Costco may be my favorite store ever. I have to be careful though, because things are so affordable, but I think I tend to buy stuff I don't need, especially more processed things. We bought two big boxes of Ritz crackers last week since they were 4 dollars with the store coupon, which is great, and we do use them occasionaly, but with that big a box, we're eating them everyday!
I've been there twice this past week and am still kicking myself for forgetting to pick up two gallons of milk on my last trip! I never thought to buy my bread flour there so thanks for that tip! Glad I saw your pizza recipe for the idea.
Costco is like 40 mins away from where I live but we have a bjs with gas near by and a sams club. I like to buy in bulk its such a money saver on certain items.
I visited both Sam's & Costco before deciding which one to join a few years ago. Both seemed just fine to me, but Sam's is closer, so I joined there.
We go about 2X/year, about 4X/year when $ isn't tight. Really, we will let our membership expire when Sept. hits. We love to buy some things there in bulk, but don't save enough $ to warrant the $50/year. I will miss it, but I'm sure we will survive.
We allowed our membership to expire about 3 yeas ago...and after a bit of withdrawal, I learned how to watch the sales at my grocery store for major stocking up. I plan meals around what's in the freezer or pantry, and I spend much less at the store. We spend $400/month on groceries for a family of 4 with 2 teens.
Do you all feel that Sam's club is just as cheap as Costco? We have a sam's but not a costco and I was just wondering the price comparision.
We have all three in my area. We used to have SAM's and BJ's Memberships... but I got a deal thru work for BJ's. So we dropped Sam's. BUT with any shopping you have to watch your prices. Just cause it is in bulk and looks like a deal, it might not be. If you are not going to use an entire 10lb can of Green beans before they go bad, then it is not a good deal.
Also, the store's will let you go in with a pass to see if they have what you like. I know with Costco, they did not carry 2 or 3 major items that we purchased from BJ's. So that was a deal breaker for us.
Bj's takes manufacters coupons, Sams does not.
I like Aldi's for some things, but some items from Aldi's we have tried and I would not buy again.
Another question is do you have room to store stuff? We have a chest freezer... so that helps.
Just watch your prices. If you need to keep a note book for a while to write the prices down, until you know what is a deal and what is not go for it.
Also factor in the membership cost, we get 18 months with Bj's for around 30.00.
What staple items would you say are actually cheaper at a wholesale club than at Aldis? I would be going to Sam's, but I'm assuming they are pretty equal with there prices.... I am awful at figuring up those types of things. Thanks in advance, JIll
I'm not sure as far as Sam's, but a few of the things (off the top of my head) that are cheaper at Costco than at Aldi's would be milk ($3.63 for 2 gallons), cheese (a LOT cheaper! almost 50% of Aldi's prices!), bulk baking ingredients (yeast, spices, grains, flours), produce (for example, 6 romaine heads for $3.29, 10# organic carrots for $5.29, 2 pounds fresh spinach leaves for $3.79), tortillas ($4.99 for 40 burrito sized or $3.85 for 100 corn tortillas), string cheese ($9.99 for 60 1-ounce sticks)... But a lot of these things are also higher quality than Aldi's, in my opinion... :)
I was just thinking today how I need to keep a list on my fridge to remind myself which things are cheaper where! If I ever wonder, I write down the price per pound at one place and then check at the other next time I'm there. I've found that soymilk (we can't do lactose) at Aldi is actually cheaper and pretty much the same quality, but Costco has the cheaper cheddar (which is lactose free). And I definitely agree with the baking supplies - I love seeing that big container of yeast in my fridge and remembering how much I saved over those little packets at the regular grocery!
I don't live near a Costco but we have a Sam's in town. There are six of us (4 kids left at home) It's nice to get what you need in a large enough size for the family size but I don't shop there as often as I used to. I found that even in smaller amounts, ounce per ounce, there are many things that I can get at our Aldi or grocery outlet cheaper. I just have to buy lots of multiples. Like sour cream, it's much cheaper at Aldi than Sam's, I just have to buy several bowls. Cottage cheese and dry pinto beans are probably the biggest purchases as far as food that I get at Sam's. I'm blessed enough to live within 2-3 miles of several different types of grocery stores so I can shop for better deals easier than most.
