Which was my only point some 4 comments ago. I am not loyal to Costco or any market, I am loyal to what I need to buy, when I need to buy it at the price I'm willing to pay. Competition in my surrounding area is so strong at this time that all I need to do is follow a 3 mile stretch of highway; hardly a gas glut for me. So YMMV, I respect that but loyalty my friends is over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      >>>>you may want to consider 'dollar cost averaging' in your success formula. If you factor quality of the product, time, gas and more importantly getting sucked into purchasing non-sale items from a super market. You just may find that Costco will offer you a more consistant saving pattern.<<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Costco's business model is based, in part, on "sucking" its customers into buying too much stuff that they either didn't/don't need or end up throwing away because of spoilage. So the Costco approach has its own hazards of money-wasting. Also, on the whole, for most people I believe far more gas is used going to Costco than to a neighborhood supermarket. Factor those things in and you might reach a different conclusion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nobody puts a gun to your head to buy anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nobody puts a gun to your head to buy the membership, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some folks like it. Some folks don't. Either way is cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The humongous delicious birthday cakes for around $22(CAD)! Bring on the replies about artificial colouring, the icing, whatever... It is damn good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maabso

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      maabso, I read somewhere that Costco sells thousands of those sheetcakes a month when you total every location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They sell the sheet cakes that no one picks up at a discounted price..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great goof for a laugh..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No kiddding BC, I've never thought of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never knew that! That would be great for a laugh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nothing says you really care like a sheetcake that says "Happy Birthday Zelda!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a feeling that sort of thing would go over very well among my friends, seriously!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Time for a Cake Wrecks party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: maabso

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What's not to love about cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. it's very interesting and informative reading all these posts. apparently I'm in the minority.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              still though, the few times I get gas there and the fewer times I actually go in the store, it surprises me that my husband still keeps up the membership.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              like already mentioned, our daughter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              likes it but prices and bargains are so much better in her state (as described by her) but here, it's not what I'm tempted to frequent. the prices are not nearly as great as they used to be as told to us by the store managers' wife.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                our local supermarket loves to boast on how much it rips us off on produce... it makes whole foods look reasonable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thepeople from wv, driving 100 miles -- they do it because food is so expensive there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I use Costco a bit differently and keep the membership because it certainly pays for itself. I tend to go maybe once every month or two.... depending on what I am "into" at the time and making.I rarely buy regular foods there, like for direct eating. I do like the roasted chicken and will buy 2 or 3 of them to shred the meat for chicken taco's and the like, stash them in the freezer. Use the bones for stock. I also make my own dog food and he likes the chicken too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I am buying at Costco these days:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bulk citrus (mostly lemon, lime, clementines) for preserved lemons, and for making "cello's" and infused vodka's (now I can buy vodka there too!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Raspberries and Gin for making raspberry Gin (good God that stuff is fabulous)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Vanilla beans (really good deal on these all the time)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bulk Coffee for cold brewed iced coffee to keep in the fridge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bulk green and black teas for iced tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unsalted butter for compound butters for the freezer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Plain, good quality Goat cheese for creating herbed goat cheeses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Crimini mushrooms for duxelles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Vinegar for making herbal vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wine, toilet paper, body wash, vitamins, nice womans razor blade refills (man, those things are pricey!) Simple green cleaner, bulk dishwasher soap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Direct food products that I am not turning into something different: Quinoa, cous cous, kalamata olives, cheeses, sundried tomato, organic meats, frozen cod for quick fish taco's or fish soups, bubble waters, pistachio's and other nuts (save $$).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As mentioned before, I also will check Costco first for electronics because of their return policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like their online photo shop too. Great prices if you do some "artsy" things with your photo's and want them enlarged over an 8X10 size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Their goat cheese IS the best price in town!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Same too for the pecorino...