The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jengod on November 01, 2015, 07:10:08 AM

Title: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: jengod on November 01, 2015, 07:10:08 AM
Speaking strictly about unit price, Costco is Mustachian. Anyone want to convince me that there are other aspects to Costco that aren't so economically sensible and environmentally conservative?

(DS2 is out of diapers so we have discussed not renewing Costco next year in favor of bulk buying at Sprouts, Azure Standard, and Smart & Final, and buying smaller product sizes generally, and forgoing the unnecessary. )


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: realityinabox on November 01, 2015, 07:29:08 AM
Pete seems to swear by it, but I've never had a membership.  I'd imagine the key factor is whether buying in bulk makes you buy more than you otherwise would have.  I think it would for me.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: fa on November 01, 2015, 07:40:41 AM
I love Costco but hate the endless amounts of packaging.  Especially items usually sold loose, such as apples, use a lot of plastic at Costco.  Our recycling bin is always full.  In another store you would have a fraction of that waste.

Chances are that, just like Pete, you take your car to drive to Costco instead of walking or biking to your local grocery store.

Finally, the great Costco deals are enticing to buy more than you need.  I suspect I buy more than I would if I did not have a Costco.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Rural on November 01, 2015, 07:41:17 AM
Make sure you've actually checked those unit prices. They're almost universally higher than the discount grocery stores here, not even considering the membership fee.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: justajane on November 01, 2015, 07:47:03 AM
At Costco and anywhere else, you really have to know your prices. I am not immune to impulse buys, but usually they are ones that I know are cheaper and better quality. For instance, my son asked for all things purple last Christmas. Ever the practical one, I bought him a purple towel at Target, which is right next to Costco. Then I saw that Costco had a much better quality towel for a few dollars less. I see this regularly with Costco household products.

Ditto on the produce packaging, though. We only buy our apples at regular grocery stores in bags. I can't stomach the waste at Costco.

Also - Costco milk jugs - Worst. Design. Ever.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: vhalros on November 01, 2015, 07:47:55 AM
I find Costco to have very good prices on some items. For example, I get my olive oil, oat meal, nuts, raisins, and many house hold goods like toilet paper, detergent, etc at Costco. Some of their clothing is a pretty good bargain too. But you can't assume everything you find is a deal just because it is at Costco. You need to go into that place with a plan or you will come out with $40 of dumplings or something.

I'm pretty sure I don't eat more oat meal by buying it in bulk, since I actually use a measuring cup every time, and have been eating half a cup of it for breakfast forever.

As for the "having to drive" there argument, my local Costco is only 3 miles away, so I usually bicycle.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: MayDay on November 01, 2015, 08:16:41 AM
My savings on cheese alone justify it.  That and olive oil and frozen veggies. 
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: tvan on November 01, 2015, 09:09:11 AM
I used to buy chicken breast there at 2.99 a lb. realized you can get way better quality chicken at Sprouts for 1.99 a lb.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on November 01, 2015, 10:01:07 AM
Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

Packaging can definitely be an issue, although not for cheese, of course. But for the things I buy, it's not such a big deal. Quaker Oats. Honey Nut Cheerios.

IME they do NOT have the best diaper prices unless they're on sale. I just got a 92-pack of name-brand Pull-Ups on sale. What if the boy stops needing them? Well, Costco would give me my money back. That's part of what you pay for with your membership.

Some things are cheaper at Walmart. Some things are the price, but Costco has a better version. If it is similar price, I'll buy the larger size at Costco because they take much better care of their employees.

And while some of their manufactured goods are not a very good deal, they do have an excellent sale on Crock-Pots this month and I've been wanting a programmable model.

My grandmother buys my membership as a Christmas present, though. Maybe I would feel differently if it was my money.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 01, 2015, 10:21:08 AM
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/30/is-a-costco-membership-worth-the-cost/
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jack on November 01, 2015, 10:39:15 AM
I (currently) have a Costco membership, and I vote "not." The reason is that even if Costco's unit prices were the cheapest (and they're not!), you're still overpaying based on the fact that you can't choose low-end items there. The only things you can "save" money on at Costco are luxury items -- stuff like gasoline, fancy food (cheese, prepared foods, etc.), alcohol and travel -- and those are things you mostly shouldn't be buying in any significant quantity to begin with.

I used to buy chicken breast there at 2.99 a lb. realized you can get way better quality chicken at Sprouts for 1.99 a lb.

Chicken breast is un-Mustachian. Buy a whole chicken for $0.99/lb (but not at Costco; they charge an extra ten cents!), cut it up yourself, and learn to use the other parts.

Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 01, 2015, 10:57:24 AM
I (currently) have a Costco membership, and I vote "not." The reason is that even if Costco's unit prices were the cheapest (and they're not!), you're still overpaying based on the fact that you can't choose low-end items there. The only things you can "save" money on at Costco are luxury items -- stuff like gasoline, fancy food (cheese, prepared foods, etc.), alcohol and travel -- and those are things you mostly shouldn't be buying in any significant quantity to begin with.

I used to buy chicken breast there at 2.99 a lb. realized you can get way better quality chicken at Sprouts for 1.99 a lb.

Chicken breast is un-Mustachian. Buy a whole chicken for $0.99/lb (but not at Costco; they charge an extra ten cents!), cut it up yourself, and learn to use the other parts.

Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

If that works for you, more power to you.

I shall work an extra day or two and enjoy cheese. :)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: samburger on November 01, 2015, 11:27:03 AM
Once I discovered Aldi, I dropped my Costco membership. The only thing that was cheaper there was the cheese and lox, and I'm not supposed to eat a lot of either of those for health reasons.

If I could eat them, I'd stay for the cheese and lox.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jack on November 01, 2015, 11:46:20 AM
I (currently) have a Costco membership, and I vote "not." The reason is that even if Costco's unit prices were the cheapest (and they're not!), you're still overpaying based on the fact that you can't choose low-end items there. The only things you can "save" money on at Costco are luxury items -- stuff like gasoline, fancy food (cheese, prepared foods, etc.), alcohol and travel -- and those are things you mostly shouldn't be buying in any significant quantity to begin with.

I used to buy chicken breast there at 2.99 a lb. realized you can get way better quality chicken at Sprouts for 1.99 a lb.

Chicken breast is un-Mustachian. Buy a whole chicken for $0.99/lb (but not at Costco; they charge an extra ten cents!), cut it up yourself, and learn to use the other parts.

Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

If that works for you, more power to you.

I shall work an extra day or two and enjoy cheese. :)

Note that I prefaced my statement by saying that I do in fact have a Costco membership. This is because I buy too much cheese (and other luxury items). But that doesn't doesn't mean Costco is Mustachian; it means I'm failing at it!

(By the way, if somebody knows an equal-priced or cheaper substitute for Costco's Coastal brand cheddar, let me know.)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 01, 2015, 11:59:19 AM
I (currently) have a Costco membership, and I vote "not." The reason is that even if Costco's unit prices were the cheapest (and they're not!), you're still overpaying based on the fact that you can't choose low-end items there. The only things you can "save" money on at Costco are luxury items -- stuff like gasoline, fancy food (cheese, prepared foods, etc.), alcohol and travel -- and those are things you mostly shouldn't be buying in any significant quantity to begin with.

I used to buy chicken breast there at 2.99 a lb. realized you can get way better quality chicken at Sprouts for 1.99 a lb.

Chicken breast is un-Mustachian. Buy a whole chicken for $0.99/lb (but not at Costco; they charge an extra ten cents!), cut it up yourself, and learn to use the other parts.

Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

If that works for you, more power to you.

I shall work an extra day or two and enjoy cheese. :)

Note that I prefaced my statement by saying that I do in fact have a Costco membership. This is because I buy too much cheese (and other luxury items). But that doesn't doesn't mean Costco is Mustachian; it means I'm failing at it!

(By the way, if somebody knows an equal-priced or cheaper substitute for Costco's Coastal brand cheddar, let me know.)

Haha. Nah, I wouldn't say failing - Mr. MM himself indulges in luxurious goods every so often. IMO the key is being conscious of your spending and not allowing your lifestyle to inflate. I've been doing very poorly in that regard lately...having just moved across the country for a new job, I've slipped a lot farther than I'd like to admit (saving money took a back seat to adjusting to a new world). I'm getting back on the wagon now, though!

Back to Costco - I just moved to NJ and was stunned at the price difference between Costco and regular stations for gas -- I'm used to maybe a ~10c difference (AZ), but premium is a good ~50 cents a gallon cheaper there than at most other places. Regular is 10-15 cents less as well, but the difference for premium was surprising.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: lbmustache on November 01, 2015, 12:05:41 PM
The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on November 01, 2015, 12:20:48 PM
Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

Sure, but it is great for SEASONING cheap foods. Bread. Pizza dough. Beans. Yes, I understand how a grocery budget works :-). We're a family of 4 people and my menfolk (ages 3-35) all have the metabolisms of hummingbirds.

I buy 3 different kinds of cheese at Costco (cheddar, American, mozzarella) and each 5 pound package lasts for several months. I divide up the packages and freeze in usefully-sized portions.

We came in at about $550 on groceries for the four of us for October, and that's even though I do not separate out household goods and doodads like toothpaste, dishwashing gloves, shower caps, etc. Although the boys get free breakfast at school, so that helps.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: jengod on November 01, 2015, 12:53:20 PM

The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Astatine on November 01, 2015, 02:30:38 PM
Make sure you've actually checked those unit prices. They're almost universally higher than the discount grocery stores here, not even considering the membership fee.

+1 Same in Australia. Aldi plus a combination of small independent ethnic grocers is much cheaper than Costco for us.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Making Cents on November 01, 2015, 02:51:52 PM
I only became a Costco member in May, so the jury's still out, but according to Mint my monthly grocery expenses have gone up, not down, since beginning to shop there.

I think part of it may pay off in the long run because I'm still front-loading a lot of costs by buying lots of non-perishables in bulk now which I never did before.

But I am also spending way too much by getting suckered into processed food in their frozen aisles (yes! I know!). Relative healthy organic quick food in bulk is just too tempting for a working girl who has crazy hours. (Yes I do plan and pre-cook homemade meals every weekend, but having some "survival food" in the freezer for emergencies is still something I'm trying to wean myself off of.) I need to figure out a way to buy frozen whole foods to save over produce without getting reeled in to the convenience items.

