photo credit The Frugal Find

 

I can’t go into a wholesale club without cringing.  Everything looks ridiculously overpriced.  Things like bottled water, barbecue sauce, frozen chicken breasts, soy milk, dish and laundry detergent…the two-pack of cereal that costs a whopping $8.00 . . .  I can’t believe they’re succesfully getting people to pay an annual fee just so they can turn around and rip them off with cereal mark-ups!

When I became a Krazy Coupon Lady, the first time my wholesale club membership was up for renewal, I canceled it and used the money I saved to buy several newspaper subscriptions for coupons.  Now all I miss about my old wholesale club are the fresh tortillas!  Don’t worry, my friend buys me the uncooked tortillas and I trade coupons for them, so I’m gettin’ by!

In case you need a shining example of why you should NOT be shopping at members only wholesale clubs, take razors:

This week Schick 3 or 5 blade razors are Free at EACH of the 3 national drugstores: Walgreens, CVS & Rite Aid.  The razors come with an extra cartridge, so if you purchase 6 razors, that’s 12 cartridges, or about a year supply.  There are both $4/1 Schick 3 and $4/1 Schick 5 razor coupons in today’s paper, so with only 3 copies of the paper, you’ll get a year supply of razors for free.

OR. . . you can pay an annual membership fee AND pay $45 for 15 blades at Costco. . . you do the math.

Leave a Reply

95 thoughts on “Reason #103 why you should ditch your Warehouse Club”

  1. K-Dog says:

    Only reason I keep my wholesale club membership……Discounted fuel pricing….with my longer commute to work, I save more than my club membership per year on fuel alone!

  2. Peg says:

    I have a Costco membership, but only get several items there. I think their meat is the best and is well priced. I have 6 cats and get my cat litter there, although I am now looking at coupons. My daughter got some beautiful furniture there after shopping around thoroughly, and the baked muffins are awesome. I am becoming a KCL but not sure if I want to give up Costco, I really save on meat.

  3. Heather91571 says:

    I like Costco for stocking up but I don’t mind getting a good bargain with a coupon now and then

  4. Heather91571 says:

    I like Costco for stocking up but I don’t mind getting a good bargain with a coupon now and then

  5. Su Z says:

    This article isn’t completely valid. We have a Sam’s membership and we save more than the price of membership in gas and meat purchases in just 3 months, so the rest of the year is free.

    • 4berniergirlz says:

      I currently have a Sam’s membership but I am a coupon newbie and I just learned that BJ’s wholesale let’s you use manufacturer coupons there and they have their own coupons you can combine them with to get an even lower price. I was considering switching. Any thoughts on that? Does anyone else have a BJ’s membership?

      • jaime says:

        I just learned that bj’s also allows you to use as many coupons as there are barcodes, in there “packages” they sell by!! Ex. If you purchase toothpaste for 5.99 and use their $2/1 cpn, and there are three individual boxes, with barcodes, in the pack, you can use 3 mf coupons also!!! Spending 2.99 on three boxes, that are over 8oz tubes each!! for a wholesale store, thats a great deal!!

  6. mr call out says:

    This is retarded, i bought a 250$ floor jack at costco for less than 100$. Then i hit the bakery to get 18 high quality english muffins for $1.25…

    I’ve never bought cereal from costco cause its overpriced… duh. Just don’t be an idiot buying stuff thats obviously overpriced when you go shopping.

  7. Ebone says:

    I actually do not have a Costco membership but I do have a BJ’s membership. I plan to coupon more but there are just certain things you can buy at a wholesale club that you will get a better value on no matter what. For instance, I love Nature Valley granola bars. In the supermarket they are roughly $4.79 for a box of 12 bars (2 per pouch). In BJ’s, I can get a box of 60 granola bars for under $7 and I usually have a coupon or two to use on top of that. When Tuna isn’t on sale it’s a great buy at BJ’s and so are things such as flour, sugar etc. I choose to renew my membership because not only do I receive an employee discount but instead of the normal 12 month membership, I get 15 months.

  8. Jenifer says:

    I also disagree with this post. Costco is great for a variety of reasons and the QUALITY of the majority of their items just can’t be beat. Their return policies are abused, but are still the best around. Plus, you can get a refund on your membership should you choose to cancel it. They have the best meats and more and more organic items that couponing just doesn’t touch. Plus, Costco is a fantastic company and treats their employees like human beings (from a living wage to great benefits) that I am glad to support, unlike Walmart. I know we’re all doing our best to be frugal, but I can completely and honestly say that I will never be without my Costco membership!

  9. Shannon says:

    I agree that many of the items are so overpriced and when you can get needed items for pennies on the dollar, why pay $10.00 for a bag of snacks???

  10. Chel says:

    I will agree and disagree with the previous posts. There are some much overpriced items especially when you can get them free or near free. On the other hand, there are things that you can get that are just cheaper and easier to buy there. You just have to be aware of the actual deals. Refilling my ink at 7.99 is one of the perks especially since I use so much ink! Prescriptions are perks too even though you do not need a membership for those. I have been able to get a few bulk items that are an amazing deal that I don’t often see coupons for. I use these on a regular basis. The produce is certainly a key item. I love the freshness and price. Other deals are things like batteries that you just won’t find anywhere else. 48 AA for 12.00? I haven’t come across a deal like that even with coupons. Plus, we go through them so fast that I couldn’t wait for one. They do have good coupons too.
    There is an upside, you just have to be aware of what you are buying. I don’t do all of my shopping there, just a few choice items. I have already saved way over the cost of my membership. A few times over actually.

