Compare unit prices to calculate the best price per quantity. Those prices make absolutely no sense. Costco produce is always so fresh, and kept at a very low temperature, so when I get it home, they last a LOT longer than SuperStore. Also you can get the membership for cheaper to start out if you do it in the middle of your year of membership due to the fact that its prorated. We would always buy our chicken from Costco, now knowing that its more expensive there, I’ll be looking at other stores for a better deal. Bought from MD Costco on 9-17-2012 $8.89 for 1.5 gallon. I shop frozen & dairy at sales & Aldi. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Costco’s milk. Since I live in the US that may be the reason for some of our differences, but I have found that many of my food purchases are cheaper if not comparable at Costco. This article proved what I already suspected – frozen and packed products will be cheaper in the warehouse store, fresh products more expensive. Clearly you save more, if you have a large family and naturally eat/shop more. I can’t stand these games and the location of their price stickers are often hidden or in front of the wrong item, making it almost impossible to figure out with our a magnifying glass.Takes me forever to shop there! But I wanted to get a good sampling of fresh, frozen, and packaged food to determine (based on unit price) if Costco really offers a better deal to consumers. They all have big appetites and I find myself at Costco weekly. Costco can definitely be a money-sucker, but one definite money-saver that no one has mentioned is the incredible savings on baby formula. I even added diapers to my list ’cause I can’t escape Costco without seeing someone with a package of Huggies in tow. And oh yes, the frozen veggies at Costco are WAY better! No non-fat organic milk, I can’t see why. If your 2% back on executive membership does not cover the cost difference between it and gold star membership you can get the difference between your rebate and the extra cost at the service desk. Foods I like are typically 25-30% cheaper at Costco than at any of the local grocery stores. Technically, *I* am the one with a (regular) Costco membership, but a friend paid me for half of it, with the understanding that she gets some of the benefit. This Blog was really informative! if you buy any big ticket items. More Whole Foods Market ❯, 273 85. Costco HAD a great return policy, but it has changed over the years and has become a lot more strict. Producers in this top tier manage diverse, small to medium scale family farms. Here are 15 foods nutritionists always buy at Costco . Packaged lettuce for instance seems to go bad very very quickly and though your purchasing a larger package, most of it goes bad before you can use it. I explained that we were roommates and that we always split our grocery bills this way. Their organic oils, sugar, fruits and veggies also makes for nice additives in my organic skincare and dental products. We live in the U.S. and find that our Costco Executive membership pays for itself on the items that WE purchase. I don’t mind paying the little bit more for the fruit/fresh when it is better quality. Bottom Line: Take a spin down Costco’s freezer section to save big on frozen chicken breasts, vegetables, and fish. 36 – 2 ply rolls – 500 sheets per roll. As far as I am concerned, I don’t know how families can survive if they don’t shop by sales, no matter where they are shopping. If you know what to buy. Hard to beat that. Bananas are $1.99 a kilo, the cocktail tomatoes on the vine which are the only ones with taste are 1/2 the price than at other local stores and lemons are 3.20 for 8 lemons. Everything is specked that way. I can’t fathom such a beautiful state serving these sad sad veggies to a bunch of hungry Canadians. Yet for single people, or couples it’s questionable aside from just enjoying it for what it is – a unique environment to shop for massive items. The cost of it at a drugstore is $20, while Costco’s price is the same for more than double the quantity. If you’re a person that carries an Amex card anyway, it might be that the combined Costco/Amex membership will save you the annual Amex fee. 6. 1) More cardholders are allowed on the same membership (can’t remember but I think it is 5). I have been an employee at costco for over 15 years and i would like to state the fact that you are sorely misguided about our executive membership. Same with Salsa, I noticed it being much more watery as compared to the supermarket. It isn’t worth it. Buying a brand you don’t love is simply a waste of money, even if it’s cheaper or on sale. I buy a few, some for my own use and others as stocking stuffers for the foodies in my family. This was when the temperature was around or above 100 degrees everyday. Check to see if produce has been grown in your own city or country. There *was* a brief period when Walmart was cheaper on milk, but those occasions have been few and far between. fresh Chicken is 11.99 per kilo and milk is at least 50cents less per 4 litre bag than any area groceries including discount chains. I can usually find the cheapest OJ and milk at the CVS or Walgreen’s. Have you checked the prices on there clothing. Also, I love to buy gas there except on the occasion when it’s cheaper elsewhere. So, we are only a couple in a too small apartment so sadly, we suffer for space when we go to Costco. