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Costco Opening This Month!

jessieduck 13 July 2011 58

With Costco due to open in a week and a half, I thought I would have a poke around the internet to see what we are in for. Having been to Costcos in Canada and the US, I am excited about the prospect of discounted groceries but also wondering how the typical Canberra home will cope with bulk buying (not many basements around these parts). I’ve paid my $60 membership fee (price is per family, not per person) and am ready to shop but we’re yet to see any emails or received any coupon books from Costco yet. It’s only from checking the website that I can see they are opening on the 22nd.

So quick education for the uninitiated. You need a membership to shop there. Thems are the rules. The stores are huge- a Bunnings style supermarkets with pallets of goods sold mostly in bulk- big bottles, large jars, multi-packs, boxes etc. Kirkland is Costco’s own brand and I guess is comparable to the Woolworth Select model. They sell everything from toilet paper to electronics to diamond rings along with meat, fruit and veg. They also have a food court selling hotdogs, pies, pizza etc and all-you-can-drink sodas (oops sorry, soft drinks). I’ve been told that members will get a coupon book a few times a year that will increase the savings on certain items. Costco is also pretty famous for their staff handing out samples as you move down the aisle (it’s how they get you).

Because I was curious… and had a bit of time on my hands… I jumped on Flickr and looked at “Costco Melbourne” pictures to suss out what they sell here in Australia. Most of the pictures are from 2009 and 2010 but I think the following is a pretty good indication of a fraction of what will be on offer here in Canberra. Don’t laugh, the following is not indicative of what I’ll be buying just what I was able to see prices for:

Box of Tim Tams (equiv to 6 packets) $10.49
1.2kg Shapes biscuits $12.49
Bucket of Vegemite (1kg?) $11.17
Box of 72 Caramello Koalas $23.99
Box of 30 small packets of Red Rock Deli chips $31.99
Box of Crunchies $45.99
4x 160gram Colgate toothpaste $16.98
2x 750ml Head and Shoulders $22.99
2x 354ml Aveeno Bodywash $15.99
5 carat diamond ring $159,999.00 (yes, the decimal point is in the right spot)
120 Crayola crayons $24.99
Ecomonmy pack of Optifree contact lens cleaner $12.99
HP 6 pack colour ink refill $79.99

Meat and fish
Korean marinated beef $13.99kg
Cooked lamb shanks $10.99kg
Prepared chicken parmigiana $12.99kg
Beef tenderloin (bulk) $27.99 kg
1.25kg bucket of marinated baby octopus $19.99
140gram crabmeat $10.99
Prepared salmon steaks $31.99kg
Whole salmon $14.99kg
Chicken thighs $9.49kg
NY striploin (bulk) $15.99kg
Cooked chook $9.99

Cheese
Happy Cow 24 pack $2.99
Soresina Provolone $17.29kg
Parmigino Reggiano $29.99
Jindi Camembert $33.99

There weren’t any pictures of the fruit and veg prices but I am led to believe it’s a very good price in Melbourne so I imagine we’ll get similar. I’ve also heard that TP is something like 30c a roll but you need to buy half a years supply in one go.

Costco might not be the place to shop if you can’t control your impulse buying but otherwise I think it has the potential to save my family money… if I shop smart. I’m willing to give it a go but if it doesn’t work for us, oh well, at least my North American husband will have somewhere to go if he gets homesick.


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58 Responses to Costco Opening This Month!
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allyroger allyroger 6:53 pm 21 Jul 11

majorLazer said :

@All the people who want to check it out before they buy, the good thing with the membership is that it is refundable. If you don’t like their products, you can get a membership refund at any time.

Also from what I have read, the Costco here also provide some sort of lifetime warranty on all products including electronics, which essentially means return it if you don’t like it 5 years later and get the money you payed for it back. Of course misuse means they will refund you the Membership fees and bar you from using it ever again

Pretty sure that they stopped that policy (at least in the US) – people were taking back 100kg old school projection tvs and walking out with plasmas with the refund.

kezzafezza kezzafezza 6:21 pm 21 Jul 11

gooterz said :

Say if you want to do family shopping is that $60 to enter the store per person or just for the one paying?