  11. Kelley says:

    I have a membership w/ Sams, but I have split the membership cost w/ my coworker…we each pay 20.00/yr. I buy very few things there. It’s right across the hwy from my work and they have a gas station and you have to have membership card to buy gas. There are no other gas stations for me on the way home. I also stop in occassionally for gallon of milk or tea or to grab a ready-to-eat whole chicken to bring home for supper. I really cringe when I see people w/ flat carts piled 6 ft tall w/ poweraid,snacks,candy etc thinking of how much they spent.

  12. DrLadybug says:

    Wow – not sure where you all are located, but Sams and Costcos in S Cal (San Diego) and E WA have horrible quality produce! We are also unable to buy one gal of milk, and takes too long to get thru two. Thank goodness for couponing and Albertsons (with far more fresh produce plus frequent coupons from salad dressing, cookies, etc to pair w/veggies n milk). Milk is FREE at Rite Aid n Wags w/+UP and RR, and gasoline, travel deals, insurance, etc. are comparable pricing if you look non-Costco. Definitely canceling our lame Costco membership (lonnnnnnng lines every day of the weeks though it’s the best deals in town!).

  13. Cathy says:

    Any smart shopper will recognize that there are LOTS of things at Costco that are not a bargain. But I will never give up my membership, if only for the amazing deals on fresh produce, coffee and cheeses. I also have found that the savings on things like eyeglasses make a huge difference in my budget. I just got TWO pairs of eyeglasses for $50 at Costco when one pair at my eye doctor were going to cost me $160. (That’s my cost after my insurance reimburses me $150.) There’s $110 right there – WAY more than my membership fees.

  14. Lisa says:

    Gotta agree with all of the others. Once I started clipping coupons, I realized how much cheaper I could get soaps, personal care items, cleaning supplies, etcetera. I would never buy these items at a warehouse store again.

    However, Costco has much better price/quality on fresh food items. Produce and dairy specifically. We try to eat real food and stay away from the manufactured junk.

  15. LeeAnn says:

    I go to SAM’s Club, I am epileptic and must take a specific brand of medication. If I try substituting a generic it affects me greatly. I save over $11 on this alone every month. I always tell people pay attention when they shop so they can compare. Some items are over priced while if you watch there are some very good buys.

  16. Jande says:

    I too agree and disagree. Since I have been couponing I have quit buying a lot of the things I used to buy there such as laundry detergent, dish soap, razors etc. But I couldn’t give up my membership for the fact that I love their other things like electronics, carter’s sleepers, other clothing, christmas gifts, ink refills for $7.99, photo center, etc. (okay and I splurge on the breaded chicken breasts, mmmmm) They have some great things and the return policy for those things are by far the best out there. So yes many things are overpriced but I LOVE going to COSTCO, you just have to be smart.

  17. Jill Colburn says:

    I agree and disagree with this post. I LOVE Costco and my husbands employer pays for all their employees Costco membership. So we don’t have annual dues, therefore it is very effective if you know what to shop for. Some of the must have items that can have huge savings include medications, kirdland zyrtec which cost $15 for a year supply versus the name brand that is about $20 a month. Also milk, cheese, meat, diapers, wipes, batteries spices, and sometimes razors.

    My husband is very brand specific with his razors and it just so happens the ones you pictured are the ones he likes. Costco had a coupon this month for a free 4 pack of Gillett shaving cream with the purchase of cartridges. Which was a $10 value. Previously I had purchased razors from CVS for nearly free, but my husband goes through cartridges about every 2 weeks and I couldn’t keep up. I was paying around $3 for a new razor with 1 cartridge. I had stocked up on about 10 over the last few months. The problem was it only came with one cartridge.

    After this months coupons came out at Costco I figured up the cost of 15 razors and 4 cans of shaving cream and it came out to around $3.20 a cartridge not including the shaving cream cost. So it was about what I was paying already and a lot less time and trouble. So for me its worth it. I guess if my hubby weren’t so picky I could do the cheap ones on sale, but for us this is the best deal for his choice of brand. Hopefully this will last him 4 months or so till they come out with another coupon or I can get the almost free ones at CVS again to hold us over till a new coupon.

  18. Diana says:

    You definitely need to look at the prices/value. Since we started using coupons, my husband and I were able to stock up on baby wipes for an eternity, but we do miss the kirkland brand wipes. Also, I LOVE their parmiggiano reggiano, and I can’t find it so good and cheap anywhere else…same thing with the goat cheese, olive oil (I use A LOT if it, more than I would ever find coupons for)…and we also buy a lot of non-food items there like coffee makers and things like that because of their return policy. I made myself a COSTCO price spreadsheet of all the items they sell there and that we use. When I see a sale for one of the items I would normally buy at costco, I compare the price per ounce or per unit including coupons, and then I see if I should get it.
    Things I don’t buy at Costco anymore include diapers, all toiletries, cereal, things like ketchup, mustard, snacks…etc. thanks to KLC :)
    Another place to get a great price on diapers is Amazon, if you have amazon mom and use the subscribe and save option. I run out of diapers and haven’t had any good deals lately (don’t have Rite Aid in my area!!!) I just bought a pack of a 100 huggies size 6 for $24. I got them delivered the next day right at my door for free :). Great price when you can’t get other better deals in your usual stores.
    It would be great if people would share what items they buy at Costco that they have proven to be better and cheaper…

  19. Alia says:

    You know what would be really interesting and helpful? A post of what IS worth buying at Costco. It sounds like from everyone’s comments vanilla, eggs, and string cheese and high end meats are among Costcos benefits. I go to costco about 4 times a year and often stand there in front of the huge box of garbage bags or enormous box of tide doing extensive math and trying to figure out if its worth it. A list highlighting some of Costco’s finer deals would be awesome.

