Author Topic: Costco alternatives  (Read 21646 times)

melalvai

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Costco alternatives
« on: January 02, 2014, 07:33:27 PM »
There are 5 Costco's ranging from 96 to 117 miles away from me. Not a great option. I know we have a Sam's Club in town. Long long ago, we joined for a year, but we didn't find it worthwhile. We didn't have any room to store anything and we didn't really know what we were doing. It was expensive because we bought a bunch of crap that we didn't normally buy, so all we did was spend more there. I'm wondering now if it would be worth trying it out again. We still don't have a lot of storage space, although we will have more in a few weeks when the basement is finished. But since we are renting I hate to stock up hugely on stuff and then potentially have to move it. We hope to stay in this place for a while, but I've learned not to be too optimistic.

As I struggle to get a handle on groceries and bring our grocery spending down to a reasonable level, I'm wondering is the benefit of Costco that you can stock up on cheap toilet paper, canned tomatoes, and cat litter? Spices and little jars of red curry paste? Fancy rice and popcorn? That sort of thing? I just wondered because most of what I buy is perishable. We really don't eat much (if any) boxed cereal, pasta, or frozen chicken patties (ew).

rubor

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 08:05:15 PM »
I think you have to be careful of the three wasteful Costco phenomena:
1. you buy more than you need (2 pound bag of popcorn kernels?)
2. you buy stuff you don't need at all (why did I buy these weird sesame crackers?)
3. you use more of something just cause you have it (using three paper towels instead of one because you have a huge pack)

As long as you keep these in mind, and make liberal use of their return policies, Costco is great.

But at your distance, I would just use Amazon prime subscribe and save instead.

oldtoyota

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 08:20:02 PM »
We definitely suffered from the have-nine-pounds-of-tapenade-eat-it-all problem. I don't understand Costco. =-D Maybe it would make sense if there were more of us. We also barely eat any processed foods or pre-made foods.

Milehimama

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 08:39:53 PM »
We bulk shop because we'll use it or because we know how to store it (I live in hurricane country, so we have a hurricane kit with food for example.)

Sam's Club, the membership is refundable.  So try it out- if it's not a good fit, get your money back on the membership.  When I first moved to this town we had a Sam's membership but they carried different things than the Sam's in other states did so there was nothing for us to buy.  So we switched to Costco.

The REAL key is keeping a price book so you know if the stuff actually IS cheaper.  For example, I do NOT buy papergoods (TP, PT, diapers, etc.) at Costco because it is not cheaper than what I buy at the grocery store (I buy 1000 sheet rolls, 12 of them for $7.50.  Do the math on the number of sheets to compare apples to apples).  Cereal, yogurt, milk, eggs, yogurts are not cheaper, so I don't buy those.  But I only KNOW what to buy because I have a price book.

We do buy spices, sugar, maple syrup, honey, and flour there because it's cheaper in bulk- and I actually USE maple syrup, honey, and flour in our normal meals.  In our area, butter and cheese are cheapest at the Costco. 

I also have a blog post I wrote- 15 best buys at Costco for Clean Eating - because I really do save a lot of money there on certain purchases.  Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link here or now.

It really depends on what you eat and how you eat.  We switched from Sam's to Costco in part because Costco has so many organic options (organic chickens, ground beef, etc.) and that's how my family eats.  If we didn't care about organics, we might have stuck with Sam's Club.

swiper

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 09:07:15 PM »
I also have a blog post I wrote- 15 best buys at Costco for Clean Eating - because I really do save a lot of money there on certain purchases.  Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link here or now.

