Costco US Pre-Holiday Coupon Book: November 21 – December 1, 2014

November 20th, 2014 by Kimberly · No Comments

There’s a new Pre-Holiday Coupon Book starting in the US tomorrow.  The coupon book lasts through December 1, or until supplies last, and will end up overlapping with the Thanksgiving weekend coupon book (I’ll be writing about that too), as well as the next full coupon book which starts on November 24 and runs through December 24.  So, there will be plenty of coupon deals for the next couple of weeks.   The Pre-Holiday Coupon Book has all kinds of things that will definitely make it easier for any upcoming parties or get togethers you’ve got planned for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Plus, there are a few things that would make great gifts this holiday season too.

Costco US Pre-Holiday Coupon Book: November 21 - December 1, 2014

Costco US Pre-Holiday Coupon Book: November 21 – December 1, 2014

I have uploaded the new Costco US Coupon Book PDF (or view it in the Google PDF viewer) , but you can also view the warehouse coupons on the Costco.com website.  All of these coupons are actually instant savings offers, so you don’t actually need the coupon book.  Or, you can just use the Costco smartphone app.  Costco has recently started posting the coupons online and through the app before they actually start (like just a few days after the old ones expire), so that makes it easier and nicer for planning.

There are so many great deals in this coupon book, I don’t really know where to start.  If you’ve been looking to get a Samsung tablets or televisions, then now is the time.  There are two pages of instant savings deals on Samsung televisions and tablets, plus a Blu-Ray player to brighten up your holiday season, whether its a gift for someone or maybe just a gift for yourself.

As with just about every coupon book in the US, there’s a coupon for $70.00 off a set of four new tires too.  Unlike most other coupon books, this little coupon book savings deal is for both Bridgestone and Michelin tires.  So, no matter what brand of tires you prefer this instant savings should have you covered.  Since winter has arrived, in some places, quite ferociously already, now is a great time to get new tires for winter driving.  No one wants to be out on slick, snowy roads on tires that are not up to the task.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your place you can update your whole table look with a bit of help from Costco and their instant savings deal.  You can get a new set of Mikasa china dishes for $25.00 off.  You’ll get the 36 piece set, service for 6, for just $74.99 after the discount.  Also, you can get Mikasa flatware for $25.00 off too.  You get a 65 piece set of flatware, service for 12 plus a 5 piece hosting set, for $54.99 after the discount.  There’s also a deal for $5.00 off a set of eight all purpose wine glasses; $19.99 after the discount.  If you also need some bakeware, there’s a good deal for $5.00 off a three piece ceramic baking and serving set of dishes; the dishes will be just $14.99 after the discount.  And lastly, there is a great deal on a Crock-Pot system that will allow you to keep your food hot while you are serving.  You can get $10.00 off the two piece set that is made up of a 2 quart round and a 3.5 quart oval unit.  The unit is just $54.99 after the discount and while it is big, can stack for storage.

There are also some great deals on DVD sets, including one for $25.00 off the complete I Love Lucy DVD set; just $74.99 after the discount.  That’s quite a savings for so so many laughs.

There are plenty of really terrific deals in this bunch of coupon deals, but I’m just going to mention one more.  You can get $4.00 off a two piece set of Aria Women’s Microfleece PJs.  I’ve actually got a full review of these coming up because I bought a set for myself when I was in the US, but I’ll just give you the brief version here.  These are so soft and comfy that they are a total deal for the regular price of $16.99 but are a steal for $12.99 after the discount.  They’re my new favourite PJs and I really wish they’d bring these to the UK Costco stores so that I could get another set.  You can’t even get a microfleece or flannel pair of pants or shirt, by themselves, for anywhere near the price of this whole set either.  When I did a quick comparison, mostly a single piece from other places was at least $25.00, so this set really is an awesome deal.  You can also get these online at Costco.com if you can’t make it to your local Costco store tomorrow.

Be sure to look through the whole book so you’re all ready to take advantage of the deals that are right for you this holiday season.  This new book starts tomorrow and when these items are gone, they’re gone, so don’t wait too long.