It is $60 for a membership, but you can look around before you get one. Maybe go along with someone who already has a membership?

gooterz gooterz 5:49 pm 21 Jul 11

Say if you want to do family shopping is that $60 to enter the store per person or just for the one paying?

kezzafezza kezzafezza 5:27 pm 21 Jul 11

Costco opens tomorrow! I’m really excited for it, but I get a bit aggro with large crowds sometimes. Maybe I’ll take a cattle prod.

molongloid molongloid 2:00 pm 21 Jul 11

It looks like the Costco website is overloaded today. Timeouts and resets galore. No doubt extra traffic due to buzz surrounding Auburn and Canberra openings and voucher downloads.

majorLazer majorLazer 9:24 pm 16 Jul 11

@All the people who want to check it out before they buy, the good thing with the membership is that it is refundable. If you don’t like their products, you can get a membership refund at any time.

Also from what I have read, the Costco here also provide some sort of lifetime warranty on all products including electronics, which essentially means return it if you don’t like it 5 years later and get the money you payed for it back. Of course misuse means they will refund you the Membership fees and bar you from using it ever again

Evil_Kitten Evil_Kitten 11:01 pm 13 Jul 11

I probably won’t end up going purely because of the $60 membership. I might have checked it out otherwise. $60 for me is my weekly food bill, or a new pair of shoes, or a full tank of petrol, or something else much better spent than a membership to something I am highly doubtful I will utilise. As others have mentioned, I don’t have a family to feed and as far as other items go, I don’t have the room to keep boxes of toilet paper around the place…

I do think it’s a great idea though! Just not for me.

Harriet Vane Harriet Vane 8:40 pm 13 Jul 11

I think the appeal of Costco is that it also caters to the commercial market. I believe a lot of restaurants/cafes in the US source their ingredients there. If they can establish a big enough catchment area, they should do well enough; one assumes they’ve done their business homework!

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 7:53 pm 13 Jul 11

Can you go in for a look without incurring the $60 cover charge?

CanberraGirl19 CanberraGirl19 7:41 pm 13 Jul 11

I’m just not so sure CostCo will work in Canberra. As others have already stated, we just don’t have the population to support it. If you have to buy everything in bulk, people will either only go out there every 1 or 2 months, or they’ll realise that stuff is going off because they can’t eat it in time and start shopping at a regular supermarket again. Even if half of Canberra signed up, if everyone only made one trip out there every month or so, would that really be enough business to keep the place going?

Also, people that read Choice magazine would have read the rather interesting article in the last issue about the value of the food people throw out because they didn’t eat it and it went off, and why buying in bulk is not a good option for everyone.

jessieduck jessieduck 6:59 pm 13 Jul 11

I’m not expecting Costco to be a weekly habit but once a month/once every two months might work out. It’s not too far away considering I drive past it to visit family at least once a week and my sister is happy to buddy up on some items (like meat) to reduce the initial outlay as well as help with freezer space. I’m happy to give it a go and hopefully say goodbye to Woolies in Dickson forever. The Farmers Markets will still hold a special place in our weekly schedule (which we walk to poetix) but I see Costco as an excellent addition to Canberra’s grocery basket.

Classified Classified 6:24 pm 13 Jul 11

Watson said :

Classified said :

Once you start adding up savings across multiple areas (eg food out, entertainment, coffees, transport, clothing, travel, gambling, etc), you are starting to look at substantial savings. Add up across all these areas, and add that across the weeks and months and years, the difference is actually pretty substantial.

Aha! I hardly spend any money on any of those things! (You should see my wardrobe – it’s pathetic!) Except for travel. Obligation to the European family… 3 times to Europe in 6 years: ouch! There was most of my deposit right there.

It’s an understandable but not necessarily a correct assumption that people who pay for convenience in one area, would automatically be wasteful in other areas of their life. But it’s all a matter of priorities. Keeping in touch with family and introducing my daughter to them and my culture was more important to me than the house in the end.

But I can make up for the savings I will not make by not going to Costco by not buying clothes for myself for another couple of years and riding the bike to work.

Anywho… I’m unlikely to ever go there, so I should get the hell out of this thread! 🙂

I figured I didn’t know your situation, and it sounds like you’ve made lots of decisions that will pay long lasting dividends. I’m a in a similar boat, in that I’m happy to economise in some areas but spend up in others. Cheers.