    And one benefit of Costco, to me, is to sometimes just not have to worry about running out of something for a LONG time.

  20. Christle says:

    LOOKS like u opened a BIG can of worms with this Subject KCL!!! LOL But I am one that HAS NO MEMEBERSHIPS… I dont believe i gat any big discounts with them. I like CVS RITEAID, Winco, Food4Less and my local Cardenas and Tapatio stores. To me i look at the circulars and can map out exactley what to buy and what i will pay after my coupons.

  21. Kate O. says:

    My husband and I just canceled our membership. The lines were always so long and its always a madhouse in there. The coupon deals on things we used to buy there like granola bars or canned soup are much better! I do think they have an awesome selection of cheap spices and cooking stuff, but I just don’t cook for enough people to buy 25lb of rice or huge things of vegetable oil.

    One thing that saved me for items I really can’t pass up at costco (I like their frozen chicken like a previous poster said), is buying a cash card. If you are not a member you can still use the money on it without a membership. We bought 2 $25 which should last us for our next two chicken stockups.

  22. makinzee says:

    Thanks for the post on razors. I actually purchased the forbidden $45 of razors for my hubby and told him not to open them. I knew I’d be able to get razors for cheaper with the coupons. This was 2 weeks ago, he has lots of razors now and the cartridges are adding up.

    I too love Costco for some things you have to know what’s up when shopping there. Gas, milk, eggs and produce keep me going back!

  23. Elaine says:

    you have to remember that kirkland diapers are huggies supremes….

    • Sarah says:

      Right, but when you can get huggies supremes for a few bucks a jumbo pack or even get “paid” to buy huggies like a few weeks ago at Rite Aid it makes the good deal at Costco not so good. But if I run out and have to pay full price – I’d definitely go with Costco. I love Costco just not paying as much for diapers anymore!

  24. Sarah says:

    I have to disagree here. I refuse to give up my Costco membership. I have learned though what the good deals are and the ones that I will pass on. Their wipes are my favorite but I will “suffer” through a good wipes deal from another store to save a few bucks now and again. Costco’s meats are by far superior – even the frozen chicken is better. One of my favorite things about Costco – their return policy. It’s right up their with the best and we have saved hundred of dollars by being able to easily return something when it has failed or just doesn’t work for us.
    And if you get the AMEX that links with your membership chances are you will earn enough rebate to cover the cost of the annual membership.
    But to agree with you one item that I have given Costco hundreds of dollars over the course of four kids is – DIAPERS!!! Now I know better! I actually returned an unopened case of kirkland diapers a few months ago because at 16 cents a diaper (I had gotten them on a coupon deal) they were no longer a great value – good but not great.

  25. Amy says:

    Prior to becoming a KCL we had a Sams membership. For those who don’t coupon, the clubs do save a lot of money (at least for us it did). Once I started couponing there was such a significant difference in what we paid ($100 a week for a family of 5, vs $200 a week at the club) that it made no sense to go back to Sams. I do miss the meat department though. They had, hands down, the best steak in our area.

  26. Andrea says:

    I agree–the only thing I found cheaper was generic baby formula–I compared prices everywhere (but it was also before I was a major couponer). But reality on my last adopted child I just borrowed a friends card and bought a lot or this last week there was a 60 day free trial membership so that would be a way to get something.

  27. Tina says:

    I agree with many of the posts above. I am a member of Costco and certain items are of much better quality. Also if you watch what you buy you can get some things for actually cheaper than some of the deals that we see here. I have a friend who actually made a spreadsheet of typical Costco items that she buys and uses it to compare with the coupon deals elsewhere to see if in fact she can get them cheaper.
    I have an executive membership and only shop for items that I know are a good deal there. I often get much of my membership fee returned to me at the end of the year.
    They also have great prices on electronics and have the best return policy anywhere. Deals on items not in the store (travel, insurance, etc) are also well worth the membership.

  28. Erin says:

    I get a free membership to Sam’s Club through my work and the only reason why we use it is because there generic formula is $22 a can for 48 oz and I can get generic Zrytic for $18 for 350 pills. If you look you can find good deals at warehouse stores but you have to pay attention to the prices that’s for sure!

  29. Teresa says:

    I agree that the majority of what is available at warehouse clubs is overpriced. However, my husband and I save enough on one staple, rice, to justify the annual membership. I walk in, grab those things (check meat per pound prices and eggs) and smile all the way home.

    Membership – $40.00 (-$15.00 gift card for college students) = $25.00

    25 lbs of rice – $7 – $8… While I could get some deals on 1lb bags of rice, we eat rice faster than the coupons come. The annual savings on rice alone justifies the membership.