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Guest Post: Don’t like something? Use the Costco Member Feedback!

November 17th, 2014 by Kimberly · 7 Comments

[I’ve got a great Guest Post today about giving feedback at your local Costco warehouse.  Rick, today’s guest blogger, normally writes and blogs about technology, but today he’s sharing his experiences and the importance of  providing Costco with feedback using their in-store comment box and cards.  This is something that we should all do because just about anything can be tweaked and improved, even our favourite store.  Also, if we don’t tell Costco about the things that bug us – products, experiences, policies, or whatever – how will they ever know and change them?]

How many times of have you been to your local Costco and NOT liked what they are doing in one particular area of the warehouse? Or maybe you have visited a different warehouse and like what they are doing there, how do you bring that feedback in? The key is the member feedback box. Every Costco warehouse has one, and it’s your opportunity to make your local warehouse what you want it to be!

Kimberly has covered the topic (of course!), but in this guest post she agreed it is worth re-hashing. So, I spoke to a few employees of Costco, current and former, to make sure members can get the most out of their local comment box. This is important to me recently as I’ve had a few things come up that I thought should be shared with the local management.

The first thing I took small issue with is some of the external vendors in the warehouse. Sure, we have the occasional special vendor coming in and offering a special buy. We also have some seasonal things such as the awesome smokers or fancy oriental rugs; but there was one merchant that was consistently a bit too much for me. The merchant was offering a TV service subscription, and too many times I literally had to walk out of my way to avoid the pitch they would always make. It wasn’t just this one location or just one person. Any Costco member in the US probably knows what I’m referring to.

Every warehouse has a comment box near the exit area

Every warehouse has a comment box near the exit area

Additionally, I used the feedback form to complain about my warehouse in Michigan when I lived there in 2005 as their bottle and can return system was frequently out of order! Michigan has a 10 cent deposit on cans and bottles. Oddly, they never seemed to forget to charge the deposit! Believe it or not, they added a second return machine and my problem went away. So, I can confirm they do listen to this feedback. I spoke to a warehouse employee and was told that they read the comment cards each day. I believe it!

This is a great opportunity for warehouse feedback! Use the comment cards (on top of the box) and drop them in! Most warehouses have a drop box as shown to the left.

In my experience, it’s located close to the returns and membership area (on the exit lane). Be advised, the comment box is not an end-all-be-all of changes. Costco wants every warehouse to be a consistent experience overall; yet the local warehouse management wants to retain membership. That means that comments like “I wish it didn’t look so industrial” or “please install carpet” simply aren’t going to fly. You go to Costco and you know what the experience should be, and that’s why we all love it!

The feedback forms ask for basic information, and it’s a good idea to fill it out as completely as possible. They take it seriously, so should you! Have you ever used the member feedback form? What happened? Share your story below.

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Tags: General · Guest Posts Share

This Week at Costco – November 2, 2014

November 8th, 2014 by Kimberly · 2 Comments

In honor of the AddictedToCostco.com seven year anniversary, I’ve decided to do a post with seven of my favourite things to buy at Costco.  Obviously there are so many more things that I could add to this list but I was trying to keep it short and sweet.  There are things that will always show up on my list of favourites, like the KS Men’s Dress Shirts, but I’ve included a few items that are representative of a category where you can find great things at Costco, like furniture.  I decided to not include the prices because some of the reviews are from a long time ago and the prices are probably not accurate anymore, or even near accurate after so many years.

KS Men's Dress Shirts

KS Men’s Dress Shirts

Kirkland Signature Men’s Dress Shirts –  We like these shirts so much that we have bought them in four countries now: US, UK, Australia, and Korea.  You can never really have too many great dress shirts.  This is a reprint of a review I did when we were in Australia, but you can find the same high quality, low cost men’s dress shirt at your Costco, no matter where you are in the world.  You can find them online too, but they’re always a great price and they do try to keep the colours and patterns more interesting than just blue and white (though, they always have those too).

