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Old 03-02-2015, 12:51 PM   #81
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Just got back from the 4th level of hell Costco in Naples FL. I was taking an elderly neighbor to the doctor, so I thought I'd combine errands. And DW didn't come with me. What a zoo, though. There was one woman who had a flat cart she could barely handle. Twice that I saw she left it sitting perpendicular to the aisle, blocking all traffic while she perused an item. It took me 30 minutes to shop, and 25 minutes to check out. Next time I'm not going until after dark, when all the vision and reflex challenged old people have retreated to their condos.
Pretty much why I don't shop at sams or costco. The few times I've been the checkout has been horrendous. Walmart is bad enough but I can't afford to add yet another store to the rotation and wait in line forever just to (maybe) save a few bucks.

If they had an express lane for 100 items or less, I'd be all up on it though.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:55 PM   #82
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One thing I have also noticed is that Costco's occasionally offers exceptional items you don't easily find other places: Briggs & Riley luggage (a few times), Little Giant Ladders, and Vitamix processors bundled with other items.
Vitamix Processor is one of the things I did not buy from Costco.

You can buy refurbished one directly from Vitamix for less money. Refurbished really means somebody tried it and returned it. Being huge consumer of Fruits and Vegetables I can tell all you all need is simplest Vitamix Refurbished model for 280 Bucks. It will do same thing 500-800 dollar models do with two buttons ON/OFF and HI/LOW.

That blender is a beauty of simplicity. I simply love it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:58 PM   #83
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I was curios and pulled up our 2014 activity, $15,690 (family of 4).
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:08 PM   #84
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I can't say I've ever bought Michelin's before. I usually go for whatever is relatively cheap toward the middle of the pack. Kumho's or hankooks with decent 60-80k mileage "warranties" lately.

Checking prices, discounttiredirect sells a set of my size michelin defenders for $359 delivered. Costco is $380.

The michelin Ice-x winter tires are $406 at costco, $347 at discount tire plus another $50 off if you buy with their credit card. The other advantage is discounttire offers a couple dozen tires from very low end to the high end michelins. Maybe you don't want to buy michelins but that's the cheapest thing costco offers. I prefer to have a range of options, evaluate what makes sense for my particular circumstances and go with that. Which is why I'd pay closer to $100-150 for a set of mid-range tires instead of $380 at costco.

Installation is about the same - $15 at both places IIRC. I ship my tires then drive to the local discount tire (or you could ship straight to the store) and they rotate, balance, patch etc for free all over the country. Way more discount tires than costcos from my experience though YMMV.

If I was tire shopping, I'd wait till discount tire had the $100 off promo and pay $259 for those tires (or more likely $100-150 for a set of mid range tires). In my experience, costco costs more unfortunately. I get pretty good service at discount tire and they don't sell too hard to me (15 year old cars = I look poor). They also offer $30 extra discount if you get their credit card but I'm not getting an extra card for a mere $30 discount.
Good to know this information about discounttire. I, on the other hand, don't like to be confounded by having so many options and a range of choices. I'm more interested in having a very sound, safe and reliable place to buy my products, without hunting for sales under every rock. Maybe for you, the hunt for sales gives you great pleasure -- I'm married to someone who is like that. I'll stick with Costco and follow the KISS principle and I'm not alone in having less choice to maximize my happiness:
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:14 PM   #85
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Vitamix Processor is one of the things I did not buy from Costco.

You can buy refurbished one directly from Vitamix for less money. Refurbished really means somebody tried it and returned it. Being huge consumer of Fruits and Vegetables I can tell all you all need is simplest Vitamix Refurbished model for 280 Bucks. It will do same thing 500-800 dollar models do with two buttons ON/OFF and HI/LOW.

That blender is a beauty of simplicity. I simply love it.
I actually bought a Vitamix 7500 from Costco. It was actually a bit more expensive than buying from Amazon, but my Vitamix was bundled with a few things I couldn't get from Amazon. And the return policy for this item at Costco's would presumably be the same for other non-electronic items. I'm just not into buying refurbished small appliances.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:19 PM   #86
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Good to know this information about discounttire. I, on the other hand, don't like to be confounded by having so many options and a range of choices. [/URL]
+1

It is very easy to buy excellent 15-20 dollar bottle of red wine in Costco since they will have choice of lets say 10 bottles and all of them are excellent quality given the price.

I am unable to buy good bottle in store which has 100-200 bottles in range of 15-20 bucks. Costco preselects good product for me so I don't have to waste my time
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:27 PM   #87
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I actually bought a Vitamix 7500 from Costco. It was actually a bit more expensive than buying from Amazon, but my Vitamix was bundled with a few things I couldn't get from Amazon. And the return policy for this item at Costco's would presumably be the same for other non-electronic items. I'm just not into buying refurbished small appliances.
https://www.vitamix.com/shop/Certifi...-Products.aspx

You can buy refurbished blender directly from Vitamix. It comes with 5 Year warranty . You can not tell difference between new and refurbished.

