Guest Post: Am I Addicted to Costco?

January 25th, 2011 · 7 Comments

[I got a great guest post from a new reader, and newly minted Costco shopper Deborah, about her decision on joining Costco and her thought process.  She talked to several friends and got their opinions on if Costco was a good deal or all hype.  And, as we all can guess, in the end she joined up because people love Costco and had tons of great things to sway her.   Deborah D is a full-time writer who spends way too much time in the house writing about personal finance, credit loans, car insurance, health, wellness, and search engine optimization. She’s always happy for an excuse to get out and shop – especially if it means she’ll save some money.]

Am I Addicted to Costco?

I have to admit that, like many others, money has been tight in my household over the past year or so. I’ve had several friends tell me I should “just join Costco” to get better deals on bulk items and food. The problem is that when money is tight, you often have trouble scraping enough together to go out and shop in bulk to start with. It’s a nasty little catch-22.

I’m also not one to start shopping without doing my homework. The closest Costco is a full 12 miles away from where I live, so I wanted to make sure that the membership was not only worth the investment but worth the drive as well.

So what did I do? I started talking to my online friends, looking for more varied opinions of the store. I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned.

My friend Dave told me that he and his wife love shopping at Costco because of the cost of baby formula and diapers. He said that Costco’s store-brand formula is identical in quality to Similac and is less than half the price. They saved a ton of money on diapers for their two young ones as well. I’m about to become an aunt and I love giving people “practical” gifts, so knowing I could help save significant amounts of money on baby supplies was a huge help.

My friend Tara told me that Costco has great deals on – of all things – scrapbooking supplies. As a crafter, I would have never thought of looking in a bulk/warehouse style store for that type of material. Another point for Costco.

My friend Laura couldn’t tell me enough about how much she loves the store. She loves the higher-end quality of the products, thinks everything is priced fairly, and loves the personality of the customer service team. She said she has never, ever had a problem, even with returns or exchanges.

I did, of course, receive a couple of off-the-wall comments as well. One friend complained about the long lines but stated that it could have simply been his North Jersey location. Another offered to put me in touch with an ex-employee, but I’m not sure ex-employee stories would have been unbiased enough for my decision making process.

At the end of the day, I drove the 12 miles from Runnemede to the Costco in Mt. Laurel, NJ to take a look around. I joined, picked up a few odds and ends, and found myself wandering the aisles while making a mental list of all the things I could really use in the house. I am pretty sure it is safe to say I am not yet addicted, but am well on my way!


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7 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Steve // 2011.02.19 at 10:35 pm

    Just a hint in most Costcos you can buy the food cort food at the register then get it at the pickup window and not wait in line. And it just goes to show the reason there are long lines that most people have got the clue that costco is a great deal, better if you have the black card, you get money back just for having it. The costco amex is good too you get cash back on it as well there was a gu in front of me and he had a check for 2K and they cashed it right there with out batting an eye.

  2. 2 JD // 2011.02.01 at 5:11 pm

    Regarding lines at Costco, I shop at several Costcos in my travels but usually Harrisburg, PA. Those folks are experts at moving long lines, and excel and getting customers through, paid for, boxed up and ready to go in minutes, and all with a good “customer service” attitude.

  3. 3 gakski // 2011.01.26 at 3:54 pm

    Kimberly, I had my doubts when Senior Management brought the pie home, but it was truly fantastic. I do not like frozen potato, but it tasted fresh in every way. Also had sour cream among the ingredients. Made by Something Sweet, Inc. in New Haven, CT. Went to their website, but found no information on that pie. Wonder if it was made only for Christmas or Thanksgiving for limited distribution to some Costcos.

  4. 4 Matt // 2011.01.26 at 3:18 pm

    My wife and I have always heard the complaint about long lines at Costco. After 12 years of going to Costco we are not sure where it comes from. Costco is the only store I know that can get trough a line quick.

    A few weeks ago I was at Best Buy and picking up one item. I was the only person in line. 10 minutes later with a line of of several more people behind me and it is finally my turn. Friday night I was at Vons buying 2 items and 3rd in line 10 minutes later I am getting out there. I will not even shop at Kmart. You can be the only person in the store and the wait to check out is 15 minutes. I have on more than one occasion walked out of Kmart after waiting 10 minutes. I stopped shopping there several years ago.

    We also shop at Sams Club for those few things Costco doesn’t sell. If there are more than 2 people in line at the food court we will not even attempt it. The line line doesn’t move. We have been the only person at the Sams Club food court and it still take over 10 minutes to get a hot dog and cup for soda. I have more than once waited in line to check out and send my wife to the food court with no in line. Well I would wait in line check out, go to the bathroom and come back and they would still be taking the order for 3 hot dogs. Again no line at the food court. Even a 2o person line at the Costco food court goes quicker.

    Bottom line regardless of how long the line is at Costco it never takes longer than a few minutes.

  5. 5 gakski // 2011.01.26 at 8:10 am

    We’ve been making the drive to the Mt. Laurel, NJ Costco since it opened, but also use the Costco in King of Prussia, PA, Montgomeryville, PA & Christiana, DE. The King of Prussia Costco seems to have more unique products such as the wonderful potato cheese pie.

    • 6 Kimberly // 2011.01.26 at 12:49 pm

      Please explain what a potato cheese pie is because that sounds like it combines some of my most favorite foods! 🙂

  6. 7 carla // 2011.01.25 at 8:56 am

    Oh my gosh Deborah,
    I live 150 miles from a Costco and I’ve been a member going on year two. I love it! 12 miles…. why didn’t you join years ago?

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