I know, I know, I write about these quite often but they’re just that good.  I want to make sure that everyone knows how great these shirts are, and we really do buy them this often because Dave can always use more dress shirts, I guess.  Or at least that is the theory we work on.  This is especially true since we only brought a small selection of shirts when we came to Sydney.  Since we are having trouble finding a decent and reliable dry cleaner, his shirt supply is a little on the small side.  So, we were happy to see some nice dress shirts that were not just light blue, white, or cream.  I mean, sure they are really just variations on that theme, but at least they have a bit of style with stripes instead of just being a solid.  The KS shirts are so nicely made and the fabric feels so soft and wonderful.  Plus, it is no-iron, which is really a big bonus.  I’m big on sending his shirts to the dry cleaner, but this is a great feature because it seems to keep them from wrinkling quite a lot when wearing them. One of the best features of the KS shirts, at least to me, is that they sew the placket (that’s the area around the buttons and button holes) so that they maintain a nice flat appearance.  Both of the shirts are really nice and add a little something different than the standard colors to Dave’s wardrobe.  Costco prides itself on making a very good dress shirt for men, one that is comparable to more expensive shirts.  These aren’t quite up to the exceptionally high quality standards of something like a Thomas Pink shirt.  However, they are comparable in quality, if not better, than any shirt from a department store, I think.  But of course they are a fraction of the price, so that makes them even better, right?  They have quality features that help the shirts look really nice on, as well as wear quite well.  You can’t go wrong really.

Bayside Furnishings Mt. Rainier 84″ Bookcase

Bayside Furnishings Mt. Rainier 84″ Bookcase

Bayside Furnishings Mt. Rainier 84″ Bookcase (a.k.a. my best buy at Costco…ever):  We have been trying to find some nice bookcases to cover one whole wall in our media room for ages now. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a nice looking, sturdy bookcase for a reasonable price. And our other priority was that they needed to be tall because the room has 11 foot ceilings so something not having some decent height would just get dwarfed by the room.

Then one day when we were in Costco for our weekly stocking up when we saw the perfect bookcases for our room. They had one assembled so you could get a feel for the height and width of it, plus see all of the great detail. We couldn’t believe our luck. And then we saw the price. Now, I want you to look at the picture and then get a price in your head of how much you would pay for that bookcase. Can’t quite come up with a figure? Well, let me give you a little more detail that might not be evident from the picture.

  • Double bookcase with dimensions of 48″ wide X 15.5″ deep X 84″ high.
  • Constructed of hardwoods and cherry veneers with an 11 step hand-applied finish.
  • Elegant crown and base trim.
  • Four adjustable glass shelves with halogen lighting, six adjustable wooden shelves, and two fixed wooden shelves.

Ok, so after all the details and the photo for guidance, you probably have an idea of how much these bookcases might cost. Well, you’re wrong…you’re way off…much too high. No, I can’t read your mind but I am willing to bet that your guess was not $199.99. That’s right these bookcases were only $199.99!!  This is just a piece of the review, for the whole review and all of the details, you’ll have to go read the original post.

Kirkland Signature Cashews

Kirkland Signature Cashews

Kirkland Signature Cashews – Who doesn’t like cashews?  And if you’re looking for a great price on really good quality cashews, you just can’t beat Costco.  They have that big tub of cashews for a really fabulous price, but it’s the quality that makes it so great.  They are big, whole cashews, not little cashew bits or broken nuts.  Plus, they are nicely roasted with the perfect amount of salt; not so salty that they burn your mouth when you eat one.  We always got to Costco for any nuts that we want – cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds – because they are such good quality.  And honestly, the prices are really good and hard to beat for the nice nuts that you get.  Just a couple of weeks ago we bought a small bag of cashews someplace else, and they weren’t nearly as good but would have been much more expensive for the same amount as the Costco tub.  And at Waitrose, I would have to pay £5.99 for 450 grams of cashews of similar quality, which would be £15.04 for the same 1.13 kg of nuts that I can get at Costco for just £9.49; a difference of £5.55!  We never do anything exciting but snack on our cashews because they are so yummy!  Why can’t you eat just one cashew?  1.13 kg.  Item #: 0197875.