I'm also spending more on gas for a  monthly trip half an hour away through heavy traffic instead of my local grocery right around the corner.

I'm thinking of either not renewing my membership next May or making  a strict rule that I can only go bimonthly or quarterly and am only allowed to buy the tried and true staples: eggs, cheese, milk, olive oil, nuts, tuna cans, flour and other baking goods, etc.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on November 01, 2015, 03:53:58 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: vhalros on November 01, 2015, 04:08:44 PM
Although I sometimes  bicycle there, I guess it is worth mentioning that  I actually order a lot of my Costco items via Google Express. Google Express has given me so many coupons that it has more than offset its own cost (although I am sure that won't last forever). They only deliver non-perishables, but that is mostly what I get at Costco, and this also neatly avoids the "$40 of frozen dumplings" problem.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Trudie on November 01, 2015, 05:14:11 PM
I don't think there's a "one size fits all" answer to this question.  It depends on what you value, what you buy, what viable alternatives you have in your given geographic area, and how convenient it is for you to get to their store.  We have a membership (for two people) and I swear by it for the purchase of certain products:
- milk
- rotisserie chicken
- butter
- Kirkland Greek yogurt
- cheese
- Ecos Detergent
-TP, paper towels, napkins
- olive oil
- raisins, nuts, oatmeal, spices
- $10 flu vaccines
- OTC medications
- fresh fruits and veggies are much better at Costco than our conventional grocers (both in quality and price)

I've been particularly pleased with sweaters, jackets, and other work-appropriate clothes I've purchased there.

We just bought a laptop to replace our 10-year-old desktop.  The price was excellent and they offer concierge service as a free bennie.

My feeling is that if you're sticking to basic, whole foods and simple consumer products it's really worth it.  If you avoid the seasonal specials and fancy gift items you should avoid problems.

We take a list and stick to it, and for basic items I think it's really good.

As someone who does not shop often and does not enjoy it I like going to Costco.  I like being able to take care of lots of things at once.  And our Costco shares a parking lot with Aldi.  Brilliant!

Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Kitsune on November 01, 2015, 06:12:27 PM
We have a membership, and find it incredibly valuable for a few things, with caveats. Base line: for what they sell, we find that it's about equal to slightly more than our grocery store's sale prices, but the stuff is actually available at almost-sale-prices all the time, so if you're not interested in stalking 3 grocery stores weekly to combine sales (and spend more on gas than you save...) then it's a good option. But keep a strict list shopping list and STICK TO IT, otherwise it all goes downhill really quickly.

Valuable for:
- DIAPERS omg (ok, you can equal the price IF you get Amazon Prime, but I'd rather deal with a company that treats it's employees well for the same consumer cost, personally)
- Staples: flour, sugar, butter, oats, rasins, nuts, cocoa powder, baking soda, yeast, olive oil, most meats, fresh veggies (like lettuce) in winter (but NOT summer), etc: basically, everything a 'cook everything from scratch, all the time' family uses.
- Cell phones: we're Canadian, so MMM's cell recommendations don't work for us. I needed to replace my phone this week. Going through the Costco kiosk to get the phone I wanted, with the carrier I wanted, with the plan I wanted - basically the same thing I would've done at the mall otherwise - just saved me 175$ (Ok, I got 175$ in costco coupons, but that's more than a third of my month's groceries paid for as a bonus of getting the thing I was going to get anyway)
- Gas IF we're going through there anyway.
- Electronics when they're something we're looking for anyway - they usually have better prices than the electronics chain stores, but it's easy to get suckered into buying something you don't need, so this is a 'proceed with A LOT OF CAUTION' zone.

Caveats:
- DO NOT get suckered into extra convenience food. Every bottle of dip, frozen pizza, etc is more expensive than making it yourself (with ingredients they sell!!!)
- DO NOT get suckered into buying ANYTHING not on the grocery list - impulse buy starts at 10$ per, which adds up REALLY FAST.
- Clothes can be worth it, surprisingly, IF you try them on, make sure they fit and you'll wear them, and return them right away if not. A pile of unworn clothes never helped anyone, and I've seen a few people fall into that mistake. That said, their socks last a long time, their leggings are comfortable, my sheepskin-lined slippers from there were affordable and are so warm and I love them, and their kid clothes are affordable, cute, and durable.
- BEWARE all the consumer goods. ONLY buy things that you need, are on your list, and that are at a price that's better than other stores AND you'll use the entire package (USB memory sticks are not a bargain if you have to buy more than you need, even if the price per unit is lower, for example).
- Kid's toys ONLY if it's something you'd been looking at anyway (last time I went, I found the EXACT THING I had been intending to buy my daughter for Christmas, but 30$ less than Amazon. Done. But not the 6 other 'oh this looks cute she'd love it' thing in the same aisle, those are a bad deal if you weren't intending to get them anyway!)
- Extra trips there aren't great. In my case, Costco is directly on my way home and less of a detour than the grocery store, so the convenience factor of getting all my staples and then cooking everything from scratch is pretty high... but a half-hour detour would kill that one.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: justajane on November 01, 2015, 06:19:00 PM
Diaper prices must really be regional because Costco's prices here in the Midwest are really not very good at all. Even on sale they are over 20 cents a piece, whereas at Sam's the regular price for the size we need is 15 cents. Target also beats Costco prices pretty handily if there is any sale at all.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Kitsune on November 02, 2015, 11:36:12 AM
Diaper prices must really be regional because Costco's prices here in the Midwest are really not very good at all. Even on sale they are over 20 cents a piece, whereas at Sam's the regular price for the size we need is 15 cents. Target also beats Costco prices pretty handily if there is any sale at all.

Well, I'm in Quebec, so: no Target. No Sam's. No Aldi. We DO have Walmart, but their prices are higher than in the US and generally about even with Costco's. Or we have local pharmacies and grocery stores ($$$). If you comb through the sales flyers, you can occasionally get diapers that are a cent or two per diaper less than Costco's prices, but I seriously don't feel than a 10 cent per day savings on diapers is worth doing trips to multiple stores. So: Costco.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: seattlecyclone on November 02, 2015, 11:50:59 AM
We get lots of stuff from Costco. Their giant packages of flour and sugar tend to be much cheaper than any supermarket in our neighborhood, and we make enough pancakes, bread, muffins, etc. to go through it in a reasonable amount of time. We also get soy milk, beer, jeans, cereal, maple syrup, cheese, canned beans and tomatoes, and more. All of these things are consistently cheaper than they would be elsewhere. Sure you can say some of these things (like beer and cheese) are unnecessary luxuries and we would spend less without buying them. This is perfectly true, but I like having all of those things in moderation and so I choose to buy them for as low of a price as possible.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: kimmarg on November 02, 2015, 11:57:18 AM
Know your prices and common purchases. When I had a costco membership it paid for itself in peanut butter and frozen veggies. yMMV. You can ask to go in the look around before deciding to join.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: hops on November 02, 2015, 12:04:46 PM
We joined a few months ago, splitting the membership cost with my parents, and so far it's been worth it. It's still cheaper for us to purchase some household staples like cat litter, toilet paper and laundry detergent at Target (when you combine coupons, sales, RedCard discounts and rebates), and we still shop at Aldi, ethnic grocers and regional supermarkets for products that either aren't carried at Costco or cost less elsewhere.

Costco blows our alternatives out of the water when it comes to cheese, quinoa, tofu, rice and beer, and we've had good luck finding friends who are interested in splitting costs to maximize savings on items that are either perishable or something we don't want in vast quantities.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: catccc on November 02, 2015, 12:07:43 PM
Costco works for us for:
Cheese
Raisins
Peanut Butter
Sour Cream
Nuts - pistachios, pecans, almonds
Bagged greens
Carrots
Frozen Fish
Frozen Peas
Frozen fruit (for smoothies)
Bananas
Butter
Bread
Canned Tomatoes
Chicken Broth
Brown Sugar
Maple Syrup
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Dishwasher detergent
Trash Bags

We used cloth diapers so I cant comment on those prices.  And I will not give up cheese.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: acroy on November 02, 2015, 12:47:26 PM
Not Mustachian

This applies to the one closest to me:
- annual fee
- good prices only on name brands
- lots of packaged goods we don't use anyway
- distance: 7mi, too far to bike comfortably while loaded (Kroger is 2 mi)

It's actually cheaper for us to hit the local Kroger. No annual fee, good quality store brands, and we kill it on points and 6% cashback on the Amex card! whoo!
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: yuka on November 02, 2015, 10:52:33 PM
I share a house with two other guys, and we're all pretty out-of-control on our spending. Costco is the main place where we buy our expensive stuff.

Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 02, 2015, 11:26:36 PM
Here in Canada, I am mostly nonplussed by Costco, but they come in handy just often enough to justify the cost of a membership. We often let it lapse though and don't miss it. I am baffled by people who buy groceries there.

What we do buy at costco includes:
 
I hear there are deals on clothes, but I've never hit gold there. The seasonal aisle is a complete waste of time. Household goods and appliances can be beat.

The great weakness to Costco is that they push name brands hard. This means that apples to apples, you feel like you hit a deal since "Ragu" Spaghetti sauce is cheaper to buy in 5 gallon jugs at costco than it is to get 20 quarts at the grocery store. But if you compare the Ragu at Costco to the no-name, suddenly Costco loses its shine. Same with just about everything else in the store.

For stuff we do buy in bulk, we have a local Bakery/Restaurant supply that kicks Costco's butt on bulk buys. The difference - its product is packaged for industry in plain buckets and boxes with a sticker identifying what it is. The Ragu there will be cheaper than the no-name at the grocery store. Case in point - Eggs at the local WalMart (http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/great-value-large-eggs/6000023483943) are about $0.22 each, bought by the dozen. At Costco they are $0.21 each bought by the flat. Restaurant store has them for $0.20 each, bought by the case (180 eggs per case). It would take some effort for us to get through a case of 180 eggs, so we opt for the local store since a trip to Costco isn't worth the 12 cents savings.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 02, 2015, 11:52:45 PM
Prospector-  do you think no name and even frozen veggies are a Canadian thing?  I agree with you about Costco, not worth the annual and gas to drive there for the amount of brand name cheese, Kirkland garbage bags, and nut we buy.

.  We did buy our mattress there, however, that savings paid for the membership.