I was curious and googled your blog: http://www.milehimama.com/15-top-items-to-buy-at-costco-for-clean-eating/

NWGirl2004

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 09:42:03 PM »
I really can't help you with alternatives, but I can tell you why we shop at Costco (which is super close, about five miles away, if that).  We also try to avoid processed food, but oats, honey, olive oil, TP, contact sol'n, olives, chicken broth, tortillas, organic diced tomatoes are just few of our main staples that are significantly cheaper at Costco (even over WM).  All their fresh produce is MUCH cheaper there, even considering that it is tough to use the whole bag (broccoli, green beans for example).  Even if we don't get it all used up and have to toss some, it forces us to eat more veggies, and is still cheaper.  Apples are more, so I don't get them there, but bananas are always cheaper.  I try to go at least 2x/month and if I only go once a month, I definitely notice our grocery bill is higher.  One thing is true though, only this past year did I become convinced that it was worth it.  Before kids, no way did I want that great variety of foods, and even with two kids, when they were preschool and baby, it was't worth it.  But now they're 3.5 and 6, and make a noticeable dent in our groceries, and it has become cost-effective to go.  However, I completely understand why it wouldn't work for you.  Costco's not for everyone, but just wanted to chime in and say you can buy healthy staples there, not just junk food.  (Oh, and hamburger, chicken, cheese and butter is cheaper too, though we plan to buy a 1/4 cow this year and forgo the store-bought meat.)

NWGirl2004

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 09:44:31 PM »
*that great AMOUNT of food*

Dicey

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 10:08:10 PM »
I think you have to be careful of the three wasteful Costco phenomena:
1. you buy more than you need (2 pound bag of popcorn kernels?)
Two measly pounds, are you kidding me?
The Orville Redenbacher popcorn comes in an eight-pound container at Costco.

Fun Fact #1: I live between two Costco stores. The store in the fancy area only sells microwave popcorn. To get the OR stovetop popcorn, I have to go the store in the more blue collar area.

FF#2: I love the OR popcorn and the container it comes in. When I married DH, he had a new 8# container in his pantry too. So we have SIXTEEN pounds of OR popcorn to work through.

I keep a master Costco shopping list on my phone and update the prices regularly. Occasionally, I will notice big price drops with no fanfare. Best example is butter during the holidays. Under $2 per pound, even lower if you buy 1LB blocks. I stock up and freeze, because I KNOW the price can't be beat.

Having said all that, to answer your question: there's no way I'd buy a Costco membership if I had to drive so far to shop there. The only exception would be if say, it was somewhere I traveled regularly for business or family.

My suggestion: Make a list of what you buy regularly and fill in the prices where you normally shop. Then you will know when you come across a good deal and you can stock up. Also look for stores like Winco or Aldi. Great prices and no membership required.

Rural

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 04:20:41 AM »
I bought a Costco membership for the free hearing exam recently, and while I was there I walked the aisles. I found exactly nothing worth buying; even the 25 pound bags of flour cost more per pound than 5 poind bags at either Wal-mart or Save-a-Lot. At nearly 50 miles of driving to pay more, I won't be back. Should you experience hearing loss, though, it's absolutely the best way to go :-)

Check out any discount groceries you have around, and Wal-mart is worth careful consideration.

Dee18

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 08:36:11 AM »
I second the recommendation for Aldi.  I have been satisfied with all of their products (except chocolate). Mostly I buy produce there, whatever looks great when I stop in.  This week it included broccoli, multicolored peppers, avocados, onions and grapes--all at less than half of the cost at the Publix across the street.  I buy spices in bulk at coops, often when I'm traveling.

melalvai

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 09:15:48 AM »
Thanks for the input. I liked the article on 15 items at Costco.

We do have an Aldi's, and I have several options that are closer. I think keeping a price book is the next step for me. I'll just use the store that is closest for a while, then when I have a pretty good spread of items & prices I'll make some trips to other stores and fill in the blanks. That will take some time!

The closest store to us is 1/2 mile away and I walk. I have a little shopping cart I take with me. It's a Kroger store.
There is a HyVee and a super Walmart 1 mile away. It would be difficult to walk to those with my little cart although it should get easier if they ever finish that intersection which is a mess right now. But I do have a grocery trailer for my bicycle and if I'm not getting a lot, my very large basket is enough.
Other options are further away and I would bike to reach them.

Later, once I've got all that sorted out, I might look into Sam's Club. At the moment I'm not sure what I'd get there. How much toilet paper could I store? How much red curry paste could we stock up on? I really don't want a lifetime's supply of anything!

