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Help me figure out Costco (vs Walmart +)
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Should I get a costco membership
yes  
 34%  [ 15 ]
no  
 65%  [ 29 ]
Total Votes : 44



amother
OP


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 3:15 am
I have a friend who is a passionate costco fan and who is always trying to convince me to get a costco membership. She is a stay at home mom and knows everything about prices and deals and insists that I'd save a fortune if I shopped at costco.

I work full time and have a side hustle I do when I have some free time. I have a kids ranging from teens to elementary school age. I have responsibilities at home and while nothing is more important to me than saving a dollar I am hesitant to get a membership because 1. I have no time 2. I think I'd spend more on random stuff there.

I now have walmart plus (discounted membership because we have medicaid) and everything gets delivered to my door - no fuss, no shlepping. I shop sales at gourmet glatt and just don't buy things that I can't afford ( cereal , salmon , baked stuff etc. )

I can hear I'll save on paper towels, pizza, snacks etc if I shop at costco but then I'd also buy a bunch of stuff that I would never buy (croissants , salmon , special fruit etc ) if I didn't have membership.

My monthly grocery bill these days for a family of 7 is around $2,100 and I am pretty happy with that number (it includes plastic, paper towels etc).

I am also super busy so just don't see how adding a job - shopping at costco - will be of benefit to me.

So I am not sure if I want to be convinced that I am right or that I'd really still save if I shopped at costco.

Keeping in mind that I literally have no time to shop and only go once a week to gourmet glatt and everything else gets delivered by walmart should I get a costco membership? All advise, insight, personal experience, costco lovers, costco haters are welcome to chime in : )
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Comptroller




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 3:39 am
I would suspect that your friend gets a benefit of some kind if she recruits new members.

You described very well why costco does not work for you, while walmart works well. Just read what you wrote and you will convince yourself like you convinced me that it's not worthwhile for you to get a costco membership.
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amother
Stoneblue


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 4:16 am
Comptroller wrote:
I would suspect that your friend gets a benefit of some kind if she recruits new members.

You described very well why costco does not work for you, while walmart works well. Just read what you wrote and you will convince yourself like you convinced me that it's not worthwhile for you to get a costco membership.

Your reasons are solid. Skip it. It’s not a necessity…
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goforit




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 4:21 am
You can order from instacart from Costco. Also you can use ur friends membership and she gets points. So you buy only what is a good deal on Costco (pampers wipes towels) and skip the store. They let you share your membership.
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amother
Narcissus


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 6:28 am
Doesn't sound like Costco is for you.

I'm a sort of thrifty shopper, and I only have Costco membership because (1) there's no Walmart where I live, and (2) I signed up when they had a deal on membership pricing, and (3) I have a baby in diapers, and the Kirkland brand is great quality at a good price.

Walmart+ sounds better for your lifestyle, and most items that are cheaper at Costco you can find at Walmart on sale.
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amother
Rose


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 6:48 am
It is obviously a personal decision as to whether it is worth it.

In my experience, most people don't use Costco to go every week. They use it to go once a month and then stock up on non-perishable items and augment with other items.

You would save well over the membership fee in a year especially with a large family as you can buy enormous quantities of non-perishable.

Costco also has a mail order for some items and you can check that out to see what they will ship.

The quality of their produce far surpasses Walmart in my personal experience. There are some people who buy their whole salmon and they also have Empire kosher chicken in many locations. It is my understanding that in locations near frum neighborhoods, the local Costco stocks many kosher items including hand matzos before Pesach at very good prices.

Why don't you ask your friend if you can accompany her when she goes shopping. This may or may not be feasible unless she would be willing to do it early on a Sunday morning for example.

Someone mentioned Instacart and Costco charges quite a lot more if you order through Instacart. I use Instacart and so I know what they charge for Costco stuff. My neighbor will pick up produce and coffee for me when she goes and the up-charge is really high like $4.00 on one item for example. Oddly Walmart charge in-store prices for Instacart but not Costco because Costco makes a lot of money on its membership whereas anyone can shop in Walmart.
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 7:46 am
I have a Costco executive membership that I get more money back than it actually costs me but I have a large family and buy a lot of kosher items there which cost more, plus diapers (not necessarily cheaper than elsewhere but they're working better for my son than current target ones and I don't like Walmart brand)

But I don't live near a gourmet glatt, amazing savings, etc

I go about every 6 weeks or so.

Might not be worth it for you.
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mizle10




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 8:09 am
I do an instacart once a month from Costco. If I would go into the store I would for sure spend a ton on random things. I love the kirkland products! I find them much better than great value.
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amother
Strawberry


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 8:20 am
This is probably location-specific, but I found Im not really saving with my Costco membership and will not be renewing it. I got it 1 year ago on Groupon, so it only cost me about $20, but for full price it's definitely not worth it. Many items would be cheaper at Walmart, and like you said, you already have the convenience of Walmart delivery. I tend to buy generic brand items from Target or Walmart. At Costco, that's not so applicable. Also, with teenagers, I find that if I stock up on snacks, they just go through them faster, so I'm not really saving.
The only products I found at Costco that were actually saving me money are:
Empire chicken cutlets, whole chickens, grape juice, avocado oil.
And as someone mentioned, you can do instacart without having a Costco membership.
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amother
Cadetblue


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 8:26 am
I recently got a Costco membership I don’t find myself going so often and when I do I come home with stuff I don’t need/use up. That being said, it’s near my house and I know when I need some me time and stuff I can go. (To get 24 roses for $18 for shabbos) that being said, Most of the stuff we got was great value and we enjoyed.
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amother
Zinnia


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 8:58 am
Comptroller wrote:
I would suspect that your friend gets a benefit of some kind if she recruits new members.

