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Old 11-14-2006, 09:00 AM   #1
 
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:10 AM   #2
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

I wish we had a Costco in my little town. We do have a Sam's and it's ok, but I like Costco better. I guess I should be happy we have a Sam's, we just got that 2 years ago.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:16 AM   #3
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Costco just opened down the street from me. Anyone know if they have coupons for a free day of membership (like sam's club has occasionally)? I might like to check em out at some point.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Last time I went into a COSTCO (I do not have a membership) I just wanted to see what they had. Asked at the door if I could just look round and they said "sure" and let me in.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

I have heard both sides of the warehouse debate. I am not sure which to believe since I have never had a membership other than a Sam's and I didn't care for it. It was really tailored to the businesses and everything was brand name. I tend to buy generic products for the most part.

It seems to save $$ for those who may have more expensive taste. But for a single poor smooze like myself, I am not sure if it would benefit me. I like to eat good, healthy food but I am not playing in C-T's league yet (read - I occasionally enjoy a salmon out of the case vs. lobster tail/beef filets) and I don't know if I would buy enough food to make it worth it.

Anyone else with similar shopping habits really pay attention to the savings? I will soon have the option of joining a Costco so I am still potentially interested.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:30 AM   #6
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Army Guy
Last time I went into a COSTCO (I do not have a membership) I just wanted to see what they had. Asked at the door if I could just look round and they said "sure" and let me in.
I know I could do that, but I may want to actually buy something, and I don't feel like spending 30 minutes browsing for nothing!

Does anyone else have an aversion to spending $50 for a membership just for the privilege of spending money in a store? I had a Sam's club membership at one point and hardly shopped there at all. Now I spend zero there since I have no membership (except on pizza, which you can buy without a membership I found out).
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Well we shop often at a similar store to Costco.

The prices are indeed better than the normal grocery stores.

However, since everything is such a large size we sometimes have to throw stuff out that we couln't finsih before it went bad.

Overall I think that we are ahead, but big sizes aren't for everything. Therefore, I think that you need to combine your trip to a Costco-like store with a normal grocery store to optimize your money.

So now you are doing more (twice as much) shopping, you have traded some dollar savings for doing more shopping (work).

That's the tradeoff as I see it.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

We used to have a Sam's membership (I called it the "PGC" -Palace of Gross Consumption), but they seemed to go out of their way to piss me off - rude & unhelpful "associates", & once when my cc (Sam's credit) payment was ONE DAY late they charged me $25 plus a %, despite the fact that we had dealt with them regularly & paid on time for a couple of years. On another occasion they called me at 7:00am on a Sunday because of what they said was an "unusual" volume of business that month, and did I intend to pay on time! That guy got an earful, and we canceled soon thereafter.

We're now pleased to give our business to Costco; the people are very friendly & helpful (they box your purchases for you, Sam's did not, and if you ask them where something is they take you to it instead of grunting & pointing.) I have asked a couple of the workers how they like working there, and it seems they really do. Oh, and they take Amex, our preferred cc, so we get cash back on every purchase.

Fly in the ointment: it's an hour & 15 mins each way.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Does anyone else have an aversion to spending $50 for a membership just for the privilege of spending money in a store?
I feel that way. Unless you are a heavy hitter at the club stores the membership is no bargain.

The way to think about it is... If I save, say 10 percent on my purchases at the club store, then I'll need to buy at least $500 (or more) worth of stuff at the club store each year just to break even. You can re-arrange the aritmetic in my calculation to fit your situation. However the concept is the same.

If you aren't a big club-store buyer then a membership is not such a great deal.

Quote:
Fly in the ointment: it's an hour & 15 mins each way.
So you are spending two and a half hours in the car just to go to Costco ? Besides the cost of gas and depreciation on your car, I hope that it's worth it for you.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Anyone else with similar shopping habits really pay attention to the savings? I will soon have the option of joining a Costco so I am still potentially interested.
I'm probably similar to you in terms of what I buy (mostly generics if available). I have a family, but most of the perishable stuff at Sam's club still comes in quantities too large for our consumption patterns (5 lb bags of apples, 10 lb valupaks of ground beef, 3 lb bag of tortilla chips, 2 lb bags of shredded cheese, 2 1.5 lb loafs of french bread, etc). And I like to shop for everything in one place, instead of going store to store to save a few bucks.

We don't really buy that many "fancy" items either (like lobster tail or filet mignon). Superwalmart gets all our business ($500-600 per month for a family of 4). We compared most of what we buy to sam's club prices, and found walmart to be the same or a little more on most things (or less when generics are available). Overall, Superwalmart is cheaper, since we eat just about everything we buy, whereas if we were forced to buy huge quantities of perishables (like the 5 lbs of apples), we would end up throwing away 2/3 of them when they rot. Who cares if you're saving 30% on apples if you throw out 66% of them? We also dine out a good bit (3-4 times per week, plus at least 1-2 times a week at parties or family gatherings).

