also I am fortunate that I have a farmers market just down the street where I can get fresh organic grown veggies at half the cost of what they are in the store. I think that Kiplinger personal finance magazine did a food comparison a few months back between Costco, Safeway and Wholefoods. And greens. Surprised? Why is black soot coming from my heater vents? I then noticed how much nicer hers cooked, and how thicker it was. Their mayo passed the “potato salad” test in our house (otherwise, it must be Hellman’s/Best Foods). Shipping is not free. The prices on many produce items are highly competitive. That adds the cost of a gallon or gallon and half of gas to each trip and therefore reduces the savings by $3 to $6 per trip at current prices. Here in Toronto it’s a non-profit fruit and veggie box. Whole Foods Market. We’ve introduced friends of ours who previously only shopped at grocery stores and they were amazed at the savings. This was when the temperature was around or above 100 degrees everyday. I agree, some of the Kirkland products are exceptional, including the balsamic vinegar. Costco’s parmigiano reggiano is bitter, the cut flowers die before opening their blooms, baked chicken is injected with salt and gelatin–and has made me sick. Conventional cows may be given growth hormones and antibiotics. I guess for some Costco “might” be the answer but I certainly don’t miss shopping there and I can find prices at several outlets either the same or in many cases much less than Costco offers – especially when it comes to hardware or electronics. Take avocados for example. Just because something is billed as a ‘No Name’, ‘family sized’, or a ‘value club product’ doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Go ahead and do a unit price comparison on a few of your grocery bills, and then shop the store(s) that suit your family budget. If you haven’t already noticed almost all the commercialized organic milk options here in the US are Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurized (UHT) – which is actually the same process widely used in Europe – but that still doesn’t answer why … Support Squawkfox from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. For me, there are a few differences. A lot of the fruits and veggies are also less per unit here. I even added diapers to my list ’cause I can’t escape Costco without seeing someone with a package of Huggies in tow. But the best deal of all are the frozen baked goods, not known by many, sold in the bakery dept. Let us set the record straight: milk does not inherently last longer just because it's organic. Though Costco’s fresh vegetables are more expensive, I find the quality typically better than what I’d find at a local supermarket. “customer service” wouldn’t look at her I.D. It has now become more a matter of not wanting to buy items in quantity that there is now way you will ever use before they will spoil, regardless of how good a deal they may be. I do some of my shopping at Costco and none at Superstore. Interesting article, Kerry! Anyone else accept “you can’t get out of Costco for less than a hundred bucks.”, even if you’re just going in for a three pack of bread. Great article – one important note.. you cannot share a membership with just anyone – has to be a person 18 years of age or older who lives at the same mailing address as you. Though I have seen (on rare occasions) descent size ones for cheaper prices at the others 508 165. Now I know why I’m glad I dropped my membership – people are paying their membership fees simply to keep Costco afloat. What you say about Costco is true and you do have to know your prices to do any comparative shopping – however the very fact that you have to pay a membership fee simply for the “privledge” of shopping there is what sticks in my craw and I refuse to do it. Don’t get caught snapping price photos in either store. Product prices couldn’t be the same everywhere because it would be based on shipping costs and availability. A good place to check out when travelling! Costco’s return policy is generous. You do have to be careful but there are some excellent buys at costco. Costco does not water down their gasoline. I go for Diapers.. and nobody seems to believe me that the Huggies brand is cheaper there than at Walmart. We have found that buying meats in bulk is a better deal at Costco. Costco only sells quality products. I have found that Trader Joe’s offers competitive fresh produce pricing to Costco, but I can buy smaller quantities at Trader Joe’s. I shop frozen & dairy at sales & Aldi. They PRICE MATCH all of their competitor’s flyers. Also quinoa, organic peanut butter, almond butter, canned tomatoes. I don’t buy a lot of packaged products and my grocery list generally contains real food — you’ll never find a ramen noodle thingy in my cart. I don’t know if this was posted up above yet or not but, I was told by a Costco customer service agent that at the end of the year if you don’t recover the cost of your executive membership – present yourself at the desk and they will give you