Great ‘What to Buy at Costco & Makro’ Hunt

edited 28 April 2009 at 5:54PM in Shop but don't drop
1.9K replies 773.5K views


  • jenfajenfa Forumite
    125 Posts
    My husband has been a member of Costco for a long time and every Sept when it is renewal time I think is it worth the money, we go and usually end up buying a large item where we save the membership outright, and of course save throughout the year. Our only problem is we live in Kent so our nearest is Thurrock but have to pay £3 toll or Croydon.

    Him Indoors being Chinese origin means we buy Kikoman soy sauce (normally £2 cheaper than Wing Yip), large bags of rice again cheaper than Chinese supermarkets and boxes of noodles.

    Just bought 10l of dulux white paint for about £17. Large mirrors are very good value, great books for kids and unusual presents for Christmas. Bought the tefal one cup for about £12 cheaper than Debenhams.

    Did look at the computers they had for sale recently, but when I looked up the model numbers they were discontinued but of course that is just computers these days.

    I buy 3kg bags of caster sugar and demerara sugar and when I went last time wrote down the price from the supermarket and costco was cheaper. Finish dishwasher tablets were also cheaper even when they were on offer at Lidl.

    Personally, I buy shops own pasta and cereals so don't find these cheaper at Costco. We do buy lots of treats when we go but they are cheaper than everywhere else. Just bear in mind offers in supermarkets and know prices before you go.
  • edited 29 April 2009 at 9:09AM
    hattinesshattiness Forumite
    1 Post
    edited 29 April 2009 at 9:09AM
    As mentioned by previous posters Costco is excellent for:

    Meat- particularly their chicken breasts (huge - one is plenty for two of us in a stir fry) and mince (no fat or waste)
    Skippy peanut butter - we buy jars for all the family and distribute when we visit - no-one will eat any other now :D
    Marmite - huge tubs which last ages (or not - depending on how addicted people are)
    Trays of tins of tomatoes, kidney beans etc for batch cooking
    Their frozen lemon sole is FANTASTIC - as are most of their frozen goods
    They also often have offers on nappies which are well received by the family
    We buy all our washing liquid, fabric conditioner there as well - although the last lot of fabric conditioner (5 litres) was so thick that I've been using it for months - have to keep watering it down to get it into the machine so I think it will last forever!
    Their cheeses are also great - I buy the goat's cheese when I'm going to visit my daughter and we have half each.
    Books and household goods vary and the clothes aren't always cheap - but they tend to be good makes. Toys etc. are really good value and we've also had several huge pots for the garden at a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

    Also the tyres are great value - they fit them while you're going round the shop so the car's all ready to go when you are - no special journey and hanging around a tyre fitters.

    All in all we find it's still worth maintaining our membership even though we're now a 2 hour drive away - used to be 20 mins before we moved! We put the cool box (electrical - Costco!) in the boot and call in whenever we're passing and usually manage to get everything we want though lines do come and go a bit.
  • Makro is more of a retail store, whereas Costco seems to have less items on sale? I've got a card for makro but have not bothered to renew my Costco card, as it isn't worth the 20 mile round trip and the card fee.

    The best thing about Makro are the bargains that appear, normally most Wednesday's. But here's the trick, get there on a Tuesday evening and beat the rush and get the same deal but 12 hours early!

    Costco is great if you've got a party planned, the food (big packs) are good quality and value.

  • AJ21_2AJ21_2 Forumite
    4 Posts
    I have only been a member at Costco since last November, but have more than got my money back - slow cooker for half the store or online price, jeans, ski stuff for my son, trainers, jacket for OH at a fraction of the price. Keep an eye out for the deals and stock up.

    I agree with other comments that have been made - you need to know the price of what you want to buy, electrical goods, computers, tv's seem expensive but cameras are reasonable.

    Handmade birthday cards, excellent value although some of the verses inside can be a bit dodgy.

    I go there to buy staples and now Mr. T has paid for my holiday, hardly ever go to Tesco's.

    Very large bag of rocket salad £2.79
    2 x farmhouse loaf £1.89 (kids love it) - there soft rolls also very tasty and good value for money.
    18 free range eggs £2.79
    frozen paella at 5.99 is fantastic
    3.4 litres semi skimmed milk £1.64
    Also bought yoghurts, tin toms, dried organic pasta, apples & oranges when on special, washing up liquid, washing powder, winter hanging baskets were excellent value and still going strong.

    I found the books at bit expensive but they do tend to be hardback, and wine can be cheaper elsewhere.

    Love Costco - but i'm still an offer shopper!!
  • We've been members for over four years and certainly get our money's worth:
    • Tyres are a great deal especially if you can wait for one of their periodic discount promotions. For Michelin tyres they are unbeatable value
    • Toiletries can be good. My wife buys the Simple cleansing wipes which are about a 3rd of the high street price
    • CLeaning stuff like flash liquid, domestos, dettox spray etc is very good. Shower Shine spray is probably about 50% of supermarket price volume for volume - they're bigger bottles in Costco.
    • Meat is excellent value. Their frozen steak mince burgers are good value and tasty - great for impromptu barbies
    • The hot deli ribs are brilliant! As are the take home and bake pizzas although they're too big to fit in our oven - chop a bit off and cook it selerately!
    • Loo roll and kitchen roll is a steal and good quality if you have space to store it
    • We've bought garden furniture before - we waited ages while the price gradually came down from about £1400 to around £700 for a huge wooden table and six good quality reclining chairs. If large things are not selling quickly they seem ot reduce the price over time until a buyer is found.
    • Paint is good - white Dulux rich matt is cheaper than anywhere and I've used gallons of it refurbishing my house. Decorating kit is really good too - massive packs of good quality brushes etc.
    • Light bulbs, batteries etc are dead cheap
    • Tinned goods work out well - things like their organic tinned tomatoes are superb and make a real difference to the flavour of dishes like curries, chilli, bolognese etc.
    • Cheese and butter are good - big catering packs but so0 much less than supermarkets
    • Olive oil, rice, pasta etc are good rpices.
    • Clothes can be hit and miss but they were doing Levi's for £19.99 at one point. Gone up a bit now though.
    One tip though - you have to be disciplined! It's very easy to see things that might be nice to have but you don't really need. We've walked out of there several times having spent £300-400 without trying. Yes it's loads of stuff, but we probalby didn't need most of it...