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. From what I have seen Costco's meat is of the same high choice quality that the major restaurant purveyors provide and when purchased as whole primals about the same price. I have NOT found the meat at Sam's Club or most supermarkets to be of the same quality. With a few weeks age (whole primals) and careful cooking its the same as going to a good steakhouse at a fraction of the cost which pays for the membership very quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I said this many years ago on a previous blog but I think it bears repeating, I worked for a trucking company who hauled for Costco,my boss also owned his own Insurance co,and had It's own store from which he sold he sold all rejected food Items which were sellable to help pay for the claims,you all have no Idea how much Costco rejected,I never knew why they rejected it I was not privy to that info,but I did know none of what I ever sold was bad,even once had a cooler full of iced trout come in,in perfect condition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And that my friends is why I travel almost 300 hundred miles 3 to 4 times a year certainly not to save money especially with the gas prices being what they are but because Of the quality they carry and how particular they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mutti

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam's came to our area first so I have a business membership there. We now have a Costco about 2 miles further away. IMHO, Sam's has significantly cut the quality of many of their products. When my Sam's membership expires this fall we are switching to Costco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When we lived in an area that had Costco, Sam's and BJ's, we belonged to all three; we quickly realized Sam's was the least beneficial membership to hold. Product mix was similar to Costco but the stores were filthy and their staff was surly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BJ's I kind of liked; in some ways they had more variety and often rather than one large unit of something you could buy multi-packs of small units, which was kind of cool. They're also the only place I ever saw a half-gallon of Haagen-Dazs. If they had them here I'd probably join.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The problem with BJ's, for me, is that it's not nation wide. I also find a lot of their prices to be on par, and no particular deal, with regular supermarkets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Overall, I prefer Costco but will make use of the BJ's passes that come in the junk mail now and then. What I like about BJ's is that there's a deli counter, and the aisles are labeled so it's easier to find what you want. Also, there seem to be more divided and multi-packs, which is a plus. At Costco, the overall quality is higher, but items are moved around all the time, and the unlabeled aisles necessitate hunting. I have mobility issues, and can't do much of that. I'm sure their strategy is to force browsing in hopes of increasing impulse buying, but in my case, I'd buy more if I could easily find what I am looking for. As things stand, if it's not where it used to be, most times I leave without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am a big meat & seafood guy. Sam's had Top Choice Excel Sterling Silver beef & wild caught seafood. Now its bottom choice National Beef "Black Canyon" and the seafood is largely Indonesian farm raised stuff. Your right about Sams being dirty. I also don't like being one of the only people in there speaking English. (I am sure I get beat up on that one). I also can't stand having 1/2 dozen items and standing in line behind people with 2 carts filled to the top. No express line leaves a lot to be desired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I could get my breakfast sausage anywhere but Sam's their card would be looking for my wallet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That breakfast sausage must really be doing something for you. For the cost of the membership you might be able to get some really "high end" sausage from a local butcher. They can usually order it by the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like Costco's self check out, really fast and usually no lines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That would really make my wife happy as she often just runs in for a couple items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately they only have that at some stores - I was told that they can't do it at the busy ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We, too, belonged to all three in a previous area... hated Sam's, BJs wasn't terrible, but well beneath Costco for our needs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My brother who lives 2 miles from me has a BJ's membership & likes it. If I get the Costco membership along with my Restaurant Depot membership we should have it pretty well covered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You won't be sorry. Costco's quality is high - especially their own "Kirkland" brand, & all of the locations we've visited have always been clean, & the customer service very friendly & eager to please. Plus, it's frankly just a fun store to shop in, as there's always something new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Their Kirkland brand does seem to get very good reviews on this site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their Tuscan olive oil in the glass bottle is GREAT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And their Arbequina is even better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if that's available in San Francisco area. Is it in a glass bottle? I avoid buying in plastic and hate that I have to buy Best Foods Mayo and Heinz Ketchup in plastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their Tuscan olive oil in the glass bottle is GREAT.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That and the Kirkland balsamic are both killer buys!