Costco

Winchester

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The kids gave us a Costco membership as part of our Christmas present this year. I've heard a lot of really good things about the Kirkland brand and about Costco in general. The problem is that the closest Costco is in Harrisburg, about 60 miles away. We can take a large ice chest to help with frozen/chilled items.

What do you like about Costco? What do you not like? What do you recommend from Costco? Do you like the Kirkland brand of items? Is Costco more expensive than Sam's Club?

When we shop now, we're trying to see us through for 4-6 weeks before shopping again, other than milk and eggs, which Rick can pick up on his way home from bowling, if necessary.

Thank you!
 

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price i cant really say(sams club closed years ago) the crowds can get huge there. thing i liked most was trying all those various samples they offer to promote new stuff . :lol: you can get full before you even finish shopping they only sell things mainly in bulk so keep in mind you need to finish stuff before it goes bad along with how much you can cram into your fridge. i like the kirkland brand white t shirtsthey are good quality.membership was 50 bux yearly after gf and i moved out it just wasnt worth it to keep buying groceries for only 2 people too much food to finish.
 

Kat0121

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I've never shopped there but I know many people who have. I wish we hade one close by. The Kirkland brand is excellent. I have used some of their products because my FIL had them around. I think the prices are similar to Sam's but they have a lot of stuff that Sam's does not. The only Kirkland product that I have tried and would not buy is their TP. The Member's Mark from Sam's is way better.
 

Willowy

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Costco is more expensive than Sam's but also has better-quality items. They lean more toward the "luxury goods for a reasonable price" model than the Sam's Club "bulk stuff for bulk price" model.

Their brand of dry pet food is made by Diamond (similar to the Naturals line) and is a good price for the quality. But they don't usually carry Friskies canned food so I don't get cat food there. I do save a bundle on dog food though.

Sometimes they have really good clothing. But that's seasonal so it's more of a hit-or-miss situation. Same with furniture, toys, home decor, garden stuff, camping stuff, etc.

Prices for electronics/small appliances are pretty good.

Glasses and hearing aids are much cheaper than most. Some people get memberships just for glasses.

For food I just get the normal stuff. Bagged salad mix, avocados, cheese snacks, deli turkey, eggs.
 

Furballsmom

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I don't recall, do you have a second freezer?

Kirkland products are great. And since Costco sells most everything in bulk quantities, there are often significant savings even with the membership fee especially when you can catch a sale, or a product they're discontinuing. There's a shelf-tag system of colors that lets shoppers know. When customers purchase a certain amount annually, depending on the level of membership there is money awarded back to the customer at the end of the year.

We pretty much supply the house since we have a second chest freezer and basement shelves.

We get various meats, some fresh produce, some bagged frozen fish, canned veggies, (we don't take advantage of their dairy since we don't drink that much milk and we support a local egg supplier who fortunately already lets their chickens roam), a few cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies. There's automotive supplies, office supplies, bread, cut flowers, etc. There are some instances where we either can't find what we need, or the amount is just too much and we head to a regular grocery store then.

A Costco run can take a fair bit of time even without driving time, especially regarding the meat and shredded cheeses because I divide the packages into meal-sized portions, zip bag the portions and freeze, but so far it's still worth it. Not everything is a bargain so knowing regular grocery prices can be helpful but sometimes we don't care since it saves the extra trip.
 
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Jem

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I like Costco, but we don't shop there very often. The one piece of advice I would give you is when you find an awesome product that you absolutely love.....get multiples right away because once it's out...it's usually out for good....this is mostly for clothing and household items. I got a pair of pants there once.....they were PERFECT in every way for what I was looking for......and now I can't get them anymore. :( I wish I had bought like 4-5 pairs at the time...
 

susanm9006

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I have had Costco memberships in the past and currently have a Sam’s Club. Costco had a great selection of products, I think a hair better than Sams, and their price on the coffee I buy was better. But a couple of differences that sent me back to Sam’s. First, Costco had bigger bulk packaging of meats and fresh items that just weren’t always practical for me. Sam’s are smaller. Second, their shopping carts are so tall (and I am so short) that I could barely see over it. It just wasn’t a comfortable way for me to shop. Lastly, this may have changed, but they didn’t have self checkout and I hated their very long lines to check out. Ultimately that is what brought me back to Sam’s club
 

Cat McCannon

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My mother gave us a Costco membership for Christmas, one year and we renewed. I think we’re due for a second renewal.

