Do you REALLY like your costco membership?

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Posted 8/6/2012 by Fresh_Peas in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 390,672
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Posted: 8/6/2012 5:51:23 PM
I just paid 55 to renew mine, and i'm just not sure if I want to keep it.

There are only a few things I really like buying from there, and I'm pretty sure I can get those things somewhere else.

So what do you buy that makes it worth while?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
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Posted: 8/6/2012 5:54:31 PM
I was spending way to much money there, so I gave it up.

I miss alot things like the fresh figs, berries, restaurant size potatoes but not enough to pay that 55 dollar charge for shopping there.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:02:19 PM
Depends on what you buy and how you shop. I think you can do just as well price wise with coupons at regular stores. But I don't have time to do that. So for me, Costco is a good deal. DH also buys a lot of cakes for his office which are much cheaper there.

I also feed a lot of people, so for me it's worth it. I pay $110 for an executive membership but I get a check for at least 1/2 of that back each year.

"Surrounded by thugs."

PeaNut 16,228
June 2001
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:02:31 PM
Years ago I bought the Executive membership so that I'd get a rebate check in the Spring. I almost always get a rebate check in April that's well above my membership renewal. So- to me, it's 'free' this way.

I would never give up my Costco membership. Besides the food (and they have the best meat and produce anywhere) we love their optical dept., the tire dept., the pharmacy and the photo services. I love Costco.

Regina Phalange

PeaNut 369,340
March 2008
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:06:47 PM
I LOVE my Costco Membership. I have the executive and I usually get back at least as much as what covers the extra $55 a year so its worth it to me. Last year we bought a TV there and ended up with an extra $20 after we renewed our membership.

On a regular basis we get:

fruit in season
chicken breast tenders
ground beef
multigrain rounds
Cape Cod reduced fat potato chips
peanut butter (Kirklands is the best ever)
Strawberry preserves
granola bars
Sun chips
laundry detergent
fabric softener
toliet bowl cleaner

the list goes I don't get all that stuff all the time, but that is what I buy at Costco pretty much exclusively.

Oh, and I LOVE the coupons, too.


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PeaNut 156,343
July 2004
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:09:24 PM
I have a free membership, otherwise I probably wouldn't go there because it is a bit out of the way.

But I've found that prices on organic whole wheat bread, organic romaine, eggs, cheese, and milk are the best, even better than Aldi. And hubby likes the CK jeans he got for $17. And I'm pretty sure I'll buy Bubby's Halloween costume there--$13, saw them today. And I like the trays of "sushi," since they're fully cooked and I can eat them while pregnant (and I've been craving sushi LOL). So as long as we have a free membership, definitely going to use it.

If we were closer to one and had to, we'd probably buy one.

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PeaNut 359,802
January 2008
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:09:57 PM
Greek yogurt
Ground beef
Romaine lettuce

Alone probably pay for my membership, LOL!



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PeaNut 273,602
August 2006
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:11:31 PM
the only thing we REGULARLY buy there is dog food; we have 3 dogs, and the Kirkland brand is what their breeder feeds her dogs. I'm pretty sure we save enough $$ compared to the brand we used to buy to cover the cost of the membership, just in dog food alone.

I will pick up other things occasionally, like cleaning supplies, etc. but I don't really think they're THAT much cheaper than what you can get anyplace else... it's more for the quantity/convenience factor.

"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 475,028
July 2010
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:38:06 PM
Since the Kirkland dry dog food was recalled I've been shopping there less. But still I've been keeping my membership. I buy Kirkland coffee, Kirkland peanut butter (wonderful!), milk, avocados (for some reason they are ALWAYS good at Costco and ALWAYS bad at my grocery store), fruit, meat, fish, and I love their roasted chickens because they are half the price of my grocery store and are gluten free. Oh also we buy computer ink there, and we're about ready to get a new recliner. Oh and swim goggles in packs of three. When I had two kids on swim teams I used to buy three of the packs at one time. lol.


PeaNut 24,564
November 2001
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:39:00 PM
Love mine....too many things to list. But we love their rotisserie chickens, cakes, breads, eats, etc.

We definitely save, but It helps to have a deep freeze and extra food storage. Plus I can make a Lot more from scratch. I don't buy too many of the prepared frozen food...


PeaNut 397,853
November 2008
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:48:58 PM
Love Costco, love the quality. I do executive and never pay for memebership (guess I am there alot). just did an appliance purchase thru them and got a $400 costco cash card for that purchase. I also buy my young sons an executive membership and only paid $30 for them to renew (they dont go as much as I do).