Genie Genie 5:02 pm 13 Jul 11

Why is everyone so quick to bag out CostCo ???

They are not just a supermarket.. they sell everything from electrical equipment to jewelery and clothing and tools.

I used to shop at the Costco in Juneau, Alaska.. it was always packed and they had amazing bargains. 20 pairs of ‘nike’ socks for $5.. don’t mind if I do !!

Clearly none of you have large families to support, they will be the big winners out of Costco opening and will likely save the $60 membership fee in the first shop.

Pretty sure our work plans on getting a membership to go out an buy discounted food so we can have a snack shop at work instead of paying 4 times as much in vending machines, and using the profits for our christmas party.

Watson Watson 4:11 pm 13 Jul 11

Classified said :

Once you start adding up savings across multiple areas (eg food out, entertainment, coffees, transport, clothing, travel, gambling, etc), you are starting to look at substantial savings. Add up across all these areas, and add that across the weeks and months and years, the difference is actually pretty substantial.

Aha! I hardly spend any money on any of those things! (You should see my wardrobe – it’s pathetic!) Except for travel. Obligation to the European family… 3 times to Europe in 6 years: ouch! There was most of my deposit right there.

It’s an understandable but not necessarily a correct assumption that people who pay for convenience in one area, would automatically be wasteful in other areas of their life. But it’s all a matter of priorities. Keeping in touch with family and introducing my daughter to them and my culture was more important to me than the house in the end.

But I can make up for the savings I will not make by not going to Costco by not buying clothes for myself for another couple of years and riding the bike to work.

Anywho… I’m unlikely to ever go there, so I should get the hell out of this thread! 🙂

Classified Classified 3:35 pm 13 Jul 11

Classified said :

Please not I’m saying Watson is a wasteful person, just highlighting that being habitually careful can make a big difference.

How about I fix this bit:

Please note that I’m not saying Watson is a wasteful person, just highlighting that being habitually careful can make a big difference.

Classified Classified 3:33 pm 13 Jul 11

harvyk1 said :

Classified said :

Watson said :

Classified said :

Watson said :

I fail to understand how anyone can get excited about groceries, but to each their own. I know my mother would love it.

I’ll keep getting my groceries delivered by Coles and be blissfully ignorant about how much money I could be saving if I’d do the 2 hour trip and buy in bulk.

Apologies in advance if this is a case of mistaken identity, but weren’t you the person getting upset recently about not being able to buy the home you wanted? Wouldn’t making a brief trip out to Costco save you a significant amount over time?

Ah thanks for that tip! That $5 in savings – taking into account the cost of the petrol and we’re only a 2-person family – will go a long way towards my weekly mortgage repayments. Hurrah, I’m saved! Finding time to spend relaxing with my child and doing the housework I don’t find time for during the week is also significant in comparison to getting rich by shopping at Costco.

(I do apologise for my bad attempt at sarcasm – just grumpy today.)

Not having a go at you, just suggesting that I reckon if you shopped carefully at Costco you could make pretty reasonable savings (in the tens of dollars per week even), which over time would add up well.

Hope your day improves! 🙂

Yay, tens of dollars per month… With that kinda savings I could change from a 3 bedroom house into a 5 bedroom house with money to spare…

Seriously, if a $50 savings a month is the difference between affording a house and not affording a house, you can’t afford one, one interest rate rise will knock you out…

We’ll ignore the other things such as the cost of time and petrol to get out there, as they also will distroy your savings…

What I was alluding to (and which has been obviously missed) is that someone who is unconcerned about spending a few bucks extra on groceries (that add up to 50-100 bucks a month) is likely to be unconcerned about spending a few extra bucks on other things too. Once you start adding up savings across multiple areas (eg food out, entertainment, coffees, transport, clothing, travel, gambling, etc), you are starting to look at substantial savings. Add up across all these areas, and add that across the weeks and months and years, the difference is actually pretty substantial.

Please not I’m saying Watson is a wasteful person, just highlighting that being habitually careful can make a big difference.

harvyk1 harvyk1 2:34 pm 13 Jul 11

Classified said :

Watson said :

Classified said :

Watson said :

I fail to understand how anyone can get excited about groceries, but to each their own. I know my mother would love it.