Wolf Thuringian Rostbratwurst

Wolf Thuringian Rostbratwurst

Wolf Thuringian Rostbratwurst -This is my favourite member of the bratwurst family.  They are quite hard to find in the US or UK though.  This isn’t like the typical bratwurst that you see so often, like the Johnsonville brats for instance that our Austin Costco stocked.  In fact, these are a very unique sausage even in Germany and have PGI status under EU law.  They come from the German state of Thuringia, in the central part of the country and bordered by the Hartz mountains and the Thuringian Forest.  And these people are serious about their wurst, they’ve even got a whole museum dedicated to the Thuringian sausages, the Deutsche Bratwurstmuseum.  So, what sets this apart from the rest of the bratwurst around Germany?  It’s all about the spices, apparently.  Thuringian sausages are distinguished from the dozens of  types of German wursts by the distinctive spices, as well as their low fat content.  They have a fat content of just 25% as compared to up to 60% in other German sausages.  Only finely minced pork, beef, or sometimes veal, is used to make the sausages. As far as the spice go, in addition to salt and pepper, caraway, marjoram, and garlic are used to spice the sausages; this can vary according to traditional recipes or regional tastes though. These ingredients are blended together and filled into a natural casing of pig or sheep intestine.  However, at least 51% of the ingredients must come from the state of Thuringia because of the PGI status.  I think the reason I like them so much is the texture and the taste because it really isn’t like every other sausage.  The Wolf brats are made with pork and a mix of caraway, mustard and celery.  They have a very smooth texture that is like a meat puree and they are also (as you can tell from the picture) quite light in colour, neither characteristic is like any other type of sausage really.  But they really cook up beautifully!  The natural casings brown to a picture perfect crisp on a grill, under the broiler, or just roasting in the oven.  While I like these served up like a hot dog on a bun, these great sausages are the ideal centrepiece for a German meal with the brats, sauerkraut, and potato salad (of the German type of course).  And in true Thuringian fashion, I like them served with a nice spicy mustard.  They are always awesome!  We’ve been to Germany several times for Christmas and always try to find the people selling the real Thuringian brats at the Christmas markets, though a nice Krakauer doesn’t make me sad either.  1 kilogram/10 sausages.  Item #: 0070998.

Whole Beef Top Loin

Whole Beef Top Loin

Whole Beef Top Loin –  We pretty much only buy our beef, pork or chicken at Costco because it is so much better than the typical supermarket.  In the US, you just can’t find anything near the quality because they even sell USDA Prime cuts.  In the UK, they sell top quality meat as well and the only place that comes close is a really good local butcher.

We were having a bunch of family over one of the days that we were visiting, so my mom decided that a giant beef loin would be the perfect thing for dinner.  And she was right on target because everyone loved it!  It’s hard to go wrong with a nicely prepared hunk of beef, really.  At Costco, they have such nice beef and is far better than anything you’re likely to find at the regular grocery stores in your area.  Not to mention, the prices are certainly better.  The full top loins are big, so it isn’t something to make unless you’re having a big gathering for sure.  There’s a good amount of marbling, which helps it stay delicious and juicy while you’re cooking it.  My mom rubbed it with olive oil and salt and pepper, plus she made some slits in it and stuffed garlic cloves in it, as well to make sure it was flavorful.  The downside is that it starts smelling delicious in the whole house shortly after putting it in the oven, but since it is such a big piece of meat, it take a few hours before you actually get to eat any of it.  But I guess there are much worse problems to have.

Kirkland Signature Women's Pima Tee

Kirkland Signature Women’s Pima Tee

Kirkland Signature Women’s Premium Pima V-Neck Tee -  This is just an example of women’s clothing at Costco.  I don’t mind buying clothing there and do it quite frequently, especially for things like tees and workout wear.  They have great deals on sneakers and socks too.