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page. I pointed out the expiry day it in April and I just opened it and it is already no good. I LOVE Costco! It often comes with info about what will be on sale this week in-store. Newly updated items will appear in red. Organic Milk vs Conventional Milk: Cost. Kirkland ibuprofen – 1000 caplets (2 bottles of 500 each) – around $10!! This year we got a check for nearly $400 in these earnings! My wife bought some from the regular supermarket not knowing I had purchased the larger package. Of course now the gas bar also helps. In addition to savings on grocery there are many other savings at Costco. 1 Organic Chicken, 22 Healthy Meals, $49 Bucks, How social media and FOMO wire you to spend money, Is a purchase worth it? Gas! We order all our big purchases on-line with Costco because it’s delivered to your door and you have more payment options that in the store. What a great article and some very interesting information. It’s not just the brattiness of the kids that is the issue. Do I think it’s worth the $60 membership fee? Thanks for the info! I’m not sure if this is has to do with the source material being from Canada or not but there are some issues I have: Milk, butter, cream, cheese, and dairy in general are significantly less expensive at Costco. I disagree about the best time to go – go at dinner time – but, of course, eat first – 5-6:30 – NO LINES!!! […] There are tons of things that are well worth the membership to buy at Costco but what isn’t worth it are Produce and Fresh Goods, need more proof check this article out HERE. I opened it in middle of Jan and the nut was stale. I think some Costco prices vary by location; bananas here are $1.32 for the package; also I have seem much better prices on wine at Costco compared to our local BevMo store. Hello, My family buys and drinks the organic whole milk from costco. I had always thought that Costco isn’t that cheap etc. I also found Costco to be more pricey for fresh vegetables, chicken breasts, milk, cheese, and coffee. This is just wrong. It has to be included as a weighted average into your prices for Costco since your Superstore (I assume) does not have a membership fee. On these items, the price does not tend to fluctuate so much from week to week as it does in supermarkets. Maybe it has a lot to do with location?? I buy my bread for $1.25 a loaf and chicken for $1 a pound on sale. On a different note though, the pharmacy prescription prices are one of the cheapest in the city. we also did a comparison with Superstore,and it literally came within pennies of Costco. We get most of our veggies from our CSA or the farmer’s market. At holiday times of the year the store is great at bringing in certain items. Overall, it will be well worth stocking up on non-perishables every 1-2 months. Over the years I’ve learned to question product packaging, ignore fancy marketing, and rely on unit price comparisons to determine if an item truly is a superior product sold for a better price. It has a relaxed enviroment…and there is alot to say about lowering our stress levels. I figure our membership is paid just by getting milk there. How much does blood pressure medication cost?? One other thing that’s important to me after a stressful work week is 24-hour opening and environment though, which costco falls down on. Beef (fresh) is always a savings and much better quality. For example, the Costcos here sell Washington grown chicken for about half the price of any other grocery store. For instance, cheese is MUCH cheaper at Costco than anywhere else I’ve encountered and believe me I’ve looked. I’m not a very exciting food shopper. I am sure you dont think ALL kids are ill behaved. Product prices couldn’t be the same everywhere because it would be based on shipping costs and availability. Chicken legs are 99 cents per pound, which is a very decent price. As for Costco, I believe it is like shopping anywhere else; you need to know your prices. The best. Here in Toronto it’s a non-profit fruit and veggie box. I avoid shopping when ANYONE else is shopping lol Kids or no kids…I don’t think it is the children making shopping stressful…its the NEVER ending stores…lineups…huge parking lots…way too many products…When I am shopping I find all you Sinks and Dinks just as annoying to get passed lol I LOVE small grocery stores…I can zip around them and they tend to have all the REAL food I need. also I am fortunate that I have a farmers market just down the street where I can get fresh organic grown veggies at half the cost of what they are in the store. Your math on the executive membership is incorrect. Cows that are certified organic can only consume organic feed. If your okay with freezing food and buying dry products then Costco is the place for you. $6.89 Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base 16 oz. I think the same thing happens to the bananas. The biggest Costco advantage is their quality. Great article. I so want to do this at Sams Club This looks like a great homeschool project. Though I have seen (on rare occasions) descent size ones for cheaper prices at the others My favourite stores may not be the best deal in town but they work well for us. “As usual, Costco’s membership fees provide more than 100% of the company’s profit.”