Walk for your health:) Live better for longer. Maybe it is just the stores around here but I find most of the fruit at other stores last only a few days where as stuff from costco lasts 2 to 3 times longer. This has also happened to me at the Supercentre. “Skip the fresh foods” isn’t accurate in my state. that works better for me. I’ve found that Costco is worth it, but only if you can make up the annual membership fee. Thanks for that. Costco does have a good return policy, but you probably have to wait in line again. We’ve introduced friends of ours who previously only shopped at grocery stores and they were amazed at the savings. Frozen and fresh meat are all of high quality and good value FOR THE QUALITY. But I wanted to get a good sampling of fresh, frozen, and packaged food to determine (based on unit price) if Costco really offers a better deal to consumers. A Costco Gold Star Membership will run you $55 per year, including a spouse card. Is their gasoline a brand-name or “no name”? If the shoppers stick to their shopping list (and don’t mind the other negatives), there are savings. Steve has a great point! There is no statistically significant evidence to support that organic dairy milk is more nutritious than regular milk. While Superstore may be price competitive on many items, Safeway and Coop in Calgary are definitely not. A few points. Add their return policy and it’s probably the safest place to shop. Great comments and I only want to add we find the produce at Costco to be mostly great. Since I live in the US that may be the reason for some of our differences but what you should buy at Costco:, granola, olive oil, sugar substitutes, to name a few, any advice would be appreciated. During the winter season, Costco is very competitive on citrus fruit, chopped lettuces and a number of other things. I am a big Costco shopper… love the place, yet you do need to be careful. The packaging will always change, for the purpose of catching your attention and/or hiding the fact that they are giving you less, yet charging more. It often comes with info about what will be on sale this week in-store. The prices on many produce items are highly competitive. Does Hermione die in Harry Potter and the cursed child? No matter what I fail to see who does a MONTHLY shopping spree for no more than 100 dollars per person, in a house filled with adults (say group home or other housing situation) NO ONE can fulfill the dietary needs on that low of a budget, people eat a whole lot more on their plates than they recall, sorry to burst your bubble guys…PRICES ARE HIIIGH! If you want organic meat, the organic lean ground beef is at least $1/lb cheaper than the leading big brand organic (Amy’s). Love the post though! Ya, know, I have things to do, Kerry. . I even pass all these stores several times/week so no spending on gas to go out of my way to a Costco or Sam’s. I’m glad to see that someone else sees Costco for what they really are. For two of us, we just never found that a Costco membership was really worthwhile. 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. That’s almost 4 Costco memberships. 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. And the final comment is that Costco is a master at getting people to buy what they don’t need. 36 – 2 ply rolls – 500 sheets per roll. We have had issues returning basic items to costco that were not even a month old. I don’t buy pre packaged stuff and I never eat out so I don’t mind spending a little more on my grocery bill , I think we are discussing shades of difference. I have been told shopping at Costco was so much cheaper than shopping at Superstore or anywhere local. Now if we could just figure out why Starbucks thinks their coffee is worth it’s weight in gold??? 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. Still we can afford it. Here is the organic and natural price list of deals for Costco Wholesale Club. For us that translated to $5 less per fill up, so a couple hundred dollars a year (my husband’s commute is 2.5 hours each day). All of the big box stores make me break out into hives. My way of getting around that is having one membership and taking each of my extended family members shopping when they need something. Lately – the gas is really not that much less, if at all, than other nearby gas stations. No offense folks but if you do some conversions & costing,then head to weis or giant, I think you’re going to be quite shocked! You need to be careful with your purchases at costco and I doubt that that executive membership will ever be beneficial for me — you need a lot of big ticket items. Fruits are usually comparable but the quality of Costco produce seems better than conventional grocery stores… I could go on and on. They are not given grain, grain products or corn silage. Cheese, bread, frozen veggies are the big ones. Costco Kirkland Brand: Frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are as advertised. Just the bbq tank refills pay for the membership .At local gas stations $30.00 vs Costco $12.00. Bought from MD Costco on 9-17-2012 $8.89 for 1.5 gallon. For example, Kirkland diapers cost $36 for a 198-count pack, but you can get a 210-pack of Parents' Choice diapers from Walmart for just $23.32. This is great – I have often wondered about doing a one-to-one price comparison but I shop with kids so it’s never going to happen. Never had a bad pack – EVER! Great article, you’ve answered those burning questions. I stock up when on sale and never bothered with Costco. The frozen vegetables in our Costco were mostly from Europe so we declined. 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. The lagoon used to be our favorite “parking” spot if you catch my drift. You are missing the point a bit…take the chicken pricing for example. It’s not an approach convenient for everyone, but I do it on a bike, so I treat shopping as a form of exercise. You earn 3% on some things, 2% on some things and 1% on everything else that you purchase using the Costco Amex, so we charge everything we can, even rent and household bills. I think that this is one of Costco’s strong attributes. Costco HAD a great return policy, but it has changed over the years and has become a lot more strict. Want to REALLY save money @ Costco? 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. These items may be cheaper at another store but, for example, 1 out of 3 avocados might be bad from Safeway, so that makes the cheaper argument kind of moot in my mind. 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. On the subject of Executive Membership, I was told during the sales pitch while waiting in line (this many years ago), that if your 2% savings does not pay for the membership, just stop at the front desk, and they will makeup the difference. Bananas are $1.99 a kilo, the cocktail tomatoes on the vine which are the only ones with taste are 1/2 the price than at other local stores and lemons are 3.20 for 8 lemons. Costco does something similar with its Kirkland brand “organic” milk. 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. I go to farmer markets. We’ll certainly skip the fresh isle at Costco now and load up on the frozen. I will drive across town for Costco’s produce because I very rarely have to throw any of it away. 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. I’ve compared prices and haven’t found Costco at all a good deal. 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. I have clicked on far too many of your blog posts tonight. The federal complaints focus on the stores’ sale of milk … So, we are only a couple in a too small apartment so sadly, we suffer for space when we go to Costco. 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