Large, warehouse-style buying in bulk shopping trips are de rigeur in suburban America, especially when you have 5 children, like my mother. So Costco and Sam's Club (Costco's arch-rival in the US) shopping trips were a fond part of my childhood; mainly for the food samples and 10-packs of chocolate bars.
Costco is the first of its type in Birmingham, if you disclude "cash and carry" stores, which are really another thing all together.
It works like this, yo:
You go into the store. You fill out a membership application. You can join (often for free) through an employer or union, or on your own. The annual fee is £25 for individuals, and slightly more for businesses.
Then you grab an enormous trolley and start shopping.
Costco carries an assortment of goods, ranging from electronics to lighting, tobacco to food to 125 paper plates for £2.
I would imagine people with large familes could do their weekly shop in Costco, only getting a few miscellaneous items from a smaller shop.
My husband and I typically buy things like wine, bread, washing up liquid, loo roll and kitchen roll from Costco. On these items, the prices tend to be very reasonable, and cheaper than buying individually in a grocery store.
Bulk buying can go to a shopper's head, however. Who doesn't need a three-pack of curry seasoning?? So as a veteran bulk shopper, I encourage people to do their research, or at least have a think before you buy. If you need a lot of something, Costco is a no-brainer, especially if you can't find it cheaper locally.
But not all products bought in bulk are more economical than their individual counterparts. Costco provides labels with price-per-unit and price-per-weight, which should be perused carefully.
All the staff at Costco are very helpful, from the fresh deli and bakery counters to the checkouts.
It's a really fun shopping experience -- much more enjoyable than getting one's ankles rammed by a hyper child wielding a trolley in Morrison's.
Items here are costly but it depends on what you are going to be doing with them, its a good place to come and see if there is any monthly deals on overall its got nice items well mannered staff and a good variety of things to buy
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