Here, Shoppers Drug Mart has the cheapest eggs and butter, at $2,29 a dozen, and $3.79/ lb butter. Plus points days worth uo to 30% off.


No name old cheddar at $8 per 800 gm, plus 10% off in points is the best I have seen recently. ( Superstore), but doesn't taste as good as other types.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Astatine on November 03, 2015, 02:04:41 AM
The great weakness to Costco is that they push name brands hard. This means that apples to apples, you feel like you hit a deal since "Ragu" Spaghetti sauce is cheaper to buy in 5 gallon jugs at costco than it is to get 20 quarts at the grocery store. But if you compare the Ragu at Costco to the no-name, suddenly Costco loses its shine. Same with just about everything else in the store.

That was my conclusion too. If you buy name brands, Costco makes sense where I live. But who'd buy name brands*? Sense, it does not make.

*I care about the brand of tissues I buy. Chronic rhinitis and severe seasonal allergies means that Kleenex aloe vera is the only choice if you blow your nose many times per day, every day.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 03, 2015, 04:56:56 AM
Prospector-  do you think no name and even frozen veggies are a Canadian thing?  I agree with you about Costco, not worth the annual and gas to drive there for the amount of brand name cheese, Kirkland garbage bags, and nut we buy.

.  We did buy our mattress there, however, that savings paid for the membership.

Here, Shoppers Drug Mart has the cheapest eggs and butter, at $2,29 a dozen, and $3.79/ lb butter. Plus points days worth uo to 30% off.


No name old cheddar at $8 per 800 gm, plus 10% off in points is the best I have seen recently. ( Superstore), but doesn't taste as good as other types.

Yeah - every two weeks shoppers has another surprise on a staple that's hard to beat. Also Macs Milk (the corner store) will often match their prices on milk. This means we can send one of the kids.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: epipenguin on November 03, 2015, 05:30:03 AM
I am ditching my Costco membership soon (just waiting for some cashback from the Costco Amex card, and then I'll be out). I do not think Costco is Mustachian, especially since Aldi moved in to my city. While I can't deny the savings on things like dry cat food, toilet paper and kitchen towels, on everything else I think I spent more. Especially food, because the quantities are so large. If you're single or part of a couple it is hard to get through such large quantities - the massive bag of brown rice was definitely getting that "off" smell at the end there, even though I kept it in the fridge. I used to talk about the great quality of Costco products, but lately I've been reconsidering. Perhaps I've just trained myself to like the cheap coffee, olive oil, cheese or whatever. But I really don't notice a great quality difference any more. The gas was never that much cheaper either, for some reason. I mean, it was the cheapest price in its own 5 mile radius, but I have to drive 8 miles to get there and gas nearer my house was not much more expensive. I bought some furniture from there in 2012 and sadly 3 years later I want to replace nearly all of it because it is not wearing well.

Before I end my membership, I will get some new eyeglasses (they are a good value) and of course stock up on cat food and other dry goods.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: justajane on November 03, 2015, 06:01:03 AM
That was my conclusion too. If you buy name brands, Costco makes sense where I live. But who'd buy name brands*? Sense, it does not make.

I don't know. Ounce for ounce, Costco Cheerios on sale beats Aldi store brand. Plus IMO there is a very big taste difference. It's the same with goldfish (for my kids) and other snack foods. Ultimately, though, the argument there isn't about name brand versus generic - it's that boxed cereal and prepared snacks are just not frugal to begin with, no matter if they are generic or not.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: nobody123 on November 03, 2015, 06:42:46 AM
I joined because they had the best deal on tires I could find, even after paying the $55 membership.  My wife got suckered into paying the extra $55 for an "executive membership" when she went a few weeks later, but it turns out the last 3 years we've received a rebate check in excess of the $110 membership, so it's been worth it and takes the membership fee out of the math.  There are two locations in my area, one closer to work and one closer to home.  Surprisingly, their prices and selection do vary slightly. 

In general, they carry some name brand items that are non-negotiable in my house (Jif peanut butter, Bounty towels, Kleenex tissues, etc.) at prices as good or better than the area grocery stores, kids clothes at lower prices than the outlet mall, and most of the Kirkland brand items we try are of excellent quality.  Just bought my third set of tires there, and their prices still can't be beat.

We are guilty of letting some impulse buys creep into the cart.  Usually, it'll be something that the wife and kids will sample and then want more of.  It's as mustachian as any other store; if you go in with a plan and get only what you need, it's fine.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: snogirl on November 03, 2015, 09:04:33 AM
I had a Costco membership, but ditched it when starting my financial makeover.
The store is right behind where I work so many co-workers are members.
If I really need something like olive oil or nuts, there are plenty of card holders who help me.
Give them cash, they magically return with my goods.
My neighbor helps me too.  He always calls when he is going to check.
To give back, I make them banana bread or cook a dinner to share.
It has worked out well for I do not buy enough since divorcing (no kids) & has helped me save $.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Bellatrix on November 03, 2015, 09:33:52 AM
If costco wasn't the closest store to my house, I would drop my membership.  Quantities are usually too big for me to finish as a single person, so things get wasted.  The quality is only so-so in terms of fruits and veggies.  I'd rather go to Costco though than drive 30 minutes to another store. 
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: mm1970 on November 03, 2015, 10:47:18 AM
Not Mustachian

This applies to the one closest to me:
- annual fee
- good prices only on name brands
- lots of packaged goods we don't use anyway
- distance: 7mi, too far to bike comfortably while loaded (Kroger is 2 mi)

It's actually cheaper for us to hit the local Kroger. No annual fee, good quality store brands, and we kill it on points and 6% cashback on the Amex card! whoo!
Yeah this is why it pays to know your prices, because it's totally going to vary.

We don't have gas at our Costco.  However, I've got a price book, and I can tell you they  have the best prices (even compared to store sales) on:
frozen chicken breasts
raspberries (or any in-season berry)
rotisserie chicken
cheddar cheese
American cheese
sandwich bread
diapers/pull ups
canned tomatoes (particularly in the #10 can, but also in the smaller cans)
spices
milk
eggs (sometimes)
frozen pizza
sliced ham for sandwiches
nuts
peanut butter
organic jam
raisin bran

Distance-wise, it's a mile from the office.  So if I need cheese, or light things, I walk there.  If we need something heavier, I make my husband go over on the way home.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: justajane on November 03, 2015, 11:12:40 AM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

You can purchase Costco cash cards online with a credit card, then use those cash cards for gas/shopping.  That's what I do so I can hit the sign-up bonuses on my credit cards.

You're blowing my mind here. Thanks so much! I never even thought to do that.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 03, 2015, 11:23:18 AM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

You can purchase Costco cash cards online with a credit card, then use those cash cards for gas/shopping.  That's what I do so I can hit the sign-up bonuses on my credit cards.

Does anyone know if a Canadian Costco membership is honoured in the US? If so I am totally doing this for our next road trip. Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 03, 2015, 12:10:02 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

You can purchase Costco cash cards online with a credit card, then use those cash cards for gas/shopping.  That's what I do so I can hit the sign-up bonuses on my credit cards.

Does anyone know if a Canadian Costco membership is honoured in the US? If so I am totally doing this for our next road trip. Thanks for the tip!

My US membership works in Canada - I assume it goes both ways.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

You can purchase Costco cash cards online with a credit card, then use those cash cards for gas/shopping.  That's what I do so I can hit the sign-up bonuses on my credit cards.

Costco (USA) accepts American Express credit cards.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: The_path_less_taken on November 03, 2015, 12:16:29 PM
Single. After paying the executive membership I still 'made' (got cash back) I think $270 this year.

When they have their coupon books the prices truly are astounding, even compared to Walmart.

The only thing I buy that most of you probably don't is carrots....huge bag of organic carrots for the horses. And when I'm not growing lettuce, I buy the big bag for the ducks.

If I just bought that, and gas/tires, I'd break even but I do buy most of my groceries there. The fact that if I get tired/lazy and don't cook that last bell pepper I can give it to my chickens means that I rarely have waste.

My problem with Costco is that the closest one has gone psychotic, moving shit around every week it seems. And their 'brilliant' idea to put the organic produce up front means it's not refrigerated...I'm not buying produce I can't count on for a week or so. But I noticed that no one was buying it so they did finally move it back with the other stuff.

It's amazing the impact one person can have, even on a store that huge: they hired a hyper "slam it fast/get 'er done" guy to work produce: he doesn't take the time to notice if there's a huge moldy section in the blueberries: just squares up the display. Moron.

And the worst Costco policy, which is nationwide, is that they 'showcase' something for a few months, you get hooked on it, and it's gone. In a rural area it's not like I can replace that.

There's no Aldi here, but the way  you people talk about it makes me jealous. If the new Visas card promo is also 3% cash back I will keep Costco as it saves/makes me money, using the card.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: TrMama on November 03, 2015, 02:38:52 PM
Does anyone know if a Canadian Costco membership is honoured in the US? If so I am totally doing this for our next road trip. Thanks for the tip!

Yup the Canadian and US memberships are interchangeable. My parents are snowbirds and regularly go to US and Canadian Costcos. We always have them bring back booze for us from their US Costco.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: seattlecyclone on November 03, 2015, 03:00:56 PM
Does anyone know if a Canadian Costco membership is honoured in the US? If so I am totally doing this for our next road trip. Thanks for the tip!

Yup the Canadian and US memberships are interchangeable. My parents are snowbirds and regularly go to US and Canadian Costcos. We always have them bring back booze for us from their US Costco.

We were able to use our Costco membership for great effect when visiting Hawaii. The prices in the Hawaii Costco seemed very similar to those on the mainland, while the prices at the other grocery stores on the island seemed much higher.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: rmendpara on November 03, 2015, 07:56:52 PM
All bulk purchasing options have the same question: Do the savings from the purchase price hit your bottom line?

In this case, it means whether you actually reap those savings by using everything, or do you just get 24 eggs for $0.01/egg, but end up throwing away 1/3 of them since you can't finish it all regularly? Obviously, when you consider what and how much you throw away overall, that may get you to the overall impact to your budget.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: clarkfan1979 on November 04, 2015, 01:19:25 AM
I agree that the savings in cheese is enough to justify the price. A 5 lb. bag of mozzarella is 11.39. At Walmart an 8 oz. bag of "Great Value" is 3.19. That equates to 31.90 for a 5 lbs.

