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Old 04-28-2014, 09:10 AM   #21
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Variable. Some Kirkland stuff is quite good, other stuff barely passable in quality. K's current "athletic shoes" are absolute throw-away garbage. Feel OK at 1st but just don't last. Apparently their earlier version was better. And I'm just finishing up a big bag of K's almonds. OK, but not much cheaper than Blue Diamond & a real notch below in quality. Check out specific items via Costco's web site reviews, which I've found to be pretty open & honest.
We tried the Kirkland bar soap a few weeks ago. Price seemed right and the bars were larger than the normal Irish Spring we use. However, my wife and I were talking the other day and we both feel the soap bars don't seem to last as long as Irish Spring so last Costco trip we picked up the old tried and true, Irish Spring.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:35 AM   #22
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I use a number of Kirkland products, and have always been satisfied with the quality. I only visit there a few times a year, because I just don't need the industrial-sized quantities of many items.

As for the fee, I barely break even on the rebate vs. the membership cost, but the Costco AMEX is fee-free to members and gives a 1-3% rebate. The 3% rebate on gasoline, plus the fact Costco is usually a cent or three lower than other stations, makes up for the difference.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:38 AM   #23
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I wasn't sure what the cheapest toilet paper was, so I started comparing packages by weight. Roll and double roll doesn't really mean much because the TP sheets are all different thicknesses and sizes.

(If you want to do this, for those of you already retired with some free time on your hands , you can look up the shipping weights on Amazon - there are even some enterprising third parties selling Kirkland TP on there. )

Kirkland wins at about $1 a pound. So far that is cheapest TP for any paper I calculated the price per pound for, including the bulk paper on Amazon.

Note: I just noticed this is the business delivery price. I'll have to go to my local store to see if the consumer price in the stores is the same or less as online, as I can't find that price online.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:56 AM   #24
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We spent $11,768 at Costco in 2013. I guess we like what they sell. Grew up on Charmin but now prefer Kirkland TP. Seems to work better.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:31 AM   #25
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Nearest Costco is about 30 miles, but twice a month is more than often enough to visit. A little Costco stock pays enough in dividends to more than cover the annual membership fee, so that doesn't bother me either.

In general, I've found Kirkland brand products to be top quality at good prices, so I never hesitate to try them.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:32 AM   #26
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My wife and I are serious "foodies" and we've found that just a few food items alone from Costco more than pay for our membership. Their vintage-dated Tuscan olive oil at about $12 a liter is far superior to anything you can buy at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) for 3x the price. Real Reggiano parmesan cheese under the Kirkland brand is an incredible value, and there are more and more good-value organic items, including excellent canned tomatoes, almond butter at a quarter the price of a natural grocery store, and organic chicken in most stores as well. Others have mentioned the wines, and they like all of the other Kirkland food items are very carefully sourced and represent outstanding value.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:53 AM   #27
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+1 on the Vodka. I buy the six times distilled. Supposedly the higher priced Kirkland Vodka is made by Grey Goose at basically half the cost of their 1.75L bottle.

If I was still a martini drinker I would go for that. If you're mixing no reason to go for the higher priced bottle.
I had heard that rumor also - but it's not true. Distilled in a different town. To my taste - the Kirkland vodka in the tall bottle is BETTER than Grey Goose. (But I'm not a big fan of Grey Goose.) And the Kirkland Signature is a lot cheaper than Grey Goose. Not sure I could justify the price of GG.

The other Kirkland Vodka is American made with different grains. Definitely a taste difference between them. I find the American KS vodka to be similar to Skyy - my less expensive go-to vodka before I discovered the KS french vodka.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #28
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Then there's the classic Kirkland 1/4lb all beef hot dog (w/fountain drink) for $1.50 if hunger strikes during yer shopping trip
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #29
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............I did but salmon burgers and later read reviews to be careful because that some stores are substituting with much inferior product. That is the concern with any well recognized brand. Once they are established, people will buy for the name while the product quality can still be reduced......... .
I like the Kirkland salmon patties, but today I was told that they have been discontinued and replaced by a boxed, seasoned version. I like to do my own seasoning.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:27 PM   #30
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Then there's the classic Kirkland 1/4lb all beef hot dog (w/fountain drink) for $1.50 if hunger strikes during yer shopping trip
Yea, but they dropped the chocolate dipped, nut covered ice cream bars. I really loved those.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:47 PM   #31
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Yea, but they dropped the chocolate dipped, nut covered ice cream bars. I really loved those.
I am greatfull that they've dropped these. They were simply too tempting....

