Thursday, April 26, 2012

~ To Save or Not to Save: Shopping at Costco ~

Costco Wholesale Corporation  is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. As of July 2011 it was the sixth largest retailer in the United States, and the seventh largest retailer in the world.[2][3]from Wikipedia

Do you have a Costco Membership or shop there often?  How is it that you can go in for a couple of items and come out with boxes and boxes of consumables?  Do we really save by shopping at this "big box store"?

Last night on Rock Center with Brian Williams there was a segment on Costco, shopping there, and the secret to their success. You can watch the clip HERE.

Costco keeps their costs low by offering a "no frills" shopping experience.  The store doesn't carry mutliple brands allowing for increased sales for one vendor and thus lowering the retail price.

As couponers/savy shoppers/grocery gurus is it worth it to have a membership there?

Personally, I say yes!  I do the basic $50/year membership.  I tried the Gold Membership once and found that I didn't really spend enough to warrant the $100 fee even though you get at least $50 back each year more if you spend more 

I don't have the opportunity to shop there often as the nearest store is 2 hours away.  I do, however; take the opportunity to stock up on things we use daily like dog food and Kirkland Milk see my post on milk here or here  string cheese, flour, sugar, and rice. 

They do offer store coupons, but do not accept manufacturer q's.  Even without coupons, I find some products bought there in bulk saves $$$ on items I can't usually get in my home town for that price...with or without sales or coupons.  And honestly, I occassionally like to stock up on some different items I can't get here and am willing to spend a little extra on it as a "treat" a little justifying here

I don't buy the kirkland toilet paper (even though it is awesome and priced low) because I stock up on that here with coupons and get it for pennies.  Kirkland dog food is high quality and signifigantly cheaper than the local feed store. I save at least $5 each time I buy milk there as well. 

The trick is to know what you spend on items you love and where they are the cheapest.  Comparison shopping can save you lot's of money!

My only CAUTION for shopping at Costco is impulse buying yes, I have done it there many times.  It is easy to "find" things that are/were not on your list.  Costco purposefully puts items in strategic places for that purpose in order to increase sales.  So to maximize your savings,  try to stick to your list or leave a little extra $$ in the budget for those "I didn't plan on buying that" items.

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