I did experience some waste at first when first shopping at Costco. However, I learned to minimize it. I typically buy stuff that I can throw in the freezer. Lettuce has been my only problem with waste. However, I am getting better.

I am a believer.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 04, 2015, 05:08:11 AM
All bulk purchasing options have the same question: Do the savings from the purchase price hit your bottom line?

In this case, it means whether you actually reap those savings by using everything, or do you just get 24 eggs for $0.01/egg, but end up throwing away 1/3 of them since you can't finish it all regularly? Obviously, when you consider what and how much you throw away overall, that may get you to the overall impact to your budget.

People throw away perfectly useful food? Really?

(BTW our 5 gallons of molasses will take some time to use up, but we're getting there.)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: captainawesome on November 04, 2015, 10:53:45 AM
I've been a long time costco member. When I was a single guy sharing a house with two other guys, buying everything in bulk didn't make sense if I just wanted stuff for myself.  I did convince my roomates to chip in towards my annual membership and we would pool for stuff like paper towels, toilet paper, and other "common use" items. 

Now that it is me, my wife, and two dogs, Costco still seems to save me money in certain areas.  I still know what not to buy perishable wise from costco, because I simply won't be able to eat it in time.  For me, I cook 90-95% of the food I eat, with very few occasions of going out to eat or picking it up from somewhere (I like to know what is in my food, and I like to cook, and I eat a lot by virtue of my active job and outdoor hobbies). Things I buy on the regular that I haven't been able to beat elsewhere:
Eggs
Egg Whites
Jasmine rice
Oats
Chicken
Frozen veggies
Oils (avocado oil is my new favorite)
Nut butter
nuts
dog food
trashbags
laundry detergent
Avocados
Spinach
Wine

Their return policy is pretty unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination. I've been able to return things there no questions asked many times since I have been there.  I also look at their deals for Travel (vacation packages, car rentals etc) to see if I can beat that or not based on where I want to go.  Car rental discounts have been pretty noticeable for me, but not sure how many people know about it and/or need to rent a car on a regular basis. I am also fortunate to have the tire store attached to this Costco and those seem to be much cheaper than other standard locations.  Lastly, I have noticed that certain Kirkland brand clothes (dress socks, underwear, undershirts etc) are much cheaper there and fairly good if not excellent quality. Lastly, the gas is always cheaper than any other gas station in the area, and it is on our way home from work. Do we go out of our way to get gas there if we need it? no, but planning ahead helps a bit.

Just like everything else, it can be mustachian if you avoid the pitfalls of shiny, unneccessary stuff. And so long as you go in with a list, you are less likely to impulse buy.  Have I been guilty of buying some of the random items at times (like dips or frozen prepared meals) yes, but usually everything we buy gets used/eaten with little exception. And with the executive membership, I haven't paid for a membership in a few years, and usually they pay me. If we move to a location where an Aldi's exists or other viable means and Costco is out of the way, we might rethink our stance. But for now we have the means to buy in bulk and buy what we need in bulk, as opposed to what we might want. 
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Guses on November 04, 2015, 10:55:04 AM
Beyond buying all our staples there, the quality of the goods at Costco is astounding (except for produce).

All the meat we buy there is, hands down, the best we have bought anywhere. Their frozen fish is absolutely delicious and costs less than the cheap fish we bought (once!) at our local discount store. That one tasted like dirty socks. Not even kidding, we almost threw the rest of the bag.

I am going to place this into the mustachian category for us. It looks expensive on the receipt, but the quantity and quality is worthwhile.

Fellow Canadians; Costco is the cheapest place to refill your propane tanks (8.99$ a year ago, 11$ this year).
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 04, 2015, 11:17:46 AM
All the meat we buy there is, hands down, the best we have bought anywhere. Their frozen fish is absolutely delicious and costs less than the cheap fish we bought (once!) at our local discount store. That one tasted like dirty socks. Not even kidding, we almost threw the rest of the bag.

I hear this a lot from the Costco faithful. Either your local supply of meat is way worse than mine, or your Costco is supplied from some other feedlot. Costco does a nice job of packaging the meat, but on the plate I see nothing to get excited about.

I hate that Costco cuts their steaks about 1-1/2" thick. For a boneless cut I can cut it down, but some cuts you need a bandsaw to resize, and that's just not happening. The meat isn't especially lean, and often has little to no marbling. Often they flash-pink the meat in the counter. I learned this trick when I worked at a grocery store in HS - you can do it at home - take an older cut, put it in the freezer until it just starts to get really cold, then wrap it in cellophane and put it in the fridge. In 5 minutes it will be bright red and look fresh.

I buy meat at or under $4.00 per pound - no exceptions. I never see this price point at Costco. Most of our meat comes from National Grocers  (http://www.wholesaleclub.ca)wholesale (large cuts that need to be cut down at home) or at Blue Sky (Intertnational) supermarket (http://www.my-bluesky.ca/special1-20150805.php) where I can have it cut to my liking at the meat counter.

The funny thing is I drive past Costco to go between these stores.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Easye418 on November 05, 2015, 07:43:40 AM
The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

Bingo.  Not to mention, the savings on high quality dog food alone is a FORTUNE.

I typically get a rebate check for about what I paid for the entire membership... at minimum, I get 75% of it back plus all the product savings.....and samples.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Guses on November 05, 2015, 07:59:12 AM
All the meat we buy there is, hands down, the best we have bought anywhere. Their frozen fish is absolutely delicious and costs less than the cheap fish we bought (once!) at our local discount store. That one tasted like dirty socks. Not even kidding, we almost threw the rest of the bag.

I hear this a lot from the Costco faithful. Either your local supply of meat is way worse than mine, or your Costco is supplied from some other feedlot. Costco does a nice job of packaging the meat, but on the plate I see nothing to get excited about.

I hate that Costco cuts their steaks about 1-1/2" thick. For a boneless cut I can cut it down, but some cuts you need a bandsaw to resize, and that's just not happening. The meat isn't especially lean, and often has little to no marbling. Often they flash-pink the meat in the counter. I learned this trick when I worked at a grocery store in HS - you can do it at home - take an older cut, put it in the freezer until it just starts to get really cold, then wrap it in cellophane and put it in the fridge. In 5 minutes it will be bright red and look fresh.

I buy meat at or under $4.00 per pound - no exceptions. I never see this price point at Costco. Most of our meat comes from National Grocers  (http://www.wholesaleclub.ca)wholesale (large cuts that need to be cut down at home) or at Blue Sky (Intertnational) supermarket (http://www.my-bluesky.ca/special1-20150805.php) where I can have it cut to my liking at the meat counter.

The funny thing is I drive past Costco to go between these stores.
This. Getting nice meat means paying 10-20$ per pound around here. This is too rich for us :P


I can't speak about the quality of the pre-cut steaks. We only buy full sized pork loins and beef faux filets (loins?) which we cut to our specifications.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: kite on November 05, 2015, 11:08:50 AM
I had a 13 month practice run at FIRE when my employer went bankrupt in the 2008 financial implosion.  I didn't want to renew any membership that cost actual money for the privelege of spending even more in the coming months.  We needed to rapidly adopt the lowest possible food budget.  What we learned was that Costco wasn't such a good deal for us and for our lifestyle. 

We kept a price book, so we couldn't deny it.
There are cheaper options for our shopping that are closer and more convenient for us.  It means more frequent stops throughout the week, but cumulatively, this is less time and less money than a big Costco trip. 

Psychologically, it was better too.  Costco means seeing piles of things we could not afford, navigating crowds, longer time in the car along with packaging and food waste.  Switching to buying only for the next few days means eating seasonally and being flexible about protein.  This is how we save.  Eating seasonally, with flexibility.
Once a month, whole chickens go on sale at Shoprite.  That's when we buy chicken.  No boneless breasts at $X per pound versus $X-n per pound just because it's on the list for example. 
It's more like...the person ahead of me at the Farmer's Market only wanted the beets, I'm getting beet tops for free!!!  Whoop whoop!  Do I want to saute in garlic, make into pesto, add to soup or use in risotto, quiche or a sandwich?   Or, we're having our annual baked potato & chili party because it's Autumn.  Whatever meat is on sale at Aldi is going in the meat version.  If there's not a good deal on ground beef, ground turkey or some other cut of beef that can be diced and made to work, we'll have only vegetarian chili this year instead of two types.   Nobody complains.
Seasonally, flexibly..with less meat, as it happens. 
You might be able to do all this with Costco, YMMV.   
 

Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Kitsune on November 05, 2015, 01:48:43 PM
There are cheaper options for our shopping that are closer and more convenient for us.

It's true that convenience plays a factor for us too - Costco is on my way home from the office (I drive in twice a week, and otherwise work from home), but going to the grocery store is a 5km detour IF I can make time on my way home from the office or a 20km detour if I can't. Even disregarding prices in-store, the Costco location is kind of a winner for me.

When we were in a bigger city, the restaurant supply store beat Costco's prices, but here, it's about as good as we can get.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: chasesfish on November 05, 2015, 06:27:34 PM
Membership or Stock?  I've been a member for 10 years and own almost 700 shares of their stock, so I'll vote yes!

They sell everything for 12% or less over cost.  Its a fair business arrangement for those who choose to be a part of it
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Trudie on November 05, 2015, 06:32:33 PM
All the meat we buy there is, hands down, the best we have bought anywhere. Their frozen fish is absolutely delicious and costs less than the cheap fish we bought (once!) at our local discount store. That one tasted like dirty socks. Not even kidding, we almost threw the rest of the bag.

I hear this a lot from the Costco faithful. Either your local supply of meat is way worse than mine, or your Costco is supplied from some other feedlot. Costco does a nice job of packaging the meat, but on the plate I see nothing to get excited about.

I hate that Costco cuts their steaks about 1-1/2" thick. For a boneless cut I can cut it down, but some cuts you need a bandsaw to resize, and that's just not happening. The meat isn't especially lean, and often has little to no marbling. Often they flash-pink the meat in the counter. I learned this trick when I worked at a grocery store in HS - you can do it at home - take an older cut, put it in the freezer until it just starts to get really cold, then wrap it in cellophane and put it in the fridge. In 5 minutes it will be bright red and look fresh.

I buy meat at or under $4.00 per pound - no exceptions. I never see this price point at Costco. Most of our meat comes from National Grocers  (http://www.wholesaleclub.ca)wholesale (large cuts that need to be cut down at home) or at Blue Sky (Intertnational) supermarket (http://www.my-bluesky.ca/special1-20150805.php) where I can have it cut to my liking at the meat counter.

