Best Costco Buys

stir_fryiJuly 20, 2008

I would love to hear what others find as a great buy at Costco.

It is worth my membership for kitty litter! Fresh Step Scoopable in a 40lb tub for $12! NO store can come close to that.

Also there fresh ground beef at a little over $2 a pound is delicious. Makes the best hamburgers you will ever it.

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Yeah, I do the kitty litter there, too. They also have certain magazines for less than on newstands, but that's not a regular purchase for me.

I have to be careful not to do any "impulse shopping" there because you can come outta Costco with a big expenditure if you aren't careful. Love their free samples. On Fridays we sometimes go there and snack our way through the store.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:50PM
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I just save the $35 or $40 on the membership. I don't find deals there.

$12 for 40# of cat litter around here is expensive! Target and Kmart sell Fresh Step cheaper than that. I can buy the scoopable (I think the brand is Scoop Away, it's in a purple box) all the time on sale at PetSmart for $9.99 and I've gotten Tidy Cats 38# for $8.99 with a $1 coupon applied. Fleet Farm has scoopable litter for $7 for 40# and has it on sale occasionally from $5.99 to $6.49. Walmart has 28# for $5.49.

Hamburger around here is rather high, but Rainbow has a great meat department and has burger on sale for $1.89-$1.99 quite often. This week the sale is ground chuck for $1.99. Excellent stuff.

I survey Costco and Sam's for a vendor. While I'm there I look at prices out of curiosity. I find them to be overpriced. Dish soap is cheaper at the drug store, microfibre cloths are cheaper at Target, pet food and accessories I find to be hideously overpriced, as are paper products, coffee and, well, I just don't see any reason to spend an extra $10-$15 per trip for the membership just to pay more! LOL I've just never found the "bargains" that people tell me about. I don't understand it. Just being a savvy shopper yields far better results in my experience. Virtually everything I've heard, I can do better elsewhere.

I'm sure this is not what you wanted to hear, but just an alternate experience.

Now I'm not criticizing your choice of stores so I hope there's no offense. We're all on the quest for deals!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:10PM
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That is why posts like this are usually not helpful... prices vary across the country and around the world.

What is a bargain for ME (and I DO find many at Costco) is NOT for someone else....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:11PM
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I agree you do have to watch the unit price on items. But we are ardent wharehouse (BJ'S) shoppers. We always get the better prices then shopping at the grocery store or department stores. For instance, we buy meat in bulk. Wayne cuts it up and uses our Food Saver to vac it and freeze it. He grinds his own hamburger, grinds meat for making sausage,etc. Taste better then anything you can get at a grocery store. Seasoned the way we like it and portioned just for our family. We buy our water cooler water there along with the canned veggies, the list goes on. Come payback time we always get back our membership dues and then some. There are many, many bargains. You just have to know what the prices are in your area. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 2:01PM
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P.S. I forgot to say the best savings of all at BJ's, we just filled up the gas tank of our car at their gas station. $3.91 a gallon. Cheapest prices in the area. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 12:02AM
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In California the gas prices at Costco are excellent resulting in long lines. Eggs are a good deal as well as meat which is Choice grade. They have seafood on the weekends which features fresh clams, etc. at better prices than our grocery store and its fresher. I have clients who are vendors at Costco who say that their prices are lower there because of Costco's enormous buying power. In fact one of the major candy companies objected to the way Costco was pricing their product and Costco said "okay We won't carry your product at all." Needless to say the candy company agreed.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:57PM
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Costco has excellent prices on eyeglasses and you don't have to be a member to get eyeglasses there. Of course, if you are not a member you will have to pay cash.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:08PM
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We shop Costco for

olive oil
walnuts, pecans
dog food
wine, beer
frozen hamburgers-DH would eat them daily if I would cook them daily
vitamins, OTC medicines, esp generics
prescriptions, they have high quality generics and the lowest prices on RX in town
toilet paper
we always comparison shop electronics and often buy from Costco
dog beds, I sew but cost of the foam alone is more than the cost of the bed from Costco

I agree that you should know the prices at other stores, you can find some things cheaper in regular retailers. One area we don't buy much of is meat/produce, its just DH and I and we have a hard time eating it all, even if I freeze it (except those hamburgers!). Also, if you don't have a lot of storage space, warehouse stores can create problems.