ZiziPB

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 09:17:20 AM »
Quote
Aldi.  I have been satisfied with all of their products (except chocolate)

That is funny and totally the opposite of my local Aldi experience.  Their fresh produce is simply awful - most of the time it looks like half spoiled leftovers from another store.  I bought a bag of potatoes once only to discover half of them rotten within a week.  However, I love their chocolate!  Especially the dark chocolate with chili!

mm1970

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 09:29:25 AM »
Whether or not Costco will work for you REALLY depends on what you buy and what other stores are around.

Costco works well for us, be we don't have Aldi, Walmart, Savalot, or any of those other well known discount stores.

somepissedoffman

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 09:38:50 AM »

Fun Fact #1: I live between two Costco stores. The store in the fancy area only sells microwave popcorn. To get the OR stovetop popcorn, I have to go the store in the more blue collar area.


I noticed that with cereal.  The Costco in the fancier area sells 'healthy' cereal (granola and whatnot), the other one doesn't.

lackofstache

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 09:51:31 AM »
That is funny and totally the opposite of my local Aldi experience.  Their fresh produce is simply awful - most of the time it looks like half spoiled leftovers from another store.  I bought a bag of potatoes once only to discover half of them rotten within a week.  However, I love their chocolate!  Especially the dark chocolate with chili!

This is why I just grab the food from their dumpsters AFTER they've realized the problem & thrown it out. It's free that way & I don't mind composting a half bag of potatoes:)

Eric

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 12:02:48 PM »
Depends on your area, but I find a lot of grocers that cater to an immigrant community can be really cheap depending on what you're looking for.  Spices and tortillas are dirt cheap at the Mexican market.  Coconut milk, tea, fish and greens are really cheap at the Asian market.  The specialty produce markets have great deals on in season fruits and veggies.  We have a European market that has really cheap cheese, produce, and bulk foods like oats & lentils.  It obviously takes more work and time to hit these types of stores, but you can save a fair amount with good planning.

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 12:19:49 PM »
We are in the same boat.  Costco isn't even in our state.  Sam's is okay but can really get you if you are not careful.  I have a Sam's membership.  It was a gift, and I went in to price things.  In the end, most of the items I priced (eggs, cheese, fruit) were actually cheaper per unit at Aldi's.  Some things were the same (milk).  In the end, I use sam's to stock up on toilet paper, pet supplies, and trash bags.  For most of our groceries, I am going to stick with Aldi's.

One thing I have found that has helped a ton, cutting back on shopping trips.  I now shop every two weeks.  I keep a list on my iphone (Our groceries app is wonderful).  I am always delighted with the amount of savings.  I figured I knocked a couple hundred off our monthly groceries shopping this way.

MKinVA

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 12:25:11 PM »
We are expecting an Aldi's to move here in the next 6 months or so. In the mean time, we have a brand new Super Walmart (it's far - 10 miles, but still very clean) we use a couple of times a month and a BJs which we joined and get mostly good value except when I fall prey to the 9.99 button down shirts for DH or discount paperbacks for me.

Check out BJs if available. The thing I do love about BJs is you get normal sized things. Not everything is mega sized. I use this store for peanut butter, cereal, milk (2.89 versus 4.05), granola bars, and a few other things.

oldtoyota

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 01:31:06 PM »
We do buy spices, sugar, maple syrup, honey, and flour there because it's cheaper in bulk- and I actually USE maple syrup, honey, and flour in our normal meals.  In our area, butter and cheese are cheapest at the Costco. 

I also have a blog post I wrote- 15 best buys at Costco for Clean Eating - because I really do save a lot of money there on certain purchases.  Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link here or now.


Dagnabbit. She got me with the maple syrup and organic chicken. I might have to look into this Costco place again.


oldtoyota

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2014, 01:33:11 PM »

One thing I have found that has helped a ton, cutting back on shopping trips.  I now shop every two weeks.  I keep a list on my iphone (Our groceries app is wonderful).  I am always delighted with the amount of savings.  I figured I knocked a couple hundred off our monthly groceries shopping this way.

