Costco Report

I just realized that November marked a year that we have been Costco members, and I promised to report on it.

But I find that I just don’t have much to say. The renewal came around, and we renewed it, so there’s that. I go there about once a month to get a very fixed list of things: apple juice, chicken, and a sports drink that Sir Monkeypants likes. Every other month or so I need to add Iron Supplements, bacon, and granola bars, and about once a year I need to fork out the money for a bottle of vanilla.

Side note about vanilla: there was a story on the CBC news a few weeks ago about the skyrocketing price of vanilla – apparently there was a massive crop failure worldwide. Costco in particular was named in this news report, and they noted that they’d been unable to get vanilla for ages and when they finally did, it had more than doubled in price. My friend Tudor and her teenaged son heard this report and he immediately said, “Oh no! What is Lynn going to do?”

So you can see that this blog has made me pretty famous.

Also: it is true that the cost of vanilla at Costco has gone up to almost $40 a bottle. But that is still less than half of what you’d pay at the Superstore, where a bottle that is less than 1/10 the size costs $8. EEK.

Anyway! With our small list of items, the Costco membership has paid for itself, so much so that I stopped bothering to keep track about halfway through the year because it became obvious that it was worth it. And I do do the Costco-browse that I said I’d never do, where you end up impulse buying crap from the middle you weren’t really looking for, but by doing so I have found some great pants for the kids and some good socks and a few good Christmas presents, too. Sir Monkeypants ended up buying tires there this year as well which was an additional cost savings bonus, and he bought his glasses there too, and while those are likely rare and unusual purchases, they are the kind of thing that we were able to take advantage of because of our membership.

I still dislike going there. Getting in and out of the parking lot is nuts, everything you buy there is so heavy and takes up a ton of space, and I really hate having to dig my stupid card out of the depths of my purse just so I can flash it to get in. I always forget to hold on to my receipt so I can be checked out of the store, too, and involuntarily stuff it in my bag, then have to fish it out again, all the while muttering under my breath, which is not really a good look on anyone.

But we have saved money, and we have managed to mostly avoid overspending on stuff we don’t need just because it’s a “good deal,” so we renewed it. Back into the cult for another year!

7 thoughts on “Costco Report

  1. Yes. Same here. And the odd stuff I pick up that wasn’t on the list helped me discover things I didn’t know about before, or had I not gone there. Like coconut clusters that are sweet, delicious, school friendly and gluten free. 😊

    I too sometimes look at the middle. Pants including yoga are a great price, kid stuff like socks….

    I found a back way to to get in, where I loop around a side street and park by the end side by where there are no doors but also less cars. I don’t have to walk through the parking lot where half the drivers don’t look where they’re going, I just walk along the long side of the warehouse. But to the showing the card thing…. especially the receipt at the exit….I don’t get it and would really like to know why they have to check the cart on the way out.

    So, Costco for us, it’s worth it too. But only if I leave the family at home! 😁

  2. MrsCarlSagan

    Oh my gosh, the price of vanilla! if my house goes up in flames I will grab it as I run out.
    I’ve been rationing my Costco bottle of vanilla. I paid about $28 for it 9 months ago and noticed a few weeks ago that it was close to $40. I’ve stopped using it in many things like breads and muffins where quite honestly, I don’t really notice it. I’m saving it for my christmas shortbreads.

    1. At Food Basics vanilla is less than half (close to a third) of the price as at Loblaws. The only trick is to be able to find the real (not artificial) stuff. Sometimes they have it, sometimes they don’t. When they do, I buy a couple of bottles!

  3. I think Costco fills a need for some families. A friend of mine signed up because at one point, she had four teens at home and food budget was going up. Totally makes sense to me.

    That said, I’m pretty anti Costco for people like us (i.e. smaller families) because I just don’t NEED that much and I hate this supersized life.

    1. It is weird, isn’t it? We resisted for a long time just because we don’t have the space to store the giant packages. But for a few things we go through often, it has become worthwhile. I feel like I have drunk the Kool Aid – someday I’ll be free again!

    2. I think you can get pretty good flavour from other extracts – I make cupcakes with lemon or caramel extract, and almond extract is always good if you don’t have allergies. But I have to say I am pretty addicted to vanilla – I love the flavour and put it in everything I can.

      I read this interesting article not too long ago about “rose water.” It’s a sugar syrup with a subtle rose flavour and apparently it was used just like vanilla is used today until the mid-20th century, but then everyone moved on to vanilla which has a stronger flavour. Maybe it’s time for a comeback – I think it’s pretty easy to make your own rose water with literal roses.

  4. nicoleboyhouse

    Costco definitely pays off for us, as I’ve mentioned. Vanilla used to be the great secret of Costco – those bottles used to be about $12. The last time we were in Mexico I bought a whole bunch of bottles for maybe 1/4 of the price at Costco. Now, it’s Mexican vanilla not Madagascar vanilla, so the flavour is different. But it’s still good.

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