All in all, I save money at Costco, even when I factor in the $50 membership fee.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Vitamin E
Fish Oil capsules
Preen (the weed preventer)
Round up
Dog beds- they have HUGE ones for $20 (I have 4 large dogs)
Paper products (we don't buy them often though)
Ziploc freezer bags
Olive oil
Got a great deal on Alta body wash, sea salt scub, facial scrub, and moisturizer for $18; the facial scrub alone at Target was $11.
Razor refills

Their gas is usually not cheaper than regular stations around here.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Some of my staples at Costco:

Organic Ground Round - 3.99/lb
Rack of Lamb - 9.99/lb
Pork Tenderloin - 2.99/lb? (I can't remember but it's low low low!)
Washington Bing Cherries - 2.66/lb
Croissants 5.50/dz (local grocer has them priced at $1/each)
Smoked Almonds - half the cost of the grocery
Organic Butter - 3.20 lb
We also buy pool chemicals, ice cream for the kids, red and yellow peppers, rotisserie chicken, etc.

I agree that not everything there is the best price in town, but if you know your prices you will find a lot is! The gas here is just okay - about the same price as the low-priced gas station but not really lower.

I think they offer you a free one-day membership to check it out. Also, you get two cards per membership and the card holders do NOT have to live in that same house. My friend and her MIL share a membership. Maybe you have a friend who would be interested in teaming up with you?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 2:11PM
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My favorite buys at costco are the containers of organic lettuce mix and the bags of romaine. I can't get them cheaper anywhere. Makes me eat a lot of salads.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:43PM
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We love the Kirkland Coffee.. It is roasted by Starbucks and says it on the label. I didn't think my DH would ever use anything but Starbucks but we love it (well, it is Starbucks) and 1/3 the price.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Organic Apple Sauce
Cheese in 2 pound blocks
Kirkland Whole Wheat sliced bread - Bargain!
Baby Wipes
Whole Wheat Organic Pasta
Plain Yogurt
Organic Milk

All of these products are much cheaper than Safeway, Trader Joes, etc. We only shop at Costco and Trader Joes and the local farmer's markets for fresh vegetables / produce.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:09AM
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For all of you ice cream lovers, you MUST try their Kirkland Vanilla ice cream! The best out there hands down!!! IMO

Costco continues to provide great selection with competitive pricing. Have you ever left there without buying something? =)
Their new line of green cleaners are very good for those who can't handle the strong smells of regular cleaners. The new (used to be badged as WINTREE) liquid laundry detergent is very good, has a wonderful light scent of lavendar. Great for sheets!
Don't forget their wonderful return policy if you don't like something. Try THAT at a regular grocery store, not.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Last week, my husband bought a new pair of glasses for 1/3 of what he paid at another store last time. We also got great deals on blueberries, liquid laundry detergent (Kirkland), coffee, salsa, hummus, dog food, olive oil. Their house brand is in many cases superior to name their men's T shirts. We check prices carefully, and, no not everything is a bargain. My husband's car takes premium gas, and we filled up at our last visit for less than the cost of regular at our neighborhood stations. At Christmas, they carry the best wrapping paper and cards, too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:53AM
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Don't I just wish we had a Costco anywhere nearby! Just returned from a trip to the West Coast, where I accompanied DDIL on a few shipping trips there. The bargains..I am amazed, compared to what we pay for things out here in the boonies. Granted, not everything is a just has to pay attention. Costco, will you please come to WNC? Pretty please?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:30PM
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I get as many things at Costco as I can. Even on vacation in HI I was expecting the Costco prices to be higher due to farther away and NOPE,,same price as state side!!

Anyway: Bananas
high quality, low fat ground beef
rotisserie chickens are the biggest ones around
romain lettuce
bagels, croissants and muffins
potato chips, major brands and kirklands
lunch meats
canned vegetables (diced tomatoes,
corn, green beans etc.
chocolate chips

car batteries and tires...gasoline

Okay,,,just about any food staple and too many more things to mention.

