Does Costco membership worth it?
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Thread: Does Costco membership worth it?

  1. #1
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    Does Costco membership worth it?

    Never shopped in Costco and was curious if Costco membership worth it? What is the difference between Costco and other supermarkets like RCSS or Highland farm? Is Costco cheaper or has better selection?
    I checked Costco online and looks like game meat or seafood you can order only online (and you don't even need membership for it).Is it true?


  2. #2
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    Like i said in my MC thread, 95% of our groceries and nearly all our fuel come from Costco. We have a pretty fixed meal plan to optimize our fitness and help manage our budget, so we're able to buy in the larger quantities without it going to waste. We eat a ton of fruits and veggies, nuts, chicken and lean meat. Here in Grande Prairie, their produce is just about the best in town. Their meats are second in quality only to the pricey independent butcher shop. Their bakery is excellent as well. For two people eating 4 - 5 times a day, our food budget is under $400 per month.

    We've found their Kirkland Signature brand items to be cheaper and generally of better quality than the name brand stuff. For example, we buy the Kirkland Colombian ground coffee in the big tins. It's significantly cheaper than Starbucks or other name brand stuff and it's very good.

    The Costco return policy is fantastic. No questions asked. We had an appliance crap out 2 years after buying it. Just on the off chance they'd warranty it, we asked. Nope, but they'll return it and give us a brand new one. Deal. They extend electronics warranty by a year as well iirc.

    Propane for BBQ tanks is the best price I've found anywhere. $8 to fill a 25lb tank. No need to bother with those exchange a tank scams.

    Fuel is about 10 cents per liter on average less than anywhere else in town. Driving a 2005 Tundra with a 4.7L V8, I fill up about twice a month. I save $8 - $10 per tank of fuel each time. That alone pays for the Executive Membership we have, which offers cash back (which comes as a Costco gift certificate thing so you need to spend it there).

    Using the Executive Membership we got $70 cash back rewards, so we'll us that on our next trip. They also offer passport photos, inkjet cartridge refills, a pharmacy, tire shop and how can you not love $1.99 for a huge, high quality delicious hot dog and drink at their concession stand???

    So yeah, I'm a Costco fanboy. LOL. I have yet to buy online from them but I've heard nothing but good things about it. If you want to try it out, I've heard you can buy a gift card which will let you shop in the store without a membership. The trick to Costco is to figure out what you need and stick to a list. It's real easy to go in needing a box of chicken breast, tin of coffee and some produce but come out with a $500 bill because you found other things you "need".

  3. #3
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    Whether it is "worth it" depends on what you are buying and how much.

    Some things Costco offers are priced better than a lot of other places, but not everything, always. So you have to know prices and compare. Also, probably not worth it if you go there only a few times a year and don't buy much.

    When I lived in California years ago, someone gave me a Costco membership for 2 years, so I used it because it was free. I noticed there, in those days, that Costco would sometimes, apparently, get a great deal on a container load of a certain item and they would sell it at a good price. Even some oddball items. For eg., I recall they had a whole load of 9.9 hp. Mercury outboard motors at a very good price. I even considered buying one and told myself, "next time". I learned with that kind of thing, there is no "next time". That item won't be sold there again. So grab it while it's there or forget about it.

    I had no membership for many years after returning to Canada. What prompted me to sign up again was their price for propane, which we use for our on-demand hot water system here at our off-grid location. We also use propane for a small stove, although we generally cook on a wood cookstove. We pay at Costco about 1/3 of the price anywhere else. It's cheaper still compared to buying from the fuel boat that goes by us once a month.

    So we signed up for the $110/yr. membership, instead of the basic $55 membership. I can't recall the exact details, but the $110 membership gives back a percentage of purchases and we took out a Costco/Capital One credit card which gives some cash back. We do not spend a whole lot at Costco (mainly because there is not one close to us), but the rebates pretty much pay for the membership each year. But even without that, for us, the saving on propane alone makes it worth it. We use about 300 lb./yr. At Costco, we can fill up 3 100-pounders for about $120 total. The price at a gas station in town would be 3 times that. I just looked at my records and I see that we last bought from the fuel boat in May 2013 and paid $209 for 200 lb. At the same time, we bought 797 litres of gasoline at $1.4326/l. + 5% HST. Costco offers discount gas. But priced no better that gas at the Superstore using a PC Mastercard, which gives a credit of 7 cents/litre to use in the store. So now we buy all our gas there. Not as convenient as the fuel boat delivery to the house, but much cheaper. Now, if they would just sell diesel as well.