PeaNut 31,018
February 2002
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:52:16 PM
Since I started couponing I had to really think about the cost of membership.

However a few things I buy at costco are so much lower than a good coupon price. For example, cheese is only $2.50 per pound at Costco! And it freezes.
Milk is more than $1/gallon cheaper

I sat down and figured out when the savings paid for the membership. For our family the savings on cheese alone takes 4 months to equal the membership. Definitely worth it

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PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:52:46 PM
I do. We have the Executive membership and always get a check back for at least the cost of membership or more back right at renewal time.
So I just use that for my renewal fees and the rest goes towards more stuff there.

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PeaNut 57,641
December 2002
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Posted: 8/6/2012 6:59:50 PM
I really love Costco because I have 3 teenaged sons. I tell ya, they can really eat. I buy bread, milk, cheese, lunch meat, and some other items there every single week. It's cheaper for me to get that stuff there. It's easy to get tempted by the other awesome stuff, too...I try to limit the "fun" stuff to maybe one item every time I go.

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PeaNut 140,631
April 2004
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:03:49 PM

Years ago I bought the Executive membership so that I'd get a rebate check in the Spring. I almost always get a rebate check in April that's well above my membership renewal. So- to me, it's 'free' this way.

Same here. I love Costco.


pearl-clutching nitpicker

PeaNut 201,774
April 2005
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:09:34 PM
Another one with executive membership. I don't shop enough to make up the entire membership cost, but it's enough to make up for the extra executive cost, anyway. Plus I have a Costco AmEx card that has no annual fee and also gives me money back.

Costco has the cheapest gas in town.
I've bought tires, TVs, computer, cameras, and other big purchases there and saved a bundle. Their return policy is the best anywhere. They replaced a broken Keurig for me after more than a year.
Pharmacy. OTC drugs and personal care items. Optical department. Photo printing.
Fresh produce. Meat. Bakery. Prepared foods. Rotisserie chicken.
Batteries. Printer ink. Phones. Office supplies.
Snacks, candy, nuts. Canned goods. K-cups. Frozen and fridge stuff.
Books, movies, software. Linens. Underwear. Gifts.

Heck, I would keep my membership even if I didn't get any money back.

northern california

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
--Bertrand Russell


PeaNut 263,952
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:11:30 PM

Years ago I bought the Executive membership so that I'd get a rebate check in the Spring. I almost always get a rebate check in April that's well above my membership renewal. So- to me, it's 'free' this way.

Me,'s "free" to me!

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PeaNut 89,450
June 2003
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:12:26 PM
I don't think you need a membership to use the pharmacy.

I've had a membership for 10+ years. I'm sure what I saved on diapers alone in the first three years' of my kids' life will cover my membership dues for a while longer.

Dairy and produce are the big draws for us. I keep our chest freezer stocked with salmon, burgers, pork roasts, samosas, bags of veggies and fruits.


"It's not how you look but how you see."


PeaNut 118,730
December 2003
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:14:39 PM
Our Costco has a gas station and its a reasonable distance from where I live (so I'm not going out of my way to get gas there). It's by far the best prices around. Take into account the price of membership I will at least break even just buying gas there and usually save some on top of that.

Add to that we have certain things we love to buy there. Really good ravolis and tortellinis, certain vegetable, sometimes meet, wild caught fresh salmon for $8/lb usually.

So basically getting gas there pays for the membership alone and everything else is bonus.


PeaNut 195,498
March 2005
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:16:05 PM
Oh yes. I mainly use costco to purchase photos and books. Also water, toilet paper, dishwashing soap, party supplies like cups and plates, dog and cat food, veggies and fruits and the most important... cake! They have great cakes for any occasion like bdays!

- Jojo

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PeaNut 82,319
April 2003
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:18:00 PM
I like our Costco membership. However, we don't go very often because it's kind of out of the way, and parking is a nightmare. If my husband's company weren't paying for our membership I honestly don't know if we would keep it.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:21:29 PM
We joke they should put a parking place reserved just in my dh's name. He went yesterday and bought steak, hamburger, rolls, wine, shrimp, detergent, paper towels, toilet tissue, salad... And a whole lot of things he shoved in the coat closet. I'm pretty sure it was something he didn't need he has the Costco addiction it seems.

When we first got our membership I was worried too much would go to waste. We shop better, and the things we buy in bulk we rewrap and put in the freezer. Even if some of it goes to waste, it's still cheaper.