So true! My spouse went to the grocery four times in four days. In the end, it became a joke. I'd say, "It's been a few hours since you visited a grocery." At least, he could take the joke. But, seriously, he's got to stop! So, now I am saying, "We have XX left to spend for the month" after every visit to make him aware. He doesn't do the budgeting, so he doesn't know the details otherwise. Our pantry is bulging.



oldtoyota

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2014, 01:36:24 PM »
Depends on your area, but I find a lot of grocers that cater to an immigrant community can be really cheap depending on what you're looking for.  Spices and tortillas are dirt cheap at the Mexican market.  Coconut milk, tea, fish and greens are really cheap at the Asian market.  The specialty produce markets have great deals on in season fruits and veggies.  We have a European market that has really cheap cheese, produce, and bulk foods like oats & lentils.  It obviously takes more work and time to hit these types of stores, but you can save a fair amount with good planning.

This is so true. The white people's aisle often has the same spices for *more* than what can be found in the "ethnic" aisle. In other words, Goya is often cheaper. I dislike the term "ethnic" in this context--as if everything that isn't white is "ethnic" and includes anything from Japanese to Latino to Israeli food. Ick. That is what the grocery calls it though.


melalvai

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2014, 02:37:26 PM »
I like to go to the grocery store frequently. That way I can get just a few bananas that are the right ripeness and I hardly ever have to eat too green or too brown. Fresh produce doesn't stay fresh too long. For the most part we eat it too, we don't let it go bad. I hope the solution isn't to stay away from the store for 2 weeks at a time and only have fresh produce 4 or 5 days out of every 14. But I could try setting some rules such as, this is the trip for non-perishables, then for the next 14 days I will ONLY buy fresh produce and if we need something else it'll have to wait until the next non-perishable trip.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2014, 07:00:50 PM »
Keeping a price book is a great idea. Once I started knowing the best price available on items, I stopped shopping at the big stores like Costco and BJ's. If you're interested, you might like couponing -- combining coupons with sales. (there is a link to my best tips in my signature)

That said, if you collect your local grocery circulars and bring them to Walmart, they will price match any current, printed price, on any item of like quantity that they sell.

captainawesome

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2014, 07:07:52 PM »
I'm surprised no one has mentioned BJs. Have some things costco doesn't (though I don't have a membership at BJs (my parents do).

On costco, yes there are things that could be bought cheaper elsewhere, but on the things I buy it is cheaper than all the stores in the area (including the commissary) and even though we have started to drive less, gas is always cheaper at costco. YMMV but I've had nothing but positive experiences with them.

Hotstreak

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 10:22:52 AM »
As an alternative I suggest you look at restaurant supply stores.  Out here on the west coast we have "Cash & Carry", which is very similar to Costco but offers a different variety of products.  For instance you can buy very large pieces of meat there (30+ pounds, an entire cut), 5gal containers of different oils, gallon cans of ketchup, etc, and they sell pots, pans, cutlery, and the like at very good prices.  I buy frozen veggies there, as well as some bulk canned items I use quite a bit.  You might have something similar in your area.

I also have a Costco membership, which I use for certain items that their prices are lowest on.  I will usually find the lowest prices on paper towels, TP and the like at Wal Mart or similar stores.

Dicey

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 08:19:50 PM »

Fun Fact #1: I live between two Costco stores. The store in the fancy area only sells microwave popcorn. To get the OR stovetop popcorn, I have to go the store in the more blue collar area.


I noticed that with cereal.  The Costco in the fancier area sells 'healthy' cereal (granola and whatnot), the other one doesn't.

It's actually a reflection of what consumers buy, not the other way around. Costco mixes up their assortment based on what sells in each store. I just think it's funny that the high-end customers can't be bothered with popping their own popcorn. Too bad for them, as the stove top or air pop methods are so much healthier and have far less packaging than the microwave junk.

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2014, 05:03:54 PM »
Costco has great prices on eyewear and prescriptions, so those can make a difference in deciding if a membership is worthwhile.  The savings on coffee beans and kitty litter alone pays the membership fee for us.  Nicorette!  We don't have the proximity issue though.