. Still we can afford it. And also the good quality breads. You’ll get me through frugal student times! . I got tired of it so now I just say we’re sisters and no one has bothered us about it. Or so I’ve heard. They PRICE MATCH all of their competitor’s flyers. I concluded that, for the way we shop, the savings at the store were minimal and would not cover the cost of membership. They usually don’t even ask why your returning it. My roommate and I made separate purchases the fist time we went together and as I passed her my card the cashier reprimanded me, saying I could not share my card with others. I find that on fresh produce, and some meat (such as fresh chickens) it’s pretty hard to beat Wal Mart. Though Costco’s fresh vegetables are more expensive, I find the quality typically better than what I’d find at a local supermarket. I like to serve as much organic food as possible to my small family: just one child still at home, but we often have company for meals. And to avoid temptation. This is a good comparison, however I would also add that for places that have a Wal Mart, it might be good to add them to the mix. Just a quick comment about the meat and produce. Even the gel-caps (which work in 10 minutes instead of 30) are unbelievably cheap compared to anywhere else (360/under $15). Cornucopia recommends caution with store brands like this one. And during Christmas I bought a 60″ multi leveled cat furniture/scratching post for only $70 which would have cost $199 on sale at pet stores. I’d much rather pay more for my food than get something cheap that isn’t quite what I want…. Look: … It’s 106 degrees outside and I can’t think straight until I get a new fuze for the fancy new contraption that just got installed. Your membership is good anywhere in the world. With $2-300 in monthly auto gas bills, shopping w/AMEX issued by them (3% return f/already cheapest gas at their stations + 2-3% savings on all other stuff), card always paid monthly, makes shopping @ Costco a no brainer. Reminds me of Seinfeld. Costco’s computers, Tv, ect. I wonder even what he gets out of it. For us that translated to $5 less per fill up, so a couple hundred dollars a year (my husband’s commute is 2.5 hours each day). Costco is one of my favorite stores to shop at, and I consistently save money there. My rule of thumb for Costco is to not bring in a cart because they are so over sized that you can’t properly judge exactly how much you are really getting. It’s a great way to use up the milk before it goes bad! My kids are very ill-behaved, but we don’t shop at Costco. They are not given grain, grain products or corn silage. However, as soon as you get suckered in to some other item, your savings are loss…and then some. Electronics may be a few months behind, but Costco provides a two year warranty versus the standard one year. Prices can change weekly (not talking about sales either). If you did the same thing with the chicken breast that you did with frozen veggies you would see something similar. The only thing we have to be careful about are the fresh veggies because of the package sizes. I know people that work at Costco and I know people that work at Superstore. I’m now wondering if a tactic of these stores is to pass along the better pricing because the products are seconds or generally being liquidated. I was aware their return policy was excellent, my friend returned a camera YEARS later and got a new model apparently at one Costco in California. This happened to me and they gave me cash at the customer service desk. So instead, breaking even on an executive membership requires spending $2500. Milk is often 1$ less than other stores and sometimes 50% cheaper. Bottom Line: Don’t see your dream item in store? You never touched on the meat products. The only thing I won’t buy at Costco is car tires because of the long installation wait (not appointments allowed). Superstore No Name Brand: Not only is the packaging misleading, but I hope you like a lot of lumber with your carrots. Eggs and butter are my … The name brand packaging is lower cost per unit than most stores and wharehouses.The $100 membership includes a free AMEX card which I use everywhere possible, and it pays for my membership and also an annual cash back reward of upwards of $400 in my pocket besides. If you want organic meat, the organic lean ground beef is at least $1/lb cheaper than the leading big brand organic (Amy’s). The easiest way to “share” a Costco membership is to just have one name on it, and to unofficially split the cost with a friend. Great comments and I only want to add we find the produce at Costco to be mostly great. These items may be cheaper at another store but, for example, 1 out of 3 avocados might be bad from Safeway, so that makes the cheaper argument kind of moot in my mind. nut butters. Oh yes… the fresh produce is always better quality than all but the most expensive local grocery stores. Plenty of other stores offer just as good a deal on diapers as Costco does. Can make soups, ice creams. Here in Colorado we have psychotic liquor laws (as you do in Canada) and so the wine & good beer are off the table. It is not a lot, but it cuts the saving in your example by 20-25% and we should all be conscious of the gas we use. It’s been studied here by Farm Folk City Folk and the local CBC, that is PBS to the US, did have a show on air Saturday mornings in which they discussed food values, which were set in the 1920’s, on every item such as an apple or broccoli stalk have lowered with changing farm methods. Good new thing at Costco here in Ancaster. Great article, however I would like to point out that you need look include the quality of the food as well. Costco now offers gas, often at $0.07 cheaper per litre. eggs @ $3+/dozen!!! Your Turn: Is shopping at Costco worth it for you? Costco sucks in these fees to pay for their staff. If you haven’t already noticed almost all the commercialized organic milk options here in the US are Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurized (UHT) – which is actually the same process widely used in Europe – but that still doesn’t answer why … heck even the canned meats from costco are head and shoulders above their competitors. The $5,000 mark is if you compare an executive membership to no membership at all. This being said, if