  30. sarah says:

    I felt I was saving money on baby formula and cow’s milk back in the day. However, what I observed over and over as I watched people ahead of me check out was serious cash being dropped (like $600-$700). For me, that would have to last three months and I don’t think it would.

  31. emmetts says:

    So great to see people sticking up for costco. Yes we’ve been shown how to get things for free here and that is great but costco quality of items are not going to be found for free or for .50c which seems to be the average of the coupon items. I tried buying the bag OF chicken that is always claiming to be cheaper then costco but again the quality is lacking. These bags of frozen chicken that you buy at the other stores that claim to be skinless and boneless are not. I had huge pieces of skin on them and large pieces of bones and the size of those pieces are tiny!. and don’t forget the costco dog beds… 19.99 and they are huge…made for a king. Where are you going to find that. Anyway costco also has their specials and no one can touch those. PROUD TO BE A COSTCO MEMBER!!!!

  32. Rita says:

    Did you know you can buy a case lot of meat and save even more? I most recently purchased roasts and they are vacuum packed and freeze very well. The meat managers at the store are very helpful they’ll show you how everything is packaged and how much is in a case lot (it varies by product).

    I just saw they have cocoa in the store for about $8 for 25 oz – great price! Tire prices can’t be beat. Though since I started couponing I am able to find some prices for some things cheaper elsewhere when I pair them with great coupons most of the prices are better at Costco. I love Costco and I am happy I’ve found couponing to save even more on selected items. I want to try the meatball/jelly/chilli recipe – it just sounds wonderful !

  33. Lisa says:

    All these pro-Costco comments are making me wonder whether I should look into getting a membership again. We used to go there for diapers and wipes when the kids were babies. As the blogger says though, it’s a mistake to assume that just because it’s a warehouse store you’re automatically getting a good deal. You still have to coupon and most of all, use your noodle and know your prices at other stores.

    • Lora says:

      Diapers and wipes are an “O.K.” deal at Costco, but you can do much better with coupons. You can get GREAT deals at Costco, especially on stuff that NEVER has a coupon. We spend enough at Costco that our membership is FREE, because they track your spending and give you a percentage back! We buy checks there, they are the absolute CHEAPEST I’ve ever seen!! Just be careful and shop knowing what the unit prices are, and it’s still VERY MUCH worth the membership!!

      • Erica says:

        Not only do they have awesome diapers and wipes, meat, produce, gas, etc, but the unit prices are clearly labeled so you can shop even smarter. I’ve seen manufacture’s instant rebates as well, which is extra savings. I personally love Costco, and love getting my membership paid for because I signed up for the executive card.

  34. Sheri says:

    We love Costco for their great prices on gift cards and movie tickets. We just bought a $50 gift card to Jamba Juice for $35—combine that with some of the great deals Jamba Juice has and you have yourself a pretty good deal!

  35. Colby says:

    Costco’s meat selection keeps us going back. They only sell choice and at times prime cuts (for choice prices). We are also addicted to the $1.50 hotdog and pop deal.

  36. Heidi says:

    I also love Costco. Since couponing, I spend SIGNIFICANTLY less there. However, some things I will continue to buy there. Milk and Spray and Wash are things I buy there regularly. Also, I love taking my kids there to try all the samples, and then they don’t need lunch:) Also, there food court and gas prices are awesome! Plus if you sign up for the American Express Credit card available only through costco you get an extra 3% back on your gas, making it even cheaper. At Christmas time, they have unique toys, chocolates, and gifts. And finally, there books are very cheap there and it’s the only place my husband finds jeans for a good price that fit him. 22.99 for lucky’s, levis and calvin klein. Costco rocks. You just have to be smart about how you shop there like you do anywhere else.

  37. Denise says:

    Great post , and great responses. When I look at a recent post and see a high number of comments I always want to see what the fuss is about. Sometimes the things that get people riled up a little seem to end up educating us all. :)

    Thanks, Joanie. You made everyone think.

    I can’t do the TP- my hubby is a Charmin snob (only the red bear will do – yay for the great Albies sale this week!)!
    Yeast, vanilla, spices… good cake… cheap ink refills… car rental discounts… food court… I should read through this post again and make a list of all the things that are cheapest/best at Costco! or has someone already done that?

    Pumpkin Pie! 5.99 for a BIG one and last week they had a $1 off coupon which I didn’t know about but the lady at the register gave me anyway. They do have great service also.

    Someone said something about flooring? cheaper at Costco? My carpet is in desperate need of replacing…….

    • carrie says:

      YES laminate flooring and sometimes bamboo flooring. And an even better price when there is a COUPON!!!

      Also shop on costco.com. If you decided to return something in warehouse you get your shipping back too.

      If you are an Excutive member you get 2% back and there are several services you can use like the insurance people have mentioned. Even better get the Costco American express and get a rebate from them and the executive rebate from Costco. What coupon/saver wouldn’t like that? There are lots of good things about a Costco membership. It is too bad that some aren’t aware of the benefits and talk so badly about a great company.

  38. carrie says:

    I glad to see people not bashing Costco. I saw this post earlier and it really hit a nerve with me! Costco has awesome values. Not all are as good as you can get with coupons. But not everyone can get all of those coupons or deals. Or has the time. Don’t talk bad about a GREAT company if you don’t really know what you are talking about or don’t know all of the great customer service you get there.