(By The Sea)
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PeaNut 12,495
March 2001
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Posted: 8/6/2012 7:24:55 PM
I do. I buy pretty much the same things every time I go, with a few exceptions.

I don't know that I will keep my membership once my kids are all out of the house - I can't imagine DH and I needing Costco sized anything for just the two of us. But, for now, with a family of 5, it works well.


PeaNut 15,311
May 2001
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Loc: illinois

Posted: 8/6/2012 8:08:33 PM
I use my employer's membership. I have bought a membership in the past, but I probably would not have renewed it. If you work for a small business, they can purchase a second card on the same account that anyone can use. I work for a private school. Staff is encouraged to use the membership since 1% goes back to the school (just like the executive membership).

frequet purchases:

fresh pizzas
trash bags
plastic cups
tortilla chips
fresh salsa
chicken breast
rotisserie chicken
parmassian cheese
lawn care - weed control, annual flowers, Preen
meds - fish oil and kirkland brand priolosec
photo department
printer ink
micro fiber cloths - in the automotive department - got to check these out
baby carrots


PeaNut 146,911
May 2004
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Loc: Calgary, Alberta

Posted: 8/6/2012 8:12:46 PM
We also have the Executive membership and always get more than 100 dollars back. We purchase and save money on our gas at Costco. I buy my wrapping paper at Christmas time and save money. The coupon specials and end of the aisle specials sure help stretch our dollar. You can order online too. We bought a tv cabinet and saved over 200 dollars instead of buying it at Futureshop. We also order our laundry detergent online and they deliver for free. we buy our tires at Costco and we can stop by anytime and they check them right away.We also pick up things for family members. For ourselves I buy the non name Costco Tylenol and save money. We also have their American Express credit card and use it at any store that takes the card. We get 2 per cent back. Last year we got 350 dollars back. We pay the full bill each month.

Turning holy water into wine

PeaNut 27,168
January 2002
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Posted: 8/6/2012 8:16:47 PM
I love mine. My only complaint is that I can't afford to shop there every week. We call it the $100 store because we are lucky to get out of there spending less than $100.

Depends on what you buy and how you shop.

I agree 100% I save the membership amount in 1 or 2 trips because of things I buy that don't often go on sale. For example my family drinks a ton of whey protein and Naked juices. I save a good amount of money on just those each month.

Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
August 2004
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Posted: 8/6/2012 8:29:05 PM
We FINALLY found a Sam's Club here in FL. We moved here a year ago and never went to a warehouse here (I don't know why!). We have belonged to Costco up north and Sam's Club. We just got the basic membership because it's 8 miles away and I want to see how often we'll really go, and it was $36. DH got a giftcard for $15 because he was in the Military, so our membership (both of us) was about $21. I saved that much just in the Allegra I bought (100 pills for $35---I usually pay $19 for 30 pills at best!!).

We saved between 50%-60% on meats, veggies, fruit and milk products. I'm amazed. No more coupons for me!!!! Now we just have to be careful not to overbuy while we're there! I don't know how big warehouses here stay in business--it was like a ghost town compared to in NJ or NY!!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
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Posted: 8/6/2012 8:31:39 PM
I rarely buy the meat there since it only has a short shelf life, and the burger is only good for 2 days at the most.

but I do miss it. I love all the goodies that you can't get anywhere else.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 509,811
May 2011
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Posted: 8/6/2012 9:01:01 PM
I love mine! But I shop for mostly teen boys - so I need mass quanitites of everything!

Our regular purchases include:

frozen smoothie (bulk bag)
fishy crackers
variety of fresh fruits & veggies
beef jerky
peanut butter
mandarin oranges
chicken & meat
chicken strips & wings for the boys & their friends

We have things we always get because we cant get it elsewhere or such a good deal there.... and then some things when the price is right or I need a large qty... I don't do a lot of misc shopping there (unplanned)- but I do sometimes get gifts, things like cat food, health & beauty items, books, batteries, clothing, etc.,


PeaNut 331,732
August 2007
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Posted: 8/6/2012 9:32:15 PM
Yes, we do really like it!

We buy a variety of things but the main items are meat ( don't buy it anywhere else), gas and we book a lot of our vacations (Hawaii, Disneyland) thru them.

We get the Ex membership which pretty much pays for itself with the rebate.

"Surrounded by thugs."