The membership concept is a small hurdle, imo. Not dissimilar from other membership only services (AAA, food coop, Library, Athletic club, etc). You can usually "pay" for the cost with discounts.

Some other items that are awesome values

Vanilla extract
Butter (freezes well)
Eggs
pesto
batteries
Printer ink (both new and refills)
passport pics
Pecans and Walnuts (also freeze well)
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #32
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Coincidentally I went to Costco this morning. After getting gasoline ($.20 per gallon cheaper) I picked up a few things, including their Kirkland vodka. I was expecting to see $1 or so savings vs Smirnoff, but at $4.50 less i couldn't resist and bought a bottle. For testing, of course.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #33
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I discovered about 3 months ago that the premium variant of Kirkland dog food has essentially the same ingredients/nutrition as the high end stuff we were buying, and it was made by the same manufacturer. About 40% cheaper when bought at Costco.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:04 PM   #34
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I discovered about 3 months ago that the premium variant of Kirkland dog food has essentially the same ingredients/nutrition as the high end stuff we were buying, and it was made by the same manufacturer. About 40% cheaper when bought at Costco.
Our vet recommended the Kirkland brand dog food. She uses it for her dogs. No corn or other hard to digest stuff.

Our dog is seriously healthy - and $35 every few months for food fits the LBYM lifestyle.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:24 PM   #35
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Then there's the classic Kirkland 1/4lb all beef hot dog (w/fountain drink) for $1.50 if hunger strikes during yer shopping trip
Hot dog + food sampling at Costco, I can live on $150/month food budget . I don't even need to grocery shop ever.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:33 PM   #36
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I saw that show, very interesting about the testing they do. If the nearest store wasn't 23 miles away we'd probably go there. And I have a real mental issue with the membership fee. "Lemme get this straight. You want me to pay you to spend my money in your store?"

Probably not ever gonna happen.
Walt,

I suspect I save more than the cost of the membership on almost every trip I make. Plus I buy the executive membership for $100 and get 2% back on all of my purchases at the end of the year. So if I buy at least $5,000 over the course of the year I get my membership back. If I buy more (which I always do), I make money on the membership.

The extremely generous return policy is also worth far more than the membership cost, and I've used it many times when things break, sometimes years after I first purchased them.

I recommend you look past the stumbling block of paying for a membership and see what you're missing. The difference in prices are so substantial that I try to avoid all other stores unless it's absolutely impossible to find a comparable item at Costco.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:35 PM   #37
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On another note, if you use a Keurig coffee machine, Costco is by far the best place to buy coffee. You can either buy the Rogers French Roast for .25/cup, or the Kirkland Pacific Bold for .38/cup. Most stores are still charging about .60/cup for K-cups. Amazon has pretty good prices, but still not as good as Costco.

And both of these varieties make excellent cups of coffee.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #38
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Walt,

I suspect I save more than the cost of the membership on almost every trip I make. Plus I buy the executive membership for $100 and get 2% back on all of my purchases at the end of the year. So if I buy at least $5,000 over the course of the year I get my membership back. If I buy more (which I always do), I make money on the membership.

The extremely generous return policy is also worth far more than the membership cost, and I've used it many times when things break, sometimes years after I first purchased them.

I recommend you look past the stumbling block of paying for a membership and see what you're missing. The difference in prices are so substantial that I try to avoid all other stores unless it's absolutely impossible to find a comparable item at Costco.
Add in using the costco amex - and you get paid twice to shop there.

I get back close to $500 each year for my executive membership. And another $500 from amex.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:47 PM   #39
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Add in using the costco amex - and you get paid twice to shop there.

I get back close to $500 each year for my executive membership. And another $500 from amex.
I actually don't use my Costco AMEX even though I have one. The rebate on my Costco AMEX is 1.5%. I've had the card for a long time, and I don't believe they offer that one any more. The current card has a tiered rebate structure, but Costco purchases only qualify for a 1% rebate last time I looked, and my Fidelity AMEX pays me 2%.

Since I can use the AMEX card at any store, I don't generally factor that in when evaluating prices at Costco. But it does lower the prices by an additional 2%, on top of the 2% Executive membership rebate.

I wish Costco had a better card for AMEX. That's one thing that I've never been all that excited about.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:13 PM   #40
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Shop around for new printer inks. For my Epson Costco is considerable more $$ than I've found elsewhere (Fry's, office store sales). OTOH- Costco refills are competitively priced, although I have not tried 'em.
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