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2014, 06:05:49 PM »
I find Sam's of almost zero value compared to Aldi. Costco recently came to my area and there's enough deals that it's worth having a membership for me, even though it's ~15 miles away. It's definitely not worth driving 90 miles, though!

Aldi is great in my area, but we have a full-service grocer that's just as cheap, with the added benefit of having lots of specialty/organic items (one-stop!). For anyone in SE Wisconsin, Woodmans is awesome!

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2014, 06:23:32 PM »
I love Winco. There's no b.s. with membership or customer loyalty cards, and the company is majority employee-owned. I think they're only on the West Coast, though. Another vote for ethnic markets, too, especially for staple items and often for produce. Aldi stores must be really different depending on where you are in the country. There was one a few blocks from where I lived in Chicago. I went in there once to buy some butter and it was the most depressing shopping experience imaginable. If I had needed rotten produce, sketchy-looking canned goods, or jugs of purple sugar-water it would have been perfect.

k-vette

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2014, 07:13:01 PM »
We use costco, sams club and winco depending on the items.  Most recently we discovered cash n carry.  Yesterday we bought a 40lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $54.  That's cheap!  They carry bulk items for restaurants and can have some really good deals.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 08:59:06 PM »
If the Sam's club membership is a little steep for you, can you find someone to split the membership with? I use the card of a woman 3 decades older than me for they never blink.

They will make 2 cards per household no questions asked, so you don't even need to go ask your partner in crime for their card every time.

starbuck

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 07:10:15 AM »
I'm surprised no one has mentioned BJs. Have some things costco doesn't (though I don't have a membership at BJs (my parents do).

My experience is the opposite. I first checked out BJ's but they didn't have a lot of the staples I buy. Costco had much more for our household - coconut oil, almond milk, quinoa, large cartons of plain greek yogurt, better coffee variety, and everything was cheaper than our local grocery store. (The beer selection was better at BJ's though.) For us, the membership was worth it just for buying contacts. They were cheaper than at my dr's office, plus there was a $25 discount promo going on. Woot! Splitting the membership with someone else would make it a slam dunk, I think.

I could probably save money by going to the discount grocery store instead (Market Basket up here) but it's located further away, and it's extremely popular and therefore a pain in the ass to shop at. Just getting a parking spot is annoying. I prefer to go grocery shopping less frequently (once a week MAX.) I also have a farmer's market outside my office building which helps during the warmer months.

puglogic

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2014, 08:16:38 AM »
In our price book, we have only these things as being best from Costco:

--Frozen organic blueberries
--Frozen organic kale
--Dried mushrooms (though not since the recall)
--Some kinds of cheese
--Nontoxic laundry detergent
--"Sustainable" kinds of toilet paper and paper towels
--Organic extra virgin olive oil
--Free range eggs
--Glucosamine for the old dogs

So we make a trip about every other month to stock up on only these, and sometimes grab some good chicken or fish while we're there (as a treat for having to put up with the thundering herds).  The produce quantities are just too big for two of us for the most part, unless I'm doing something like blanching and freezing a bunch of greens/corn/whatever.   We don't shop WM or Sam's and don't have Aldi here, so these are the best prices we found for certain things.

For bulk organic grains, nuts, legumes, etc. we buy from Golden Organics  (goldenorganics.net).  The per-pound price on many things is really great - others not so great - and they tell you the product's origin, which is important to us.  Plus, it's only about a half-mile from Costco, so it becomes Stock Up Day.

One way we make the membership worth it for this small list is by being added to a corporate membership by a friend with (another) small business.  She gets cash back at the end of the year and we just pay a little bit for our membership. Without that perk, I am not sure we'd bother with a membership either.  Maybe, not sure.

I second the recommendation of having a price book.  It saves us a TON of money.


Dicey

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2014, 07:40:34 PM »
(as a treat for having to put up with the thundering herds). 