The funny thing is I drive past Costco to go between these stores.
This. Getting nice meat means paying 10-20$ per pound around here. This is too rich for us :P


I can't speak about the quality of the pre-cut steaks. We only buy full sized pork loins and beef faux filets (loins?) which we cut to our specifications.

Will Costco cut up their bigger pieces of meat to your specifications?  I never know what services the department offers, even though I always see butchers back there.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: AlmostDone on November 05, 2015, 06:48:53 PM
I have a Costco membership and am very happy with it.

I'm sure every store is different but the meat selection is excellent.  While admittedly a bit thick, the steaks are always delicious and somehow none of it goes to waste.

And another reason I make it a point to give them business is they take very good care of their employees.  May not be the most mustachian reason, but I think its good for the soul. So if the prices/value are close they get my business.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: LouLou on November 05, 2015, 08:47:50 PM
One of the benefits to me is generally going to the grocery store less.  I buy staples at Costco - giant bag of rice, giant bag of quinoa, giant container of olive oil, giant container of coconut oil (cooking, skin, hair product for me), etc.  Then I'm good for a very long time. I like having the base of so many types of meals in the house all the time, so I all I need otherwise is the fresh stuff - meat and produce.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 05, 2015, 11:40:02 PM
I definitely think it increased my consumption, but not necessarily in a bad way.  I've found some good stuff that I normally wouldn't buy at all because it's too expensive, but was cheap at Costco so I get to improve my life for good $/utility.

For example, there's usually a decent amount of stuff I "need" at any given time and am just waiting for a sale.  Without a sale my frugal self might go without something I actually need.  Specific example: when smoke alarms were on sale I stocked up.  Great price, possibly cheaper online from a sketchy website but I don't want to mess around with smoke alarms.  The ones we had were over 10 years old or whatever the suggested expiration date was.  I bet they probably still worked, but we did "need" new ones once the opportunity presented itself.  Slickdeals works similarly for me -- it increases my consumption in the short run but saves me money in the long run.

I'm a bit spoiled, as I'm added to my parent's account for free as a family member. 

Cheese is good, but it's too much for me.  TJ's has even better deals on cheese and smaller packages mean I get to try a lot more stuff.  I also like the TJ's brand booze.

Agree that frozen chicken breast is like an order of magnitude cheaper than anywhere else.  For that price I will thaw.

Veggies. When we buy from Costco, I'm always on a mission to eat them so they don't go bad.

I love this.  Yes, it makes me consume more than I normally would.  But in the case of veggies, that's good thing right?

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

You can purchase Costco cash cards online with a credit card, then use those cash cards for gas/shopping.  That's what I do so I can hit the sign-up bonuses on my credit cards.

Yup, I do this too!  Only takes one lost gift card to ruin the whole scheme though (I've been known to lose various items from my wallet, but luckily nothing of value).  Looking forward to using my Visa.

Does anyone know if a Canadian Costco membership is honoured in the US? If so I am totally doing this for our next road trip. Thanks for the tip!

Yup the Canadian and US memberships are interchangeable. My parents are snowbirds and regularly go to US and Canadian Costcos. We always have them bring back booze for us from their US Costco.

We were able to use our Costco membership for great effect when visiting Hawaii. The prices in the Hawaii Costco seemed very similar to those on the mainland, while the prices at the other grocery stores on the island seemed much higher.

Whenever I go to Maui, first stop from the car rental is Costco.

Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: yuka on November 06, 2015, 11:04:18 AM
All bulk purchasing options have the same question: Do the savings from the purchase price hit your bottom line?

In this case, it means whether you actually reap those savings by using everything, or do you just get 24 eggs for $0.01/egg, but end up throwing away 1/3 of them since you can't finish it all regularly? Obviously, when you consider what and how much you throw away overall, that may get you to the overall impact to your budget.

While I know your comment was just using eggs as an example, it reminded me that eggs at Costco definitely aren't that cheap. But using them is quite easy; my two roommates and I buy the 5 dozen eggs every couple of weeks. Trader Joe's has the cheapest eggs ($2.80 a dozen for large), but I've stopped buying them because the shells are thin enough that I always break one or two eggs.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: maco on November 06, 2015, 11:51:02 AM
I find Costco to have very good prices on some items. For example, I get my olive oil, oat meal, nuts, raisins, and many house hold goods like toilet paper, detergent, etc at Costco. Some of their clothing is a pretty good bargain too. But you can't assume everything you find is a deal just because it is at Costco. You need to go into that place with a plan or you will come out with $40 of dumplings or something.

I noticed recently that canned tomatoes were 10 less per can at Giant than at Costco.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Dicey on November 06, 2015, 12:13:37 PM
I thought I'd posted here, but maybe it was on the other Costco thread...

I shop for a family of four adults. Once every ten days, my shopping routine looks like this. First stop, 99 Cents Only store. Second stop, Grocery Outlet. Last stop, Costco. I keep a list on my (no contract, no "i") phone, and all three are in a loop. My biggest "problem" with shopping at Costco is that I stick to my list so well that I miss things in the store. For example, their seasonally available padded/insulated shopping bags rock. They allow me to do my loop without worrying about food spoiling. Plus, everyone charges for bags in my locale, so they do pay for themselves eventually. I'd have missed them completely, but I saw them in someone's cart. Turns out they were in a part of the store that I never visit. The latest version is bigger than the older ones and I love that they're not slathered with store logos, but mine are in good shape and I have enough, so it was nice to look, but I didn't buy any. I'm mostly mentioning it in case anyone else needs some.

My brother has worked there for over 25 years, so I know how well they pay/treat their people. You will pry my Costco card out of my cold, dead hand.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 06, 2015, 06:06:38 PM
I thought I'd posted here, but maybe it was on the other Costco thread...

The beauty of this forum is that we can have the same discussion over and over and over...
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 06, 2015, 06:12:14 PM
I thought I'd posted here, but maybe it was on the other Costco thread...

The beauty of this forum is that we can have the same discussion over and over and over...

All forums are the same that way...
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Dicey on November 07, 2015, 11:08:11 AM
I find Costco to have very good prices on some items. For example, I get my olive oil, oat meal, nuts, raisins, and many house hold goods like toilet paper, detergent, etc at Costco. Some of their clothing is a pretty good bargain too. But you can't assume everything you find is a deal just because it is at Costco. You need to go into that place with a plan or you will come out with $40 of dumplings or something.

I noticed recently that canned tomatoes were 10 less per can at Giant than at Costco.
Is this one of those examples where tone/shading is difficult to decipher? You are joking, aren't you? One could easily find many examples of items that cost substantially more at Giant (or elsewhere) than Costco.  Oh, nevermind. Please shop at Giant exclusively. That makes one person less in line ahead of me at Costco. (Insert humor and smile here.)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: maco on November 08, 2015, 10:32:24 PM
I find Costco to have very good prices on some items. For example, I get my olive oil, oat meal, nuts, raisins, and many house hold goods like toilet paper, detergent, etc at Costco. Some of their clothing is a pretty good bargain too. But you can't assume everything you find is a deal just because it is at Costco. You need to go into that place with a plan or you will come out with $40 of dumplings or something.

I noticed recently that canned tomatoes were 10 less per can at Giant than at Costco.
Is this one of those examples where tone/shading is difficult to decipher? You are joking, aren't you? One could easily find many examples of items that cost substantially more at Giant (or elsewhere) than Costco.  Oh, nevermind. Please shop at Giant exclusively. That makes one person less in line ahead of me at Costco. (Insert humor and smile here.)
This was in response to "some items." The point is you need to check each individual item to decide which store to buy it from (especially when they're next door to each other, like Costco, Target, and Giant are in my area, so there's no difference in gas cost).
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: TomTX on November 09, 2015, 05:36:15 AM

The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Costco gasoline is typically "Top Tier" rated, which means a much higher level of detergents and no metallic additives, which is typically 2-3x the EPA minimum for detergents. Costco advertises they have 5x the EPA minimum level. The result over the long term is a cleaner, higher performing, longer lasting engine. Around here, the places which are almost the same price as Costco do NOT have Top Tier gasoline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Tier_Detergent_Gasoline
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: jengod on November 09, 2015, 07:29:13 AM


The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Costco gasoline is typically "Top Tier" rated, which means a much higher level of detergents and no metallic additives, which is typically 2-3x the EPA minimum for detergents. Costco advertises they have 5x the EPA minimum level. The result over the long term is a cleaner, higher performing, longer lasting engine. Around here, the places which are almost the same price as Costco do NOT have Top Tier gasoline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Tier_Detergent_Gasoline

Thanks for the link! I'd heard the term but always assumed it was marketing language specific to Chevron. Interesting info that it is cross-brand fuel quality standard.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: maco on November 09, 2015, 08:09:10 AM

The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Costco gasoline is typically "Top Tier" rated, which means a much higher level of detergents and no metallic additives, which is typically 2-3x the EPA minimum for detergents. Costco advertises they have 5x the EPA minimum level. The result over the long term is a cleaner, higher performing, longer lasting engine. Around here, the places which are almost the same price as Costco do NOT have Top Tier gasoline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Tier_Detergent_Gasoline
Huh, years ago I remember my uncle being told his engine trouble was because he always went to the BP near his house, and they have more detergent in their gas so it ends up gumming up the system more.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 09, 2015, 08:32:53 AM
We are between 2 Costcos. One is 7 km west of us, the other is 10 km to the east. Both of them have the same gas price (96.9 cents/litre) the going price is 102.9 cents per litre close to home.

That's a per litre savings of 6 cents.

My mustachian Sonic has a 46 litre tank. Lets round to 50 litres for easy math.

50 litres X $0.06 = $3.00 per tank savings by driving to Costco.

Membership = $55

$55/3 = 18 tanks of gas to break even. Thats a tank of gas every 20 days, which is actually very close to my fuel usage. So I guess you're right, if I bought all my gas exclusively at Costco, and didn't consider the extra mileage and time involved in reaching a store I would break even (this is a surprise to me). But I don't because local gas is easier and Costco is out of the way.

