Costco - Deal or Not a Big Deal?

I might be late on this but wondering how Costco compares to other supermarkets for fresh veggis and fruits? I'm looking for options given grocery shopping is getting more expensive. Know about grocer but want to know the feedback around shopping at Costco if its worth to purchase membership.

Poll Options

  • 31
    Don't waste money
  • 5
    Good option
  • 1
    Ok ok

Related Stores

Costco New Zealand
Costco New Zealand


  • +2

    If youre on Facebook, join one of the local AKL Costco groups. They usually post photos of deals/rebates etc and you can browse those for comparison. Be warned (of course), just like any group, there is a lot of trolling and misinformation.

    • I wonder if there is something similar for Christchurch?

      • An article in today’s NBR (paywalled) confirms a resource consent has been granted for a Canterbury location but a site or deal has not been confirmed yet. They appear to be keenly looking.

        • Awesome!

          • @mickey9876: It has to be in Rolleston (or 99%), they already have a somewhat "official" FB group set up for that.

            • @akrotohur: Yea makes sense, plenty of free land over that side of town. Isn’t Rolleston officially outside Chch?

              • @mickey9876: Rolleston is on the outskirts of the city but I would still class it as part of greater Christchurch.

                • @bigcheese: That’s exactly what I think as well but only learned recently that it’s in different district called Selwyn.

  • +3

    My advise would be only shop at Costco if you have a big family, everything is in bulk and therefore you are paying more, if you can't finish before they go bad then you are wasting even more money.

    I feel most prodcts are more expensive compare to pak'n'sav and their fuel station isn't cheap either. I heard Costco mostly makes money from membership fees but i think that's a lie.

    • I have that feeling too, maybe it's just some clever accounting.

      • +1

        Don't let feelings decide over real numbers…

        Specifically pages 25 & 34

        • That's why I think it's clever accounting. You can't tell for a bag of cheese that's sold at $34.99, what's the margin, and when the exact same cheese was sold at $4.99, what's the margin. Some people thought that when they source something for $100, they won't sell it higher than $115 (and therefore consumers always get better deals there), which I think is not the correct way of interpreting their "margins".

  • +1

    Costco (worldwide) is not really well known for their fresh produce, in fact, some advise against buying fresh product from Costco. They're more for their non perishable goods and products you can't usually find locally. BUT, some of those supposedly "overseas" products are produced locally, eg. their Lays chips are made by Bluebird, many think they taste like Bluebird thin cut salted chips.

    They recently cleared a huge batch of short dated cheeses at pretty good "clearance" prices, if that's your thing. I personally didn't find anything interesting there (from the FB posts, etc), I was intending to join around this time (thinking to wait for the hype to die down a bit), but have put that off.

    • Lays and Bluebird are both owned by Pepsi so that would make sense.

  • +3

    I love Costco! I have been to other Costco quite a few times in other countries. I think it's worth it if you only buy what you eat/need.

    The first time I went to Costco here, I bought 3 packs of 1.7kg organic chicken tender and saved $90 just on that. They are normally $30/kg in supermarkets. Costco was selling them for $23/kg and there was a rebate (discount) going on on the chicken which worked out to be just over $11/kg. Also bought 21 packs of Scotch sponge for $24.69 when countdown sells the single pack (identical) for $3.99.

    I don't buy any fruit and vegetables from Costco as the size is too big for two people, also not really that cheap.

    The only downside is I tend to buy random stuff to try when I go, so end up spending way too much money each time.

    Oh… and I just got a pair of glasses from there with 1.67 thinner len option for $200 (this includes blue light filter, anti reflection). Definitely worth having a look if you need glasses.

    My brother just got two Michelin tyres for $194 each all inclusive, the same tyre is $240 each at other tyre place excluding wheel alignment/balance.

    • +2

      Compare with the highest price on the market isn't wise, instead it should be compared with the lowest, in you Scotch sponge example you can get a 8 pack for $11.90 works out to be $1.49 each from any Bunnings, compare to the price you give for Costco @$1.16 each, not a huge deal of saving and you end up storing 20 pack away. I wonder how long that would last you for your 2 people, and that 5.1KG of chicken tender you bought.

      I do feel I need a much bigger fridge/freezer to store all the bulk items at Costco.

