Friday, September 23, 2011

So is Costco worth it??


So who has managed to get down to Costco Sydney? I have to admit, I couldn't wait too long myself and to date, since it has opened I have been there about 5 or 6 times. I do believe I will be attending more often though until I get the hang of shopping there. So do I think it is all worth it? I have had some many people ask me this question because it seems like the burning issue on a lot of people's minds is the whole concept of a membership. I personally don't see a problem with it and you may even consider that we are paying a membership of sorts when we go to Coles or Woolies because their prices have always been so high, the difference of what they should be charging us and what they actually charge us is kinda like a membership fee in my opinion. That being said, when you break down a $60/year membership you are paying $5/month.  That really is not a big issue is it? If you bought yourself a big ticket item like a TV that you know full well is $200-$500(or more) more expensive elsewhere, then you know your $60 membership is gonna be handy. As for me, I will shop at Costco at least once a month and therefore I will know that I will definately get my $5 back in savings and then like times that by at least 20!!
So with the membership issue out of the way, the next question I have been asked is, do I really save money? As we neared the checkouts for our first big shop we had a guessing competition, as I am sure a lot of you had when reaching the checkouts. My hubby, bless his soul, thought it would be around $600 and our friend said more like $500. I had to giggle because I knew we were not near either of them. So my guess was around $430 and I also told them if we went past $450 I would be totally shocked. So the total for our first bill at Costco Sydney was $446!! I so need to sell my skills for guessing groccery bills because I have a talent for it;). I never tally my groceries like I should I just take a look at what I have and guesstimate.  I went to a baby shower once and where the host read out a list of baby items and we had to write down what we thought the price of each item, tally them up for a total and the closest guess won. Of course my first question was where were the items purchased? (nerd!) To everyone's surprise I wrote the the exact amount to the cent for each item and won! What does this say about me?? I did get a cool prize out of it!!

Anyway, I digress. Back to whether or not I think Costco is worth it. Well, I tallied up the first 5 items on my list and put the amount that the items would cost at either a Coles or Woolworths and for the first 5 items I saved around $20, so that kind says it all doesn't it!  I will say this though, I am not too happy with all their fruit and vegetables. Somethings are cheaper, some on par, and some more expensive. I might go so far as to say, if you are already in a routine to purchase fruit and veges from a local fruit market then keep to that. I don't like how big the apples are. They are just too big for my kids and I also don't like how everything is bagged for me. I tend to find items that are prebagged, you will always get fruit that you know you would never pick if it was in a pile, but you have to pay for a bad one because its in your bag! I also don't think all the produce is 'heaps' cheaper and not all of it is good quality either. Its a shame really because if it was quality and well priced, I could get almost everything in the one shop!  So somethings are good, others yada-yada for fresh produce. I purchased a lamb roast on my most recent trip and I do have to say, it was amazing! So tender and yummo! I also like the beef Bulgogi, its super quick to cook and a little goes a long way.  I am not happy about the lack of variety in the icre-cream department. Only one type of basic vanilla ice- cream. Very little to choose from with ice-cream on a stick. I honestly thought there would be bulk boxes of Billabongs or Paddle pops to choose from, but nothing like that at all.  If you have ever been to an American supermarket the choice in ice-cream will bowl you over! Its as extensive as the cereal isle, but Costco has let me down.
Costco has also let me downwith things like strip ice-blocks. You really only get to choose from Smoozes, which I really love, but would also like Orchy sips or something like this that we go through big time in summer.

 Anyway,  my overall assessment, is it's cheaper for my family. Unfortuntately I will still make trips to Coles or Woolies for small items that I can't get at Costco, but I can say that once I have been to Costco, I don't step foot in another supermarket for at least a fortnight! Yay, less grocery shopping!!

 If you can store the bulk amounts and you know your family will consume the goods, its a great place to purchase your groceries. As for all the other stuff? Well you tell me! I think there are some really bargains to be had in the non-grocery area. What did you score?

4 comments:

Kim said...

I was not happy with Costco's produce in America, either. Many items just weren't fresh. Here in Australia, I do appreciate the Cos lettuce, as it is so much bigger and a much better deal that what you get in the grocery stores. My husband bought a couple of bags of potatoes last visit and they were green and cracked. You have to be really careful!

FoodMuster said...

So true Kim, I bought potatoes too and they were really bad! I know I can return them, but I didn't want to make the trip. Really, once you purchase potatoes direct from a farmer and see how potatoes are supppose to be, you can't go back! See my post on Farm Gate trail:)

Carolyn said...

Costco and the other wholesale business are good for some things...items that you use a lot of, like diapers and such. But I use it in conjunction with other grocery stores, because of the produce issue and the fact that I don't like to buy everything in such big quantities!

btsoi. said...

I'm in Brisbane and we don't have a Costco here, but back in Canada, I enjoyed going to Costco for products that you have to use daily and lots of, like toilet paper and shampoo. If I found good deals on nonperishable foods or snacks for a party and stock up on those, too. The only problem with bulk buying is that you need the space to store it. If you have the space and you can use up what you buy, it's great. Otherwise, your home just gets cluttered with too much stuff.

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