I live too far away from *everything*. The closest Aldi's is 35 minutes away...costco-is about an hour! I usually shop around where costco is when I do go shopping, but I can't see paying the money for only getting there 1 time a month, if that.
There isn't a Costco within 50 miles of us. We do have a membership at Sam's Club. But, since almost everything there is name-brand, even with buying in bulk, many things can be bought more cheaply if you stock up at good sales. Our Sam's Club doesn't have the dried beans someone mentioned. The main things we buy at Sam's and save money on are yeast, baking powder, cocoa powder, spices/herbs, nuts, raisins, honey, and Jif peanut butter (one thing we splurge on).
There are no Costco's in upstate NY as far as I know. We have BJ's and Sam's. I have a membership at BJ's but honestly don't shop there enough to warrant the $40/year member fee.
I shopped at Costco online once using my SIL's member number (she gave me permission)and had the item shipped to my home, but have never actually been inside an actual Cosco store.
I only buy in bulk (except for fresh produce), but I either get cases of things or #25 bags of grains, etc from my coop's (United Natural Foods)buying club. I also buy in bulk from the mennonite stores where the prices are incredibly amazing. (Case of 12 boxes of organic brown rice cereal [rice krispies type] is only $16!)
I have a Sam's Club membership instead. We have both in town and we price checked eat for the items we buy and the difference in cost for the membership and Sam's won for our family. It is nice getting items in bulk :)
my vote would be "i don't go to cosco." there are two in my town but i don't care to go.
I love the quality for the price ratio at Costco. In addition, I get my prescription medication there because it's cheaper than Walgreens. Over the course of a year, just on buying the price difference on this one medication alone, I'd break even with the Costco membership card. So any good deals I score - orange juice, organic eggs, etc. - are gravy. :)
...that we don't use that often.
I've been wondering what the difference is between Aldi prices and Sam's?? We go to Aldi - but it *is* annoying having to purchase 10 of an item, when I could buy ONE at Sam's. Yet I don't know if I'm really saving money buying the 10 things??
So, does anyone know? Which is better: Sam's or Aldi?? Or is it simply item by item?? I can't imagine going to numerous stores just to get the BEST prices....I'd rather just get the "overall" best prices and only make one major trip, kwim?!
wife to The Pastor & momma of:
~Isaac ~Selah ~Talitha ~Elijah ~Micah
We have a Sam's Club, but we choose to go to an Amish bulk food store about an hour from us a few times a year. Their stuff is extremely affordable (you're not paying for the fancy packaging), excellent quality, and no membership fee!
In Ohio we lived about 2 hours from some great Amish-owned bulk food stores, and had kind relatives would would pick up orders for other people when they were headed that way. :) It was GREAT!! :)
We have a "family membership" at Costco which was $40 for the year. However, if we lived closer to our family who has the membership (haha) we could get in with them without having a membership! So those looking to occasionally go to Costco or Sam's, if you have someone near you who can go with you regularly, you could split a membership or something! :)
We used our membership to the club, and my FIL got a "spouse" card on my membership. Since it was the same last name they never questioned. and we split the membership with my inlaws.
I've been going since I was in elementary school but this is the year I let it run out. The $50 a year isn't worth it when we don't really get to buy in bulk anymore. All they have is big packages of little packages. Too much waste imo. That and every time I turn them down to upgrade to the $100 membership the checker's attitude changes dramatically. Last time I was there she put the big box of baby wipes on the hamburger buns on purpose.
Hmm, wow, I've never even heard about the $100 membership?! We have a "family membership" through Joshua's parents. I've never been asked about my membership when I go there... :)
We got the $100 membership when we realized that between gas and food we would end up getting most of that back at the end of the year with the rebate program the $100 membership has. I TOTALLY recommend asking them to check your account to see if it would be worth it for you.
I have the "Executive Membership", too. I get back 2% of my purchases. I just got a check for $88, so membership only costs me $12 this year. I get in an hour early, too, so I can make my Costco trip in and out. I have a large family (my husband, myself and our eight children) so the larger portions make sense for us. I buy cheese, tortillas, butter (the best price anywhere), gas, and other basics. I do not get all their wonderful specialty items, like muffins, 'healthy' chips, etc. You have to have self control in there!
