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#31 of 53 Old 09-02-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post

One way I save money at Costco is by using the monthly coupons to stock up on nonperishables. If you pay attention to the coupons, you can buy dish soap, baby wipes, diapers/pullups, ziplocs, sponges, and lots of food items without ever paying the full price. (Diapers and wipes are still slightly more expensive than I could buy them elsewhere, but much better quality.) We just got a package with 19 different Ziploc lidded food containers for about $7 by using a coupon, which is a huge savings over what you'd pay at any other store.

 

As for non-coupon items, I find that what PPs have said is right on. If you avoid impulse buys and make sure you're comparing prices with other stores, you can save a lot. I think my membership pays for itself several times over.

 

 

Where are you getting these coupons?
 

 

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#32 of 53 Old 09-02-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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Where are you getting these coupons?
 

 



I get mine in the mail from Costco.  I think it is because of the executive membership, but you could also just ask at the customer service desk if they have any coupon packets which is what we do too incase we left ours at home.

 


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#33 of 53 Old 09-03-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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When they run their coupons they usually move most of those items to front end caps and main isle coolers. You don't need to have the coupon for the item just tell the cashier to scan the coupon they have at the register.


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#34 of 53 Old 09-03-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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I bought something the other day that rang up with a note about a coupon. I got $1.50 off but had no idea what/where the coupon was. I'll have to ask at the desk, next time!

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#35 of 53 Old 09-03-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Where are you getting these coupons?
 

 



They come in the mail once a month. And I just have the regular membership, not the executive one, so I think all members are supposed to receive them.


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#36 of 53 Old 09-03-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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They come in the mail once a month. And I just have the regular membership, not the executive one, so I think all members are supposed to receive them.



i wonder if we opted out or something...

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#37 of 53 Old 09-04-2011, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool!  Thanks.  I need to do this.  DD is a keifer addict.


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#38 of 53 Old 09-04-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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I don't get anything in the mail from Costco, but they hand out a sheet of coupons at the door most days. Just wish they took vendor coupons as well!

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#39 of 53 Old 09-08-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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I don't necessarily think I save money shopping at Costo, but I'm able to buy higher quality items for lower prices.  In addition to that, I do the bulk of my monthly grocery shopping at Costco and I appreciate that I can buy the majority of the things I want  all at one time.

 

Things I find to be a great deal at costco:

 

olive oil

spices

flour

no HFCS whole grain bread

tortillas

raisins

nuts (cashews, mixed nuts)

wild salmon

organic greens

cheese (especially imported cheese!)

butter

tortilla chips

salsa

nitrate-free bacon, hot dogs & sausages

lunchmeat (I know, I know, there are healthier options!)

the occasional processed snack food/meal... I bought Tangerine Beef the other day that wasn't the healthiest, but was super yummy (6 thumbs up) and way cheaper than take out

 

I tend to buy most of my meat locally (we raise chickens, and buy local organic beef & pork in bulk), but I do occasionally buy lamb at Costco, and I've been happy with their seafood and nitrate-free processed meat (hot dog/sausage) selection.

 

 

 


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#40 of 53 Old 09-08-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

I don't necessarily think I save money shopping at Costo, but I'm able to buy higher quality items for lower prices. 


 


Yup.

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#41 of 53 Old 09-11-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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If you're not recieving the coupons in the mail you can as for them at the customer service booth. They usually have extras there and they are different than the ones they hand out at the door.

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#42 of 53 Old 09-12-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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We have a regular Costco 5 miles from our house. Plus, we have a Business Costco 2-3 miles from our house. They both have food courts, but that is where the similarity ends. When we need hot pizza for an event, it is definitely worth it to have someone swing by and pick up a Costco pizza!!! We recently had a Girl Scout event where it did NOT work out to have someone swing by Costco to pick up pizza. WOW! I was so shocked by the price difference and mostly by the SIZE difference!

 

For our family of 3, we don't really buy a lot of the food items at Costco. Only the ones that last awhile make the cut. Our Costco has locally made tortillas that taste GREAT and last a long time and are a fraction of the grocery store variety. We do buy those. We also buy the organic whole chickens and the chicken thighs/drumsticks/wings for our raw-fed kitty. We mix up what we buy. We also buy the stew meat for ourselves and our cat. Probably not the cheapest way to get raw beef for her, but it saves us time for some quicker meals for us and she gets what we don't use. We reuse TJ's chunky applesauce glass jars for storing the stew meat in the freezer. We use about 2/3 of a jar for a double meal (plus a few lunches) and she gets the remaining 1/3 jar over a few days. The package fills several jars. There are some other food items that are worth it, too. We love to try all the samples and do buy a rotating variety of food. We just don't have a set list due to the quantity of food and our family size. Things that can go in the freezer are best for us, but we can only have a couple at a time.