If I billed the round trip at the going (work) rate of $0.49 per km, this math would turn upside down in a hurry.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: onehair on November 09, 2015, 08:43:59 AM
I like Costco for toothpaste, vitamins, sausages and certain over the counter magazines if they still sell them.  When I baked for relatives at Christmas I got my butter, eggs, chocolate chips and vanilla extract.  My only rule for them is if I am shopping alone without access to a car I only purchase what will fit in the reusable bags or bag I have on me.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: elaine amj on November 09, 2015, 09:14:03 AM
This year, I renewed my Costco membership because I wanted to purchase new glasses. After comparing prices at Walmart and various other stores, the Costco savings more than paid for my membership.

I am a recent convert to Costco. We don't buy a whole lot there, but I really, really love the guarantee. I have not returned anything yet, but feel so much better knowing I can. We only got our membership there last year for the first time. In that time, we have also bought a hydration pack, a tent, a dryer, and so on. All things I wanted a money-back guarantee on in case of problems.

It does get expensive when we stock up on certain groceries there - but as many said, it's a lot of front-loading since we are buying in bulk. We do try to be careful to pay attention to prices as like many said, there are a lot of things where Costco is more expensive than regular grocery stores. A lot of their stuff is better quality though so depending on the situation, I am sometimes willing to pay Costco's higher prices.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: partgypsy on November 09, 2015, 09:27:52 AM
We had it (primarily when kids were in diapers and their diapers, wipes, detergent are good but good prices) but failed on the rest for impulse buys (almond Danish yes! giant jar of salsa yes!) so every time we went we spent $200 on what was supposed to be a regular grocery store outing. so we "failed".

However there are some things I need to get, a 2nd pair of glasses for my daughter, and also I want to make cd backups of our videotapes, both which I can do at Costco, and our regular grocery store is on the expensive side so it would be nice to stock up on some things (especially for kids lunch) on some bulk buy trips. However my husband thinks Costco is evil due to our earlier "fail" and says no way. So, continue to do the "convenient" thing and shop at local store where we can buy everything, versus do multiple trips and save some money.
Not sure if the gas savings would be worth it, as we are spending around $50 a month on gas, so we would have to time our Costco trip when we needed to fill up.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Kitsune on November 09, 2015, 09:54:09 AM
If I billed the round trip at the going (work) rate of $0.49 per km, this math would turn upside down in a hurry.

I think a HUGE part of the math on whether costco is worth it depends on where it's located. For me, I drive by it on my way home from the office, and I've been known to stop in just for a bag of milk because it's quicker than driving out of my way to go to the grocery store. If it's 10km away, though, the inconvenience and the cost of driving there shifts considerably.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jesstache on November 09, 2015, 10:02:49 AM
Locally, Milk = $2.79 /gallon, if I'm lucky.  Costco Milk = $1.75/gallon We go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week (two little kids who only drink milk and water) so that alone pays for the cost of membership.

Other items we buy regularly are butter, eggs, dog food, beer, wine, rice, spices, baking supplies (flour, sugar, yeast, etc), diapers, FORMULA(!!) (when we used to need it), some produce and lunch meat.  Non-typical items that Costco saves us a TON of money on are Rental Cars for the 1-2x a year we travel to visit family (always seems to work out to at least 25% less than any other discounts I can find online and yes, i always comparison shop), eye glasses for my husband and photo printing/Christmas cards.  We also ordered our wedding invitations from Costco way back in the day.  Winter boots for the kids and sometimes their clothes (especially outdoor gear) are a great deal.

Things I don't buy there that I can always find cheaper at Safeway if I wait for the right sales are:  Boneless Skinless Chicken breast ($1.77/lb), Whole chickens (0.99/lb), Beef (we've been getting 1/4 shares of this.  This year's was $4/lb for everything).  Bread and most cleaning supplies (generic is cheaper most of the time) and a lot of canned goods.  I make my own pizza.  We don't eat enough cheese to buy it in the sizes Costco sells it in.

I'd look into using them for other non-typical things we buy because you just never know when they'll surprise you and come out ahead.  For example, I'd check them if/when I need new tires. We plan on remodeling our kitchen and I'd get a quote from them on the materials for cabinets and counter tops and compare it to what Lowe's/Home Depot could do.  YMMV
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: maco on November 09, 2015, 10:14:43 AM
Locally, Milk = $2.79 /gallon, if I'm lucky.  Costco Milk = $1.75/gallon We go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week (two little kids who only drink milk and water) so that alone pays for the cost of membership.
From this I'm getting that there aren't legal minimums on milk (just like cigarettes) throughout the US, just where I grew up. Huh!
Quote
We don't eat enough cheese to buy it in the sizes Costco sells it in.
I buy 2lb blocks of cheddar at Costco. My workday lunch is 2oz cheddar, handful of craisins, handful of almonds, a few crackers.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 09, 2015, 10:58:42 AM
Locally, Milk = $2.79 /gallon, if I'm lucky.  Costco Milk = $1.75/gallon We go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week (two little kids who only drink milk and water) so that alone pays for the cost of membership.

Other items we buy regularly are butter, eggs, dog food, beer, wine, rice, spices, baking supplies (flour, sugar, yeast, etc), diapers, FORMULA(!!) (when we used to need it), some produce and lunch meat.  Non-typical items that Costco saves us a TON of money on are Rental Cars for the 1-2x a year we travel to visit family (always seems to work out to at least 25% less than any other discounts I can find online and yes, i always comparison shop), eye glasses for my husband and photo printing/Christmas cards.  We also ordered our wedding invitations from Costco way back in the day.  Winter boots for the kids and sometimes their clothes (especially outdoor gear) are a great deal.

Things I don't buy there that I can always find cheaper at Safeway if I wait for the right sales are:  Boneless Skinless Chicken breast ($1.77/lb), Whole chickens (0.99/lb), Beef (we've been getting 1/4 shares of this.  This year's was $4/lb for everything).  Bread and most cleaning supplies (generic is cheaper most of the time) and a lot of canned goods.  I make my own pizza.  We don't eat enough cheese to buy it in the sizes Costco sells it in.

I'd look into using them for other non-typical things we buy because you just never know when they'll surprise you and come out ahead.  For example, I'd check them if/when I need new tires. We plan on remodeling our kitchen and I'd get a quote from them on the materials for cabinets and counter tops and compare it to what Lowe's/Home Depot could do.  YMMV

Man,  I suddenly don't feel so bad about my grocery monthly costs...  I do the same ad shopping (Safeway, others), and our lowest annual / 12 wk sale prices are at least DOUBLE everything here.  Milk at $4.59 per gallon, etc.... eggs at $2.29/doz... Apples at $1.69/lb  (even bulk bags are now 5lb for $6 of small apples, grown within 4 hr drive of here).
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 09, 2015, 11:29:39 AM
The $1.50 polish dog and soda (plus all the chopped onions you can fit in your purse!) alone make it worth the trip.



The cheap price of Costco gas pays for the membership. They are usually about $.50 cents cheaper than everyone else.

Membership: $55

Gas: 12gal/week
Savings: $.50 x 12 = $6

$6 x 4 = $24 x 10 months (I teach, don't drive as much in the winter/summer) = $240.

Even if I account for times where the gas difference may not be as much year round (maybe only $.30 instead of $.50), I still come out ahead.

One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Costco gasoline is typically "Top Tier" rated, which means a much higher level of detergents and no metallic additives, which is typically 2-3x the EPA minimum for detergents. Costco advertises they have 5x the EPA minimum level. The result over the long term is a cleaner, higher performing, longer lasting engine. Around here, the places which are almost the same price as Costco do NOT have Top Tier gasoline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Tier_Detergent_Gasoline

Thanks for the link! I'd heard the term but always assumed it was marketing language specific to Chevron. Interesting info that it is cross-brand fuel quality standard.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Don't be fooled, it's still a marketing term.  It's just an industry marketing term vs. Chevron alone. 

What I wonder is whether this is good for, say, every other tank.  I often will go to Safeway for gas because (a) it's closer to my house, so more convenient if I'm not already shopping at Costco and (2) the cash price is even better than Costco when I have a "gas reward" (for those who don't have Safeway nearby, they will give you a $0.10 discount per gallon for every 100 dollars you spend.  That ends up being nominally 1% back on Safeway purchases if you have a 10 gallon fillup.  But sometimes my wife and I will go at the same time and use the full 25 gallon maximum.  So it could be up to 2.5% back, plus they have an app that runs specials like "2 bonus gas rewards when you buy $20 of groceries," which could therefore be equivalent to $5 off $20.)

Anyhooo..... if Costgo gas has 5x detergents, then shouldn't it remove any deposits I get after running a few tanks of "regular tier" Safeway gas (which still has at least 1x EPA detergents, and possibly more since we're in California).    How often do you need to tun a high detergent gas to keep everything gunk free?
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: jeromedawg on November 09, 2015, 11:32:53 AM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!

FWIW, I think the food court is open to the general public (you don't need membership). If the food court is inside, you usually just go in the exit and tell them you're getting food and they're fine with it. A lot of Costco's have their food courts outside too. That said, I am a member so I'm always on the lookout for samples whenever I go...LOL
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 09, 2015, 12:06:52 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!

FWIW, I think the food court is open to the general public (you don't need membership). If the food court is inside, you usually just go in the exit and tell them you're getting food and they're fine with it. A lot of Costco's have their food courts outside too. That said, I am a member so I'm always on the lookout for samples whenever I go...LOL
http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/2015/06/29/things-you-can-do-at-costco-without-a-membership/
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jesstache on November 09, 2015, 12:26:41 PM
Locally, Milk = $2.79 /gallon, if I'm lucky.  Costco Milk = $1.75/gallon We go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week (two little kids who only drink milk and water) so that alone pays for the cost of membership.

Other items we buy regularly are butter, eggs, dog food, beer, wine, rice, spices, baking supplies (flour, sugar, yeast, etc), diapers, FORMULA(!!) (when we used to need it), some produce and lunch meat.  Non-typical items that Costco saves us a TON of money on are Rental Cars for the 1-2x a year we travel to visit family (always seems to work out to at least 25% less than any other discounts I can find online and yes, i always comparison shop), eye glasses for my husband and photo printing/Christmas cards.  We also ordered our wedding invitations from Costco way back in the day.  Winter boots for the kids and sometimes their clothes (especially outdoor gear) are a great deal.

