Monday, September 24, 2012

My First Visit to Costco

I've been meaning to check out Costco for a while now and have a few friends who absolutely love it.
So today I took myself and the kids off for a morning adventure to see what all the fuss is about.

Firstly, there's a $60 annual membership and you can't even walk in the door without one. Crazy no? My initial thought it a shop that makes you pay to shop there is basically ripping you off. But they offer a money back guarantee so I figured I could always get my money back if I wasn't impressed.

Secondly, it took me about 30 minutes to get there and I was there for about 1.5 hours even though I only did a very quick trip around the edges of the warehouse. It is massive to say the least and a lot of  my time there was spent manoeuvring around all the other people with my MASSIVE trolley that had fixed back wheels. And it is Monday today - supposedly one of the less busy days there. I can only imagine what a weekend would be like. I'm going to have to make some pretty big savings to make the effort worthwhile.

Thirdly, I have complete baby brain and forgot to take my price book with me so I couldn't compare prices before I bought. I did remember my list. I also have a weekly grocery budget of $150.00. I needed to get anything from Costco plus everything else on my list for the week and not go over budget.

So here is what I bought:

Item Price at Costco Current Price at Coles My Savings
Tomatos - 12 x 400g cans $7.29 (60c ea) $1.58 $0.98/can - $11.76 total
Lemons - 1.36kg about 10 in the packet $3.99 (40c ea) $2.98/pkt6 (49c ea) 9c ea - $0.90 total
Greek Yoghurt - 2kg $5.49 ($1.37/500g) $5.87/kg ($2.93/500g) $1.56/500g - $6.24 total
Lamb Rack - 0.668kg $19.16 ($28.69/kg) $37.99/kg) $9.30/kg - $6.21 total
Deli Ham - 500g $5.99 ($11.98/kg) $16.50/kg $4.52/kg - $2.26 total
Proscuitto - 150g $5.39 ($35.93/kg) $6.50/100g ($65.00/kg) $29.07/kg - $4.36 total
Ricotta Cheese - 1kg $5.69 ($1.42/kg) $5.74/500g ($11.48/kg) $10.06/kg - $10.06 total
Lebanese Pita Breads - 2 packets of 7 pieces $1.89 (13.5c ea piece) $3.90/pkt6 (65c ea piece) 51.5c/ea - $7.21 total
Whole Almonds - 1.36kg $13.79 ($10.14/kg) $10.84/500g ($21.68/kg) $11.54/kg - $15.70 total
Rice Vermicelli - 4 x 375g packs $4.79 ($3.19/kg) $2.12/125g ($16.96/kg) $13.77/kg - $20.65 total
Fresh Strawberries - 1.4kg $9.49 ($1.69/250g) $2.00/250g punnet 31c/250g - $1.73 total
Tuna in Springwater - 12 x 95g cans $12.49 ($1.04/can) 90c/can 14c/can - $1.68 total

My Total Savings $88.76

Ok, so I am a bit shocked by the amount I've saved. I really didn't think it would be that much. So I have already made my annual fee back.

A couple of points though
  • Some of these quantities are huge and I think we may have to work at eating it all. For example the yoghurt may go off before we finish it. Same goes for the ricotta.
  • We don't eat that much tuna and I probably shouldn't have bought it there. Considering I haven't saved that much I would have been better buying it at Coles and not having to store the extra cans.
  • The fresh food is in such large packs that most would end up going to the chooks. We might finish off a pack of apples but not 2kg of tomatos.
  • I need to find out more about the meat. It didn't have free range or grass fed all over it. I did notice they had Lilydale whole chooks.
With a bit of planning and restraint I think going to Costco a couple of times a year could be worthwhile.

BTW - of I have made a gross error in my calculations please tell me. My brain hurts after all that.

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