 

DH & I buy some basic clothing there, also. The jeans last longer than other brands and cost a lot less. DH has several Hawaiian shirts from a few Costco stores over the years and all of them are still in excellent shape. DD & I both have swimsuits from Costco. Good price, great quality.

 

We tend to buy the non-food items more. We like the quality Costco carries and the prices at Costco are less for the same items elsewhere. Sleeping bags, tent, bed linens, toaster oven, office desk chairs, chair mats, Vitamix, 10-foot outdoor awning, and so much more. I also get photo prints done at Costco when I need something quickly (school projects or Girl Scouts or various other such things). We don't shop at Costco weekly or even monthly, but we definitely get our money's worth out of the executive membership (AmEx). We receive a check back from AmEx and a check back from Costco annually.

 

Our most consistent purchase is gas. DH works a few miles from a Costco and I am often in an area where it is convenient to get gas at a Costco. One Costco has a car wash, too, which does an excellent job (exterior only) and cost $7.99, which is good for around here. We don't get over to that area often, but take advantage of it when we do.

 

When we travel, we look up Costco stores in advance. Gas is almost always cheaper and reliable quality. Plus, if we are not staying in a hotel, we will purchase a few easy meals from Costco to save money on restaurant expenses. We stayed in a condo in Hawaii in 2010 and it was a LOT cheaper to buy the Philly cheesesteaks and spinach ravioli and brownie bites and breakfast burritos than to go out for every single meal. Those items were easily consumed in the week we were there (well, we brought the brownies home with us) and we still went out for meals here and there for fun and variety. We also purchased some basic food from a local grocery store in small quantities. We were just in the Atlanta area for a combo business/pleasure trip and we stayed with family part of the time. Again, we stopped by Costco to get muffins (breakfasts/snacks), quesadillas (lunch/dinner), spinach ravioli (lunch/dinner), and French bread (any meal). We were able to feed our hosts as well as ourselves for the time we were in their home. We also filled up the rental car at Costco before heading to the airport. Due to ATL regulations, we also had to top it off within 10 miles of the airport, but $5 for a little over a gallon of gas was way better than filling the entire tank that close to the airport!!!

 

Lastly, we use the financial partnerships via Costco. We have the ING/Sharebuilder investment accounts and we have the Capital One savings account. Both included nice cash perks when we signed up (after a qualifying period) and the CapOne account earns a better than average rate with a quarterly bonus on top.

 

Plus, I love how all the employees are actually HAPPY at Costco. The company has a good reputation for treating people well. :)


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#43 of 53 Old 09-12-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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What is the difference between a regular Costco and business Costco?  The ones I have been to have hours just for businesses, but they are the same store.  Maybe I just don't live in an area large enough to need separate Costcos?

 

I think whether Costco saves a family money really depends on a lot of factors.  For us, as a now family of six, it might save more money than a small family.   I don't necessarily think that Costco is always cheaper, but sometimes it is easier to buy things there.  For example, I know I can buy a box of trash bags there for about $11 and be done with it for almost a year.  I don't have to be concerned with running out of trash bags.  Other times, it is cheaper.  Kirkland bacon used to be $10 for four pounds.  That is way cheaper than I can buy it at the grocery store and our family likes it.  The price had gone up the last time I was there, but it was still cheaper than the grocery store.  I don't tend to buy many fresh items there like produce.  I'd rather buy in smaller quantities at the regular grocery store, but I do buy some fresh bakery goods (bagels, ciabatta rolls, etc) and freeze them for later.  I do love their return policy.  I don't return much, but it is good to know that I can.  I am more likely to try and item I am not sure about knowing that I can get my money back if we don't like it.  I have only returned a few items b/c we have ended up liking almost everything new that we have tried.

 

The prices on contacts are a lot cheaper than elsewhere, but I am not sure if you need to be a member to buy them there.  I know you don't need to be a member to get prescriptions, but I am not sure about contacts.  OTC medicine/vitamins are often cheaper there that elsewhere.

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#44 of 53 Old 09-12-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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The non-food items at the Business Costco are very limited to restaurant equipment/supplies and general business supplies. They have a really expensive small oven, for example, and they have open-stock dishes. I don't care for the 2-3 patterns, so I haven't looked beyond the display.