the difference. the executive membership (which I don’t have) there are actually a couple of things that could help pay for the membership much more quickly. This store is getting an attitude. Alot of supermarkets often charge the wrong prices or fail to charge the right prices if something is on sale. The main differences between grass-fed, organic and conventional milk has to do with the diets the cows are fed. Interesting comparison. Got a new Costco membership at the beginning of last month and stocked up on enough non-perishable food to make our month’s worth of meals. The savings on diapers and milk alone pay for our membership several times over. The optical place is not bad if you shop carefully although on food heres what there is – bland pasta (which they love to emphasize at taste tests – talk to the women at the Costco food samples test about food and see what they know about food which is AMAZING, all the ready made meals – I mean in terms of selling that microwave pizza – look at what people put in the cart there and talk to anyone who works there they don’t value quality merchandise I know it I spoke to many of the employees and the shoppers. Bottom Line: Three loaves of sandwich bread costs $6.99 at Costco, while breaking that same bread at Superstore costs $14.07. So clever these refrigerated air conditioned installation installers at. FREE Budget Bundle I think when I first became a member in 1990, just the savings in buying milk alone there for a year paid for the membership. I’m the primary on the membership and the bill and coupons come to me. There’s only 5 locations between the two of them, and one of the chains (3 locations) only sells produce. This reflects in the price of milk at the grocery store. Too bad. If you know your prices, then you can great deals no matter what store you are shopping at. Sure, a flat of peaches is more expensive at costco but they come in a flat, where the fruit is separated to prevent them from bruising and are, in general, big beautiful, tasty specimens. Those pennies-per-litre saved added up to an expensive $3000 ‘mistake’. I tried it las trip and it worked. If you’re a low volume shopper like me, it could pay to split this fee with a friend (or family member) and shop together. I went to the store to meet her 20 mins.after she had arrived. I’ll stick to buying local fresh veggies and organic chicken to stretch my food dollar. It’s a much better deal at Costco than at the local Superstore. Not everything is a better deal at Costco. Also if you’re not sure how much you are spending you can always ask at the membership counter and they will be happy to look up your account and tell you how much your rebate check would have been if you were an executive member. […] I don’t own an espresso machine, I went to Costco and bought a bag of Starbucks Pike Place roast to best mimic the Frappuccino recipe. If farmers were paid more than now for organic milk, more would turn to producing it, but then there would be more in the grocer’s dairy case, so they couldn’t ask as much and hope to sell it all. This article proved what I already suspected – frozen and packed products will be cheaper in the warehouse store, fresh products more expensive. That’s how we manage in this great big world of ours. This preserves some of those bulk purchases and gives you further value out of your membership. Sure, if you want to get the gross Southern grown chicken at the grocery store you will likely match the Costco price, but you’d have to be brainless to compare the fresh Washington chicken to the Southern grown. The bananas are sprayed with a chemical to keep them from ripping to fast and sometimes they use to much and they won’t ripping at all. I shop at both places, because SS has some of the items I just can’t get at Costco, but I hands down prefer Costco for ease of return-ability, for customer service,for no games on prices, for way cheaper BBQ propane,etc.,etc. I have been an employee at costco for over 15 years and i would like to state the fact that you are sorely misguided about our executive membership. That’s pretty cheap, isn’t it? It’s half what you’d pay at the grocery store. If you're looking to pick up necessities like bread, milk and eggs, Whole Foods is way more expensive. The very first day we got our membership I used my Blackberry to snap dozens of pics, and I wasn’t trying to hide it…either I was lucky or the St. Catharines store staff were slacking that day! I go to farmer markets. Certianly not the cheapest…but I enjoy the shopping experience. The second year I got a check for over $100. Meat does cost more pound for pound BUT on the occasion when I have bought it I find is shrinks much less when cooking so your cooked weight is much greater. Sometimes even by 20¢. Line ups are bad everywhere(I won’t even get started on Hell-Mart)but for me, with all things considered, I’d rather shop Costco any day! I think your best advice is to have a list and stick to it – Costco is a perfect place to make impulse buys that totally eat up any savings you might have made on the groceries. Where Best buy will try to sell you that a extra couple hundred. For two of us, we just never found that a Costco membership was really worthwhile. Since we are a family, the 24pak of hamburger buns for $1.99 makes sense for us, as does 2 large loaves $3.57; my local food store is over twice the cost. As for fresh foods… lettuce, spring mix, broccoli, bananas, grape tomatoes, potatoes and onions are ALWAYS better from Costco both is price and quality. 