Huh. My card says "executive membership" but I haven't gotten money back?! We only paid $40 for the year for our family's membership since Joshua's parents are members. I wonder if I need to do anything to get the 2% back? :)
Oh, man, their muffins are SO good. Like a yummy cake!! :) We only buy them when we have out-of-state guests who don't get to have Costco Muffins at home. :)
Yes, their butter is a great price! I think it's 4 lbs for about $6. At Aldi's, it's at least $1.99/lb, or more.
There are only two of us here (soon to be three!) but the money we save on generic organic milk, my contact solution (which doesn't have a generic and I'm allergic to all other brands), generic Prilosec, and Benefiber makes up the yearly cost for us. Then there are things we can splurge on b/c they're cheap at Costco, like fancy dishwasher detergent (otherwise we'd just buy Walmart's generic).
Hubby loves an excuse to have pizza for lunch for cheap, from the snack bar.
I work with toddlers and I've been impressed with the quality of the Costco brand (Kirkland Signature) disposable diapers, but we're going to use cloth ourselves.
Joshua's parents gave us some Kirkland Signature diapers for Ruth when we moved. They are pretty nice! :) I know the avid couponers are able to get disposable diapers for really cheap, and I use cloth, too, but for those who use disposables and aren't able to get free or nearly-free diapers, Costco is great! :)
My father in law had us on his business account, but he switched it to an executive account when we he realized our family purchases, plus his single purchases made it much cheaper when you add in the rebate. He is single, so he put me as his second member so we pay nothing. In Alaska, we buy our car tires and batteries at Costco, and every spring and fall we have to switch between our studded winter tires and our regular summer tires. The price of the "changeover" is a third of the regular tire shop. When we use disposables, Kirkland Signature brand are far better than Huggies any day. We buy butter, 1/2 and 1/2, tortillas [locally made], 5 lbs of Tillamook, plus occasional splurges of extra sharp. The milk is 7 for two gallons, so we just buy the local Alaskan milk for 4.39 at Fred Meyer and use it very sparingly. We buy bread flour and all purpose in 50 and 25 pound bags, but I don't like supporting ConAgra, especially because it's bleached and probably genetically modified, but at the moment, it's what we can afford. Canned tomato products, since we haven't had the heat to grow more than a few tomatoes in our garden. Spices are high quality and inexpensive. I could probably talk about costco all day. It's also important to me that their employees are paid a livable wage with benefits. And like Tammy said, I think the quality is high. :)
I could probably talk about costco all day.
Haha, me too! ;) I tease Joshua about starting a Costco fan club. ;) According to my poll however, only 18% of my readers would be on board ;)
I know several people who work at Costco and apparently it is a good place to work! :)
I just found your website and love it. Can't wait to try some of your recipes. Can you provide some insights on bread machines, and whether it's worth getting one for preparing bread dough if one already had a high quality mixer with the dough hook?
Now, about Costco. I think they are the greatest, but I'm also a Costco Junkie. Whenever I travel, I visit the local Costco if possible. I've visited Costco in Hawaii (they carried a lot of Hawaii-made products so I got great deals on gifts to bring back), Mexico (went there looking for beef jerky, but couldn't find it...did get Candy made from goat's milk to bring back for a friend who had just adopted a pet goat), Canada (Canadian chocolate, again for gifts), plus across the U.S. (my local Costco in N.C. stopped carrying paper bowls and I needed some---so I picked up three packs of 175 bowls each at the Las Vegas Costco and packed them in my luggage).
And the Exec membership(and credit card) more than pay for my membership fee. Between the two, I get about $500 back annually -- of course its based on how much you spend. But, I agree with others that you have to compare prices---Costco isn't always the cheapest on everything, but I definitely save a lot of money there and I find they are less expensive on most items. This was even more evident in Hawaii!
I do shop there, but I only buy a few things there......I buy milk, sometimes cheese, butter, #10 cans lettuce etc there. But otherwise I leave without much. If i did not share a membership then it would not be worth it for me, but because i do, I am able to shop there. Otherwise, I just went when my mom went and that worked out fine too!