Things I don't buy there that I can always find cheaper at Safeway if I wait for the right sales are:  Boneless Skinless Chicken breast ($1.77/lb), Whole chickens (0.99/lb), Beef (we've been getting 1/4 shares of this.  This year's was $4/lb for everything).  Bread and most cleaning supplies (generic is cheaper most of the time) and a lot of canned goods.  I make my own pizza.  We don't eat enough cheese to buy it in the sizes Costco sells it in.

I'd look into using them for other non-typical things we buy because you just never know when they'll surprise you and come out ahead.  For example, I'd check them if/when I need new tires. We plan on remodeling our kitchen and I'd get a quote from them on the materials for cabinets and counter tops and compare it to what Lowe's/Home Depot could do.  YMMV

Man,  I suddenly don't feel so bad about my grocery monthly costs...  I do the same ad shopping (Safeway, others), and our lowest annual / 12 wk sale prices are at least DOUBLE everything here.  Milk at $4.59 per gallon, etc.... eggs at $2.29/doz... Apples at $1.69/lb  (even bulk bags are now 5lb for $6 of small apples, grown within 4 hr drive of here).

Eggs are $2.00/dozen at Costco here (for the 2 dozen pack) and at Safeway they're generally 2.30 or so but lately have been closer to $2.79.  I got apples for $0.99/lb just last week but it's the season, other times of the year it's probably $1.30/lb for the bags of crapples (hehe) and $1.99/lb for the loose apples you get to pick from the pile.

Yesterday, I saw milk for $2.99/gallon at Walmart (which is always about 10-20 cents more per gallon than Safeway) and passed on it, even though it was more convenient as I WAS THERE because I know I'd save $6 on the 4 gallons I need to buy just by stopping at costco today, which is directly on my way home from work.

The boneless skinless chicken price is one I saw in the ad from the Sunday paper just yesterday and is the current price at Safeway here and good through tomorrow.  I plan on going to buy about 30 lbs and freezing it tomorrow.  Generally, I won't buy it unless it's $1.99/lb but that is incredibly cheap and almost makes the whole chickens not worth it (once you factor in how much the non-edible bones weigh).  Yes I still get them whole and make broth but I only need to buy 1 every few months because that's about all I will use.

You are also in Canada (BC on your profile), and Canadian $ doesn't quite go as far as USD, right?  That's probably a lot of the difference right there, though the apple and egg prices don't seem much different than what I pay.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 09, 2015, 01:32:00 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!

FWIW, I think the food court is open to the general public (you don't need membership). If the food court is inside, you usually just go in the exit and tell them you're getting food and they're fine with it. A lot of Costco's have their food courts outside too. That said, I am a member so I'm always on the lookout for samples whenever I go...LOL
http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/2015/06/29/things-you-can-do-at-costco-without-a-membership/

It bothers me when I want to meet my wife inside and they hassle her at the door for her membership card.  Most of the greeters are cool, since it's not like you can get past checkout without a membership card anyways, but once in a while they are super annoying about it.  I told her to tell them she is buying alcohol but she's a bit shy about stuff like that. (we only have the one card)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: zinethstache on November 09, 2015, 01:39:21 PM
I read through this thread and haven't seen anyone remark on the discounts you get with one stop shopping at your local grocery store. We have a Winco, Costco and Safeway (the last place being the farthest away).

Costco is a zoo, we let that membership lapse many years ago. it made us buy more than we needed.

We tried Winco and it has some under-par foods that actually are no cheaper than Safeway IF you take advantage of all Safeway has to offer. We use their pharmacy (I've had major health issues the last couple of years thus lots of scripts) and all sales count toward gas points. when we see buy $50 in gift cards, get 4x gas rewards, we take advantage of it of course. We hated Safeway at first, but have settled on it with all the services and discounts it has to offer we are gtg.

We rarely eat beef, their Chicken is great and is priced well. We do still get certain things from Winco which is less than 1min from our home.

I liked Costco for glasses, but now I never replace my frames and have given up on contact lenses so my costs are minimal (just lenses)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 09, 2015, 01:42:36 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!

FWIW, I think the food court is open to the general public (you don't need membership). If the food court is inside, you usually just go in the exit and tell them you're getting food and they're fine with it. A lot of Costco's have their food courts outside too. That said, I am a member so I'm always on the lookout for samples whenever I go...LOL
http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/2015/06/29/things-you-can-do-at-costco-without-a-membership/

It bothers me when I want to meet my wife inside and they hassle her at the door for her membership card.  Most of the greeters are cool, since it's not like you can get past checkout without a membership card anyways, but once in a while they are super annoying about it.  I told her to tell them she is buying alcohol but she's a bit shy about stuff like that. (we only have the one card)

I get annoyed by the inconsistency of the greeters. I was at Costco in Calgary and I went in, had my card ready/etc and they didn't ask. Then I realized I wanted a cart...so I go back out, get one, go back inside and then the same person wanted to see it. Make up your mind already....!

You can get a second card for free, though. :)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 09, 2015, 02:00:15 PM
One of the reasons we might drop Costco is because their cheap gas (3 miles from house) is the same price as Arco cheap gas (6 blocks from house).

Both of those gas stations refuse to accept credit cards (debit only) so the bulk of the savings almost certainly comes from their not having to pay credit card vendor fees.

Arco had a .35 per purchase debit transaction fee, but that is only .04 more per gallon for our main vehicle and still many many cents per gallon less expensive than, say, Mobil or Chevron.

Note to self: Start paying in cash at Arco when possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Latest word from Costco is that starting next spring, they will start accepting Visa (their deal with AmEx is not being renewed). So the reward points would put them ahead of your other choice for gas!

Not everyone saves money at Costco. I don't know if I save the membership fee plus my time. I enjoy going there and my grandmother enjoys buying the membership for me :-). Sometimes I buy the kids a dollar-fifty hotdog... that, for all of us to share, plus samples, just about makes lunch for the three of us!

FWIW, I think the food court is open to the general public (you don't need membership). If the food court is inside, you usually just go in the exit and tell them you're getting food and they're fine with it. A lot of Costco's have their food courts outside too. That said, I am a member so I'm always on the lookout for samples whenever I go...LOL
http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/2015/06/29/things-you-can-do-at-costco-without-a-membership/

It bothers me when I want to meet my wife inside and they hassle her at the door for her membership card.  Most of the greeters are cool, since it's not like you can get past checkout without a membership card anyways, but once in a while they are super annoying about it.  I told her to tell them she is buying alcohol but she's a bit shy about stuff like that. (we only have the one card)

I get annoyed by the inconsistency of the greeters. I was at Costco in Calgary and I went in, had my card ready/etc and they didn't ask. Then I realized I wanted a cart...so I go back out, get one, go back inside and then the same person wanted to see it. Make up your mind already....!

You can get a second card for free, though. :)

My card is already the free one, though :-)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: serpentstooth on November 09, 2015, 02:38:33 PM
We have a formula fed baby. Our Costco membership was worth it for that alone. I have a bit of a stockpile now and our membership is expired, so I'm waiting until I either need something badly enough or Babytooth runs out of formula before we renew. Our Costco is in the same shopping mall as Aldi so I usually hit both on each trip. I find Costco is better on milk (price), eggs (price) and chicken (quality, sometimes price), cheese (quality and price), butter (price). Produce is a tie. Aldi is better on most other stuff and if I stock up during the special buys, it carries stuff I use that Costco doesn't (lemon extract, peanut butter chips, etc.). I get red meat from the butcher in my hometown.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Dicey on November 09, 2015, 04:11:20 PM
Hey ST, I just scored Lemon and Almond Rodelle Organic Extracts at Costco. Sold as a pair, each bottle is 8 oz. IIRC, it was about $10 or $12. I go through a ton of this stuff at the holidays, so I love the big bottles. I suspect this is a seasonal item, so look for it soon. Also, darn, I just love how cheap the Costco butter gets around the holidays! It's always without fanfare, you just have to watch for it. I usually buy a year's worth and freeze it.

Also, last night I used my KitchenAid dough hook to make pizza dough and it was a complete success. Woot! I've been inspired by all you cook, so I decided to try this. We love pizza as much as we like tacos, which is a LOT. Next up is your pumpkin soup recipe, as soon I get tired of looking at the pumpkins on my porch.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: serpentstooth on November 09, 2015, 05:32:02 PM
Ooh, I'll have to look for those! Aldi was selling two ounce bottles for $2 or so, but I run through those extracts.  I have to lay in a supply of butter too, but a year's worth is fifty pounds, and my freezer has limits.

Have you made East 62nd St Lemon Cake? Look up the recipe. It's amazing. People demand I bring it to events.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 09, 2015, 08:05:05 PM
I think we still have 4 pounds of butter in our fridge that Momma bought for me to do Thanksgiving baking with. I'm so used to just using Margarine that I don't even think of the butter even when we splurge.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: TomTX on November 09, 2015, 08:25:35 PM
I think we still have 4 pounds of butter in our fridge that Momma bought for me to do Thanksgiving baking with. I'm so used to just using Margarine that I don't even think of the butter even when we splurge.

Ugh. Margarine. Flavorless chunk of trans fats.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Dicey on November 09, 2015, 08:47:57 PM
Ooh, I'll have to look for those! Aldi was selling two ounce bottles for $2 or so, but I run through those extracts.  I have to lay in a supply of butter too, but a year's worth is fifty pounds, and my freezer has limits.

Have you made East 62nd St Lemon Cake? Look up the recipe. It's amazing. People demand I bring it to events.

I wasn't as clear as I could have been. There are two 8 oz. bottles per package. That would be $32 at Aldi. Oh yes, it's a screaming deal. Did I mention it's organic Rodelle?

Okay, I'll check it out. The Lemon Cake may happen before the pumpkin soup.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 09, 2015, 08:53:04 PM
I think we still have 4 pounds of butter in our fridge that Momma bought for me to do Thanksgiving baking with. I'm so used to just using Margarine that I don't even think of the butter even when we splurge.

Ugh. Margarine. Flavorless chunk of trans fats.

You say Potato, I say whats a cheaper version of a potato?
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on November 09, 2015, 09:11:46 PM
I think we still have 4 pounds of butter in our fridge that Momma bought for me to do Thanksgiving baking with. I'm so used to just using Margarine that I don't even think of the butter even when we splurge.

Ugh. Margarine. Flavorless chunk of trans fats.

You say Potato, I say whats a cheaper version of a potato?