For a single guy with simple tastes, I think it would be hard for Sam's to beat Superwalmart prices and selection (quantity and variety). Haven't been to costco yet, so I can't compare them.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:44 AM   #11
 
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster

The way to think about it is... If I save, say 10 percent on my purchases at the club store, thenm I'll need to buy at least $500 (or more) worth of stuff at the club store each year just to break even. You can re-arrange the aritmetic in my calculation to fit your situation. However the concept is the same.
Actually there are two years worth of memberships in my calculation. About $90. - What got me started was TH REc on their Computer policy - which is the best I've ever seen. Buy a computer from Costco - In store or on-line - Return it within 6 months and you get all your money back - No questions asked - I did this!

Also after I learned about Costco's employee friendly work environment and their CEO is totally different than the CEO clone in the U.S.A. - They have got my loyalty.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

My membership is up for renewal in January. I am wondering if $50 membership fee is worth it. I think it is. Assuming the average discount of 10%, the break even point is $500. Since we spend over $3,000 annually at Costco, the membership fee is justifiable.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:49 AM   #13
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
So now you are doing more (twice as much) shopping, you have traded some dollar savings for doing more shopping (work).
1 extra shopping trip per week = 1 hr

x 52 weeks per year

= 52 hours per year (or 104 hrs if DW and I go)

For a potential savings of ?? Even if I saved $500/yr, that would be an effective rate of $10/hr (or $5/hr if DW goes too) ignoring the cost of membership and car expenses. I could see the added benefit of access to better "stuff" as a bonus though (if one were to take advantage of it).

I think I'll stick to my superwalmart - where else can you buy tires, a wedding cake, fresh fish, fresh baked bread, 50 lb bag of grass seed, a lawnmower, a toilet seat, a couple of new shirts, a new tv, a shotgun, my hair and nails done, a big mac, and a mortgage loan all in the same place?

disclaimer: walmart pays me a lot of money for professional services
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 09:52 AM   #14
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobot
Fly in the ointment: it's an hour & 15 mins each way.
Makes me feel good about having 2 superwalmarts, 2 supertargets, a sam's club and a dozen+ grocery stores less than 2-3 miles from my house.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:05 AM   #15
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Was a long time Costco member. Doesn't work for me anymore. Was always buying stuff I didn't need or the quantities were too large. Now I'm happy going to Trader Joes and Target. To each his own and whatever works for you. I was always amazed at the people with fancy cars trying to save a few bucks on groceries, etc.

There's book on this urge to splurge and then scrimp phenomena - Treasure Hunt http://tinyurl.com/yzgkoy
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:09 AM   #16
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Our nearest Costco is down by Cutthroat, about 160 miles away. So much for that.

We do have a small Sam's Club nearby. Never seemed worth the dollars to join. Not enough selection.

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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:11 AM   #17
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
I feel that way. Unless you are a heavy hitter at the club stores the membership is no bargain.

The way to think about it is... If I save, say 10 percent on my purchases at the club store, then I'll need to buy at least $500 (or more) worth of stuff at the club store each year just to break even. You can re-arrange the aritmetic in my calculation to fit your situation. However the concept is the same.

If you aren't a big club-store buyer then a membership is not such a great deal.


So you are spending two and a half hours in the car just to go to Costco ? Besides the cost of gas and depreciation on your car, I hope that it's worth it for you.
Of course not; should have said we combine it with other things to do while we're there or on the way. We go for quality as much as for price, and the availability of things we don't see in the regular stores around here. Don't know if it's even a wash financially, and don't really care, since we see it as discretionary spending. It's also nice to get in one place things that would otherwise require schlepping to multiple outlets. Great meats, prepared foods, bakery stuff, household needs, hardware, clothing, auto stuff ...... The convenience counts for us.
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:11 AM   #18
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
I think I'll stick to my superwalmart - where else can you buy tires, a wedding cake, fresh fish, fresh baked bread, 50 lb bag of grass seed, a lawnmower, a toilet seat, a couple of new shirts, a new tv, a shotgun, my hair and nails done, a big mac, and a mortgage loan all in the same place?
I hear ya Justin. Only problem was when I did shop there I usually had to return most the junk items the next day when they fell apart after one use

C-T

I will give that one about their CEO. Top notch guy who never gets enough pub er maybe he likes it that way. I applauded his efforts to extend health insurance to his employees even though it was hurting the bottom line.

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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:12 AM   #19
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

I started using an on-line service 3 to 4 months ago that I saw a story on on the TODAY show (www.grocerygame.com). I wasn't sure that it was saving us that much initially, but over the last 2 or 3 shopping trips I have saved on average around 40%!

So far, it seems like it's working well for us. What it does is tell you when to buy. They keep a database of when items go on sale plus all the available coupons from the Sunday papers over the last 3 to 4 months. They tell you the best time to buy with the coupon, ie. when it is at a rock bottom sale price plus you have a coupon. That's when you stock up. It costs $1.50 per week, plus you have to get the Sunday paper for the coupons. There have been a few quirks - times when they say there is a sale on something, and it isn't on sale at my particular store. But all in all, I really like it.


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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.
Old 11-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #20
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Re: Costco Seems to save me at least $500 a year - Last 4 years compared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
I hear ya Justin. Only problem was when I did shop there I usually had to return most the junk items the next day when they fell apart after one use
People say that about walmart, but the truth is they sell garbage everywhere these days. I just prefer to get it on the cheap, so that when it does break (and it will regardless of where you buy it), it goes in the trash and I get a new one.
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