I am really happy to see that Costco is expanding their Kirkland Signature clothing line for women.  And these t-shirts are a great addition.  I got boring white, because that’s the kind of girl I am.  However, they had a number of other colours including black, pink, and a turquoise colour.  I think they might have had a purple one too but I’m not positive now.  The tees have a deep v-neck cut and short sleeves and a flattering cut through the body as well.  As well as the nice cut, the t-shirts are super comfortable because of the very nice quality 100% Pima cotton from Peru that was used.  Seriously, the tee is so super soft and that of course makes it look smooth and hang nicely when worn.  I like a nice plain tee like this to wear by itself but also under things too.  The smooth fabric means that it works under jackets or a cardigan really well too because it doesn’t seem to “grab” the other fabric and bunch up in that annoying way that can often happen.  The other nice thing about these tees is that they are long enough to tuck into jeans or whatever if you’d like, or to avoid showing too much skin if you bend down.  I hate a t-shirt that pulls up and seems to expose more of me than not when I bend over or do normal movements like that.  I’ve washed the shirt a number of times and it hasn’t shrunk up at all, the fabric still looks great, and it doesn’t even get all wrinkled and look horrible after you pull it out of the dryer (though I am always quite prompt about removing laundry from the dryer).  I would certainly compare this to the quality of tee that I have purchased from Lands’ End, which is a combo of cotton and viscose modal, but doesn’t feel anywhere nearly as nice and soft as the KS tee.  And of course, the Kirkland Signature tee isn’t nearly as pricey as the Lands’ End tee either.   At Lands’ End you’ll pay £14.95, whereas at Costco you’ll pay less than half of that price.  If you like a plain tee, these are great quality for an unbeatable price.  I definitely plan on getting more of them on our next trip to Costco.    Item #: 0714220.

Eye Glasses from Costco Optical - Last night I picked up my new glasses that I purchased from Costco 2 weeks ago (April 20th, to be exact). The process was easy, they had a nice variety of frames, cheap to pricey, and they came in within the 2 to 3 week time frame I was given when ordering them. I love the new glasses! I might even wear them out of the house, I like them so much.

My previous glasses made me feel like I had to wear my contacts every single moment I was awake because I could never really see clearly through the lenses without holding them up (and no, this wasn’t a prescription problem). I had purchased them about 4 years ago from one of the big optical places (you know who you are LensCrafters), and was less than pleased with the finished product. The frame was okay quality wise, but the lenses were somewhere far less than correct. They had messed up the lenses so that the only way I could see accurately was to hold my glasses way up on my nose, basically looking out the bottom of the lens. So, I complained and was told that I probably just needed time to adjust blah blah blah and in the end they would not fix the problem. Oh yeah, and the best part was that these were a $400 pair of glasses. Nice. And the coatings on the lenses started to come off at the edges of the lenses about a year ago. Who doesn’t like an expensive, quality item like that?

Costco Optical glasses and case

Costco Optical glasses and case

In comparison, my new Costco glasses seem great. The lenses are totally correct, as in, I can actually see out of them and don’t have to do anything strange to actually get that accomplished except open my eyes. There are a variety of price points for the frames from $39 for Kirkland Signature frames to over $150 for designer frames. I had decided that this time I wanted to try the rimless frames because I think they have a very clean look on your face and don’t stand out. Of course, if you like the flashy frames something like red, lime green, or purple, Costco’s got you covered on those too. Unfortunately for me, there is no totally rimless frame option from Kirkland Signature, so all of these frames were priced at $79.99. And that’s a price I find reasonable for a pair of glasses I’m going to have for several years.

Now, on to the lenses.  I’m still young enough, or at least my eyes are, that I do not yet require bi- or tri-focal lenses. So, just the plain old lenses for me. I went with the 1.67 High Index lenses that were $69.99; these are the thinnest, lightest lens material available right now and they come with a scratch resistant coating, as well as a UV coating. I also got the anti-reflective treatment, really a must if you work at a computer or drive at night, for $29.99. So, that’s a big grand total of $99.98 for the lenses. Also, since I have the totally rimless frames you can get the edges of the lens polished for an extra $9.99, which I decided to do because I don’t like the dull edge look.  This was the only thing that I thought was a little bit of an unnecessary fee from Costco, but it was low enough that I didn’t mind paying it.