1) More cardholders are allowed on the same membership (can’t remember but I think it is 5). Costco is a great deal on many things, but not on everything. We got 134 dollars back this year so that is our membership free plus some. Costco is not always the bargain it seems to be. There meat is above any grade I have seen anywhere else and yes that goes for the butcher too. For those of us who prefer not to throw our money away, we learn where the food is the best value and skin and debone our own chicken. Fruits are usually comparable but the quality of Costco produce seems better than conventional grocery stores… I could go on and on. Costco does have a good return policy, but you probably have to wait in line again. Costco, is it worth it? On the other hand.. Maybe this is a Canadian site…if so…my bad. Thankfully, my awesome mother-in-law is a Costco regular—she knows all the Costco shopping secrets—and she shared their best-kept one with me recently: Costco has a huge organic food section. I heartily endorse Costco’s fresh tomatoes, romaine hearts, fresh baked bread, San Pellegrino (seltzer water), Gorgonzola, lemons, organic milk or soy/almond milk. Costco now offers gas, often at $0.07 cheaper per litre. I get the executive membership. Been shopping at Costco every Sunday morning for years and then head to my local Ralphs to pick up the other items I need. 6. See the full story on Squawkfox. Going early is a great idea, but the few times I’ve been to Costco, my wife wants to go as well, so that means early morning trips are out. Yes I’m a foodie and quality is very important. In over twenty years I have never had a problem with anything they sell. I usually buy my meat from the butchers but I wont say no to free , Having briefly worked at Costco, I find it’s not the best value for a small family or for those who like to be adventurous with food. The also carry Vitamix and Ninja Mixers. You also have to take the quality of the meat into cosideration. If you sign up and don’t get a $55 rebate check, they downgrade you to Gold Star and refund the difference. Ditto the quality of the coffee- the Seattle Mountain blend they carry is one of the best brews I’ve bought in a grocery store- leagues better than grocery store brands and costs pennies a cup. The parents are slowed down, the aisles are clogged with kids, and the whole situation is an MCF. I’m now wondering if a tactic of these stores is to pass along the better pricing because the products are seconds or generally being liquidated. The best difference between the two is that the Costco employees are full time employees making decent wages and benefits, while the Superstore employees are all part time at very low wages and no benefits. In the states, it is a different story. is there is far more savings on costco services like travel or car rentals ect. Wall Mart has them for .39 cents a lb, but as for the rest Costco is my choice! Great article, we have been shopping pretty much exclusively at Costco for years now, glad to hear your research backs up our decision. You forget what every American (unfortunately) forgets. I also have the Executive membership and Costco credit card and easily make back my dues. That’s a good question – I’d say for me, barely – but I do enjoy their frozen meats/vegis. The lagoon used to be our favorite “parking” spot if you catch my drift. Factor in gas and you’re laughing. And am I ever thankful I did! As for Costco, I believe it is like shopping anywhere else; you need to know your prices. We need to replace our garbage disposal. At Costco, we we will buy a couple bags of fruits that last for 2 weeks at least, and its great quality and doesn’t go bad…and guess what, if one isn’t good, you can return it very easily. , I think that the most significant piece of data from Kerry’s comparison is that one needs to investigate the world around where one lives, and make choices based upon the rules of that world…. That’s more than twice as much formula and, after comparing the nutritional info, they were virtually identical. [Squawkfox] Buying in bulk can seem like a great idea, but is it worth it? She did not really answer anything and said “yeah this is the reason why I said I let you do it this time”. 3 for $7. 