What we buy, from most to least-
-Gasoline. Costco gas is always at least a nickel (often more) cheaper than anywhere else
-Rotisserie chicken. Costco has the best rotisserie chicken in our area and it’s only $6
- Gallon size heavy cream. It gets used mostly for making fresh butter in the Cuisineart, but I also use to make scrambled eggs, French toast, some soups, curry and so on
-Two gallon pack of milk
-Ivar’s two pack of potato soup
-The berry smoothies for less than $3
-The hotdog & soda deal for a buck-and-a-half
 

Uncled

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I love Costco and shop there regularly. I get my cat litter (42 pound box) for around $12.00(,clumping litter ). I buy a lot of clothes, peanut butter, coffee, had a eye exam and ordered my glasses from the optical department also had my Covid booster at the pharmacy, they have a very good return policy as well.
 

Willowy

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but they didn’t have self checkout
They do now but it's kind of a pain and they still have long lines. They don't have the app scan like Sam's does, and I hope they get on the ball with that.
when you find an awesome product that you absolutely love.....get multiples right away because once it's out...it's usually out for good
Lol, yes, every time, it's such a pain. Get me hooked and then stop selling it! Rude.

I get my cat litter (42 pound box) for around $12.00(,clumping litter )
I forgot about the litter! Yeah it's pretty decent and the price is still pretty good. But of all things I buy, I think kitty litter went up the most :/. A bucket of Tidy Cats is like $20 at Walmart now.
 

Boris Diamond

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I've been a Costco member for years. I like their peanuts, Kalamata olives, clothes, lettuce, batteries, meats (some USDA Prime,) cheeses and soup. If I buy another TV, it will be from them because of their return policy. Also bedding, kitchen items, small appliances and garbage bags. The quality is good.

I used to not look forward to going because of the long lines. but they have put in self check-out and now I rarely wait more than a few minutes. I hope you enjoy your membership!
 
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neely

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We never had a Costco membership but we got our dog's medicine at their pharmacy because we checked all over and their price was considerably cheaper. Fortunately you don't need a membership to go to the pharmacy.
 

Tobermory

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LOVE Costco! We've been members in Utah, Michigan, Colorado, and Oregon. Our drives in Michigan and Colorado were lengthy (an hour to an hour-and-a-half), but we just took coolers with ice packs. Where we live now it's about 20 minutes. We've bought pretty much everything everyone has mentioned (except, like Furballsmom Furballsmom , dairy). The Kirkland products are typically great.

There are usually lines, but they move amazingly quickly. Our Costco got self-check kiosks a few months ago, and we usually use those. If we had a lot of stuff, we'd use the regular checkout because there's more room and they're so fast.

And yes to the pharmacy. The last couple of years of Max kitty's life, I bought his insulin at the Costco pharmacy. I know the price has increased, but at that time, it was $85 at Costco and $125 at our regular pharmacy!
 

artiemom

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I am only going by what I hear from so many people in my area: Costco is the BEST of the superstores!
From what I know, all the Kirkland products are superior quality.

I Would love to have a membership, but for one person without any storage space, it would be a waste of money. I was in there, once and was amazed at the costs and quality of items.
In my city, there is a BJ's--- blah...
 

denice

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or one person without any storage space, it would be a waste of money. I was in there, once and was amazed at the costs and quality of items.
That is the way I am. When I was living in a house and there were 5 of us it would make sense. It's usually just me. I only have a small chest freezer in addition to the refrigerator and I don't have a lot of cupboard space so buying in larger quantities just wouldn't work for me.
 