PeaNut 16,228
June 2001
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Loc: SW Chicago suburbs

Posted: 8/6/2012 9:56:58 PM

I rarely buy the meat there since it only has a short shelf life, and the burger is only good for 2 days at the most.
When I buy bigger packages of meat, I divide it into Ziplock freezer bags when I get home. Ground beef- if the 5-6 lb. packages are too big for you, they sell ground beef frozen in 1 lb. tubes- 5 to a package for about the same $ as the bulk package of fresh.


PeaNut 13,660
April 2001
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Posted: 8/6/2012 10:01:18 PM
I LOVE Costco and do at least 85% of my grocery shopping there every month. Executive membership always pays for itself. I buy almost all of my groceries there and only venture to the grocery store 1-2 times a month for more specialty items. I love their dairy, produce, meat, HH products. I buy clothes there pretty frequently too. I love that they have so many affordable organic products. The list of what I don't buy there would be shorter than the list of what I do buy. (For what it's worth, we are a family of 6 so bulk shopping works in my favor. My parents have a harder time eating through Costco portions with just 2 of them)


Old Dogs are Best!

PeaNut 92,987
June 2003
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Posted: 8/6/2012 10:07:21 PM
We save much more than the cost of membership. For us it's a good deal. We will split some things with friends, and family so nothing is wasted.

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PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
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Loc: So CA

Posted: 8/6/2012 10:14:58 PM
We have the executive membership and get a check that at least covers our renewal so it is a no brainer for us. We save a ton on gas there and do buy a lot of other things there as well. I just don't want to go to 5 other stores to get the best deal I shop once and am done for the most part. I do also shop at our local health food store and Trader Joes but that is about it - oh and of course Target. It is also really close to our house and near any of the other local stores we would want to go to - it is only 2.2 miles away.

I think the trick is finding out what you will use and how much will go to waste. There are some things I won't buy there because they are in too big a package or I know I will end up throwing out too much. I love their meat. I love their steaks and their organic ground beef - it is several $ less per pound than any place around. When I buy it I buy a couple of packages and then cook it up and put it is zip lock freezer bags in meal size packages. It saves me so much time. I love that they are starting to carry organic food and wish they would get more in - ours has a limited number of items but something is better than nothing.


Gabby Pea

PeaNut 82,634
April 2003
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Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted: 8/6/2012 10:17:00 PM
Yes, I REALLY like it.
I live 5 minutes from Costco so it's super handy.


PeaNut 39,213
May 2002
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Posted: 8/6/2012 11:36:42 PM
We just bought a membership last month and gave gone twice. I am debating whether to keep it as well. We live 20 min from Sams and are used to their prices and what they carry. Costco is 45 min away and doesn't carry half what Sams does. Or what they both carry has a price difference with Costco being higher. The one that comes to mind is chicken. Costco was almost a dollar per pound higher! Beef was more $$ as well. They don't carry our pop tart flavor and only tiny jars of applesauce. I do like their jumbo hot dogs but at $10 for 14, that is now a treat item!

Our last trip I bought no necessary items only fun foods and it made me feel even worse about having a membership there.

I do like the $ back but yon have to spend an extra $55 and not sure I'm going to do that. I have to think a bit more on my membership.

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PeaNut 138,583
March 2004
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Loc: Southern California

Posted: 8/7/2012 12:24:44 AM
yes, I really like my costco membership, another executive one checking in. My rebate check doesn't quite cover the cost of membership but for us, it is still worth it.


PeaNut 228,059
October 2005
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Posted: 8/7/2012 12:32:39 AM
Diamonds. Don't forget the diamonds . For one birthday, DH boughtmme a beautiful domains pendant from costco. We joke about it saying he is probably the only guy who bought toilet paper and diamonds together from the same


PeaNut 407,791
January 2009
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Posted: 8/7/2012 1:45:58 AM
They have the best filet mignon anywhere! (Seriously as good as the filet I've had at The Ritz -- it melts in your mouth!) Also, great for wine, and party foods. Huge wedges of brie cheese for like $5 (HUGE wedges, not typical grocery store size!) I have to drive around 30 minutes to get there but it's worth it for parties or cook-outs!

Who am I kidding? Too tired to drink tequila

PeaNut 110,613
October 2003
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Loc: Port Coquitlam, BC

Posted: 8/7/2012 3:11:06 AM
I'm an executive member as well. Our rebate should more than cover our membership fee this year since we bought our computer through them, and we are hopefully booking Disney through them before our rebate is issued at the end of November. What don't I buy there is probably a better question than what do I buy.