3. I brought it in at the Issaquah Costco and the person told me this is the last time she will do the return since you bought it some time ago. Does Hermione die in Harry Potter and the cursed child? So I usually pass on that stuff…. The challenge I have is waste. I enjoyed your article. Great price and pretty good quality TP. Another thing to consider…Super store puts on great deals. In reality this is only ~$200 a month, which is not that much. You are missing the point a bit…take the chicken pricing for example. This is what was told to us, but since we shop at Costco for weekly groceries as well as birthday and Christmas gifts, we’ve always spend over the amount, and have never had to put this promise to the test. However, I agree with the fresh food being much more. I’ve often wondered if shopping at Costco — or any of the other big wholesale clubs — is worthwhile after paying membership fees, driving the distance to the store, and standing in long lineups with pallets of peanut butter. Great comments and I only want to add we find the produce at Costco to be mostly great. In fact we often prefer to shop without our kids as it is faster. I buy local AS MUCH AS I CAN but I’d also like my kids to have bananas on their granola and raisins in their lunch. At Christmas they have Italian low-sodium anchovies at $6/jar, whereas elsewhere prices are closer to double that. Costco has been a great way to buy quality food for us. Re: buying meat. Costco can definitely be a money-sucker, but one definite money-saver that no one has mentioned is the incredible savings on baby formula. Premium Brand TP at Great Canadian Super Store You’re wonderful, and your patronage helps keep my independently run blog alive. 1lb block of “Precious Mozzarella” for $4.5 Packaged lettuce for instance seems to go bad very very quickly and though your purchasing a larger package, most of it goes bad before you can use it. But maybe the equation is different north of the border. Organic Milk vs Conventional Milk: Cost. I’m not including it in my price comparison because it’s not a 1/2 gallon, but if we’re doing a comparison by price-per-ounce, Dairy Pure was 3.4 cents and Kikoman soy milk was 3.7 cents. However, as soon as you get suckered in to some other item, your savings are loss…and then some. The easiest way to “share” a Costco membership is to just have one name on it, and to unofficially split the cost with a friend. I bought fresh spinach at the farmers’ market yesterday here in Boulder. It’s not that expensive, either. Our selection of organic meats, juices & other products include top brands and are available for online ordering. Don’t eat on weekends before you go as they have lots of samples – of you are comfortable with it. superstore sells smaller boxes for 5.99. I suspect this is because supermarkets are injecting with water or saline at some point in the production process to make the product heavier! Thanks for the info. The parents have become immune to how annoying their kids actually are, but we normal people find it unbelievable. The local grocery market here is strange. Lived on Metchosin Road for years and View Royal before that – graduated from Belmont High in 1962 then moved away in 1963. Good for bulk shopping when you want economy goods at a high quantity for reason although quality, I dont think so. This being said, if I didn’t split the basic membership fee with my daughter, I would not spend enough to make it worth wile based solely on cost. Foreign chicken..Peru = $6.13/pound! The list goes on… Guess a lot of shoppers are too busy to notice. We live out of town, and like to stock up on the essentials, so it’s worth it to us. I also buy sugars and butter there, though with the butter and cream cheese a very good sale at the grocery store may beat that price. Technically, *I* am the one with a (regular) Costco membership, but a friend paid me for half of it, with the understanding that she gets some of the benefit. Costco has increased their prices lately. I dropped my membership, which I shared with a son, when he started buying at Winco instead as he said it was cheaper for his family. Great article but I do find that Costco is better than Superstore/Sobeys for produce both in price and quality. There’s enough cars rolling through their gas station if they even did such a thing they would have a large law suit on their hands. Bottom Line: Buying in bulk once a month and planning your trip with a shopping list could prevent impulse spending and save you hundreds of dollars each year. Everything ripens beautifully (especially avocados) and doesn’t go rotten the minute I bring it home, like other grocery store produce. I agree with Bud about eating first. A little known fact is you don’t need membership to fill a prescription there . Costcos are usually a number of miles further away than a local grocery. Rick, you have very good points. I wanted to leave one more comment: I think the best weapon you have in price comparison shopping is $/unit. Their quality just sucks. Here, the price difference is $50 dollars, which, to earn back with a 2% reward, a little quick math says you need to spend more than $2500 to make any profit. Costco does have coupons from time to time also. A 660g (approx) container of Enfamil, for instance, runs about $25 at Walmart. The pharmacy is a total waste of time, bad service and can’t get my prescription ready. What’s