  39. Monica says:

    I buy all my milk at Costco, that’s why I keep my membership!

  40. Chip says:

    I agree with both sides of this issue. I am a Costco member and before I started “couponing” my monthly bill (for gasoline and the stuff sold in-store) was $500-$600. Now that I am saving money with coupons, I have decided to use those savings to pay cash at the register. Now I am not so tempted to load the cart with impulse items as it comes out of my grocery budget. The only things that I now buy there are eggs, romaine lettuce, dog food and the occasional 2-pack of salsa. All of these things are priced right for me. I have a business membership which gives me 3% back on my gas purchases so I get my membership for free. I also buy things like I-tunes cards, etc. for Christmas gifts as they are sold below the face value. Watch what you buy and you will still save, plus who can beat a BIG hot dog and a soda for $1.50?

    • Chip says:

      Also, I bought this hp computer setup for a price that was much lower than Best Buy or anyplace else…sometimes the membership does come in handy, especially with the rebate. I am currently shopping for a generator to keep my buys frozen when the power goes out this winter.

  41. Candice says:

    I LOVE Costco but I am very careful about what I buy there. It is true that alot of things aren’t cheaper, like cereal. We mostly go there for our meat because although you can get it cheaper elsewhere, the quality is exceptional. Their meat is some of the best you can buy at a store.

  42. Sarah says:

    AND, BEST return policy ever!

  43. Bud says:

    I can’t find the schick hydro razor coupons in the smart source… anyone knows how to get them my zip is 31406

  44. Sarah says:

    String cheese is under $8 for 60 string cheeses at COSTCO! Or, I could pay $6 for 24 cheeses at another store! Seriously, my membership pays for itself in string cheese. Raw tortillas-YUM. And, they have fantastic ORGANIC frozen broccoli, 4 meals worth at least, for $4-5. I haven’t found another frozen broccoli my family likes AT ALL except this one. Oh, and white queso!
    I agree that SO many things are a rip-off there. But, we got a membership for their unique products. Also, we bought our dining table there for $400. We saw basically the same tables at other stores for close to $1000!
    Definitely be smart about shopping at warehouse stores, but they can work out well, too :)

  45. Tiffany says:

    I agree with everyone else. I love my costco membership. While I won’t buy things I could get for free, I certainly can’t get tri-tip and baby back ribs cheaper anywhere else. If you buy some things that are on the expensive side, and usually don’t go on sale or have coupons its worth it. Toilet Paper, some meats, energy drinks ($1.50+ at any store $1 each at Costco), my $9.99 fall mums ($19.99 for one half the size at Fred Meyer psht!). Many many things are cheaper at Costco, just not everything ;)

  46. Syd says:

    I’ve recently purchased the fresh tortillas at our local Smiths and Walmart, so check around!!

  47. Preach it, sister! I totally agree with you!

  48. supercarrot says:

    we got rid of our costco membership, but they really do have the best deal on vanilla extract. (16 oz is between $5 and $6)

    and their aseptic kirkland soymilk is a reasonable price. about $1 per 32 oz. (i’ve been getting a better deal lately with all the almond breeze coupons/sales, but i’m sure that’ll dwindle someday.)

  49. chris says:

    I love your blog but please don’t say they are ripping people off. They only mark there items up 10% on average. They have the best return policy around and the quality of their items are second to none. Check out the car insurance offered (you might save hundreds a year), or try pricing items at the pharmacy.
    You can be a great cupon shopper and take advantage of the deals at Costco at the same time.

    • Wendy says:

      Oh yeah, the pharmacy! We’ve saved untold amounts of money filling prescriptions there- a lot of times it’s cheaper to buy it there and pay the cash price than to pay the insurance copay.

  50. Sarah says:

    I agree with the giant bags of meatballs! I make them with chili sauce and grape jelly too..and serve them over rice. Yum!!

  51. Suzette says:

    I think you missed the mark on this one. Yes, razors are more expensive, but that is like saying I’m not going to shop at Target because toothpaste is priced at $3 and I can get it free somewhere else. Also, comparing a Schick hydro to the Gilette Fusion is comparing apples to oranges. Although they are both razors, they are NOT the same.

    MANY other reasons I will never give up my membership to Sam’s.
    -Movado watches- I saved $150 on one watch.
    -Frozen chicken breasts- cheaper than any grocery store’s sale price and no need to wait for a sale.
    -Gas- I will ONLY put mid-grade gas in my car and it us usually 12 cents per gallon less than the next cheapest.
    -TP-every day price cheaper than most sale prices, brand for brand
    -Video games- slightly cheaper than elsewhere
    -Dog food- they have the lowest every day price for Iams dog food. Occasionally I can find it cheaper when it is on sale elsewhere, but I’m not going to stock up and buy 8 bags of dog food to get me by until the next sale. I go through a 44 pound bag about every 2 weeks.
    -Medication- if you go through a lot of a certain kind of medication, it is cheaper to get the generic than the brand name stuff with coupons. I got 350 tablets of generic Zyrtec for about $22. If I only took 30 of them and threw the rest away, it is cheaper than buying Zyrtec.
    -Electronics- Rounters, printers, CD roms, DVD roms, TV’s etc. They have the BEST warranty. You buy $600 item and 10 months later something small goes wrong with it, they will take it back and give you FULL money back.
    -Frozen meatballs- They sell 6 pound bags. I put half in a crock pot with chili sauce and grape jelly and works great for bringing lunches to work.
    -Seafood- the best in town for living in the midwest.

