I just read that Costco was going to start to let anyone shop there even with out a membership. This perked my interest as they have always been so strict about the membership rules. If you don't pay and own the card you cannot even write a check on another members order. They do however let anyone use the pharmacy or eat at their food kiosk.
We have a Costco across the river just a bout 3/4 of a mile from my house. My mom gets her meds there. I was thrilled when they first opened. I had three kids at home and a busy schedule. I have always liked to save money and stockpile food. Buying in larger quantities is certainly the way to do this right?
It did not take long for me to become disenchanted with Costco even when an employer purchased my membership. Buying in large quantities is great if you need and use the item regularly. Now there are many items I do use in that capacity. I bake a great deal, so flour, sugar, and staples would be a no brainer right? The crux of the problem is, if you only have a say $200.00 food budget a month and you have to buy these items you will have used 1/4 of your budget. My family did not like living on Lumpy dick ( a depression meal of thickened flour, water and sugar.) It is impossible to go into a large big box store like that with a list of menu items and get what is on your list for under say $600.00. I tried this once just for fun. Did not buy the items just added them up.
I found that I could purchase flour and sugar once a year at the Christmas baking sales much cheaper. Since you have to go home and burst everything into smaller containers, buying the smaller at a loss leader price just made more sense. So pantry supplies were an out at Costco.
But what about their meat? They do have great meat. It is never on sale and I can get great meat buys and freeze at local super markets that is 50% off. Now you all know how I feel about the rotisserie chicken. Smells great a pretty good price, and time saver, but the side affects not so good.
Breads can be purchased at a local thrift bread store and frozen much cheaper. Artisan breads, well I would make those anyway and have them fresh with the smell in my own house.I do love the large white bakery cakes for big events and will order and send in a friend to get them. Now I won't have to do that.
Fruits and veggies at Costco are not cheaper they in fact are more expensive per pound if you look at sales. Everything else is a prepackaged convenience food that I would probably not buy unless I had a specific reason. Such as a treat for a celebration. I just don't really buy prepackaged convenience foods. Costco does not carry a store brand but the name brand canned goods. Way too expensive.
Milk, butter, eggs, and perishables can be purchased in smaller quantities and much smaller prices.
The things I buy on a regular basis as far as food goes are far more expensive at Costco than watching sales and buying larger quantities in smaller packages. I have proved this to myself over and over.
It does not take a genius to see that Rite-aid or Walgreens, with their point systems and coupons can beat the price of any large quantity container of your favorite hair or personal supply grooming supple sold at Costco. I call it the $200.00 store as I could never get out before I spent $200.00. I did not have $200.00, it put me short on the things I did need to get through the month. It caused me to go further in debt as I found other ways to purchase the things I needed.
I have heard friends and neighbors complain about trying to get out of Costco for under $3-400.00. Well stop going. Their marketing of goodies and beautiful socks, and undies, the bags (large always $10-12) of delicious treats right by the cash registers, just call out to your hungry tummy.
And the clothing, such bargains, I will buy one in every color please. But do you need them? Books, movies, toys, games, tech gadgets are all alluring but are they on the list and do you need them right now? Probably not.
The store overwhelms with its marketing. So much to choose from. So cleverly packaged. The bright colors and rows upon rows of lovely things all waiting to jump into your basket. Most items are in the range of $10-$20.00 we can all afford those items right? We can afford several of those items right? So you have let's see, a package of socks,(for the husband) new dish towels, (yours are so ratty), a bucket of laundry soap, that wonderful imported cheese you like(so much cheaper here)a container of soy sauce,(much cheaper by the gallon), a container of salad dressing, (Greggs 1/2 gallon), three large bottles of dish soap, that package of 5 deodorants, a large package of pot stickers,( they were a tasting item and the clerk forced them on you with all of the salty goodness),a case of soda. You have now spent over $200.00 and you have a months worth of groceries, right?
Now I am not totally dissing Costco. I know you can get many great things there. I just don't shop there. I can't afford to. I don't have much self control and I love to shop and justify why I do it. The latest best selling books always get me. I am weak, so like an alcoholic I do not frequent bars.
What are you feelings on big box stores as far as your budget is concerned?
By the way look at my totals! Woo, Hoo will I be able to slam dunk that quick lock loan? The Studio CC is under $15,000( I throw up a little that I am excited about that).
I did not sew yesterday, instead I made fruit leather and canned 30 jars of jam, cherry, blueberry, and plum. Also pitted and dried several pounds of cherries. I used all the fruit in the freezer so I can go pick more fruit as it come on to go into the freezer. I also went to Joanns and helped one of my dancers get fabric for a competition costume. I made another wreath for my thieving sister. I basically putzed around.
I will dry more cherries and freeze several bags of pie cherries. But I will also sew at least my quota today. I also need to get some plants in the ground and do some weeding.
Have a great and productive day!