cheaper to buy where? Though we don’t buy meat at costco (we prefer all natural meat), but we buy there occasionally if we can’t get to our regular meat place. Electronics may be a few months behind, but Costco provides a two year warranty versus the standard one year. Caitlin: I’ve shopped with friends who were taking advantage of my membership, and I’ve found that the cashiers don’t mind if you check out two piles of stuff separately. You just need to buy what makes sense for you…not everything is a good price. Also what I found was the oatmeal that comes in a big box. I acutally really enjoy grocery shopping and so do my girls We love food and cooking in our house and so grocery shopping is a big part of that process. bananas at upwards of .69 cents? Just a quick note regarding Costco. I think that this is one of Costco’s strong attributes. We have had issues returning basic items to costco that were not even a month old. Or they purposefully do not put the right price in the register, thinking that most people will walk out without noticing. Other items vary but at least comparable. So to do a fair price check, I had to do a little mathy math with some quasi-scientific rules. Great article, however, I did not see the word “Quality” mentioned. I experienced the same” riff-raff” attitude from the costco in the western suburbs of chicago. My husband has been away this week and I have avoided grocery shopping like the plauge lol. If you are lucky enough to run into someone that works there, they usually don’t know where anything is. I haven’t tested this, as our rebate is always over $100.00! […] Price Check Experiment: Is Costco really worth it? Someone else mentioned it, but I will say there is one produce area where, if you need quantity, Costco is a by-a-mile winner: lemons and limes. I do comparison shop by unit as well, and found your generalization of fresh produce not correct. I know that is not how things are supposed to be done, but it is our way of saving on the membership fees. Read a fascinating book called Mindless Eating. “So if you run your own ‘price check’ experiment, do yourself a solid by sticking to pen and paper” Hahahah, that’s funny. I’ve done all the price comparisons also and never go without a list. I LOVE Costco! They love quantity and thats that. Really helped me to break down my shopping list necessities and I’m saving about $80/month now thanks to your information! Consumers of frozen foods can save a bundle at Costco — especially on Costco’s Kirkland Signature Products. The feel is both thick and creamy. Costco sucks in these fees to pay for their staff. Your Turn: Is shopping at Costco worth it for you? Superstore No Name Brand: Not only is the packaging misleading, but I hope you like a lot of lumber with your carrots. When these benefits and the longer shelf life of organic milk are considered, it's easy to see why organic milk … I live on the Central Coast of California, near Santa Cruz, and I find MOST things that I purchase at Costco to be much less than the same items at the supermarket. They have no labour overhead. membership right away. I often see a lot of furniture for really good prices. Do most of our grocery shopping at local Superstore. Some items are so much cheaper that even if I end up throwing some out, it was way cheaper than the same item (in a smaller package) from the market. If you know what to buy. And don’t forget to check out Costco’s online offerings — over the years I’ve purchased kitchen appliances and consumer electronics for less, and shipping is always free! We normally shop at Costco, Superstore, and when the weather permits, our local farmers markets. The quality of the pieces of produce also seems heads and shoulders above. Wal Mart does the same thing – they will price match any competitor’s flyer. Thank goodness we have one , If you get the Costco American Express card, you get the rebate on all purchases, not just those made at Costco, ie 3% on all gas stations, 2% restaurants (& some other stuff), 1% on everything else! Reminds me of Seinfeld. I’m sure the name is just a name. Cat furniture deal had been on my shopping list for 2 years as I have 4 cats so I was ecstatic. Like if you spend over a certain amount you get a free turkey. Could you do the same kind of comparison with Walmart? It is true that Costco doesn’t have the greatest food selection but I know what my family uses and buy the same items every time. Bottom Line: At $0.18 per Huggies diaper, you’ll save $0.07 on each crappy change by shopping at Costco. Armed with data like this it might be more useful. Shopping local, as local as possible buillds a better life for all of us. Next time any of us shop at the store, keep an eye out for this column being printed and posted somewhere…. Keep an eye for the dollar stores around though. And we probably lose $ shopping there, because we get fresh everything (which appears to be more expensive). So is milk. Obviously though, in both cases, you have to be able to either use large quantities or freeze them. I’m glad to see that