Tobermory

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I just wanted to add a couple of things. I know you’re a baker, and if you use parchment paper, Costco is the place to get it. It’s soooo much cheaper there. It may be seasonal. I’ve always seen it around Christmas, but I looked for it once in the summer and didn’t find it.

Also, you can order stuff online. They have items online that they may not have in your local warehouse. My local carries Cosequin for dogs but not cats so I order it online. (It’s also quite a bit cheaper than other sources.) I got my iPad Mini online.
 
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Winchester

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Thanks so much!

C catapault KA Flour! I won't have to ask my brother and SIL to grab me a 50-pound bag anymore! I'll take a 50-pound bag of flour and separate it into ten 5-pound bags and throw it into the freezer (keeps bugs out). When my container in the pantry starts to look empty, I'll grab a bag from the freezer and put it on the kitchen counter overnight to thaw.
Furballsmom Furballsmom Yes, we have a second freezer; one is a large chest freezer and the other one (which was my parents') is an upright. We use both of them, mainly because we have the garden and I freeze instead of doing much canning.
Tobermory Tobermory Yes, I prefer parchment instead of greasing pans. I just bought two boxes of parchment at Sam's; each box has 205 square feet. Did the same thing with Reynolds foil and each box also has 205 square feet. It will keep me in parchment and foil for a while!

A few years ago, Consumer Reports did a review of Kirkland brand for various items. As I recall (it's been a while), the cereals were pretty good. The laundry detergent was excellent.

Actually, I do prefer buying in bulk, even with just the two of us. With the FoodSaver, it's well worth our time. I can buy a tray of chicken breasts, but Rick and I usually split one breast. So they get separated, thrown into the FoodSaver, and frozen that way. There's much less waste in the long run. I separate 85/15 ground beef into one-pound bags for BBQ and such, while making 1-1/2 pound packages for meat loaf, pasta sauce, burgers, and the like. I don't mind buying a case of tuna or beans because it will get used. We have a pantry shelf under the basement steps (Rick is going to add another shelf this summer) and it has my canned pickles and relishes (those I will can, go figure), tuna, various cans of beans, evaporated milk (used in my mac and cheese), condensed milk, small cans of juice (I use those small cans of pineapple juice or V8 in recipes, but a large can would go to waste), and the like.

Thanks for telling me about Costco. I think I'm going to like using our membership.
 
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Winchester

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We did our first trip to Costco yesterday. The kids gave us a Gold Star membership; Rick upgraded to Business. We received a $20 discount because I was a government employee, even thought I'm now retired. They said being retired didn't matter.

We walked around a bit to see where things were. We're primarily interested in foodstuffs and pantry items, so we passed the furniture and tvs and concentrated on the grocery aisles. I bought things like toilet paper (they had a discount on Charmin), their brand of paper towels, Finish, Tide (discount), frozen pizza, ketchup, pasta, a pork loin, eggs, etc. And, of course, Dear Richard shopped his way around the snack aisles. I did not see SOS or Brillo pads, much in the way of cat food/litter at all, our brand of bar soap or deodorant, honey. Not a big deal as we can hit our grocery store for those items and I get cat supplies from Chewy.

The pork loin was a nice size. I was able to slice it into three pieces. The first two pieces were FoodSaved then frozen whole. I sliced the third piece into boneless chops, FoodSaved, and froze them in 2-chop packages. We'll get about seven meals from the pork loin, plus leftovers. Not bad for less than $20. Costco has a limit on eggs: two cartons of

Next grocery run will be to Sam's again. But we'll probably switch on and off between the two. Overall, I think Sam's has more of what I'm looking for and I believe the price is a little cheaper. But we'll be comparing as we shop the two stores.
 
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