I didn’t split the basic membership fee with my daughter, I would not spend enough to make it worth wile based solely on cost. Wall Mart has them for .39 cents a lb, but as for the rest Costco is my choice! We live in Alberta, Canada. There's little argument that organic farming and dairy practices are better for the environment, if only because of their reduced use of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and other synthetic chemical compounds. Saved myself over $3,000 on flooring alone. Plus they will refund you back the difference in the first year if you don’t gain enough back. I can sneak off to SS once in awhile when we need pet food and other items like that…sans kids of course.So what am I called – our family is double income three kids lol. I purchase eggs, frozen veg and fruit, coffee. We also buy most of our cheese at Costco because it is generally about half the price. Heading out to Costco on a saturday morning to deal with crowds and the slowpoke sample-hooverers and the ill behaved kids ain’t worth saving 5% to me. I worked in various departments. Wow – hey Trish – small world. Those organic ones are a killer on the budget!) Go straight in to the ‘restaurant’ and order a hot dog and a pop. Also items such as snack foods are in a lot of cases hard to beat. I often find many mechanics are full of it. The turkey was a $25 dollar turkey. What the exc. I like Costco because it sells a lot of organic products. About 3 big boxes a week. Keep an eye for the dollar stores around though. 2 pack of Large Nutella cans for $8.99. Keeping this in consideration, does grass fed milk have hormones? As with many of you, I enjoyed the meat of the article. Costco has fantastic deals on SOME things and being intelligent about how you shop there is key. YMMV. Bottom Line: Break even on your Gold Star Membership sooner by splitting the fee with a friend. Our “Family Food” store is not the greatest place to shop – and I too will only shop there for flyer (sale) items or if I’m really pressed (out of something) I’ll shop there. Time is money when you are working for your self. For me, there are a few differences. Not much any more. At Costco, we we will buy a couple bags of fruits that last for 2 weeks at least, and its great quality and doesn’t go bad…and guess what, if one isn’t good, you can return it very easily. Also, I question the frozen vegetables you purchased from your grocery store. however for me I am alone and so buy buying family size frozen veggies I can use from that bag all month. Costco saves money on recruiting and training, because they promote from within and KEEP the same employees. I boug]ht the costo membership because I had to find a place with lower dispensing fees from the pharmacy & costco worked. Then again the state I live in has strange car insurance rules and most companies have the same price. Have never found a better one elsewhere. There is only one minor problem. they told her that they were trying to” protect” me and other club members from unwanted intrusions by outsiders. This is a wonderful article, but it’s not accurate if applied to most American supermarkets. Going early is a great idea, but the few times I’ve been to Costco, my wife wants to go as well, so that means early morning trips are out. Try the farmer’s markets for your produce if you can! Veggie Showdown: Don’t serve your chicken with a side of sad — Costco’s frozen veggies win for quality and price. Well, thanks so much for your feedback. Specifically ground beef, and chicken on the bone is a great deal when you buy in bulk. I bought a kids wagon there for 80 bucks. I get frozen food and pantry stuff there sometimes, but mostly just gas. if you look at the meats, it’s the same. A customer’s engine seized and a replacement was NOT covered: the dealership had 3 independent mechanics examine the internal wear and they proved he had been using lesser-quality gasoline. Why compare with Superstore. If you’re a low volume shopper like me, it could pay to split this fee with a friend (or family member) and shop together. The only issue is when the packages are larger than what we need. But I don’t just frequent Costco for food, I go for other miscellaneous items. Thankfully, my awesome mother-in-law is a Costco regular—she knows all the Costco shopping secrets—and she shared their best-kept one with me recently: Costco has a huge organic food section. 5. Costco’s return policy is generous. In my mind, if I’m paying a little bit more for a large quantity of something, which means I don’t have to return to the stores to get more very often (and bonus points if it’s heavy) we can walk to the local superstore and bring back the lighter items. I don’t think Costco is worth it if you don’t shop there regularly enough to make back your money. Since we are a family, the 24pak of hamburger buns for $1.99 makes sense for us, as does 2 large loaves $3.57; my local food store is over twice the cost. But the list of things that Costco isn’t most competitive on grows smaller every day. In the end it really depends on you and how frugal a shopper you are. I think that with the cheaper gasoline (usually 4 cents a liter) that tipped the scales for me, but the Costco gas station is on the way to work, so it is easier for me to take advantage of this part of the membership. But since I shop – often – for a family of 5 I have prices of most regular items memorized, just gets tricky when the volume differs. There were very few items that they were not at least competitive on. On the other hand, soda pop is quite expensive at Costco compared with a sale price at any other store. 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