You described very well why costco does not work for you, while walmart works well. Just read what you wrote and you will convince yourself like you convinced me that it's not worthwhile for you to get a costco membership.

I LOVE Costco. I think it is the greatest place on earth and I sing its praises all day long. I get no benefit from signing others up, I just genuinely feel like I am helping them and bringing joy to their lives. Your friend had no ulterior motive. In fact, if she picks up stuff for you or lends you her card to do instacart she does financial benefit (assuming she has executive level membership) but would not benefit at all if you have your own card.

That being said, I don’t think it works for you.
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esther7




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 9:04 am
Your reasons for not buying a membership sound solid. You know what works for you and your lifestyle.
Having said that, if you do want to reap some of the benefits of Costco pricing, you can order a lot of their nonperishables online without a membership, I'm pretty sure it's the same price as in-store (not instacart. Costco.com)
I get things like baby wipes, olive oil, nuts, paper towels, tissues, foil, napkins, some snacks from costco.com. The first few times you order, it's worth comparing to Walmart to see what works out cheaper. You can also check what is on special offer that month (it says member only savings, but my experience has always been that the discounted price is what is charged even without a membership)
Once you get to know the Costco items that you like, its very quick and easy to just do an online order. And they usually deliver within 2 days
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Amarante




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 9:10 am
Ordering through Instacart is extremely expensive as I compare Instacart prices versus what it costs at Costco.

Their mark up through Instacart is much higher than most other grocery stores charge because of the membership aspect which is profitable for Costco.
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mizle10




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 9:23 am
Amarante wrote:
Ordering through Instacart is extremely expensive as I compare Instacart prices versus what it costs at Costco.

Their mark up through Instacart is much higher than most other grocery stores charge because of the membership aspect which is profitable for Costco.


Still cheaper than going in to Costco and buying random throw blankets, toys and pjs I never needed!

Costco's website is cheaper than Instacart.
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Amarante




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 9:26 am
mizle10 wrote:
Still cheaper than going in to Costco and buying random throw blankets, toys and pjs I never needed!

Costco's website is cheaper than Instacart.


You can't use their website unless you are a member.

I guess it depends on the person as I am generally never tempted by that kind of random stuff. At most I buy a large jar of cashews which gets eaten and not wasted.

I don't generally go down the aisles where they have that kind of stuff as I head for the back where the food is. I don't go down the aisle with chips at a grocery store either. Very Happy
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mizle10




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 9:36 am
Amarante wrote:
You can't use their website unless you are a member.

I guess it depends on the person as I am generally never tempted by that kind of random stuff. At most I buy a large jar of cashews which gets eaten and not wasted.

I don't generally go down the aisles where they have that kind of stuff as I head for the back where the food is. I don't go down the aisle with chips at a grocery store either. Very Happy


I know, I am a member. Ordering online can be a good solution for someone who A) wants the costco products B) doesn't want to buy extras (op mentioned croissants) C) doesn't have time to shop in stores.
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amother
Snow


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 10:42 am
I'm a huge Walmart+ fan. Don't have a Costco membership. I'm sure I'm missing out on some things but Costco is a shlep and Walmart+ is all about convenience.

My Costco is a 45 minute drive, and not near a big enough frum community for a large kosher selection.

Would I save money? Probably, but once I factor in the time and gas I'm not so sure anymore.
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Amarante




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 10:55 am
mizle10 wrote:
I know, I am a member. Ordering online can be a good solution for someone who A) wants the costco products B) doesn't want to buy extras (op mentioned croissants) C) doesn't have time to shop in stores.


I don't have an issue with coming home with anything that I wouldn't buy.

I really appreciate Costco for their fresh produce especially since fruit has gotten so expensive.

A peach at the grocery store can be over $1.00 versus Costco where a crate of 12 is far less expensive - true for peppers, tomatoes, avocados, strawberries, cherries - even bananas, grapes and citrus are an incredible bargain. Eggs,

Everyone is different of course but I don't really get tempted by the stuff at Costco just as I don't get tempted to buy what I can't pay off each month on my credit card.

If you have any self discipline in not purchasing what you don't need, Costco is an incredible place to shop for someone with a large family. Even people with smaller families can share perishable items pretty easily.
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amother
Cobalt


 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 11:41 am
If you really want to try it out
Can you have your friend purchase a gift card for you?
But you really have solid reasons not to have one.
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Jul 09 2024, 12:56 pm
Olive oil is cheaper than at Walmart, so is maple syrup, cereals aren't, honey is... You win some, you lose some. But time is also valuable and if you don't have a need to get specific items there and you're managing without going, you probably won't save much.
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