    Go with cash. Only spend what you planned to! That's what we do now, anyway!
  • I've had a Costco membership for a few years now - my brother is actually the member but I get the additional card and we tend to take it in turns to pay the membership. I work in a small private business so don't think I qualify for the individual membership on my own which is a shame and I do wonder why they limit the membership when you pay for it anyway.

    I absolutely love their bagels - in my opinion they are the best and I've tried them all - I'm a complete bagelaholic! Their cakes and danishes are fab too and like people have said their iced birthday cakes are excellent value - they're massive! You just fill in a form ticking boxes for the different options of kind of cake (chocolate, vanilla etc) and the colour of icing and picture (balloons, flowers etc) and then put what message you want writing on it - post it in the box and then pick your cake up a few days later! Excellent service - I make and ice cakes and don't think I could make such a big cake and ice it for the price they sell them.

    We always get our tissues there (kleenex) - they are £4 something or it might even have gone up to £5 something for 8 boxes and great quality, they do come on offer every so often so you get 2 packs of 8 for the price of 1.

    Trying to think now what else we buy there - milk is good value, teabags are often good value too, their cooked chickens and spare ribs are delicious, never tried their pizzas to take home and cook but the slices you get in the cafe are lovely and they are the same ones that they sell to take home, hotdogs and jacket potatoes are really nice in the cafe too. I agree with others that you do need to keep an eye on the prices and know what they are in the supermarkets cos things aren't always cheaper.

    They always have a lovely selection of books although I'm not sure that these are cheaper than you could pick up on the internet so it definitely pays to do your research before you go.

    We usually get to the til and I think oh my god look at my trolley it's gonna cost a fortune but it never does!

    After reading everyone's comments I think we need to try the washing powder although I usually like the liquid instead.

    To summarise Costco rocks!!

    Haven't been to Makro for many years so can't comment on them!

    Happy shopping everyone!
  • LSGLSG Forumite
    3 Posts
    I used to have membership to Makro but they revoked my membership when I stopped using my home branch and as I had not been to my home branch in 10yrs I couldn't really argue and I wasn't Eligable for it any more;)

    I joined costco and my membership pays for itself!

    I buy Fairy non-bio the soap powder is professional one so the big box lasts me at least a year! You only need a tiny amount! this is the sort of stuff used in hotels! U use a half a scoop from an old vanish box!

    Fabric softner if on special.
    Black sacks when on special usually buy 100 get 100 free
    Toilet Rolls - often on special I stock up and its Andrex!
    Kitchen Towel - Really good quality I tend to stock up when on special again!
    Chocolate cake
    Carrot Cake
    Apple Pie
    STAMPS - these are cheaper than the post office!!!!! we used these for wedding invites/thank yous/baby gift thank yous
    A box of balloons and Hellium was much cheaper than everywhere else!
    Boxes of Crisps are cheaper
    Johnson Baby wipes and Huggies nappies when on special can be cheaper than the supermarket but you have to check (I usually check with!)
    Sometimes packs of Shampoos etc..
    Boxes of sweets (like the penny sweets in a newsagents)
    Gardening bits
    Toys (branded) for my Daughter are usually cheaper

    I can't think whatelse I have bought there!

    When we got married we bought some bits for wedding: bottled still and sparkling water, coke, lemonade, fruit shots (all really cheap!)
  • TotoToto Forumite
    6.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Kirkland kitchen roll is fantastic, the sheets are about double the size of bounty and much thicker. I never thought I'd get excited about kitchen roll but I use this stuff all the time. It's cheaper too than any of the brand names.

    Kirkland nappies and baby wipes are also fantastic. The nappies are soft and I've not had one leak with them.
    "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid" - Albert Einstein
  • edited 29 April 2009 at 9:23AM
    bobbie7434bobbie7434 Forumite
    1 Post
    edited 29 April 2009 at 9:23AM
    I have a Cost Co card. These are what I think are great buys

    Washing Powder & Softner ( My washing machine is on everyday)

    Toilet roll, ( Sometimes chaeper at supermarkets when they have a really good deal)

    Chicken Breast


    Birthday Cakes (Yet to find cheaper)

    Big containers or Butter



    Got a Russell Hobb Toaster and Kettle together £25.00 for both
  • skintlassskintlass Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    isofa wrote: »
    So you can get a day pass just to go and look (without the ability to purchase)? We'd like to have a good look first at Costco, because it's not local and we want to see just want you can get! Is the pass free? What do you have to take with you to get a day pass?

    [Someone mentioned earlier tyres from costco are all "balanced", which doesn't make sense if they don't offer a fitting service... once they are fitted to a wheel rim then the wheel needs balancing to ensure it spins smoothly, the tyre can't be balanced on it's own then fitted at a later date, it doesn't work like that...]

    They do offer a fitting service - there's a big bay where you drive into. I think the cost of the tyres includes the fitting as well but I've not bought from there so far as I found cheaper elsewhere (but it took some doing).
    Never let your sucesses go to your head and never let your failures go to your heart.:beer:
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides