They love quantity and thats that. 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. I don’t know where you are but 3 loaves of bread will NOT cost me $14+ at Superstore. This happened to me and they gave me cash at the customer service desk. Go online for big discounts and free shipping — returning your wares (if you change your mind) is generally hassle free. I used to shop at costco but found that I can buy same things cheaper price other stores when it goes on sale. Great article, we have been shopping pretty much exclusively at Costco for years now, glad to hear your research backs up our decision. I gave up my Costco membership years ago as I prefer being that works better for me. At Christmas they have Italian low-sodium anchovies at $6/jar, whereas elsewhere prices are closer to double that. They’re not even in the running as far as competative shopping is concerned and I only shop there if I happen to run out of something. Prices I listed here are from converting what the author listed in above chart! Fantastic article, being both a costco and superstore shopper I agree with everything. “Skip the fresh foods” isn’t accurate in my state. You can’t unilaterally say some of this stuff. it’s a game you have to play if you want to save a little money. The packaged goods are definitely much cheaper and we order and buy all of our celebration cakes and desserts from Costco. But even at peak times, the lines at the cashiers move fast (and more are open). 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. I’ve found the same to be true with purchasing cheese at Costco… it’s a little more expensive than the brands I would get at SS (only referring to cheddar here), but it’s a whole lot better (my opinion of course!). Good new thing at Costco here in Ancaster. We can walk to several local groceries in our area (we have 3 within a half mile) and the Costco is 14 miles away. However I’ve made a lifestyle choice none has mentioned and which I think really needs to be assessed in your calculations. Take avocados for example. 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! Except for skipping Costco’s fresh produce, as it’s more expensive. About 3 big boxes a week. The produce can be as expensive or more expensive than normal stores, but the quality is generally excellent. Costco doesn’t offer a lot of brand variety in their warehouse, any many items are seasonal or sold sporadically. It’s roughly $3 a box of 9 at Walmart. I so want to do this at Sams Club This looks like a great homeschool project. Guess it matters on quality. So 8 times in a month I can have wings for $20! Wish they would do a US Comparison. We don’t get everything there. I know the article focuses on groceries, but I wanted to point out that the Pekkle brand (clothes, pyjamas for kids) is very good and high quality, for a low price. Well, thanks so much for your feedback. Products sold in cans, jars, and tubes all ring up the savings at Costco. 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 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! Example – a box of crackers may look taller, yet the width has decreased (total volume decreased), yet the price has increased. Lived on Metchosin Road for years and View Royal before that – graduated from Belmont High in 1962 then moved away in 1963. Cucumbers and romaine lettuce at my Costco, for example, are waaaay cheaper. Most of the items go on sale 6-8 weeks. Another problem with Costco is their “supersizing”. Have you checked the prices on there clothing. I avoid shopping when ANYONE else is shopping lol Kids or no kids…I don’t think it is the children making shopping stressful…its the NEVER ending stores…lineups…huge parking lots…way too many products…When I am shopping I find all you Sinks and Dinks just as annoying to get passed lol I LOVE small grocery stores…I can zip around them and they tend to have all the REAL food I need. Yes, we shop a LOT at Costco . Gas savings for car. More Trader Joe's ❯. . I can’t fathom such a beautiful state serving these sad sad veggies to a bunch of hungry Canadians. The Costco organic milk (and they also do this at Target with their Archway Farms brand) is … Did you notice? If it’s about to expire we will make a batch of ice cream in our ice cream maker. Costco is a big place and it’s easy to get distracted by free food samples, live demonstrations, and seasonal stuff on display. Thanks for the analysis–I’ve been curious for a long time to see if what we’re doing pays off but have been calculating it mostly in my head. I am a conscientious shopper and will often just look around to check on in store specials, etc. Other items vary but at least comparable. 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. I currently shop for a family of 3 and easily spend enough, I also have a single friend who mostly buys organic and fresh foods and he also gets a refund check every year, so it’s not difficult to do. Gas! . Kirkland ibuprofen – 1000 caplets (2 bottles of 500 each) – around $10!! Future Shop, Visions, Wal Mart and even Canadian Tire beat the pants off Costco each and every week on computers, tablets and television sets and in the case of Canadian Tire – tools that are often on sale for half price. Lately – the gas is really not that much less, if at all, than other nearby gas stations. Nice to know that we’ve been getting good deals (and lower priced gasoline) and I do shop our local King Soopers (union labor)(a Kroger store now) for smaller amounts of organic spinach and celery,onions and mushrooms, because we just don’t go through fresh food fast enough to use it all. If you earn less, bring your check to the service counter and they will give you the difference. Where the heck where they when we were raising three kids with hollow legs?? They charge more. Overall, it will be well worth stocking up on non-perishables every 1-2 months. I’m quite surprised that your savings with Costco were so big, though. […] Price Check Experiment: Is Costco really worth it? I’ve been practicing the same things the author of this article has. I heartily endorse Costco’s fresh tomatoes, romaine hearts, fresh baked bread, San Pellegrino (seltzer water), Gorgonzola, lemons, organic milk or soy/almond milk. I buy canned tomatoes and broth when on sale at Costco. Bottom Line: Save yourself time and a little sanity by shopping early — you’ll get outta there faster and have more weekend time to enjoy with your family. My only comment would be to watch Costco online prices versus in store. The executive membership is worth it for me because I save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance buying through Costco. I’m a Superstore fan, but I’m not blind to its defects, but at least it’s a Canadian operation, and I collect points redeemable for groceries using the President’s Choice credit card. . I overspent every time I went there and came home with books, movies, clothes, etc. All in all I think I’ll keep my membership. But their produce is amazing – it’s always fresh and delicious. If you sign up and don’t get a $55 rebate check, they downgrade you to Gold Star and refund the difference. Re. We have a lot of fresh food spoil before we can use it and have to buy volumes of things like toilet paper that mean we have to find a place to store it for the year it takes a family of 2 to use it up. . The local grocery market here is strange. I have a family of 5, 4 of them are boys (1 is a man). You do not have to spend $5000 to break even on a executive membership since you already spent $55 for a normal membership. Honestly if I buy bulk food and the items only last 1/2 of the time span it should be, I am going to bring it in. I will drive across town for Costco’s produce because I very rarely have to throw any of it away. costco is definitely worth the membership. So I can see you saving for sure on bread at any major wholesale outlet. You never touched on the meat products. Your membership is good anywhere in the world. Great article. Costco does have a good return policy, but you probably have to wait in line again. . I can’t speak for Costco because I joined SAMS for proximity to home….but I have noticed something over the years that is a bit puzzling and troubling. 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. Sometimes the avocados turn to mush on the outside, yet are unripe 1/8th inch in, indicating they were ‘cooked’ in transit. What do you stock up on? The Kerrygold at Costco was $6.99 for 3, 8-ounce bars, or $4.66 per pound. I also have the Executive membership and Costco credit card and easily make back my dues. But the savings are huge, easily cutting a grocery bill by 40% over Safeway, without the quality tradeoffs that Superstore requires. It was somewhat expensive, but truly fresh and truly local. You also have to take the quality of the meat into cosideration. Based on my sample food bill, I would have saved $25.68 — that’s almost 21% on a near hundred dollar food bill — by shopping at Costco and skipping my local supermarket. Eggs are $3.99 at Superstore where you live, are you kidding me? So what if we ate still living in the dark ages? I love it. 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. after checking the prices they had over charged me $1.20.i tought i made a mistake when i looked at the prices,so i when back and check the price on the sign in front of the items.i had seen right.i mentioned that to the clerk who contact one of the manager.she went to check the prices and after about 20 minutes(no exageration)she came back and refund me the over charged.i am pretty good with numbers so how many people don,t really check their slip.i have never been to costco since. And for those devoted to the big American chains, yes we have a Wal Mart here too and even they can show Costco what it’s all about. So organic milk is $2 or 100% more expensive than regular milk. As a self-professed health geek (and a vegetarian), I spend a huge chunk of my paycheck each week on organic groceries, so … […], Also note, this was a Costco vs. Canadian Brands. Some comparison shopping before you head out and get your grocery’s for next week. I find the Green Giant brand pretty good. fresh Chicken is 11.99 per kilo and milk is at least 50cents less per 4 litre bag than any area groceries including discount chains. I find the whole process takes longer, and creates greater opportunity for mistakes since numberous cashiers are now scanning my items and taking payment. I would never buy any perishable food at SS (Stupid Store). The cost for electricity for the trip is about 35 cents so I’m not concerned about that (2.2 cents per km). I have never bought meat at SS and probably never will. I concluded that, for the way we shop, the savings at the store were minimal and would not cover the cost of membership. My rule of thumb for Costco is to not bring in a cart because they are so over sized that you can’t properly judge exactly how much you are really getting. Unless you are in a financial position where you don’t need to watch your budget you are not going to spend $14 for three loaves of bread and 8$ a pound for chicken. We don’t buy everything from costco but fruit, chicken, pork loin and baking stuff is our must haves from costco. Yes, Langford has changed a lot since you were here last. All of which actually brings another factor into Kerry’s question about the “worth” of Costco. I cannot believe some people think thats what they get out of it. Look at the fact that you can not buy coffee beans though the ground is OK – you cannot buy loose tea or organic produce (not that I trust it much always) and one or two main commercial brands of products and look at the energy bars in the whole front. So in otherwords without the membership fees, Costco would be unable to compete in the “real world”. Not all Costcos are the same. Re: buying meat. A note about the Executive membership: If you do not spend enough in a year to earn the difference between the cost of the Gold Star membership ($55) and the Exec ($100), you get the difference back. , 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…. the greeter had taken my card from her,took her to the customer service counter. For me, there are a few differences. They all have big appetites and I find myself at Costco weekly. Wall Mart has them for .39 cents a lb, but as for the rest Costco is my choice! As with anything else, you pay for convenience and if you shop around you can more often than not get a better deal elsewhere. This reflects in the price of milk at the grocery store. Check to see if produce has been grown in your own city or country. We are weaving a strong local economy and also fresh and organic contain a higher food value not to mention the quality of the products and the farms etc. Crowds of bratty kids make the already annoying experience of shopping for food traumatic. I have had this experience often at Walmart. You just need to buy what makes sense for you…not everything is a good price. Costco saves money on recruiting and training, because they promote from within and KEEP the same employees. 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