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Old 01-15-2012, 09:32 AM
 
301 posts, read 715,046 times
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So 2 questions:

1. I live on my own, buy my meals are pretty much the same. I eat a lot of Oats, frozen chicken breast, yogurt, nuts, egg whites, and frozen fruit. If I buy those in bulk from one of those stores (Costco), does it end up being cheaper after the membership fee? What about vegetables like spinach, asparagus, etc?

2. Is costco the best one in grand rapids?

Last edited by semidevil; 01-15-2012 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Wyoming, MI
47 posts, read 87,431 times
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If you weren't eating the same things all the time, I would say you probably would lose money since you are just buying for yourself. In your specific case, it's tough to say but my guess is that you would come close to breaking even. Where you may gain, however, is fewer trips for groceries. For all the items you mention, Costco has them, except I'm not sure about the asparagus (they probably have it, but I hate it so I wouldn't know).

I would suggest visiting a Costco (you can look around without a membership), look at what they carry and at the pricing, and compare with a place like Meijer. Then you can figure out what your grocery bills would be.

One thing that frustrates me about Costco is that sometimes they stop carrying a specific product that I like. I might see it back on the shelves a few months later or a year later, but there's no advance notice. If you are not picky about specific brands or you stick with the well known ones, it'll probably be fine.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:02 AM
 
Location: USA
118 posts, read 251,449 times
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Fruits and vegetables from a big box store are usually crappy and sub-par. You may be able to find good deal of oats, and grain, and chicken that you could buy in bulk. I dunno if you'll save money. My guess is probably not. The prices aren't that much cheaper on staples, and the bulk of it means more spoilage.

Buying whole chicken will save you a ton of money however, this last week whole chicken was on sale at my local grocer for 98 cents a pound. Ended up getting two whole chickens for $6. That's a good deal if you butcher it at home and freeze it for later use.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,502 posts, read 6,453,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semidevil View Post
So 2 questions:

1. I live on my own, buy my meals are pretty much the same. I eat a lot of Oats, frozen chicken breast, yogurt, nuts, egg whites, and frozen fruit. If I buy those in bulk from one of those stores (Costco), does it end up being cheaper after the membership fee? What about vegetables like spinach, asparagus, etc?

2. Is costco the best one in grand rapids?
Safest bet if you spend more than the membership fee, and save as much as the membership fee, throughout the duration then you're saving money. That is how saving money works, in general.

For example, if the membership fee is $50 a year, you would need to save $50 a year, and spend (at the very minimum) $50 a year. You would typically need to spend two or three times that amount (in order to save $50 a year). So if you spent $500 a year and saved a minimum of $50 a year, then it is worth it for you. If you only spend $100, then it is not worth it for you because there is little chance of your saving $50 a year on the types of articles Costco sells on that small amount (though if you purchase items like clothing, electronics, etc. from Costco you can reach that figure a lot sooner; easy to save $35 on a $70 shirt at clearance).

It is really only worth your time and effort if you spend five or ten times the amount of the membership fee, once you figure in gas (say the Costco is in another city or on the other side of town) or you only go to Costco and then go home and nowhere else in between. You could also save a lot of money clipping coupons; sometimes you get stuff for free that way, or only pay the tax (if your state or municipality charges a tax on food).

The economy makes a lot of money off of people that burn gas, or ride the bus or the train, and go into a store and only buy one item. Many times that item is not even worth the cost of the transportation they utilized to get there. Costco, and other warehouse clubs, work on what we like to call "vendor lock in" in the electronics industry. They make it so easy to utilize their services you probably will not spend the time, money, or effort, to shop anywhere else. If you only go into Costco once or twice you aren't getting your money worth. If you go once or twice, you've probably only saved $5 or $10. So you'll go like 20 times, buying far more than what you actually need, just to justify that $50 fee. Remember, it is a fee just for the privilege of shopping there; you can go into any store in America for free, and they're actively trying to win over your business, Costco does not have to solicit your business, because you are already invested into their ecosystem. Same with BJs, Sam's Club, etc.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: between three Great Lakes.
1,958 posts, read 2,130,047 times
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If you're a glasses wearer, you will benefit hugely from a Costco membership. Their optical is consistently rated the highest by Consumer Reports.

Do not buy fresh fruits or vegetables from there or any other chain, as stated above. That's what farmers' markets are for.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,524 posts, read 3,539,001 times
Reputation: 1796
What I do is have a Costco Amex. I use it for everything, especially gas and Costco. I end up with a $200+ reward check in February and use that to pay for the membership fee.

I agree about the optical. I don't need glasses but have had eye infections there treated for $50-$60 bucks, way cheaper than seeing a doctor elsewhere.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:23 AM
 
915 posts, read 1,159,277 times
Reputation: 1290
I found for our family of three - Costco doesn't make sense.

I hate the layout - not signage. We don't need to buy in bulk for most items, except paper products.

I've never been happy with their fruits or veggies. I'd spend way too much money on stuff I didn't end up using or throwing away.

I gave up my membership and I haven't missed it. If I have a burning need to go to Costco, I have multiple offers from friends who will buy stuff for me using their card.
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