Costco or Sam's Club? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all....I'm seriously considering getting a membership for our family to Costco or Sam's club so I can stock up on some goods that we use all the time and will last.

We don't use convenience foods and bake everything from scratch so it'd be things like flour, beans, sugar, salt, butter, etc.

Our only alternatives are Wal-Mart and 2 grocery stores in town.....no really good cheap bulk places around other than those two.

So, advice? Opinions?

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#2 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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I have both. I much prefer Costco overall. However, what you can get at each varies as to location and size of the store, so I suggest you go check each one out yourself. They will let you walk around and look without joining. If you are anti-Walmart, that's something to take into account as well, of course.
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#3 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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costco. they pay their employees a living wage.
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#4 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooh, the living wage makes a big difference.

I hate Wal-Mart, but I wanted to be sure Costco wasn't just as bad. Where I grew up we didn't have any Wal-Marts (unfortunately that's not the case anymore) and our warehouse store was Coscto so I wanted to use them because it's familiar and I hate Wally World.

Okay, shutting up now and waiting for everyone's input. Thanks so far!

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#5 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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I have memberships to both. (I buy the Costco and my sister pays for Sam's.) I go to Sam's for proximity, not selection. Costco has better (fresher, nicer) produce. Costco has several more organic choices than Sam's. They have things like organic maple syrup, ground beef, snacks, transitional apples, etc. Sam's can't compete in that area.
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#6 of 29 Old 05-19-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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We have a membership to Costco for several reasons, but the main two are:
~ Location - It is in a better location for our family.
~ Business Practices - I feel Costco treats their employees better than the Wal-Mart conglomerate and I like the way they do biz...for this type of biz.

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#7 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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Setting aside that I refuse to set foot in Wal*Mart/Sam's Club, I feel good about the amount of business we throw at Costco because of how they treat their employees. They also have really great quality for pretty much everything they stock. And hey, we bought 3 lbs. of wild-caught dover sole today for $3.99/lb.

We also do a lot of our holiday shopping there... electronics, housewares, sporting goods, booze... they've got lots of nice high-end items.

Oh, and we got our new cell phone service there a few weeks ago, plus I'm hoping to get my MIL's hearing aid replaced there. Yeah, seriously, they do EVERYTHING now.
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#8 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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Another vote for Costco here, for a myriad of reasons, which have been mentioned by pps. I love their selection of organic and natural foods and the treatment of their employees most of all!
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#9 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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my big decidding factor on choosing between the two is the gas discount, our costco doesnt have a gas station, but the sams has one and it would get us 6c off gas. the discount on the gas alone will pay for the membership within months
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#10 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Definitely Costco. I don't like anything that has to do with Wal-mart.

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#11 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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We used to have a costco card, but that was30-45 mins away. The price on food made it not worth it to go there. So we got a sams club card. Makes milk and other things way cheaper, and he is just as far as the closest food store.

Laura wife to Chris proud mommy to our lil monkey (c-section 6-10-06), our other lil monkey (HBAC 3-08-09) Our next and last son (due by HBAC mid July 2011) and our angel (10-03-04). My middle son has many severe food allergies.

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#12 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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We shop at costco and I can say they have a great selection of organic products. I just bought organic chicken for 5.99 a pound for boneless skinless chicken breasts, and 3.99 for boneless skinless chicken thighs. They have organic ground beef. plus losts more
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#13 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Costco definitely. Like a pp said, there is a great selection of organic products, and fresh fruit.

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#14 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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: I've been trying to decide between the two myself. I asked a group of girlfriends the other day, and they all said they like Costco best, although one has both. You know what's stupid? The main thing holding me back from dropping my Sam's membership is that huge bag of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Ooooh, those things are my downfall!

One thing that makes me mad about my Sam's: we're supposed to get a .05/gallon gas discount. However, their prices are so high that even with the discount, they're at least .01/gallon HIGHER than my neighborhood station. And when I filled up there a couple weeks ago, my mpg went down dramatically for that tank. : I certainly don't need that!

I'm going to take my price book into Costco and do some comparison shopping to see if it will work for me.

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#15 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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I love costco for my fruits and veggies. We just bought a 10lb bag of organic carrots for $7.50 I can't do that at the farmers market. The organic selection is growing, I even saw peanut butter. We don't have a Whole foods/trader joes so this is the best that I can do

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#16 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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one more thing i like about costco (never been to a sam's club) is that i know i'm getting quality. and their return policy is crazy good! no receipt, years after the fact was no problem.

in addition to organic (though i've heard their organic dairy is feed lot) they even have demos for vitamix!

if you are going to buy in bulk you may want to check out buyer's clubs. i just got one from wilderness family naturals, eden foods, and frontier co-op. also, if you buy like 25# bags lundberg rice gives you a great deal for organic.