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We've been buying Kirkland paper towels & toilet paper for over 15 years now. I absolutely HATE IT if we run out & I have to buy either item at the supermarket. Even premium brands don't come close in quality to Kirkland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kirkland's extra-virgin olive oil, marinated artichoke hearts, & marinara sauce are also on our "must have" list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That Costco olive oil gets a lotta love around here, so I tried some again recently. Just a spoon for the sampling. I find it rather dull, missing the fruitiness of a good oil. It does have some pepperiness, but, I'd much rather get better oil at a higher price and cut back on something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I use the Tuscan for cooking and for salads, I buy Lucini at WF -- love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I suppose it depends on what you are going to use it for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used to buy the Costco oil as my everyday oil -- cooking, everyday salad dressings, etc., etc., where the taste isn't as big a deal. I still buy a fairly ho-hum olive oil for my daily oil -- I don't live anywhere near a Costco, so that's no longer an option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then I keep a bottle of really lovely Umbrian oil on hand for things where I can really let the flavor sing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Keeps my average cost down, while allowing me to splurge on a really good oil once in a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What's the name of your Umbrian? I'll be on the look out for it. Used to use only San Guiliano from Sardinia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There was no label - I bought it from a little old man who'd parked his van alongside a mountain road in Umbria. (and I wish I'd bought more)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A lot of olive oil debate comes down to personal choice, too -- I prefer Italian oils above all others, preferably Tuscan or Umbrian, although I like most Italian oils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like Spanish oils, too, so those are my second choice -- once in a while I find a French oil I like, but I overwhelmingly find them too 'grassy' for my tastes....so I'll eat French olives until I fall off my chair, but I will usually pass on the oils.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of my friends prefer Spanish oils, others prefer French...à chacun son goût (to each their own, or horses for courses)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh those Kirkland Paper Towels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I LOVE them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Way better than every other store brand I have tried and the same price or, cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i'm so happy to hear this! we've always been a Bounty family, but i took a chance on the Kirkland this time around because the price is so much better. i'm a fan of their TP so i figured it was worth trying. i haven't opened them yet because i still have to finish the last of the Bounty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The first time I tried the Kirkland Brand paper towels, I looked at my husband and said "Oh, I feel rich."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They are bigger, sturdier and just, well, MORE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought Bounty recently as I had a coupon, and I looked at my ever so patient husband "Nice. Very nice. But not as good as Kirkland."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Back to Costco I go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/06/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting comparison report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For brand names, I'd agree, but Costco offers their store brand at a greater value overall, so if you're happy with that (and it's a very competitive product) then you can walk in any day and be confident that your price is fair. As has been repeated ad nauseam about big box shopping you can certainly beat the deals if you're willing to wait and/or shop at multiple stores. Not everybody wants to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not everyone wants to or can (when presented with very limited shopping choices). Why do you continue to shop @ Costco was the original question. The OP was underwhelmed. Defending the big box stores I understand for some shoppers is important. I am not brand loyal let alone store loyal. If I was I wouldn't get a good value across the board. I thought the link I shared today was interesting. And for that reason only I shared it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can NOT beat costco's prices for JellyBelly jellybeans.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not fresh from the factory.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not fresh from the factory SECONDS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well alrighty then, Chowrin. Enjoy those Jelly Belly's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chowrin, your post is exceptionally cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly, the OP when asked, could not define why they were underwhelmed. They expect a full blown super market and all it's features with Costco pricing, really? As you know, Costco utilizes it's square footage quite efficiently and stocks the best quality items that will turn over fast and their prices reflect that strategy. The OP, IMO, created this topic with no factual experience other than to attempt to de-grade Costco, not possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: treb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hi treb, that's not how I intrepreted the OP or the entire thread for that matter. I've been reading along and I note the loyalty found in shopping where you are comfortable shopping. As well as the comfort in how you shop, what's available to you and so forth. If I took this thread personally it wouldn't be fun to read. Frankly, I don't take anything I read on CH personally--it's not the point of discussing topics. So unless we have a CH representing a managerial role at Costco participating in this topic, I'll continue to read the laymans (including my own) experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Armchair quarterbacking is fun and I've experienced Costco shopping in eight states. Each one while similar is also different too. So in a room full of global CH's I wouldn't expect our experiences to be the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Folks, it seems like this thread has run its course and is now getting testy and repetitive. We're going to lock it now.