 

The food items are either GIGANTIC (2-3-4-5-6 TIMES as large as regular Costco sizes) or they are single serve within MASSIVE packages. They carry different foods there, for the most part. Definitely geared towards restaurants and convenient stores. It is mind-boggling to think of who serves THAT much ice cream before it gets freezer burn! And I have NEVER seen such an array of sodas anywhere else and I've visited the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta! LOL

 

Mostly, I wander through there while waiting for my tires to be rotated across the parking lot. ;) They offer individually wrapped muffins in six-packs and you do not need to buy two six-packs like you do at the regular Costco. These were helpful on a road trip! They cost more per muffin than the usual Costco, but they are substantially less than anywhere else that sells individually wrapped large muffins like these. They also sell junk food individually wrapped and you can purchase them singly for a lot less than a convenience store. Yes, I have purchased my favorite such item on two occasions -- those raspberry and coconut twinkie-type things. ;)


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#45 of 53 Old 09-12-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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maple syrup - about $8 per quart versus the grocery store which is $23 for a half pint

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#46 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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I don't buy much there, but the membership pays for itself every time I need new lenses in my glasses.

 

I also buy diapers (well, not lately cause we're almost done with those), and cleaning supplies.

 

It's just me and my ds, so I don't buy food there - I never use it all!

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#47 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Nutella is very good.  especially in vat sized containers....



yummy.gif Nutella in vat sized containers is on our perpetual Costco list. It's the only thing that keeps my size 12 extra slim son's pants up!

 

It takes a little time and comparison shopping to figure out what is a good deal at Costco and what you can get elsewhere. One of the things that you have to watch out for is spoilage. So, we don't often buy fruit there, because it goes bad before we can finish it. We buy organic carrots there.

 

Things that we regularly buy at Costco

Meat (chicken, beef, pork)

Cheese (we buy cheese in 2 lb. loaves because my dh and dd love it -- and they're picky. They need the Tillamook sharp cheddar)

Butter

Cheerios

Nutella

Laundry detergent (they've got a nice eco-friendly version)

Goldfish crackers

Soup

Rice (we buy 25 lb. bags)

Flour

Olive oil

TP

Batteries

Chocolate chips (OK, maybe that 10 lb. bag of Ambrosia chocolate chips is a bit much...)

 

Things that are one our 'sometimes' list are:

Bread

Sparkling water in bottles (I'm the only one who drinks this, so it's a bit of a luxury)

If we're having a party, I'll buy juice boxes and snack crackers or chips there.

Sometimes I buy hummus there, but it's only OK.

A case of beer about 2x a year.

Wine occasionally (2-3 x a year)

Martinelli's sparkling apple cider (a.k.a. 'kid wine' in our house -- our kids get it on holidays).

Frozen berries

 

Things that I don't usually buy at Costco are:

Lunch meat (cheaper elsewhere)

Peanut Butter (we can't get through the costco size jar before it smells funny)

Eggs

Milk

Yogurt/Cottage cheese (again, we can't get through the entire container in time)

Most fresh fruit/veggies (some go bad before we can get to them)

Clothes (I find their prices expensive, I can usually do better on sale or used)

Electronics

Other paper products (we don't use paper towels, and don't use that much kleenex)

Toys/books, etc. 

Chips (we don't keep a supply of chips at home) or sweet snacks (again, we don't buy much anywhere)

Juice or pop. Actually we just don't buy much of these anywhere.

 


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#48 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I don't buy much there, but the membership pays for itself every time I need new lenses in my glasses.

 

I also buy diapers (well, not lately cause we're almost done with those), and cleaning supplies.

 

It's just me and my ds, so I don't buy food there - I never use it all!


I used to get DD's glasses there and was planning to get mine there the next time I needed them. However, I learned here on MDC about zennioptical.com and have been ordering there ever since.

 

DD has ordinary glasses needs...nothing special (unlike me), so she is a good comparison.

 

Costco

fashionable frames

prescription lenses

uv coating

scratch protection

case

cleaning cloth

(and whatever else is standard; we didn't pay for any "extras" for her)

= $100 + tax and took two weeks

 

Zenni Optical

fashionable frames

prescription lenses

uv coating

scratch protection

case

cleaning cloth

(and whatever else is standard; we didn't pay for any "extras" for her)

= $9.95 + tax(?...I'm in the same state, so I am guessing I paid sales tax) + shipping ($4.95 flat fee no matter how many pairs you order and we ordered four pairs, so less than $1.25 for hers) and took two weeks (takes longer the further away from CA you are)

 

[Glasses are made in Taiwan or Hong Kong and shipped to CA facility. I was bothered by this at first. Then, I read more and more and discovered most glasses are made in the same places. The price differences usually come from the dispenser and other middlemen.]

 

My glasses are more specialized and the cost difference is exponentially higher. Plus, Zenni offers a LOT more styles of frames than Costco (or anywhere else for that matter). The prices start at $6.95 for frames and prescription lenses

 

I love Costco, but wanted to pass the tip along...