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#17 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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Costco hands down. Ours even sells an organic, fair trade coffee in a 2lb bag from a local distributer (the distributer company is family owned). Costco is just cool like that.

Plus I will have nothing to do with Walmart
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#18 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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Costco for the same reasons as above. We just went there today. We spent $145 and got 2 whole organic chickens (2.29/lb), organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts (5.99/lb), pork loin (2.59/lb), organic spaghetti sauce (4/7.89), and lots of other organics. It was a great deal. Also, gas is way cheaper there. At least .10 cheaper than anywhere else.

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#19 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Costco definitely. (Although I've not ever been to a Sam's Club.)

I love their return policy! And they do have a nice selection of organics.
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#20 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Wow, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Costco pharmacy. It is ridiculously cheap compared to everywhere else.

I love Costco.

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#21 of 29 Old 05-20-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNi View Post
The main thing holding me back from dropping my Sam's membership is that huge bag of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Ooooh, those things are my downfall!
I'm surprised Costco doesn't have something comparable... maybe not Ghirardelli, but if not, probably something even higher-end. Valhrona? ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
Wow, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Costco pharmacy. It is ridiculously cheap compared to everywhere else.
This is true. Even for non-prescription things like glucose monitor test strips, they beat everyone. And they stock all the supplements and stuff you could care to look for (except for probiotics... no fridge in the pharma section).
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#22 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 06:03 AM
 
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Costco, although I've also never been to a Sam's Club.

I agree with the others: Wal-Mart = bad

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#23 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Costco!

When we lived in Utah, we had a membership at both. After a terrible customer service experience at Sam's Club, we went Costco only.

And, I'm biased because I grew up and currently live in the land of Costcos! I have two within eight miles and they are in the process of building of smaller scale one about a mile away that is more "neighborhood" friendly. It won't carry everything or have a tire shop, but the items will be more geared towards just groceries and items that people in the neighborhood would want.

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#24 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
I'm surprised Costco doesn't have something comparable... maybe not Ghirardelli, but if not, probably something even higher-end. Valhrona? ;-)
Costco does! They have a 10 lb bag of high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (can't remember the brand, it's a food service geared one though) for just $14 here in the NW. They also carry the 4 lb bag of Nestle chips...

Costco is the best. And, the CEO is paid a reasonable salary, not a mega-millions one like so many big companies. Also, for me, being in the NW, Costco is my local. We're lucky--ours has a coffee roaster in-store, so I can get freshly roasted coffee for about $3 a pound.

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#25 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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I totally agree, Costco is great. In addition to their treatment of employees, organics selection, pharmacy, gas etc, they have great prices on big ticket items like tires and appliances. They also have an optical department with a good selection and good prices. I have never been in Sam's Club and have no desire to.
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#26 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Costco. Hands down.

I live closer to a BJs and keep my membership there solely for the occasional laziness factor. But I really don't like them all that much.

Our Costco is fantastic. It's much further away, but close to my Dd's school so I am there a lot. Once a week at the minimum. I also cook almost nothing from boxes and I can do almost all of my food shopping there. I will also say that their in house brand, Kirkland, has always proven to be excellent quality. I only use their diapers and wipes (yeah yeah, sposies, I know) and I think they are great.
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#27 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
This is true. Even for non-prescription things like glucose monitor test strips, they beat everyone. And they stock all the supplements and stuff you could care to look for (except for probiotics... no fridge in the pharma section).
Actually just last week I bought probiotic tablets for the kids at Costco. I know it can't compare to the stuff you get at the health food store from the fridge but my DD is on a mega round of antibiotics for her Lyme Disease and are the only supplement she will take. (I can only get her to eat so much yogurt ya know?) They taste like strawberry yogurt and are chewable. My kids have been begging me for extras because they like them so much.
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#28 of 29 Old 05-21-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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Costco. It's my favorite store!
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#29 of 29 Old 05-22-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AoifesMom View Post
I totally agree, Costco is great. In addition to their treatment of employees, organics selection, pharmacy, gas etc, they have great prices on big ticket items like tires and appliances.
Oooh, true... and seasonal items; we got DS's play structure there for $1200, where comparable stuff at TRU ran about $2000.

Great for home improvement as well. Bamboo flooring for I think about $3/sq. ft.; whatever it cost us, it was more than a DOLLAR a sq. ft. cheaper than any other price I could find for all-wood (laminate is cheaper of course, and if that's what you want, they sell a few varieties of glueless laminate too ;-). They sell all kinds of great tools and housewares and sporting goods, including BIG stuff.
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