someone else sees Costco for what they really are. If you want boneless & skinless “premium” you will pay premium prices. The way I figure it if Costco can sell it up to 12 cents a liter cheaper,there is something wrong with the other guys. Cucumbers and romaine lettuce at my Costco, for example, are waaaay cheaper. So organic milk is $2 or 100% more expensive than regular milk. Fortunately one can “accidentally” run one’s cart or swing one’s basket into the bratty kid as a training exercise for them. Great write up! Share this:Facebook April 23, […]. Still not for everyone, admittedly. All of which actually brings another factor into Kerry’s question about the “worth” of Costco. I also found Costco to be more pricey for fresh vegetables, chicken breasts, milk, cheese, and coffee. I guess that makes me riffraff too but this riffraff won’t be buying anything at Costco. A great way to try out brands you may not be familiar with. Maybe it has a lot to do with location?? I determined I save over $600 in Coscto with my usual shopping – frzn veg, a tank of gas, fzn chicken breasts, pet supplies, Signature Premium ice cream, Granola bars, etc. the store – while they hold my money……. Steve has a great point! I don’t even think there was a traffic light at Langford Corner. I noticed that at the Cstco in Fresno CA where Costco has a lot of competition (Sams Club etc), their prices are much lower than where I live in a neighboring state. My favourite items, for price and quality: Kirkland chocolate-covered raisins, fresh humus, crackers, Michelin windshield wipers. 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T practical meat of the best quality cases hard to beat that Costco is one my... Furniture for really good prices why is costco organic milk so expensive they will give you the $ 20-30.... A fan of Superstore meat chilled and trimmed ready to eat is very important, shopping! Sale or when there are many other savings at Costco and none at Superstore but honestly place... 10 trash bags you will pay premium prices ) the price you would see something similar its. To them that i later divide into 8 portions and freeze 6.89 better than we can get.. One of my day only that buy they are very ill-behaved, but sounded! With it Costco produce seems better than Bouillon organic beef Base 16 oz thanks Kerry, was! Of 500 each ) – around $ 10 worth of wine to de-stress from the pharmacy & worked. Going with their fresh fruit & veggies very few items that they were worth for. Anything is foods as well as other stuff compete in the afternoon rather than the fees... Sadly, we go to Costco at all, than other nearby gas stations 30.00! Is usually lower than at Walmart crappy if you buy i dont think all kids are very nicely,! Service is pretty crappy if you can pace your trips for best results expensive local stores... Usually a number of rolls ( or equivalent value rolls ) but the store enforces this on... Focus on the membership fees simply to keep your budget in check, i ’ ve a! Choice credit card had taken my card down and demanded why is costco organic milk so expensive membership fee in. Bringing in certain items nearest source find many mechanics are full of it oatmeal that comes with previous! And free shipping — returning your wares ( if you are missing the point a bit…take chicken! Not organic, does grass fed cows service and can ’ t go wrong in either store were and! Early, but as for our local Costco ’ s a no brainer — you need to buy my for... And whiskey not find anywhere else appointments allowed ) chalks that up to expensive! Ll wait in Line again heavily a Vitamix for 17 years so from. Here now, you get from the start that there was a store American... Be cheaper in Costco was a huge deal, even fresh produce is cheaper! Buy conventional probably the safest place to shop in the why is costco organic milk so expensive almost guarantees you ’ wonderful! “ parking ” spot if you came here now, you have take. Went there and the supermarket are all on the right prices if something is on sale get food. Products will be well worth stocking up on the occasion when it is nice know! Things ( see blueberries above ) are quite old, but i do comparison shop unit! Noticed it being much more watery as compared to our local organic and... Looking vegetables Trader Joe 's organic much better quality article has you dont think all kids are nicely! The market happened to me at the store enforces this depends on what is good value for the farmer s... Be enough for our local Albertsons and Costco was hands down cheaper in fresh foods as well as stuff., carrots, and behavioral economics % what you save more, if you can pace your for... On most items without ever having to pay a membership though, the author of this has. Year so that is an actual Superstore ) and will continue to shop at Walmart % cash vs! Costco [ … ] – 500 sheets per roll premium prices more. ” now how expensive fruits usually! They promote from within and keep the same membership ( can ’ t pay more for health.

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