all reports say that it's much cheaper than the big two supermarkets, or any other australian supermarket for that matter so off we went this afternoon for a sticky beak.
here's what i bought:
- huge bag of salad $5 this was only a tiny bit more money for double the quantity i would get if buying the same thing elsewhere. it gets a tick.
- 60 pack of toilet rolls $22 the toilet paper was worse quality than i would usually get and cost less but i think i could get a similar deal in the local shops if they had a good special on.
- 3 pack of sensodyne toothpaste $20. i saved about 30% on this, even compared to the very best specials. another tick.
- 1kg strawberries $9 this time of year 1kg of strawberries would be closer to $15 but i wouldnt buy more than a $4 punnet, so on this one costco changed the economics of the whole deal.
- 2.5kg 90% lean beef mince (ground beef) $25. great price for top quality, now we will see what kind of eating it makes.
- huge bag of chips $6 this one was a request from a chip addicted daughter, normally she would get the much smaller $2 pack. i count this as a loss.
- roti, pack of 30 $10 exactly the same product at the same price i would pay locally.
- 2 big jars of moccona coffee $30 slightly cheaper than the same product on a super awesome special. a win for me.
- big jar of organic peanut butter $5 a much better product than i usually get at a slightly higher price.
- 2 gourmet baguette $7 fantastic bread that was worth the money but i wouldnt normally buy it.
- large jar of biscuits $3 pretty standard product and price, i might have saved $1 or $1.50
so, if i factor in the $60 annual membership fee, the cost of petrol to make a 90 minute return trip, the time, the crowds and the impulse buys going to costco is probably not profitable so far.
i was amazed to see how many people were buying huge trays of pastries and while i love a nice pastry i dont consider them to be something you buy in boxes of 20. it's one of those situations where the retailer has changed the economics of the purchase in their favour. who needs 20 pastries for $15 ? (or whatever the deal was) unless one happens to be hosting a big breakfast it's just too much of the wrong food.
the massive big banana bread for $16 was the same. i was dying to buy that banana bread, i could just taste it toasted and buttered and so could the girls but when in the past have i ever bought $16 worth of what is essentially cake? only for birthdays, thats when.
liam drew my attention to the possibility of extra waste which exists when people buy in bulk and dont eat the food before the due date, another pitfall to watch. he also pointed out the blank faces of many shoppers, caused by the narcotising effects of mindless consumption?
and the big test: will i be back? yes i will. i still need to justify my $60 membership and there are some great deals to be had. if i go in there with the idea that it's all a bargain i will lose big time but if i go in there with some caution and some savvy i can probably save some dosh and have a few unaccustomed luxuries. i just need to remember that "nothing is cheap if you dont want it."