Cost saving requires a little caution
THE other day I was almost devoured by Costco. I went in at 5.30pm but when I finally looked at my watch at the checkout it was 8.30pm. Honestly, it felt like 20 minutes, not three hours.
THE other day I was almost devoured by Costco. I went in at 5.30pm but when I finally looked at my watch at the checkout it was 8.30pm. Honestly, it felt like 20 minutes, not three hours.A bill of more than $450 was another serious shock but, thankfully, only a third of it was mine. Even so, there had only been three things on my shopping list when I went in. Not the 20 items I ended up paying $119 for.I suspect you really could go bankrupt saving money.If you haven't heard, Costco is the wholesale warehouse store that has just come to Sydney this year. They are big in the US but, so far, only have three stores in Australia. They don't advertise much and you have to pay an annual fee to join.Is it worth it? Well that depends. You're buying in bulk so it's easy to get caught up in it all. I'd suggest taking a calculator to work out unit prices and having a good look at the specials in your local supermarket before you go. I wouldn't be surprised if the big supermarket chains have spies in there and try to match their prices, or vice versa.One of my biggest bargains was a 1.15-litre shampoo and conditioner set, but when I got my Woolworth's catalogue in the mail the next day they were offering the same product, in a smaller unit size, at half price. Costco was still cheaper but only just.As well as brands you've never heard of, and their own Kirklands Signature brand, Costco also stocks well-known names. OshKosh, North Face and Calvin Klein goods were going at bargain prices but they may not have been their latest lines. The essentials are cheap. A 48-pack of sorbent was $22.48. A pack of eight one-kilogram bags of self-raising flour was $7.39 and a 12.5-kilogram bag of plain flour was $9.49.But you could also gain a fair bit of weight saving money. A 1.58-kilogram bag of Hershey Kisses was $14.99 and a jumbo container of Haribo Goldbears was $8.38.It was a good lesson in budgeting. Discount wholesalers such as Costco are fantastic but you need to plan and consider sharing with friends or family. You don't want to be adding to the food-waste epidemic I wrote about a few weeks ago.Follow this writer on Twitter @Money_PennyP