I think sharing a membership would be great! If we lived closer to Joshua's mom and dad (we're about 50 miles from them) I'd just pick up his mom and take her along for Costco shopping. :)
Here's what you do. If you can scrape up the extra $ when you sign up, get the executive membership. It costs more to start with, but you earn back a percentage when you shop. For us, the check we get each year is enough to get our next year's executive membership, so no more money out of pocket.
If you get the Costco credit card, you earn even more back.
I used to be a member, but I'm not allowed to anymore, LOL! Somehow, the second I walk through the door, I lose all semblance of willpower and self control. So my hubby took the card away and now my mom picks stuff up for me. There are great deals to be had, you just have to be careful!
I just used our rebate check of $138.00 on Thursday. Costco is like our regular grocery store with a family of 7, almost 8 (in September).
I actually signed up for the sams card (we have 2 credit cards for our business and these are paid off each month), and the "plus" membership. The confusing thing may be that in order to get the 2% you have to sign up for the Sams instore credit card - it is not simply a membership card, but actually a Discover credit card. We get 2% cash back on purchases and this last year we got a rebate of almost $300 due to purchases we were able to make with our business. My inlaws signed up for the card and while they only use it for gas and groceries, they ended up getting their membership for free because of the rebate.
For people that have a hard time with credit cards or keeping track of purchases, I can't suggest it, but for those who can budget while utilizing cash back credit cards, that is sure a good way of getting something back. We were able to get a free meat slicer, smoker and variety of other things by using a point back visa also.
We bought an executive membership and instead of choosing my husband as one of the two shoppers whose purchases quality for the annual rebate, we put my daughter on it. She has a business and buys most of her office supplies, furniture, wine, etc. We get a much better annual check and it is perfectly legal and allowed by Costco.
There isn't a Costco near enough to me to visit. I've always heard wonderful things about Costco. I do have a Sam's membership, though. I buy spices and baking items, butter, cheese, tea bags, toilet paper, paper towel, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, dish soap, and vinegar at Sam's (sometime fresh veggies/fruit when it seems to be a good deal). It seems to be way cheaper for me to do my buying that way.
My mom signed up for the business account and I have her second card since my dad would never go without her.
I wasn't shopping there much until I started reading this blog.
Now I try and go at least once a month and buy 6-8 Cream, Carrotts, maple syrup-the best price ANYWHERE, Agave (for my friend), pecans, almonds, walnuts, Italian tomatoes (the cheapest by far anywhere ever!), 1 gallon of milk when I go to make yogurt (the Frugal Girl way) though I make that at least once a week.
I coupon shop so I typically can get half and half for cheaper IF there is a coupon put out that month, butter same thing and most of my spices are either super cheap or free. I love to buy in bulk since I am a stockpiler but it really is hard to control myself in Costco and BJs.
I wish we had a Costco near by for the simple fact they carry more organics then bj's and sams. We have bj's with gas, the gas is always cheaper then every where else. What I love about bj's is they have there own coupons and you can stack the manufacters coupons with them so this makes for some very good deals. you do gotta watch prices some things can be cheaper at a reg food store. Also bj's will let you use more then one coupon on an item say your coupons for $.50 off a can of soup and you have 6 in the box then you can use 6 coupons.
I love costco for the bulk buying! I so wish I lived near one. Since our closest one is 5hrs away, it's not worth it! Even if we lived close, I'm not sure if it would be worth it yet as our family is still so small (4, but only 2 adults and a toddler who eats!).
More information about text formats
Recipes, kitchen tips, and more!Subscribe for my free email updates!
Sunshine in my kitchen!
Papa Murphy's Pizza& other copycat recipes
Top Salad Recipes
BEST water bottlesI've ever used!
Zojirushi bread machinereview
Weber Q Grill --great for heavy use
21 things kids cando in the kitchen!
#1 stainless steel cookware
Joshua's top grilled recipes
Recipes featuring beans
Favorite homemadefreezer meals
Organic bulk ingredientsat excellent prices!
Read Tammy's review of theBerkey water filtering system
TammysRecipes.com -- Copyright © 2009