    • Nicole says:

      i’ll have to disagree with you on 2 things: toilet paper ou can get at CVS for CHEAP like right now, you can spend 25$ on Charmin mega packs, get 10$ in Extra Bucks. the point of this is that you’re not spending your own money Out of pocket for TP, youre spending CVS money, which is saving ALOT.

      and why not buy lots of bags of Dog food at a cheaper price when its on sale? my cats food is 10.99/per 3lb bag. i bought 5 of them, used a $15 off 50 coupon at petsmart, and used 5 – $5 off coupons per bag and got 5 bags for less than the cost of 2. i wince when you say you pay so much for Iams every 2 weeks?! it may be cheaper at Costco then other places, but that adds up quickly, especially when you can go about it differently. just my cents. but everything else (chicken and Gasoline especally!) i agree with

    • J Anthony says:

      Suzette is spot on. The first thing I was going to say is how wrong it is to try and compare a Shick Hydro to a Gilette Power Fusion, which after trying many different razors and electrics with my sensitive skin is the BEST blade on the market and gives me the closest shave without any nicks.

      That’s kind of the point here, that while couponing is fine for when you neither care about getting a specific product or when you are going to buy it, Costco tends to cater to discriminating customers who are often looking for very specific, high end stuff. The other example people mentioned is the beef. The fact that Costco sells USDA PRIME beef to the general public is impressive as it is, because they don’t even sell it at most grocery stores and it is usually reserved for high-end steak houses. The fact that Costco sells it quite reasonably priced is even better.

      A lot of the stuff that is packaged specifically for Costco (under their Kirkland brand) is also hard to beat. Spices, yeast, vanilla, etc. are all very inexpensive and easy to purchase in bulk.

      Then there is the fact that Costco works out deals with reputable manufacturers to have products created specifically for them. Again, I’m talking about reputable, name-brand companies like Kitchenaid, Mikasa, Cuisinart, etc. The convection toaster oven/broiler I would have paid $99 for (but wound up getting for free with my AmEx reward coupon) essentially retails for $160 on Amazon. Cuisinart just put a slightly different front on it and created a special product number JUST for the Costco version, but it is nearly identical and has all the same features. My Mikasa flatware was also created specifically for Costco, but at a price no other retailer could even come close to matching.

      Then there is the warranty and return policy. Costco automatically gives you a 90-day return policy on TVs and electronics when the standard is 30 and they also double a standard manufacturers warranty from 1 year to 2 years.on TVs, and for non-electronics, their return policy is about the most liberal I’ve ever seen. I asked about how to replace a dish in a set that was designed specifically for them. They told me that if I broke a dish, even a year or two later, I could return the whole set and get my money back.

      Again, not knocking couponing, but there are some really compelling reasons to shop at Costco too.

    • J Anthony says:

      Suzette is spot on. The first thing I was going to say is how wrong it is to try and compare a Shick Hydro to a Gilette Power Fusion, which after trying many different razors and electrics with my sensitive skin is the BEST blade on the market and gives me the closest shave without any nicks.

      That’s kind of the point here, that while couponing is fine for when you neither care about getting a specific product or when you are going to buy it, Costco tends to cater to discriminating customers who are often looking for very specific, high end stuff. The other example people mentioned is the beef. The fact that Costco sells USDA PRIME beef to the general public is impressive as it is, because they don’t even sell it at most grocery stores and it is usually reserved for high-end steak houses. The fact that Costco sells it quite reasonably priced is even better.

      A lot of the stuff that is packaged specifically for Costco (under their Kirkland brand) is also hard to beat. Spices, yeast, vanilla, etc. are all very inexpensive and easy to purchase in bulk.

      Then there is the fact that Costco works out deals with reputable manufacturers to have products created specifically for them. Again, I’m talking about reputable, name-brand companies like Kitchenaid, Mikasa, Cuisinart, etc. The convection toaster oven/broiler I would have paid $99 for (but wound up getting for free with my AmEx reward coupon) essentially retails for $160 on Amazon. Cuisinart just put a slightly different front on it and created a special product number JUST for the Costco version, but it is nearly identical and has all the same features. My Mikasa flatware was also created specifically for Costco, but at a price no other retailer could even come close to matching.

      Then there is the warranty and return policy. Costco automatically gives you a 90-day return policy on TVs and electronics when the standard is 30 and they also double a standard manufacturers warranty from 1 year to 2 years.on TVs, and for non-electronics, their return policy is about the most liberal I’ve ever seen. I asked about how to replace a dish in a set that was designed specifically for them. They told me that if I broke a dish, even a year or two later, I could return the whole set and get my money back.

      Again, not knocking couponing, but there are some really compelling reasons to shop at Costco too.

  52. Erin says:

    I also agree with Elaine, the Kirkland diapers and wipes are the only brand that my baby doesn’t have a reaction to.