PeaNut 431,263
July 2009
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Posted: 8/7/2012 3:26:06 AM
Awesome for photos and gas. I shop there twice a month. We also recently bought a computer there. We just have the regular membership. It's worth it to us.
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sara b
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PeaNut 33,785
March 2002
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Loc: Indianapolis, IN

Posted: 8/7/2012 5:19:25 AM
I had the executive membership but they talked me into lowering my membership & using the difference for the next year's membership fee because I wasn't spending enough to warrant having the executive membership. One of the reasons I kept it the second year is because they made that recommendation.

There are certain things I buy there because it's so much cheaper like Lipton tea bags, sugar, vitamins, trash bags. On top of that the gas is usually about 30 cents a gallon less so if I can get over there to buy gas I do.

So yeah, I'd say yes I like my Costco membership.

Sara B

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PeaNut 294,285
January 2007
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Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 8/7/2012 7:10:31 AM
I my Costco! I save enough on just fruit/nut bars to pay for my membership. DH eats them every day.

I also buy coffee, tons of fruit, bottled water (DH won't drink anything else), cleaning supplies, Prilosec (generic), peanut butter...

I have also scored clothes there once in a while. I'll have to have DH check out the diamonds!



PeaNut 216,512
July 2005
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Loc: McKinney, TX

Posted: 8/7/2012 9:50:08 AM
There number one selling item is toilet paper. I heard that last week and thought that was funny. Not something you would think was their number one seller.

Princess Pinkness

PeaNut 2,163
December 1999
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Posted: 8/7/2012 9:59:22 AM
We live 2.5 hours away form the nearest Coscto, so when we go, it's usually a big haul. We have the excutuve membership and we usually get back our membership, plus extra. I shop regular online as well. If I'm buying anything, I first check Coscto. Their return policy is second to none!


PeaNut 426,942
June 2009
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Posted: 8/7/2012 10:03:49 AM
Are you kidding me??? We absolutely love our Costco membership!!! And the fact that we get the rebate at the end of the year is just whipped cream on our Costco cake.
This is a list of items we buy on a regular basis.

Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
gallons of water
1 liter bottles of water
laundry detergent
Ziploc bags
Frozen chicken
Frozen Tilapia
Frozen Salmon patties
Frozen fruit for smoothies
Organic Spinach
big bag of salad
Cherries (when in season) we buy every week
muffins (once a month)
Coffee Creamer
Brown organic rice
Baby Formula
Baby Wipes
Diapers (but only when they are offering a coupon)
Granola Bars
Trail Mix
Clothes for the children especially
Car Wash gift cards (great deal)

I have also bought pillows, camping chairs and coolers.
Plus of course the photo dept is great and we buy all our glasses from their optical dept. The one thing I don't seem to ever use is the pharmacy. I don't know why. I just find Target more convenient in the Pharmacy dept.


PeaNut 510,579
June 2011
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Posted: 8/1/2013 8:39:29 AM
BTT, I'm debating the executive vs gold membership. I want to switch to their dog food since Canidae keeps shrinking the bag and raising the price.

"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peaing under the Radar

PeaNut 61,691
January 2003
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Loc: In the Middle

Posted: 8/1/2013 9:55:40 AM
I get more in the Costco reward check at the end of the year than my membership costs, so my membership is definitely worth it. I routinely buy the Kirkland brand diet green iced tea, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, DH's alcohol, Frontline and dog treats (not dog food), fresh fruit, Fage yogurt (it's about 40% cheaper than at our grocery store and we eat a lot of it), frozen pizza and various snack foods. I'll also buy rotisserie chicken and some meats there, and I always get vacuum packed tenderloin there during the holidays. Occasionally we'll pick up a big ticket item (a printer, a blender, a set of pans, a coat, etc.). And I get cakes there.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 171,221
October 2004
Posts: 5,278
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Posted: 8/1/2013 10:02:58 AM
I kept mine up for the ability to get a couple of things. But now my son has a membership and I shop with them. They spend enough at Costco each year that their most recent renewal was free.


...that's why they make blue cars and red cars.



PeaNut 294,285
January 2007
Posts: 2,833
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Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 8/1/2013 10:04:22 AM

I have the executive membership, so I get enough rebate to pay my membership. I save enough on JUST granola bars for DH to cover the $55 fee, so getting enough rebate to cover the executive is easy.

I also just bought a Ford Edge through the Costco Auto program.


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