Costco really deserves its own post. I believe many of the bloggers out there have talked about Costco, and how you should have a membership. As a family of two, we have a Costco membership and we love it.
We always knew warehouse means greater savings, but in the form of bigger packages. Compared to Sam's Club, we like Costco so much more. We did have Sam's Club for couple years prior to switching to Costco. We found Costco carried healthier versions of the food that Sam's Club carried and provides more organic options.
Why do we love Costco?
We stock up on many dry goods for our pantry from time to time when Costco has items we need on sale, such as cereal or oatmeal. Compared to non-warehouse stores, the unit price is cheaper most of the time. Then there are times, when there is a * next to an item and the price ends with .97. Those all indicate a good deal or a sale item. * means that the item is not coming back to the club. So, when the quantity of those items are low in store, that means a deep discount. I have bought two packs of decorative pillows for less than $5, which originally sold for $15. There was also a Mikasa 60 piece serving set for $50, which originally sold for $100. Those are among the many items I bought at a very deep discount. As Costco prices are usually better than other stores, such discounts means really, really good deals. We needed those items as we were moving into a new house, otherwise we wouldn't have bought them. I think one day I will make an actual list of items I brought at these huge discounts.
Rules of Shopping at Costco
If you don't need those discounted items, DO NOT buy them no matter how cheap they are. It will just sit there collecting dust if it is just something extra or something for just in case situations.There are a few items that I brought home and realized that it is just nice to have, but did not need. Thanks to the great return policy of Costco, I was able to return them, as I haven't even opened the package. Also, besides the great return policy, Costco always honors a 30-day price guarantee. They will provide a one time price adjustment within 30 days of purchase if the price drops. This information was provided to me by my local club's customer service.
As we all know, for a warehouse retailer, items are sold at a cheaper price, but in bigger packages. As a family of two, I avoid buying large packages of perishable items, such as fruits. Now, meats and frozen goods are not a issue. With a large package of meat, I always come home and repackage them into small 1-2 sized portions and refreeze, so I only thaw one or two at a time.
There are things at Costco that are priced the same as any other store, so always know your prices. Those items are probably cheaper when on sale at other places. Now, Costco also carries its own private brand, which is as good as brand name items, such as oatmeal. I always check the food label when comparing two similar items between different brands, because brand names are not always better. Sometimes the private brands might even be cheaper and better.
We do believe Costco saves us money for many of the big items we purchase. However, shopping at Costco also means discipline. Always remember not to buy anything you do not need. Happy shopping and enjoy the trip to Costco! :)