      To be able to save at Costco you must spend large up front to earn back the $60 membership fees.…

  • You can get a membership, if you don't like it you can get a refund. We don't buy a lot of fruit and veges, some are more expensive than our Paknsave. With other items you have to know what you pay normally to work out if its a good buy. There are some great buys but some aren't. E.g: premium mince is $11.99, supermarket $20.99, Mens nivea roll on, black & white invisible, womens pear and beauty $16.99 for 6, supermarket $4.69 each. Handy Andy 5 ltr $5.20/litre, supermarket $8.10ltr. Things like sensodyne toothpaste (3 for $29) you can get on special from supermarket cheaper.
    We stock up on certain stuff we need and just top up from supermarket on other stuff. Really Like their $7.99 1.5kg rotisserie chicken and $11.99 for 2 packs of supersized chocolate muffins.

  • Forgot to add, if you use Black Hawk dog food, we bought the Kirklands Natures Domain Turkey and Sweet Potato 15.87kg for $79.99, I was paying $187 for 15kg. I also checked dogfoodadvisor etc, and they gave it the same rating or better to both the Kirklands and the Kirklands Natures Domain range as the Black Hawk.
    And Costco will give you a refund if your dogs don't like it, I checked that first, one of my dogs is a fussy eater.

  • +2

    Not everything is cheap. There are few bargains & some quality items at decent everyday price. But fresh produce & fruits are definitely not one of them. I go fairly regularly to costco mostly for muffins, croissants, frozen food, dry fruits, ready to bake pizza & kids snacks. They have instant rebates going on once in awhile for certain items which are near expiry or they want to clear out. Like got mexican shredded cheese (~1.2kg I think) for $2.99, originally $29.99 or something. It had mid-feb expiry so putting it in freezer can last me a month or two. Also, got 2l cream couple of times for $5 or something. Join the fb group, they normally post weekly/daily rebates so you will know what's on offer.

    Their Kirkland brand has very good quality products, so if you can handle the bulk items and consume them or store them nicely, over time you will spend less even though you might have to cough up the initial higher cost. Research before you commit anything.

    Get the membership and try it out, if you don't like you can always cancel the membership and they will refund you in full.

    Membership is worth it if you what's worth the price, also the tyre department & glasses are good. Cheaper everyday fuel if you live in the area or when you visit costco.

    Always, check the receipt before leaving as sometimes, rebates listed are not reflected on the receipt due to price not yet updated.

    • @ace310 well said.

  • +1

    Costco is only good when theres rebates (we have about 10kgs of different cheeses weve found dirt cheap across our visits). We are not impressed with the overall quality, however. Everything is so short dated, even bread!. Have had many rotten eggs as well from costco, and also have found the staff to be quite rude (they dont allow you to eat foodcourt stuff in the store, and also body block you when you go through the big gap at the checkout, because they want you to go through the small gap. Not the costco we had expected it to be. overall quite disappointed however the few good rebates and baked goods do bring us back every once in a while.
    also theres a major lack of kirkland stuff, we are missing out on so many things (but some are sold in marthas backyard)

    • They block you at the checkout because their system has the trolley on the right and the person paying on the left. Going to the right is like walking behind the counter at a normal supermarket

    • Costcos "short dates" are due to their own personal strict quality controls protocols. A great example is their beef mince is always freshly ground same day, and expiry date will be the following day. @kiwiicheapies

  • A recent Herald article, but it's behind the paywall, if you have access to it

    Costco hangover: Keeping an eye on the costs - Diana Clement…

    • +3

      Bypass Paywalls works a treat.

      • Thanks. Any option for mobile browser versions?

        • Not on iOS (which I use) as far as I’m aware.
          There probably is on Android but I have no idea sorry.

        • Firefox Nightly

  • +1

    Veggies are better/cheaper at packnsave.

  • Thanks for your input peeps. Looks like I'm better off with Paknsav!

    • +1

      Especially the Pak n Saves out West that are trying to compete with Costco.

  • +1

    Stuff there ain't cheap, so the Cheapies strategy is to recoup the cost of the membership fee with enough cut-price hot dogs and pizzas.

    • Don't forget the rebate cheese

  • +3

    Their prices have risen quite a bit since they opened. I shop there as I like the range, but steer well clear of a lot of stuff (produce especially included) due to overpricing. Once you get to know what they stock and how their pricing compares to other outlets, you will find them useful, but they are certainly not a 1:1 replacement for a supermarket.

    My shops have become very quick. I head straight for the things I top up on, have a quick look through for rebates, and then leave.

    • Exactly that's what I do. Haven't even been to produce section in last 2 trips.

    • +4

      Exactly this. Use Costco to your advantage, not as a replacement

    • What type of things you would mainly shop there except for rebates?

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