For the whole review, you’ll need to check out my original post from 2008.

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Tags: Clothing · Decorating · Food · Furniture · Health & Beauty · Household Items Share

Happy Seventh Anniversary, AddictedToCostco!

November 7th, 2014 by Kimberly · 6 Comments

Happy Seventh Anniversary, AddictedToCostco.com!

Happy Seventh Anniversary, AddictedToCostco.com!

Today, November 7, means that I’ve been blogging about Costco for seven years.  It’s hard for me to imagine that it has really been that long.  I can’t believe that with Costco’s three thousand-ish  items that they carry, I could continuously find great things to write about, but it clearly is because I don’t even repeat myself all that often when I’m doing reviews.  Luckily, Costco keeps changing things up and getting new stuff in, so that I can keep sharing things with everyone.  Of course, there’s also lots of news to share because Costco has undergone a lot of changes since I’ve been writing my blog: new CEO, lots and lots of new locations, online shopping, mobile apps, and several new policies.

When I started my blog seven years ago, I was living in Austin, Texas and thought that no one but the friend that wanted me to write it and my mom would read it.   But over the years I’ve had millions of readers from all over the world, even plenty of places where there isn’t even a Costco location.  I can still remember the excitement I felt the first time I had a reader/commenter that I didn’t know from a state I didn’t even have a relative in either.  I was amazed, shocked, and thrilled!  I still feel that way all the time too.  I really appreciate it when people take the time to email me, or comment on a post here.  And I really appreciate it when people take the time to write a guest post for me to share with everyone.  I’m both proud and humble that people take the time to read my blog and share their love of Costco here too.

I wrote my blog from Austin for a couple of years, and then we moved to London in early 2010.  So since then I’ve been writing about my Costco adventures in the UK.  Well, except for our six month trip to Sydney in 2013 when I got the chance to write about Costco Australia.  I’ve also been lucky enough to visit Costco locations in Seoul, Korea and Osaka, Japan.  I’m looking forward to visiting Costco’s new location in Seville, Spain sometime in the next few months as well.  Thanks to all of our travels over the last couple of  years, I have been to Costco locations in five different countries:  US, UK, Australia, Korea, and Japan.  I’m hoping to get the time to stop in Canada on a trip between the US and UK so that I can check out a Costco Canada location next year too.

So, now a few statistics about my blog:

  • I have published 1,035 posts in the last seven years, that includes Guest Posts too.  That’s an average of 147.9 posts per year and 2.84 posts on average per week.  I try really hard to get 3 posts published per week, but sometimes I’m sick, on holiday, or moving (who knew that would happen so frequently) so I don’t always get that done.  Of course, sometimes there is so much Costco news I need more than three posts per week too.
  • In the last seven years I have made right around 250 “This Week at Costco” posts.  In those posts I have reviewed well over 1,000 different products that I have bought at Costco.  I’m not sure how often I’ve repeated reviews but I think I’ve probably written about 1,200 or so products.  That’s quite a few reviews!  I try not to repeat reviews but sometimes they’ve changed stuff or I like it so much I feel like it needs to be repeated.  Hopefully, everyone forgives me for the occasional repeat.   I also do special posts to review products too, so those aren’t even included in my “This Week at Costco” post estimates.  But really, there are some things like the Kirkland Signature Men’s Dress Shirts that are so great, I want to make sure everyone gives them a try.
  • Over the years I have written about tons and tons of coupons, around 85 different coupon book from the US, UK, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.
  • Across all seven years, I’ve published a number of Guest Posts and I am grateful to all of my guest posters throughout the years and really appreciate that they took the time to contribute to my blog. I love to share Guest Posts from readers that have something to share or want to help making a purchase decision for other readers by sharing their experience.  All of them were great and generated a good amount of discussion and hopefully the people looking for help or opinions got the information they were looking for.  I love having guest posts because it gives me, as well as all of you, a different perspective on Costco, their products, and their services.
  • In the last seven years, there have been a total of 11,861 comments by lots of different readers and myself.  That’s an average of 11.41 comments per post, which is reasonable I think.  Of course, I know that isn’t how it works, because some posts don’t even elicit a peep.  But there are some posts that generate way more than their fair share of comments.  For instance, the Costco Locations page alone has generated 2,547 comments.
  • In 2012, I was fortunate enough to be a small part of the CNBC documentary “The Costco Craze” as a result of writing this blog.  It was very cool and lots of fun.  I was a little worried that I was going to come off as the crazy lady who has a weird obsession with Costco, but they made it seem almost normal. LOL  Thanks to that show, I’ve gained a lot of additional readers.  And each time it repeats I get a few more readers too.
Since I have been writing this blog there have been some big changes at Costco too:
  • Certainly the biggest change was the new CEO that took over at the beginning of 2012.  Jim Sinegal stepped down and Craig Jelinek officially took over as CEO.  So far, so good after his first few years in charge.
  • There was a small membership price increase of 10% in the US and Canada.
  • In 2009, Costco US started accepting food stamps.
  • Costco released its first app for your favourite smartphone.  It’s very useful if you’re in the US.  I hope they’ll release specific apps for the other countries soon.
  • Costco updated their websites around the world.  For some it was just sprucing up the informational websites that they provide.  However, for the US and Canada this included major overhauls for their online shopping sites.
  • Costco rolled out online shopping through their Costco UK website in 2012 and at the end of 2013 they added an online shopping site for Costco Mexico.
  • Costco opened their first Australian location in 2009 in Melbourne.  At this point there are six locations open in Australia and more are coming soon.
  • Earlier this year (May 2014), Costco made a big move by opening their first location in Spain.  I really can’t wait to check it out now that the blistering hot summer is over.

