The moment Sydneysiders have been waiting for has finally unfolded. The first Costco branch in Sydney opened in July this year and grocery shopping has never been the same again. Well for those who are members (and members who bring visitors with them) at least.
We chose to wait out three weeks before we go for our first visit in the hopes that the crowd will at least be manageable. We took a day off together last Friday because we heard that weekends are the busiest.
We left home at 9:30am and arrived at the store at 9:58am. There were many people on queue going inside Costco. We went to get our membership IDs first which took less than 10 minutes because we already registered online. All they did was check our details on the computer and took our photos for the ID.
In less than 2 minutes, our IDs got out of these machines and we were off to do some fun shopping.
Don't forget to grab a trolley before going in! These trolleys are easily spotted in a corner in each parking level. There are no trolleys inside the store.
Since we were early and it was a Friday, the crowd was manageable. There were the not-so-busy aisles that you can easily pass thru.
And there were aisles where you seem to find everyone in it.
At 12:00 noon, the crowd got thicker. Although a lot of people are checking-out, the people coming in were greater in number. The Husband and I even witnessed a "Desperate Housewife Moment" where three ladies were about to engage in a catfight because there were two ladies chatting idly in the middle of the aisle and this one lady was getting pissed off at them for blocking people with there big carts. I would normally get pissed off too but I was too happy last Friday, enjoying my first official grocery shopping at Costco. The Costco visit I experienced in Melbourne doesn't really count because I was just a visitor then and shopped only for chocolates.
The Husband and I just enjoyed our grocery shopping and if a crowd was too thick in a certain area, one of us will just stay at a corner with our trolley and the other one will go to wherever he/she wanted to go.
As Filipinos, we love shopping at Costco because we get to see and buy familiar American products which are not available in local supermarkets. We also appreciate the great deals and sales. I was tickled pink when I saw 60 rolls of tissue for only AUD$17.99. As a wife and homemaker, that's a big deal for me. Finding 16 bars of Ivory Soap for only AUD$5.99 means we won't have to buy soap for probably 12 months.
We finished at 12:30pm and decided to have lunch at Costco too. Prices of their food were very affordable.
For two hotdogs with softdrinks and a slice of cheese pizza, we only paid for AUD$7.97.
Costco Shopping for Two
We regarded our shopping at Costco the same way we shop at a local supermarket by:
1. Having a budget limit and sticking to it
2. Checking our supply at home thoroughly and make a list of must buys
3. Buying stuff we only need even if some items are only on sale
4. Buying a few items that make us happy
5. Taking into consideration storage space at home
6. Taking into consideration the expiry date of items
When you are at Costco, it's so easy to get swallowed in by sales. In any grocery shopping scenario, a homemaker must be very smart and firm. Smart in choosing what items to buy and firm in saying "No" even if an item is on sale.
For our first official grocery shopping at Costco, we have a budget of AUD$200.00 and I made a list of supply we needed at home. When I did our list, I concentrated on dry goods instead of raw produce. Since we have a small household, we didn't think it was necessary for us to buy big bulks of raw produce at Costco.
Items we needed to replenish: Rice, Olive Oil, Cereal, Taco Shells and Salt. We found 3 pcs of Spam for only AUD$10.79 so we bought it for "emergency purposes".
Some toiletries: Laundry Powder, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Toothbrush, Shower Gel, Liners & Soap. Except for the shower gel, toothpaste and mouthwash, we think we won't need to buy these items for the next 8-12 months.
Stuff that makes us happy: These are items that we missed! Lays, Swiss Miss, Hershey's Syrup and Chips Ahoy. We didn't buy any American Chocolates because we still have some Japanese Chocolates at home.
After two and a half hours of going around numerous aisles at Costco, we bought a total of 23 items that amounted to AUD$199.05! We were so proud of ourselves for being able to stick to our budget.
Based on our first grocery shopping at Costco, we think, we will visit Costco every 6 weeks.
Please click this link for some of the prices of items at Costco.