I’ll keep getting my groceries delivered by Coles and be blissfully ignorant about how much money I could be saving if I’d do the 2 hour trip and buy in bulk.

Apologies in advance if this is a case of mistaken identity, but weren’t you the person getting upset recently about not being able to buy the home you wanted? Wouldn’t making a brief trip out to Costco save you a significant amount over time?

Ah thanks for that tip! That $5 in savings – taking into account the cost of the petrol and we’re only a 2-person family – will go a long way towards my weekly mortgage repayments. Hurrah, I’m saved! Finding time to spend relaxing with my child and doing the housework I don’t find time for during the week is also significant in comparison to getting rich by shopping at Costco.

(I do apologise for my bad attempt at sarcasm – just grumpy today.)

Not having a go at you, just suggesting that I reckon if you shopped carefully at Costco you could make pretty reasonable savings (in the tens of dollars per week even), which over time would add up well.

Hope your day improves! 🙂

Yay, tens of dollars per month… With that kinda savings I could change from a 3 bedroom house into a 5 bedroom house with money to spare…

Seriously, if a $50 savings a month is the difference between affording a house and not affording a house, you can’t afford one, one interest rate rise will knock you out…

We’ll ignore the other things such as the cost of time and petrol to get out there, as they also will distroy your savings…

EvanJames EvanJames 2:14 pm 13 Jul 11

Keijidosha said :

P.S. Does anyone know if CostCo have them trolleys with a seat and motor? That warehouse looks pretty big, and I can’t be expected to walk AND carry all the stuff I’m fixin’ to buy.

You can do what I used to see people in the US doing, and now they’re doing it here, god help us.

They slump over their shopping trolley, and walk around pretty-well supported by the trolley. Their head and shoulders are almost IN the trolley. It’s so slob-like.

Classified Classified 1:40 pm 13 Jul 11

Watson said :

Classified said :

Watson said :

I fail to understand how anyone can get excited about groceries, but to each their own. I know my mother would love it.

I’ll keep getting my groceries delivered by Coles and be blissfully ignorant about how much money I could be saving if I’d do the 2 hour trip and buy in bulk.

Apologies in advance if this is a case of mistaken identity, but weren’t you the person getting upset recently about not being able to buy the home you wanted? Wouldn’t making a brief trip out to Costco save you a significant amount over time?

Ah thanks for that tip! That $5 in savings – taking into account the cost of the petrol and we’re only a 2-person family – will go a long way towards my weekly mortgage repayments. Hurrah, I’m saved! Finding time to spend relaxing with my child and doing the housework I don’t find time for during the week is also significant in comparison to getting rich by shopping at Costco.

(I do apologise for my bad attempt at sarcasm – just grumpy today.)

Not having a go at you, just suggesting that I reckon if you shopped carefully at Costco you could make pretty reasonable savings (in the tens of dollars per week even), which over time would add up well.

Hope your day improves! 🙂

Watson Watson 1:29 pm 13 Jul 11

Classified said :

Watson said :

I fail to understand how anyone can get excited about groceries, but to each their own. I know my mother would love it.

I’ll keep getting my groceries delivered by Coles and be blissfully ignorant about how much money I could be saving if I’d do the 2 hour trip and buy in bulk.

Apologies in advance if this is a case of mistaken identity, but weren’t you the person getting upset recently about not being able to buy the home you wanted? Wouldn’t making a brief trip out to Costco save you a significant amount over time?

Ah thanks for that tip! That $5 in savings – taking into account the cost of the petrol and we’re only a 2-person family – will go a long way towards my weekly mortgage repayments. Hurrah, I’m saved! Finding time to spend relaxing with my child and doing the housework I don’t find time for during the week is also significant in comparison to getting rich by shopping at Costco.

(I do apologise for my bad attempt at sarcasm – just grumpy today.)

what_the said :

Dont forget the ivory backscratcher in the next order 😉

See, I wouldn’t know if Coles sells ivory backscratchers. If I needed one, I’d check. But I don’t get tempted to buy stuff I don’t need because I don’t browse the aisles. And fortunately their online shop is so primitive that I never get tempted to just browse.

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