Why I’m breaking up with Costco
It’s been almost 2 years since Costco first opened it’s doors in Adelaide. We signed up as members within the first few weeks of the store opening, and at first it seemed like it was a fantastic way to save money. In fact, I did a few comparisons in the links below outlining exactly how much money we had saved from each shopping trip. Unfortunately, after a while both the novelty wore off, and we realised Costco just doesn’t suit our lifestyle. While I know Costco membership is still worth it for a huge number of people, and Costco staff do an amazing job, I have had to break up with Costco, and this is why:
It’s too far from home
At this stage there is only one Costco store in Adelaide, which is unfortunately almost an hours drive from where we live. That means that the amount we save on groceries needs to outweigh the cost in petrol to drive there, along with the time it takes. Once we take into account petrol and time we were not making much of a saving at all. If we had a large family and had a high grocery bill each week, it might have been a different story.
The prices kept going up
At first, the prices on most items were great, and we were saving decent amounts of money on the things we were buying. However, after a short while the price of many items began to rise, often by a few dollars at a time. That meant that it actually ended up being just as cheap if not cheaper to stock up on items a my local supermarket when they were part of regular half price catalogue specials. Coles and Woolworths also reduced the everyday price on many items to match Costco prices.
I was over storing huge amounts of each item
After a while finding space to store bulk numbers of items began to get a bit old. While we don’t have a small house, we don’t have THAT much spare space to store endless rolls of toilet paper and paper towel. It just wasn’t worth cramming our cupboards full for the sake of saving a few cents per toilet roll.
Bulk buying doesn’t suit our family
We are a family of four with two young kids, so we don’t really go through a massive amount of food, which means that buying huge package sizes often means we will be wasting food. Once you start throwing away excess food because the amount you bought was too much for your family, you can pretty much guarantee you have wiped out any savings you initially made.
Aldi opened in Adelaide
Now before anyone mentions it, I know Aldi and Costco are completely different stores, and are aimed at completely different markets. But since Aldi opened in Adelaide, we have had next to no interest in shopping at Costco. I’m happy with the quality and prices that Aldo offer, and it’s much closer to home.
We don’t buy many pre-packaged snacks
It seems like some of the biggest savings that can be made at Costco are on pre-packaged food and snacks, which is not something we usually buy. We make most of our meals and snacks from scratch, which means we instead buy plenty of whole foods, which don’t tend to be much cheaper at Costco than other stores.
We don’t buy many name brands
If you love certain name brands, Costco could be perfect for you, because they offer many name brands at great comparatively great prices. However tend to stick more to the generic brands for many things, which are often still cheaper than Costco’s name brand prices.
Costco stopped accepting AMEX
This is more of a minor point, but we use our AMEX credit card wherever possible to make the most of the Qantas frequent flyer points we receive for every dollar we spend.
The amount of time it takes to do a shop
Aside from the time it actually takes to drive to and from our nearest store, the shopping trip once we set foot in the door takes just as long, which can make things a little difficult when it comes to young kids with limited amounts of patience.