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#49 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 04:09 PM
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No, but I rarely go because our Costco is such a zoo.  I might be better about making a list if I had time to walk around in a leisurely fashion and see what they have (and compare prices), but I often just want to get out of the fray as quickly as possible.

 

Usually we only go when we are having a party and need large volumes of food.  The only items I regularly buy for our family are the take and bake pizza ($10) and rotisserie chicken ($5 and better than Whole Foods).  I did buy a TV there, and a pretty nice cashmere sweater.  The kids' clothes/pajamas are often reasonably priced.

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#50 of 53 Old 09-18-2011, 04:41 PM
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FYI for those of you who don't get the coupons it might be because when you signed up you asked to not receive mailings from them.  I never did get the coupons, and I recently asked and that was why!

 

And yes, Costco saves our family money, but I have strong willpower, and we have food allergies, so we don't get suckered into anything we don't need.  One thing that helps considerably is the snacks I buy for my kids' school, we are asked to donate one time a month each-I can go and get gf crackers or snack bars or nuts and a container of fruit or precut veggies for the entire classes for much less.

 

Oh, and I love looking at their books!

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#51 of 53 Old 10-08-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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My four-year-old wears glasses and I've been tempted to order her a couple of cute pairs from Zenni. I'm scared about the measurement thing, though.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post

I used to get DD's glasses there and was planning to get mine there the next time I needed them. However, I learned here on MDC about zennioptical.com and have been ordering there ever since.

 

DD has ordinary glasses needs...nothing special (unlike me), so she is a good comparison.

 

Costco

fashionable frames

prescription lenses

uv coating

scratch protection

case

cleaning cloth

(and whatever else is standard; we didn't pay for any "extras" for her)

= $100 + tax and took two weeks

 

Zenni Optical

fashionable frames

prescription lenses

uv coating

scratch protection

case

cleaning cloth

(and whatever else is standard; we didn't pay for any "extras" for her)

= $9.95 + tax(?...I'm in the same state, so I am guessing I paid sales tax) + shipping ($4.95 flat fee no matter how many pairs you order and we ordered four pairs, so less than $1.25 for hers) and took two weeks (takes longer the further away from CA you are)

 

[Glasses are made in Taiwan or Hong Kong and shipped to CA facility. I was bothered by this at first. Then, I read more and more and discovered most glasses are made in the same places. The price differences usually come from the dispenser and other middlemen.]

 

My glasses are more specialized and the cost difference is exponentially higher. Plus, Zenni offers a LOT more styles of frames than Costco (or anywhere else for that matter). The prices start at $6.95 for frames and prescription lenses

 

I love Costco, but wanted to pass the tip along...



 

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#52 of 53 Old 10-08-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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I have ordered several pairs of glasses from $39 eyeglasses.com (not Zennis) and I really couldn't be more pleased wiht them.  They have been more comfortable and longer lasting than most of my other glasses.  Because I wear progressives, mine are more than $39 but my dd's are actually $39 rather than $100. 

 

The measurement thing is not really so bad; your optometrist will give you the prescription and the pupillary distance adn you can measure your current glasses carefully and find the right size.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

My four-year-old wears glasses and I've been tempted to order her a couple of cute pairs from Zenni. I'm scared about the measurement thing, though. 

 



 

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#53 of 53 Old 10-10-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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I have ordered glasses for myself (guinea pig...LOL), DD, and DH. The measuring was only freaky the first time over the weekend when I couldn't get in touch with the optometrist for our PD (pupillary distance) and DH was holding a metal 18" ruler (only metric one we've got) up to my eyes. Oh boy. Fun times! (Not so much at the time, but in retrospect most things are humorous...)

 

With the PD, though, it was easy. Just call or visit your optometrist for your PD. Ours had it on file and just reprinted mine and DH's prescriptions. I waited until the next appointment for DD because she is growing so much.

 

I carefully measured my existing pair of glasses (metric ruler) and compared the measurements to a few pairs at places like Costco and Lenscrafters and a few online places. The graphics on one site (unfortunately, I don't recall where) where excellent and I felt really comfortable ordering online after all this. I didn't want the same size lenses as my current pair, but I wanted the same shape. It just took me awhile to figure out how to read the specific dimensions I wanted. I was being VERY particular, especially with the weight. Several friends of mine went online to zenni and ordered just knowing the three main measurements (PD - from prescription; temple length and bridge from current glasses - often printed right on them). Everyone loves their glasses!

 

With my second zenni order, they sent me two measuring devices. I shared one with a friend who was really nervous about ordering online. We kept the other one, but haven't used it yet. DD and I will be having new appointments near the end of the year and one of us may need new glasses then.

 

If you call them, they might be willing to send you one of those measuring devices. It is flat and would mail easily. I found a metric ruler to be easy, though. The challenge was that I wanted something different than what I had, not the same.


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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