It helps to be a bulk shopper like me that buys 10 boxes of rice a roni when it's at it's lowest price,,so Costco works for me. There is also no hassle for returns either even when I've lost the receipt but there sticker is still on it. I'm sure they track your purchases on your card so they can do this. Just love'em.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:06AM
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Wow I just went to costco and ground beef is now $3 a pound! Still a good deal but I can remember when it was $2.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:07AM
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When ever I need anything we go to Costco first. Hubby bought a Lane leather recliner 399. Our furniture store 700. figured we saved many yrs of membership. Plus the fact that we have made a closet into a pantry so I can stock up. We only shop once every 6 weeks. Next week we go......haven't bought one of the huge round chocolate cakes but did try the apple pie at xmas. Very few things we haven't liked. Can't wait to try that yummy looking cake. Will have to have company come over to help out . Haven't lost money on anything yet. If you figure the weight, quality, content you save your membership almost every time you go.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 4:56PM
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We have been saving money on items that are the "last one", slightly damaged stock items ... or both.

We recently got a fantastic deal on a queen mattress and box spring. The mattress was in stock but they were short of box springs due to being pulled for damage. The box springs had small tears on the bottom dust cover. We found a box spring with a two inch tear...and since they are sold as a set the supervisor asked us to make an offer. We did, and he accepted. Got it for $250 instead of $600. The mattress and box spring were getting dust covers put on anyway so a small tear on the bottom of the box spring did not matter to us.

Yesterday, made an offer at Costco for a "last one" garage overhead storage shelf that hangs from the ceiling joists. Was missing a bolt and had a paint chip missing on it. Since we were going to paint one grey (instead of leaving white) we made an offer to the supervisor that also was accepted...he was glad to see it off the shelf and I was glad for the deal.


" McDonagh"

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:03AM
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I shopped at BJs a few times and kept my receipts to be able to compare later. Then, I received some coupons for the diapers I like so I used the $3 coupon. Later I compared the price of the diapers to a trip I had made a few weeks earlier. The shelf price had been adjusted so that with the coupon it was the same as it had been two weeks earlier without. I was mad and haven't been back since. I did email them about it and they wanted me to gather all of the detailed info for them to research it, but I just couldn't be bothered.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 6:15AM
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don't think Costco does the same return policy as it used to--they were losing money on it...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:02AM
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The return policy was the same last time I went. Electronics returns have some restrictions on them, but everything else seems to be accepted back.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 2:59PM
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I do lots of shopping around in our local area and found Costco, almost every time, has the best prices on electronics like TVs and computers. Also has the best price on lamb roasts. And I can't find those 1" thick boneless pork chops at any other place. The large 16 oz. jar of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano is the best price anywhere. The key thing is knowing the price of food items in your local area. I have a notebook I carry in my purse so I can do a price comparison on things we buy all the time.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 2:19PM
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If costco is such a great deal, they wouldn't charge you a membership fee to shop there. They make their money in the fees. I was a member once and it didn't make sense to keeo it. I could find better prices elsewhere on what I needed and didn't need or want 52 rolls of toilet paper. It seems to me it isn't that great a deal.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:28PM
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I love to shop Costco, but only about every 6 weeks & stock up. Some of their meats cuts are cheaper at other stores, but not as good. The produce is excellent and decently priced. Good prices on unusual frozen foods. We love the frozen spinach ravioli. Kirkland dog food is an excellent buy for a high quality product. The spices are high quality and cheaper. Try the Johnnys brand powder garlic spread, really good on lots of foods.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 12:39AM
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We've been members for over 15 years. The best value for our family of four are the cereals, eggs, milk and fresh meats. When using the couplon booklet that comes in the mail, I use a lot of them for things I don't normally buy such as chicken pot pie and frozen cookie dough. We have a deep freeze and keep it stocked.
I buy the Kirkland house brand on almost all the items including medicines, vitamins, and diapers/wipes when my children were babies. My two cats eat ONLY the kirkland dry cat food. They love it.
We've also bought some nice jewelry, eyeglasses, contact lenses and electronic items.
we like the return policy.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:20PM
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For contact lenses alone my membership is worth it. I have an astigmatism which means pricey contacts. They were $400 at my eye doctor and $150 at costco. I'll never buy them any where else.

My only problem with there is that I used to end up buying things I didn't plan on. Now I go every couple months with a well planned list that I stick to.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 3:40PM
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One of the reasons that I shop at costco is that I think they have have a very good employment policy. I do not shop at places that I think have bad employment policies. I go about once a month or maybe more in the winter because they have such good tomatoes.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 8:12PM
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I just drove past BJ's on my way home from a trip to the mall. The price of gas is now below $2.00, the price was $1.96 for unleaded regular. The LUK station right next door to BJ's has their price at $2.01 for UR. Compared to my post from July the price was $3.91 and I was happy to pay that! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 12:14PM
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