Basic 2 Speed model for 259 USD will do 99% of what your 750 model will do. Nearly everything on Vitamix is done at HIGH speed. Low speed and variable is mostly there just to get you to High speed.....
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:43 PM   #88
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Got a pleasant surprise with our last tire purchase at Costco. Tires were Bridgestone and were 60k wear warranty. Was at wear marks but only had 48k on them.
We had Costco do the regular rotations while shopping so they had all the data in their computer to support. (Rotation records are important as DD had early wear on one of their rigs but had not been consistent on rotations and had no records--no records, no adjustment)
Costco gave me a full mileage adjustment credited to a new set as well as honored their 70 flyer Coupon. Drive out price was about 75% of new. Shop manager indicated that mileage adjustments were pretty common--so apparently there is a bit of puffery in mileage warranties by mfg.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:19 PM   #89
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Good to know this information about discounttire. I, on the other hand, don't like to be confounded by having so many options and a range of choices. I'm more interested in having a very sound, safe and reliable place to buy my products, without hunting for sales under every rock. Maybe for you, the hunt for sales gives you great pleasure -- I'm married to someone who is like that. I'll stick with Costco and follow the KISS principle and I'm not alone in having less choice to maximize my happiness:
Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Talk Video | TED.com
Hey, I get it completely. I don't really need 24 tire options for my 15 year old honda civic. But I need something other than $400 michelins.

I don't like spending the time to research, so I'll usually look at the cheapest decent mid range tire that is on offer. It usually has a high user rating, long mileage warranty, and sometimes a name brand.

The first time I research something like this, I'll have to spend an hour or so googling "how to find a good tire for your car" and figure out what I should be looking for. That initial hour plus the 10-15 minutes for each replacement has easily saved me $1000+ over my limited lifetime of car ownership (only 15 years so far). It also makes me immune to the tire shop bull-$hittery that some places will pull.

Extend this concept of "good enough" to most aspects of life and we can afford to live on $32k/yr instead of $70-80k without sacrificing much quality of life.

I actually like shopping at Aldi because there's usually only one brand of something so I don't have to think - I just grab it. The stores are 5-10% the size of a superwalmart or target or costco or sam's club so it's really easy to find what you want or go back if you missed something. I don't need seven different brands of hand soap or eight varieties of spaghetti noodles.

I follow your model when it comes to clothes shopping though. I don't browse, I just want a reasonably reliable article of clothing at a reasonable price.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:48 PM   #90
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We price shopped new tires for two cars last year and Costco had our best local price for tires plus installation.

Our closest Costco is not crowded during most weekdays before around 4 pm or after 7 pm on weeknights.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:56 PM   #91
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:03 PM   #92
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
Not a member, but a new one opened less than one mile from our house.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:11 PM   #93
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
Us also about 25 minutes. To far for grocery stuff.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #94
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
Ours is as close as all the other shopping we do, so no difference for us.

On the tire topic - I've been using tirerack.com for a while and are very happy with them. Great choices, excellent shopping tools to get the tire you want, and probably the best prices. I used a shop that is one of their partner shops, they welcome you to bring in your tires and they will do the mounting and everything for you.

I got PO'd at Costco when they refused to rotate my tires because that would put the ones with slightly more tread on the front (of a front wheel drive car). How the heck am I going to even out the tread wear if I don't put the ones with more tread on the front? The reason they gave (and some other sites agree), is that you need more tread on the back to avoid fish-tailing in snow. OK, but if I can't get moving, and can't brake, fishtailing is a far secondary problem. In bad conditions, I slow down before I get to the turn to avoid fishtailing. But I have to accelerate and brake, and that takes good front tires on a front wheel drive vehicle.

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Old 03-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #95
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
Just under 10 minutes for us.

When we moved to central Ohio 15 years ago, the people here were quite accommodating and built a giant regional mall about 10 minutes from our house (far enough away that it doesn't affect our neighborhood and woods, but quite convenient to us). A few years later Costco arrived. If only our Costco sold diesel fuel :-(

We're kind of in a grocery store mecca - within 10 minutes we have a Kroger, Aldi, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Walmart, another Kroger, Target, Costco, and Earth Fare.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:09 PM   #96
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
5 minutes
Though if Boston Traffic is bad it can be 30 minutes
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:59 PM   #97
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2.5 miles, so 5 minutes or so. But there's two aldi's, a small army of food lions, a couple superwalmarts, a supertarget, and many other grocery stores and ethnic groceries that are closer, so it's not worth driving all the way out to costco.

The walk from the parking lot to the costco would take longer than the drive does...
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:58 PM   #98
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How far do most people drive to get to a Costco? The one nearest us is ~25 minutes and that's farther than either of us wants to drive for grocery stuff on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm just spoiled and lazy - we drive ~10 minutes and complain if it takes longer.
I'm with you on that one; I wouldn't go there either if it took 25 minutes.

Our new-ish Costco is about 6 miles from his house (or 7 miles from mine). It's fighting busy city traffic and congestion most of the way, though, so I'd guess 15-20 minutes. I never go to that area any more for anything else at all, and the drive is fairly unappealing, so I haven't yet gotten around to investigating it. Maybe we'll drive over there this week to check it out. If we do, I'll time it.

My regular chain grocery store is 1/2 mile from my house, no stoplights, a minute or two at most.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:34 PM   #99
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Our Costco is about 5 miles away, or 9 if I take the Miata...
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:12 PM   #100
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The nearest Costco is 129 miles away. The nearest Walmart, 39 miles. The nearest grocery store, 30 miles. Of course, there are a couple of camping or country stores about 5 miles away, but these do not count.


Oh, but that's from my high-country boonies home. From my city home, the nearest Costco is only 2 miles. Same with Walmart. Nearest Home Depot is 3 miles. Nearest large grocery store, 1 mile.
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