Thursday, February 6, 2014

Are you a Costco Member?

       Hi everyone!  It's great to be back to writing. Miss me?

      If you are wondering what I have been up to, I'd say I've spent the first 6 weeks of this year developing recipes and trying to cope with the growing food demand of the kids.  Goodness! I can't believe how much food these little people can actually eat without gaining a single pound.  Frankly, I am getting quite jealous.

     Speaking of big amounts of food, I finally took the plunge and got my Costco Membership two weeks ago.  Yay! For those who are asking why only now.  Here's the deal.  One, I have been a member of Sam's Club for almost a decade. About 5 years ago, I stopped going because I find the branch nearest our new home too crowded and inconveniently far.  Just for the record, when I say inconveniently far, it means the location is beyond my 5 mile shopping radius.  Hey,  before some of you roll your eyes, let me remind you that I'm in New Jersey people.  Does the Shopping Mall State sounds a bell?  

       Then there's the issue of space. No matter how tempting it can be, I simple don't have any room in our small house to stockpile several items. With a limited monthly budget to feed my family, food variety is a must. Oh, did I mention that the kids have multiple food allergies too?  This means that most of our packaged grocery items are brand specific. Will a warehouse membership still be helpful?  I'm no longer sure.  Anyway, when a new Costco warehouse opened within 3 miles from where I live, I still got curious.  

        During my first visit,  I'm not really interested in becoming a member.  All I want is to look around for items and check whether the membership will actually give me some savings.  The complimentary one-day non-member pass enabled me to do that.

       Here's a quick tip.  Do your scouting child free as much as possible and bring a phone or tablet loaded with apps of your favorite stores. This is handy for price comparisons especially when buying in bulk.

      So, after an hour of label reading and price checks, I was able to load my cart with some basic pantry staples without spending a fortune.  Though most of the brands we use aren't available, I was surprised that Costco's organic selection is quite decent and of course, has better prices than the smaller packages I buy at health food stores.  Even if manufacturer coupons are not accepted, some items still come out cheaper and the savings can really justify the $55+ tax Gold membership fee.  The biggest bonus for me as a member is the price of gasoline. It is 20 - 30 cents cheaper than the stations in my area.

        As of the moment, I am quite pleased with my experience and decision to join Costco. How about you?  Are you already a member of Costco?  Does it help you save? Love to hear your thoughts.

- Roz         


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