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Tips to survive a trip to Costco from an expert – an American Aucklander

OPINION: Over the last few weeks, I have read many articles about the opening of Costco in Auckland.

As an American based in New Zealand for four years, I’ve greatly looked forward to getting to experience Costco here and also possibly finding brands and items I haven’t had access to since living abroad.

I want to offer some thoughts to my dear Kiwi friends on how to shop at Costco.

READ MORE:
* I spent $ 298 on 15 mostly bulk items at Costco – they would have cost $ 401 to $ 467 at my local supermarkets
* Costco ‘can’t get a break’ with problems on opening week
* Rotisserie chicken, toilet paper, Halloween decor and giant teddy bears wow Costco members
* Wellington and Christchurch are next in line for a Costco, followed by another in Auckland, but where else?

Go when it’s not busy

When we lived in Washington State, we went to Costco during Seahawks Football games, because all of Seattle would be at home watching the game.

Only we and our Canadian neighbors were at Costco then.

It is much better to be at Costco, that vast and unwieldy store, when it’s not super busy.

In Auckland, this will likely be weekday evenings. Avoid the weekends and school holidays if at all possible.

Take a List

Costco is built with colossal shopping trolleys and huge everything to make it easy to buy a lot.

Decide what you need in bulk ahead of time and stick to the list if possible.

If you go in without a plan, you will wander and spend $ 200 easy.

Can you buy a 2kg tub of M & M’s? Probably. Do you need to today? Probably not.

Take your list, do your best to stick to it and before you check out, do a quick cart check to see if anything has jumped into your cart that you don’t need.

This is not your normal grocery shopping for the week

Never have I ever done a full grocery shop at Costco. That’s not what this is for.

This shopping trip is for specific items that you will use in bulk. You will still need to shop at aregular grocery store for your weekly shopping.

Costco has been attracting large crowds since opening in Auckland in September.

David White / Stuff

Costco has been attracting large crowds since opening in Auckland in September.

Here’s what I generally buy at Costco:

  • Taco Seasoning (we go through a lot)
  • Vitamins
  • Brie Cheese
  • Paper products
  • Diapers
  • Meat for parties
  • Fresh berries

Sometimes they have good kids’ clothes and books, and random seasonal items, but I won’t go there if I need those things. They are more like happy accidents.

Bonus tips

Learn the store

I recommend taking your time to learn the store. Go a few times when you are not in a time rush, walk the aisles, and learn the store’s layout.

Don’t try to memorize everything. Take it in.

It took me about five visits to Costco when I first went to learn my way around the store. It’s ok. Take your time.

Consider group buys

A friend and I once bought a pack of 50 Snickers bars at Costco to take with us on a trip overseas. We each got 25 bars and split the cost, and I happily munched (and shared) my Snickers bars over the next two months.

If you won’t eat 10 cans of beans or 5kgs of apples, consider splitting the cost with a friend and sharing it between you.

As an American and an Aucklander, I look forward to buying big boxes of cereal and possibly lots of bacon. But unfortunately for my children, the $ 500 teddy bear will have to stay at the store.

Happy shopping.

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