Over the last seven years I haven’t really made many changes to the look of my blog or the types of posts that I write.  But I think I need to spruce up the site and make a few changes this year.  I’m planning on rolling out a new look for the website and I’m hoping to make a few additional changes too.  I’ve got a couple of new pages that I want to add to make it easier for everyone to find out about new locations and hours and holidays.  I’ve also got plans to add a few other things that I think might be really fun and helpful for everyone.  So over the next couple of months, I’ll be making some changes and hopefully it will all go smoothly and everyone will enjoy the new stuff!

As always, I want to say a huge “thank you” to everyone that reads my blog and contributes their thoughts and opinions.  I appreciate all of the sharing, whether through comments, guest posts, emails, or sending me copies of the coupon books.  Without all of you I would just be that really crazy lady who has an unnatural attachment to Costco.

I also have to say thank you to Costco for stocking all the fabulous products that I keep loving year after year and for always managing to find new and exciting things that I can’t wait to try.  None of us would love them quite so much if they didn’t have exceptional value with the best customer service and shopping experience ever.   Thanks, Costco, keep up the good work!

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Why Do I Shop at Costco?

November 5th, 2014 by Kimberly · 16 Comments

I get a lot of questions from people in email and I thought I should answer some of them here since I get them so frequently.  The question I get asked most often, either in email or in person, is:  “why do I shop at Costco?”.  For some people they wonder this because they have never been to a Costco themselves, for others, they are curious how a family of two can get any value out of Costco.  And of course, others just think paying to shop someplace is dumb and want to take the opportunity to point this out to me.

I’ve been shopping at Costco for so long that I really can’t imagine not shopping there.  And at this point, I have a hard time even remembering how we first started to be lured into more and more shopping at Costco.  Dave had shopped at Price Club/Price Costco when he lived in California, so he had some familiarity with the whole warehouse club shopping concept when we first went to Costco in Arizona.  From that very first visit though, I was a bit hooked.  They had really great prices on gas and it quickly became the only place that we would fill up our cars or motorcycles.  Then we started to rely on Costco for office supplies for business stuff, and then more and more we went there for all of our groceries and sundries too.  And of course, there are always things like towels, sheets, kitchen items, clothing and furniture that beckon you with their really great prices.  Costco’s great prices for quality products is so seductive and you can get hooked without even realizing it.