  53. Erin says:

    Obviously if you coupon, you know how much to spend. The price per item;soup for example, is competetive with coupons and the cans are larger. It’s nice to be able to buy these things to get you by if you miss a sale, don’t have a coupon ect.
    The meat is always choice grade or higher. They just added prime beef for $2 a lb, you will never find a grocery store that has the same quality for the price. They offer an array of organic produce that is always priced lower than any grocery store. The dairy is always cheaper, especially if you buy organic and Tillamook cheese is at least $4 less than the grocery store. And the paper towels, laundry, dish soap and paper towels are cheaper per volume vs trying to coupon for them. Carters fleece sleepers are only $7 vs $18 in the store. Levi’s $15 a pair vs $30.
    I love my costco membership. I would go nuts trying to match and beat many of their prices.

  54. Samantha says:

    I signed up before becoming a Krazy Coupon Lady. I was going to cancel this year, but then I started to do a lot more home cooking and baking this past year. You cannot beat their price on vanilla, olive oil, canned chicken, honey, perogies, gas, pj’s, and some of their gourmet cheeses. I often buy 3 gallons of milk at a time from them and keep 2 in the freezer. I don’t go every week, so I don’t spend extra, and since you have to pay cash I find it way easier to decline on the impulse stuff. I also pay 10 -15 cents less for gas.
    I also just bought 300 coffee filters for 3 bucks. I buy the stuff from them that rarely goes on sale and it’s tough to find on sale. And I can feed 3 of us for lunch for $5 plus all the snacks they get as samples. It’s the only store, they don’t complain about going to.

  55. Wendy says:

    Whether or not a Costco membership is worth it depends on what part of the country you live in, I think. We used to live in Nevada, and the main things we bought at Costco were rotisserie chickens and contacts. Now we live in the Northeast, where a gallon of milk often runs close to $4 a gallon- that is, unless we go to Costco, where we can get a gallon for about $2.35. HUGE savings. Also, things like oatmeal, honey, vanilla, deli meat and tortillas are much cheaper at Costco than most of the other stores in our area. Yeah, the club stores are banking on people not doing price comparisons for a lot of things, but if you know what’s what, there are still some great deals there.

  56. Heidi says:

    I hit up Costco for the yeast, vanilla and cinnamon. Plus my kids think it’s awesome to eat every sample in the store!

  57. Elaine says:

    oh and def the string cheeses! soooo worth it!

  58. Elaine says:

    milk alone is worth it for us! we use 6-8 gallons a week….and that’s just the 4 of us…when the baby hits a year…man!

    and i am in LOVE with kirkland wipes. i hate huggies wipes – too thick and I hate pampers – too thin. Kirkland is juuuusssttt right. i sound like goldilocks huh? LOL

    and there are the nicer cheeses you get cheap and all the items that are non grocery that are not in regular stores..
    like we bought an automatic trashcan set. big and small. the small one for our trash and big for recycling. looks great, great price…and i had just bought one, so i had to return it bc the one alone cost more than the better quality cheaper two set.

    oh and my ink. i have 2 choices…special order it, or buy it at costco…for less.

  59. Courtney says:

    I actually totally agree with you, KCL! One of the first things I did when I started couponing was stop renewing my Costco membership. Almost everyone I know has one, so if I needed cheap meat or produce, I could always tag along with one of them!

  60. Twin Mom says:

    Costco has the best prices I’ve found on string cheese, canned clams and olive oil.

  61. Karissa says:

    I also love Costco! If you have babies on formula you can’t beat that price, I get my membership cost back with just a few cans. Even after I don’t have a baby anymore the car insurance savings pays for me membership. Plus I find eggs, milk, vinegar, baking soda, and yeast are all really cheap. And at my Costco they have frozen chicken breast for 1.99/lb which is a stock up sale price at the grocery store around here. I do agree with you on pretty much all the other items though!

  62. I must tell you I love love BJ’s coupon policy :) They allow you to use their coupon books as a individual coupon and then also as long as the item you are buying in bulk can or could be broken down to sell individually then you can use as many single coupon or BOGO’s that match the amount of items !!! Also I recently learned that you also have up to 7 days to take back coupons you may have forgotten while shopping to get your bill adjusted that rocks !!! But I must agree certain things their prices can be insane

  63. Jessica says:

    I love my Costco membership for the gas savings. Friday I needed gas and everyone in my area was at 2.75 I went to Costco and they were at 2.51. It’s worth my savings in gas alone. Plus we love there cakes and they are a good deal.

  64. Tammy says:

    If someone goes into Costco and blindly buy everything on their list, they are probably being ripped off. BUT, you have to remember that TIME is MONEY, and TIME is PRECIOUS! Sometimes in a pinch if someone HAS to bite the bullet and overpay on something because they are there, it can be better than paying gas to drive all over town to get the BEST DEAL!! Speaking of gas…. it is commonly 10cents a gallon cheaper at costco!

    Milk, gas, produce, baked goods, TP, meat, photo developing are few things that are hard to beat. Some of their coupons are pretty awesome too!!!

  65. Kim says:

    I have only about a dozen items I regularly buy at Costco, but the price of mine and hubby’s contacts alone make it worth the membership fee for us. Our contact lens solution is also far cheaper there. You can’t beat the price of yeast either!

  66. barbara says:

    I get my membership free thru my work, but would pay for it otherwise. They have good bakery items, gas prices, clothes, furnitue, decor, outdoor, holiday and such. It will pay for itself with these types of items. I agree since becoming a couponer, I don’t really buy packaged food or personal items there anymore.

