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Costco - is it worth the joining fee?

(44 Posts)
mamhaf Sun 03-Aug-08 21:18:51

A Costco has just opened nearby. We'd have to pay around £29 to get membership.

If you shop at Costco, would you recommend it? Is it worth the joining fee or are places like Aldi and Lidl just as cheap for basics like loo paper, fruit juice, fruit and veg?

And what is the quality like please?


ExterminAitch Sun 03-Aug-08 21:20:07

imo no. although if you join with a mate the second card comes in at £13 i think so you could feasibly split the diff.

ComeOVeneer Sun 03-Aug-08 21:20:55

Don't you have to be VAT registeed to become a member? I went last monthwith a friend and have to say I was very impressed. There is a lot of cheap tat but there are also good bargains- eg cheap herbs, spices, vanilla extract.

ExterminAitch Sun 03-Aug-08 21:22:53

no, any fule can join. grin

oops Sun 03-Aug-08 21:23:35

Message withdrawn

itsMYmummy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:23:36

I've found quality to be good, especially on meat, myself DM and DSIS would often share the cost and split the produce three ways. Unfortunately I have stopped going because so much of what we purchased went to waste as they seem to produce large amounts of everything which would be useful for catering or parties etc.

itsMYmummy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:24:33

Second oops post.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 21:24:45

it's just too far for us to access to be worth the fee. we let our membership lapse.

mamhaf Sun 03-Aug-08 21:24:48

TIA I meant - any other thoughts?

PeaMcLean Sun 03-Aug-08 21:26:05

You have to buy in bulk though, don't you?

There's one opened in Cardiff which people seem to be very excited by, but I can't really work out if it's such a good thing.

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 22:11:50

I'm a recent Costco convert, as have recntly moved and now have space room to store bulk items.

Costco is great if you have a large family, or are giving a party as food is bought in bulk. Otherwise, you need to divide/freeze as you'll never be able to use quantity. As it is only me and dd, have thought about perhaps 'sharing our shop' with another small family (and sharing costs of course), so we don't end up with massive quantities.

One other word of caution - I have come out with things I never intended to buy (and wasn't looking for) as they seemed a 'bargain'. I've been happy with the items, but have sometimes spent more than I intended as have been tempted by a 'deal'.

ExterminAitch Sun 03-Aug-08 22:17:34

earlybird, buy the danish pastries and freeze them. heaven. grin

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 22:23:48

I think that makes a big difference, Early.

I used to go to Costco or Sam's all the time when I lived in the US and every place I lived had a lot of storage space or an attached garage.

This place has the facilities for storage but the Costco is a llllooonnnggg way.

My mother goes every time she entertains, which is not uncommon, because it is really handy if you're entertaining in bulk, particularly for booze.

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 22:25:41

ExterminAitch - thanks for the tip - will look for them!

I'm going tomorrow afternoon with a Costco 'virgin' who is curious to see what all the fuss is about.

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 22:26:59

expat - I've never been to Sam's. How is it different?

ExterminAitch Sun 03-Aug-08 22:28:25

get the swirly ones with the icing on. they're genius. if you wrap then individually in foil and freeze them then they pretty much defrost in the time it takes to make a pot of coffee.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 22:28:59

It isn't, really. It's just a matter of what's closer to you.

For me, living in the Boulder area, it was Sam's that was closest so went with that.

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 22:30:18

expat - so not really worth being a member of both?

ExterminAitch - sounds delicious. I'm supposed to be dieting.....but maybe I should make an exception? wink

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 22:31:04

My dad likes the danishes, the croissants and also the cakes are fabby! The photoshop is also dirt cheap, like American kind of cheap.

I do like it, however, because I can get American sheets over here.

I really don't like British ones sad.

So since we no longer go, I order them online and have them sent to my mom's or my sister's and they bring them when they come across.

GREAT white sales on just now!

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 22:32:29

No, I wouldn't be a member of both, I'd be a member of whichever is closest.

Sam's used to sell gas, too. Do they still? If so, I'd look and see if they're any cheaper than a supermarket, even though it's dropped over there, it's still pretty expensive for there.

MascaraOHara Sun 03-Aug-08 22:37:33

Costco is deffo worth it if you wear contact lenses or glasses.. I save a fortune getting my contatcs there

It is good value if you can buy in bulk.. I can't.. I don't need 12 tubes of toothpaste iykwim lol

Deffo good quality meat and finish.. by big treys of slamon or mince etc and cut them into portions before freezing

the banoffee pie is to die for

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 22:41:28

Expat - no idea if Sam's still sells gas, as I haven't been to one. However Costco does, and it is cheaper than petrol stations so I buy there whenever possible.

Also, have been wondering if I might get tyres there as my car will likely need new ones by the end of the year.

The only word of caution (and what I'm about to say applies in America so no idea if it's true in the UK) - you must pay by cash, personal cheque or Amex. No other credit cards are allowed.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Aug-08 22:43:21

Yes! I used to get my tires there because it worked out to be about $25-$50 cheaper.

We'd fuel up whenever we went. We had an old Nissan Pathfinder we used for climbing and for Sam's runs because usually we'd get stuff for other people, too, who weren't members.

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 23:05:39

Will report back tomorrow on the bargains we find. There's always something you never knew you needed!

YumeeMumee Sun 03-Aug-08 23:17:29

I think DEF worth careful re: making sure you add VAT on to certain items as they appear cheaper than they are and you get excited about getting a bargain!

Also do your sums as some things do work out cheaper but other stuff is just the same and you [again] get carried away and end up buying bulk when you haven't got the storage! I usually try and split things with a friend or family. If you have storage and lots of freezer space then there are lots of good bargains to be had! Their apple pie is heaven and as you wander round, there are usually lots of free samples to scoff!

Happy shopping smile

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