HaHa. I consider the copious free samples my treat for having to put up with the thundering herds. I just take deep breaths and look for reasons to laugh. Shopping with your dog in the cart in a special bed thingy and 6-inch heels? Hilarious!
And what the hell is up with people who bring dogs into grocery stores? Pisses me off. Service dogs (legitimate ones) excluded, of course.

meadow lark

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2014, 10:45:16 PM »
I don't know - I'd wager my dog Pearl has significantly better hygiene and manners than a lot of humans.
  I find Costco and Walmart pretty equivalent on prices.  That said, I would much rather give my money to Costco, as it's business practices, worker treatment, and political money giving align better with my values.  I always feel a little guilt in Walmart, knowing I am supporting a company I don't approve of.  YMMV


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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2014, 03:13:08 PM »
You never mentioned what types of food you buy. I buy mostly organics and where are some things I do to get the prices under control:

1. For spices, packaged organics, supplements, and toiletries I really Vitacost. They have bulk spices if you have anything you use a lot. I like to buy spices organic because non-organic is usually irradiated. Amazon can also have food deals from time to time for items like trash bags and paper towels. Some credit cards (like discover) you can also link your rewards points to your account and pay for items that way.

2. For produce I visit the local farmer's market. Many of the vendors will round down on price and throw in some extra food since I'm a frequent shopper. Some farms farm organically but don't pursue certification and charge less in prices. Many will also be happy to let you tour if you ask even if they don't provide specific tours if you want to check they are really organic-like. My favorite one is a family who owns adjacent lots with other family members. They have to live in the middle of their fields so they won't use pesticides and other chemicals. I can also get two huge bags of greens, carrots, peas, etc. for less than $20. My household can only eat that much while juicing. I can also get local meat though I usually only do this for eggs and more exotic items like bacon, roasts, etc.

3. For the filler items I buy a lot at Trader Joes. Check both the fresh and frozen area. For example I can find good grass fed beef in the frozen sections. Also there are a could of cut up chickens for less than I can buy a whole chicken organic. Just be aware that not everything at Trader Joes is healthy and they have preservatives and chemicals in their processed foods just like any other store.

4. Ethnic stores are also good places but I tend to avoid a lot of the packaged items because I find a lot of chemicals and preservatives in about 90%+. This is similar to what I find at a place like Safeway but it's not something I routinely let in the house. Produce prices are usually especially cheap.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 05:39:28 PM by MissPeach »

NCintheDMV

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2014, 07:04:20 PM »
I am a huge Trader Joe's fan.  I would suggest you look at that as an option but they are not bulk but more for single/small families.  Great quality at great prices.

Eric

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2014, 11:05:41 PM »
I am a huge Trader Joe's fan.  I would suggest you look at that as an option but they are not bulk but more for single/small families.  Great quality at great prices.

You may not want to read this

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/am-i-the-only-one-who-does-not-understand-the-hype-of-trader-joes/

soccerluvof4

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2014, 08:38:00 AM »
 I too use Sam's and Aldis as my combo for shopping. I found it took me several months to figure out when and how to buy but i can say i have cut my groceries in half. Costco is near us too but comparitive I have found Sams alot cheaper. But i would re-up Sams and figure out a strategic buying plan. Since all are very close to us and storage is an issue I go to Sams and Aldis (Monday morning) then restock at Aldis on Thursdays. Also my wife meal plans but what i buy (like meat etc...) which i get on Sale.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2014, 03:36:23 PM »
I like to buy spices organic because non-organic is usually irradiated.

Feel obligated to point out that non-irradiated spices are a major source of contamination from salmonella and other fun microbes. My DW is constantly telling me stories from work.

And irradiated food is completely harmless!

MissPeach

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Re: Costco alternatives
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2014, 05:43:23 PM »
I like to buy spices organic because non-organic is usually irradiated.

Feel obligated to point out that non-irradiated spices are a major source of contamination from salmonella and other fun microbes. My DW is constantly telling me stories from work.

And irradiated food is completely harmless!

I don't believe that but to each their own. I have read a lot of the research presented by the Weston Price Foundation and some of the studies they reference in sources like pubmed. I feel they make a better argument. But I also believe strongly in other things like raw milk which scares a lot of people but I've never had any issues with.