Costco definitely appeals to my frugal side.  I do a lot of price comparisons just so that I can keep an eye on how competitive Costco is with other stores, but to make sure that I’m not just blindly shopping at Costco assuming they are cheap when they might not be, as well.  I wouldn’t keep shopping at Costco if it really weren’t such a good deal, but it is quite consistently the best deal on a wide variety of items.  My smartphone has made checking up on Costco prices so much easier and quicker than it used to be, so I can check on things while I’m actually in Costco now.  And I do it all the time.  I price check at places like Amazon and Ocado (where I get grocery delivery from in London) or speciality stores for electronics or kitchen goods, wherever I think might have a better price really.   There have been times when I have not gotten something at Costco because it was less expensive someplace else, but those are pretty rare occasions and usually it is because Ocado is having a sale on laundry detergent or something like that.  I haven’t found electronics or kitchen items for less at other stores more than a couple of times though, and usually the difference isn’t enough to make the time of going to another store worth it.  I always encourage everyone to do price comparisons, because it keeps you aware of fair prices, but also it makes sure that Costco keeps having competitive prices.  But please, if you are going to do a price comparison, make sure you are actually comparing things that are the same.  Nothing irritates me more than hearing from people who say I found X cheaper at some other store when X isn’t really at all the same as the product at Costco.  It really is like comparing apples to oranges.

I’ve always said that shopping at Costco doesn’t necessarily make sense for everyone, but for me, it really does work out to be a savings, as well as an efficient use of my shopping time.   I can get, and have gotten, everything at Costco from office supplies, to furniture, to food, to bathroom items.  I love that I can get a new set of tires at the same place I can get contact lenses and a steak.  I don’t like to spend a lot of time shopping, and really hate having to run all over the place to do my shopping, so Costco is the perfect solution for me.  When we were in Austin, and lived five minutes from my Costco, I rarely went to other grocery stores and pretty much never went to Walmart or Target.  And you know what, I got along just fine and never felt like we weren’t getting things we wanted.  It doesn’t hurt that Costco has really great quality products that you can’t always find at other places, and if you do, they definitely aren’t going to be for the prices at Costco.

I don’t mind buying in bulk for a lot of things because I’m always going to use those things and can save a lot of money by going to Costco rather than buying more frequently at other retailers (like toilet paper or toothpaste, for example).  I know this is something that people find hard to believe since we are a family of two.  We almost never throw food out that we buy at Costco and if we do it is other factors, not because we bought too much.  Over the years we have gotten a good feel for what we can get in bulk, and what would just not make sense for us to buy that way.  I also make good use of my available storage space and am a big fan of using my freezer to extend the usefulness of my shopping at Costco.

Now, about that membership fee.  I have an Executive membership, so I pay $110.00 per year to shop at Costco.  Of course, I get 2% back on the things that I buy at Costco with that membership too.  However, even if I didn’t get anything back, the membership fee is still something that I can get back easily in savings on just a couple of items.  Buying glasses or contact lenses at Costco, as compared to an optical store someplace else, can easily cover the cost of membership.  If I could still get my prescription medications at Costco (no pharmacies in the UK Costco stores, unfortunately) I could make up my membership fee that way too.  However, there are always the little things that add up too, so I quickly cover the cost of my membership without even trying too hard.  I don’t mind paying the membership fee because that helps Costco keep the prices down, so we all win in the end really.   I think the people that say it is stupid to pay a membership fee to shop someplace don’t really understand how Costco works and how much better the prices are, and clearly they have never even bothered to check out a Costco store at all.

I should also add that I like that Costco treats their employees fairly.  It’s nice to shop at a place that expects people to work hard, but gives them decent compensation for that work.  The stores are clean and the employees checking customers out are friendly and efficient.  I’ve rarely had a bad customer service experience at Costco, which I think is all down to the fact that Costco treats their employees well and they in turn treat the customers well.

So, to give you the condensed version, I shop at Costco because of the value that they offer me.  That’s what got me in the first place, and that is what keeps me coming back.  They aren’t just cheap, but they have the best prices on better brands and truly quality items.   I love the prices and high quality products they offer at Costco, so I’ll keep shopping there until that changes.

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