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  5. #4
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    OutofBounds got in there while I was typing and confirmed what I said about propane. I agree with the comments on Kirkland products. We buy their big tins of coffee and it's pretty decent.

    I have not really bothered to do a close comparison to say, Superstore, but my impression is that things like meat, produce and bakery products are well-priced. And they do offer some things you do not see elsewhere, like whole beef tenderloins. They cost about $100 or so, but cut up and put on the BBQ, hard to beat.

    I was also going to mention the hotdogs. We usually arrive at our Courtenay store around noon and that is usually lunch. But unless they raised the price, we pay $1.50. I read somewhere not long ago that the price was set in 1983 and had never changed. Maybe now it has. As of early December 2016, it was still $1.50 at Courtenay. That includes soda, but I pass on that and drink water.

  6. #5
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    Whether it is "worth it" depends on what you are buying and how much.
    We spend on groceries about $1,200 - 1,500 per months, more before holidays, much more before New Year ... Buying a lot of meat, fresh/live fish, salads, veggies, fruits, mushrooms ....
    For example I like RCSS because they have live trouts , sometimes fresh and cheap salmon...
    In Highland farm, I like to buy meat, it always fresh and good quality and veggies/fruits.
    And about once per quarter I drive to Yummy Market in Vaughan as they have the best cheeses, kolbasa, salami, smoked salmon ,sturgeon and tons of yummy Russian food .
    I've heard good review about Costco, but never visited .... so just curious if it's worth start going there....
    I've seen online pretty interesting things, but not sure if I can buy it in store, and I hate buying food online (want to see and smell before i buy) .
    The problem with Costco that the closest one is 15+ min driving, and RCSS is 2 min driving... Costco with gas is more than 30+ min driving 1 way.... so not feasible

  7. #6
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    Mukhang pera, just an FYI; the Grande Prairie Costco recently installed diesel pumps so you may see diesel at your Costco soon enough.

  8. #7
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    I hear ya' on the driving, gibor.

    For us, to go to RCSS involves a half hour in our boat and 15 minutes of driving. Costco adds another 30 minutes of driving (one way), so we go there, on average, every 2 months. We get to RCSS almost every week. There, we probably average about $400 per trip, not including gasoline. Let's just say we always get the freebie. You know, where they say "spend $250 in store today and get a free turkey, or 25,000 points (or whatever)".

    RCSS used to just give one freebie no matter how much you spent. Sometimes I would ask the cashier to cut it off when we reached $250, allow me to pay, and start again. I would do that when I knew we'd spend over $500 and I wanted the freebie times 2. Now they'll spare you doing that. We spent about $1,100 one day before Christmas and came home with 4 free turkeys (well, to the extent they can be characterized as "free" when you just shelled out over a grand.

    I have family living in Ontario, 3 hours north of Toronto. The nearest Costco in in Barrie, 2 hours south. They still have a membership and think it worth it, even though they do not go every week.

  9. #8
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by OutofBounds View Post
    Mukhang pera, just an FYI; the Grande Prairie Costco recently installed diesel pumps so you may see diesel at your Costco soon enough.
    Thanks for that bit of info! Courtenay just sells gas, same as RCSS. So if the Costco starts selling diesel, we'll take it. I am sure it will be less than the gas stations that sell diesel. We use mostly gas, but perhaps go through about 15 gallons of diesel per month. Probably not economic to drive to Grande Prairie just for 15 gallons of diesel.

  10. #9
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    We use the $110 card...usually get back a bit more than that each year with cash back.

    Card is really useful in the USA if you like decent wine/spirits.

    They get any tire in for you if they don't carry the correct ones with a road hazard warranty that is actually honored.

    Their receiptess return policy blows everyone else away...

    We've used their car rental deal many times...much cheaper w/o any bs.

    Of course we buy larger sizes at times than we require...we give extra away to friends.

    Here in Mexico I can buy Choice USDA steaks, where if you've ever tasted Mexican beef its a good thing. Mexican beef is unaged...no feed lot, only grass fed etc so even though USDA is garbage compared to real Albertan beef its better than nothing.

  11. #10
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    We have the executive membership which is $110/yr and where we were living when we joined was almost 3 hrs each way. We also use the mastercard part for just about everything. Really like produce, meat, bakery etc. I have a big assortment of coffee pods but my favourite is their Kirkland keurig pods and its a good price too. Big savings but easy to pick up extras in there. Just cashed a $700 rebate too. Probably use it more now as I'm only 20 mins away since moving.


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