Heart disease ain't cheap. Pay your farmer, or pay your doctor. ;)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Le Poisson on November 09, 2015, 09:21:11 PM
Folks - we're foaming.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: dragoncar on November 09, 2015, 09:26:49 PM
Costco is going to have a sale on kerrygold butter before thanksgiving.  It's not super mustacian but I think it's healthier for being grass fed and will stock up
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on November 10, 2015, 09:35:20 AM
Folks - we're foaming.


I don't understand what this means? And I was just doing some good natured trolling, hence the winky face. No harm/offense meant. Sorry if my tone wasn't clear.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: maco on November 10, 2015, 10:28:13 AM
Folks - we're foaming.


I don't understand what this means? And I was just doing some good natured trolling, hence the winky face. No harm/offense meant. Sorry if my tone wasn't clear.
It's this forum's slang for rabbit-holeing or going off on a tangent / off-topic.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jack on November 10, 2015, 02:50:58 PM
Costco is going to have a sale on kerrygold butter before thanksgiving.  It's not super mustacian but I think it's healthier for being grass fed and will stock up

Nice tip! I'd still use regular American butter for baking and whatnot, but fancy butter would be good for things like topping toast and baked potatoes.

(Of course, that just reinforces my point that Costco is not Mustachian: at grocery store prices, I'd never be tempted to buy Kerrygold in the first place.)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: JLee on November 10, 2015, 03:08:12 PM
Costco is going to have a sale on kerrygold butter before thanksgiving.  It's not super mustacian but I think it's healthier for being grass fed and will stock up

Nice tip! I'd still use regular American butter for baking and whatnot, but fancy butter would be good for things like topping toast and baked potatoes.

(Of course, that just reinforces my point that Costco is not Mustachian: at grocery store prices, I'd never be tempted to buy Kerrygold in the first place.)

Neither is drinking...oh, wait! (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/20/its-beer-o-clock/)  ;)
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: DeltaBond on November 15, 2015, 07:05:33 AM
My husband and I enjoyed going to Costco for a while, but they have a lot of things we just wanted to try, and that's a really spendy way to 'try' things.  Also, they don't always have the same brands of things, and now the only things we buy that are cheaper than other places are trash bags, plastic forks and spoons, butter.

We don't pay for the membership, we're on his mom's membership, and this weekend we considered just ordering from there online - and they don't have everything online anyway, and to get free shipping you have to buy $200 worth.  We instead checked out Dollar General and wow, ACTUALLY cheaper on a lot of things, as they have a neat little grocery section.  I think we might be 'done and done' with Costco.  I think its probably better for businesses/restaurants anyway. 

Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: vhalros on November 15, 2015, 08:40:19 AM
My husband and I enjoyed going to Costco for a while, but they have a lot of things we just wanted to try, and that's a really spendy way to 'try' things.  Also, they don't always have the same brands of things, and now the only things we buy that are cheaper than other places are trash bags, plastic forks and spoons, butter.

We don't pay for the membership, we're on his mom's membership, and this weekend we considered just ordering from there online - and they don't have everything online anyway, and to get free shipping you have to buy $200 worth.  We instead checked out Dollar General and wow, ACTUALLY cheaper on a lot of things, as they have a neat little grocery section.  I think we might be 'done and done' with Costco.  I think its probably better for businesses/restaurants anyway.

Their on-line prices are often a lot worse than their in-store prices, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: DeltaBond on November 15, 2015, 11:22:02 AM
My husband and I enjoyed going to Costco for a while, but they have a lot of things we just wanted to try, and that's a really spendy way to 'try' things.  Also, they don't always have the same brands of things, and now the only things we buy that are cheaper than other places are trash bags, plastic forks and spoons, butter.

We don't pay for the membership, we're on his mom's membership, and this weekend we considered just ordering from there online - and they don't have everything online anyway, and to get free shipping you have to buy $200 worth.  We instead checked out Dollar General and wow, ACTUALLY cheaper on a lot of things, as they have a neat little grocery section.  I think we might be 'done and done' with Costco.  I think its probably better for businesses/restaurants anyway.

Ugh, figures, so many scams out there.

Their on-line prices are often a lot worse than their in-store prices, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: cavewoman on November 15, 2015, 12:08:29 PM
Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

Sure, but it is great for SEASONING cheap foods. Bread. Pizza dough. Beans. Yes, I understand how a grocery budget works :-). We're a family of 4 people and my menfolk (ages 3-35) all have the metabolisms of hummingbirds.

I buy 3 different kinds of cheese at Costco (cheddar, American, mozzarella) and each 5 pound package lasts for several months. I divide up the packages and freeze in usefully-sized portions.

We came in at about $550 on groceries for the four of us for October, and that's even though I do not separate out household goods and doodads like toothpaste, dishwashing gloves, shower caps, etc. Although the boys get free breakfast at school, so that helps.

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese???!!!

Life changer.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: serpentstooth on November 15, 2015, 12:11:27 PM
Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

Sure, but it is great for SEASONING cheap foods. Bread. Pizza dough. Beans. Yes, I understand how a grocery budget works :-). We're a family of 4 people and my menfolk (ages 3-35) all have the metabolisms of hummingbirds.

I buy 3 different kinds of cheese at Costco (cheddar, American, mozzarella) and each 5 pound package lasts for several months. I divide up the packages and freeze in usefully-sized portions.

We came in at about $550 on groceries for the four of us for October, and that's even though I do not separate out household goods and doodads like toothpaste, dishwashing gloves, shower caps, etc. Although the boys get free breakfast at school, so that helps.

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese???!!!

Life changer.

Hard cheeses freeze really well. I take those Costco cheese loaves home and immediately divvy them up into half pound portions, plastic wrap and freeze.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Kitsune on November 15, 2015, 12:41:05 PM
Cheeeeeeeese. I'm a girl on a budget. Damn they have cheap cheese.

In my experience, even cheap cheese costs more per pound than just about anything else eaten in large quantities except for beef and fresh fish. Eat less of it.

Sure, but it is great for SEASONING cheap foods. Bread. Pizza dough. Beans. Yes, I understand how a grocery budget works :-). We're a family of 4 people and my menfolk (ages 3-35) all have the metabolisms of hummingbirds.

I buy 3 different kinds of cheese at Costco (cheddar, American, mozzarella) and each 5 pound package lasts for several months. I divide up the packages and freeze in usefully-sized portions.

We came in at about $550 on groceries for the four of us for October, and that's even though I do not separate out household goods and doodads like toothpaste, dishwashing gloves, shower caps, etc. Although the boys get free breakfast at school, so that helps.

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese?

You can freeze cheese???!!!

Life changer.

Hard cheeses freeze really well. I take those Costco cheese loaves home and immediately divvy them up into half pound portions, plastic wrap and freeze.

Also shredded cheese (either in ziplock baggies in the quantity you usually use, or on top of something that's gonna go straight into the oven - pizza, lasagna, etc). If you're not going to melt it, sometimes the texture can go funky, and soft cheeses don't tend to freeze well, but otherwise, it's a great way to save $ on cheese.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 15, 2015, 04:22:14 PM
hmm,  my frozen cheese does go a bit grainy or crumbly, especially if it is the "value" priced cheese.   The nice thing about cheese is that a vacuum packed cheese, sealed, at the back of a very cold (almost freezing) fridge will keep for months.

If I want to freeze cheese, then I tend to precut it or better yet,shred it.  The crumbly nature does not matter then.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Jack on November 16, 2015, 08:57:46 AM
hmm,  my frozen cheese does go a bit grainy or crumbly, especially if it is the "value" priced cheese.   The nice thing about cheese is that a vacuum packed cheese, sealed, at the back of a very cold (almost freezing) fridge will keep for months.

If I want to freeze cheese, then I tend to precut it or better yet,shred it.  The crumbly nature does not matter then.

Would something like parmesan or aged cheddar freeze okay without being shredded, since it's already supposed to be somewhat crumbly?
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: serpentstooth on November 16, 2015, 09:21:52 AM
hmm,  my frozen cheese does go a bit grainy or crumbly, especially if it is the "value" priced cheese.   The nice thing about cheese is that a vacuum packed cheese, sealed, at the back of a very cold (almost freezing) fridge will keep for months.

If I want to freeze cheese, then I tend to precut it or better yet,shred it.  The crumbly nature does not matter then.

Would something like parmesan or aged cheddar freeze okay without being shredded, since it's already supposed to be somewhat crumbly?

Parmesan keeps so long in the fridge I've never bothered freezing out, but Dubliner, which is a rather grainy Irish cheddar freezes well. It's slightly more crumbly, but still very workable for cheese crackers or whatever. And halloumi freezes really well, no difference at all. Ditto those six pound Costco mozzarella loaves.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: bobertsen on November 16, 2015, 12:22:29 PM
There are a few items at Costco for which I'd be hard pressed to find a good substitute at a reasonable price. Primarily the toilet paper and paper towels. I could shift my family away from paper towel toward rags and dish cloths, but then I'd be constantly fishing them out of the trash when my toddlers mistakenly throw them out, as I've had to do recently for a few cups and bowls. Toilet paper is the ultimate kicker. I've yet to meet any other brand that gives me comparable ass cleanliness per dollar.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on November 16, 2015, 12:37:47 PM
There are a few items at Costco for which I'd be hard pressed to find a good substitute at a reasonable price. Primarily the toilet paper and paper towels. I could shift my family away from paper towel toward rags and dish cloths, but then I'd be constantly fishing them out of the trash when my toddlers mistakenly throw them out, as I've had to do recently for a few cups and bowls. Toilet paper is the ultimate kicker. I've yet to meet any other brand that gives me comparable ass cleanliness per dollar.

What is the texture like? I want to try it, but I'm hesitant to buy into such a large pack. We had a bad TP experience once, and if I do it again I think there will be mutiny =\ also maybe hemorrhoids haha.
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: kite on November 16, 2015, 07:44:11 PM
I had a chance to visit Costco yesterday for the first time in years.  Was able to read Donald Trump's book while standing there in the book section.  Made a meal out of the samples.  Escaped unscathed.   
Title: Re: Costco: Mustachian or not?
Post by: DeltaBond on November 17, 2015, 04:48:16 AM
I had a chance to visit Costco yesterday for the first time in years.  Was able to read Donald Trump's book while standing there in the book section.  Made a meal out of the samples.  Escaped unscathed.   

LOL  Nice.