  67. Brandy says:

    KCL,

    I love your website & I usually agree with you, but on this I think you’re wrong. We have a Sams Club membership that I wouldn’t get rid of for anything. A few of the reasons we use it- meat is consistently less than any of the grocery stores here, even at their sale prices, milk is also less than any of the grocery stores sale prices and our membership gets us gas cheaper than anywhere else in town. There are also special items that I haven’t found anywhere else like Nautica pillows, 2 pack for $15, and in my experience they are much much nicer than pillows of a comparable price at regular stores.
    We aren’t foolish about using our membership- I certainly don’t buy anything I can get at CVS (razors, shampoo etc), we compare costs on food items and we don’t buy perishable foods that we won’t use. With all that said, IMO, it still ends up being very worthwhile to pay the $45 a year.

  68. Kim says:

    I consider myself a crazy couponer, but I am in love with Costco. No matter what coupons or sales I find on Toilet Paper, it’s always cheaper at Costco. Things like milk and produce are generally cheaper and you can hardly ever find good deals on them in a regular grocery store. Not to mention they have delicious pizza, rolls, muffins, croisants, cakes, etc… And for reasonable prices. Get a few friends on your membership with you, split the cost, and you earn that money back on TP and produce alone.

    • Andrea says:

      I agree. I think it’s just fun to walk around and look and sample. I buy my organic milk, raw tortillas, lunch meat (no nitrates), bananas, and all my organic’s there. We do not purchase the membership, my husband’s boss buy’s everyone in the office a membership every year so I guess I can justify the cost. I don’t care if I can find free milk with the purchase of cookies, or free lunch meat, or free tortillas with doublers. I won’t feed my kids that over processed garbage. But I continue to coupon, there are still good deals to be had out there!

      • Jennifer says:

        No “overprocessed garbage” but you will give them over-pasteurized milk? The organic milk sold at Costco is UHP – i.e., baked. It’s shelf-stable and simply doesn’t go bad. Anything good in the milk is shot when it’s cooked.

        We needn’t deride the choices of others to justify our own. There’s always someone out there more conscientious than you. Someone who soaks their grains. Grinds their own wheat. Bakes their own bread… you know, instead of that awful store-bought organic garbage…

        There’s also someone who refuses to buy bananas because they’re not local. Buys only fair trade coffee and spices. Only uses non-irradiated seasoning blends. Refuses to buy factory organic meats in favor of pastured animal products. Avoids soy and soy-based products like the plague because they’re so unhealthy.

        To each his own, no?

        Happy couponing!

  69. Amanda says:

    So sad…I actually bought these razors at Costco for my husband because they were cheap compared to what I pay at Fred Meyer for them. I guess I need some more practice!!

  70. pam says:

    I’m a big produce buyer & most of the times stores can’t keep up with how much our family eats. Especially the organic spinach, we go through TONS! Plus the price of their clothes & clearance is awesome imo.

  71. Neva says:

    While I have cut back on my Costco shopping a ton since I’ve started couponing, there are still a few reasons I have to keep my membership. The TP really is the best price per foot, I have yet to find cheaper TP (ok – maybe when you get it for free, but that doesn’t happen often, and you can’t price it by the roll since their yardage varies). I also buy milk, eggs, garbage bags and saran wrap there. They have good prices on their big bags of rice and flour, too. And don’t forget the food court. My family of 5 can “go out” to eat for about $12.

  72. Meg says:

    There is a gal here in Washington, Queenbee coupons, who has a real amazing Costco price list. I hope that’s o.k. to mention.

    I do sometimes use Costco to get garbage bags and Spray n Wash, which are two things I have a really hard time stocking up on (although there have been good garbage bag deals lately)!

    I do also like them for their big sheet cakes, but like you I just get friends to pick stuff up for me.

  73. Ashlee says:

    The only thing I buy at Costco is their beef and cursonts! I’ve tried others beef and its just not as good, same with the cursonts. Okay and their cookies, hey I can splurge on a couple things right! :P

  74. Nicole says:

    Costco does have the best car insurence!! We are saving about $100 dollars a month switching to there car insurence for the same coverage. :)

  75. Jennifer says:

    I remember when I thought my SAMs club membership was awesome. I remember my mom bought my first year and I thought I was going to get great deals on diapers when I found. Out I was preggo. Then someone told me about a sale Rite aid had last October for buy 5 packs, get a 6th free. Using $5/25 PDFs, I made out good (now I rock diaper sales lol) and that was the begining of my becomeing hooked on coupons. The only thing I have bought at SAMs were some Alabama championship football shirts. They were $8 instead of $20 pretty much anywhere elsez. I think the only reason I would keep the membership is for the flooring and the occasional sale on something electronic (ie TVs)

  76. Tiffany T says:

    I’m loving this post! We have always had a membership to Costco, but I have now been using coupons for close to a year and I was just having this discussion with my husband. We will NOT be renewing our membership this year! If for any reason we feel we can’t live without something from Costco well, just about everyone in our family has a membership … I can honestly say since I began using coupons I have been to Costco a whopping ONE TIME! And I truthfully didn’t even need to be there.

  77. Daleene says:

    Hah!! I love this post. Unfortunately we did not get the Schick coupons in the Idaho Statesman or the Idaho Press Tribune. So what is a thrifty couponer to do? Order them from Ebay!! I am sure they will get here by next Saturday and with the inserts not having the coupon then I hope that there will be plenty in stock when my coupons get here!