Costco: only cheaper sometimes!

November 14, 2008 at 1:05 pm (spending habits) (, )

Do you shop at Costco or any other warehouse club? Some interesting reading:

5 best and worst costco deals

I joined a few months ago after someone in my building kept touting their salmon burgers and a few other items. They have a location less than a half-mile from my apartment, so it would be easy to go to. I bit the bullet and joined, splitting the annual fee with J. I’ve gotten really familiar with what they offer, and what I like, and what I need, so I feel like I do it justice being a member.

I try and limit myself to my written shopping list. It’s now one of the 4 markets I go to regularly to pick up specific items. Here’s what I do buy:

  • 1 lb clamshell mixed salad greens $3.99 (at least 1-2 dollars off anywhere else)
  • 4 lb clamshells strawberries $6.99
  • 2 lbs organic butter
  • 10 lbs white sugar (see previous post on baking and cooking more)
  • cheese: gruyere, p’tit basque ($8/lb cheaper than in a supermarket), parm-reggiano
  • Pacific organic chicken stock ($9.99/6-pack)
  • grey poupon mustard 2-packs (mmmm, mustard chicken over quinoa!)
  • instant oatmeal (thought I’d try the 55 package for $12 – makes great breakfasts at work)
  • 3 lb packages of salmon burgers ($11.99 or 12.99, a GREAT deal for wild salmon)
  • 4 lb frozen small scallops – a great idea for salads, pasta, you name it. ($8-9)
  • packages of raw nuts – great for baking, and way cheaper than bulk at the co-op
  • gas – but only if I don’t find cheaper elsewhere!

However, be advised that just like the artical above says, it’s not guaranteed to be a good deal just because you are there (and again, beware of getting things you just can’t use or can’t fit!).

I’ve been burned at Costco at the very beginning, but I’ve learned my lesson, mostly. I do occasionally spring for something new, like the 2 lbs of battered Halibut. At $20, it’s still VERY expensive, but I like halibut over cod (even though it’s 50% higher in price) and it’s cheaper here than anywhere else in town. I don’t buy perishable things that I have doubts I won’t finish (like a whole tray of one kind of fruit).

Interesting reading. Remember to shop smart!



  1. thepennypincher said,

    One good deal at Costco is photo processing: roughly 50 cents cheaper getting a photo processed than the next cheapest location (Wal-Mart).

  2. debtmaven said,

    I’ve heard that! Thanks for passing that along.

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