Friday, May 4, 2018

This Was My Aha Moment!

Costco v Target v Amazon

May the 4th be with you 🙂

I let my Costco membership lapse because my mother in law is a member and takes me with her from time to time to stock up. While there are a few things that I think are worth going to Costco to get in bulk, I began to wonder if Target or Amazon’s prices were comparable. So I did some old fashioned research and tried my best to compare apples to apples to see if the extra trip to Costco was worth it. Let me mention that if you’re someone who enjoys doing your weekly grocery shopping at Costco I think it’s definitely worth the membership (say if you’re feeding a hungry family of 7!) But it’s not somewhere I would necessarily want to go on a weekly basis so for me it’s it’s more just to stock up on staples like paper towels and TP. I always end up spending more on snacky foods than I intend to anyways!

So I did some price comparison based on the prices in the stores rather than online (because those can be inflated). I didn’t add anything back to prorate the Costco membership fee, but I suppose that should be taken into consideration. But I did subtract 5% from all of the Target prices because I use my Target RedCard and that savings is immediate. I also didn’t take into account sales or coupons. Several of the products I viewed had specials going on that made them by far the lowest (say it came with a $10 Target gift card or Amazon had a digital coupon right there) but I ignored those for the sake of apples to apples.

Here’s what I found in these household categories:

Storage Bags

Costco Ziplock // $8.90 for 100

Target store brand // $11.35 for 100

Amazon // Glad 4-pack // $8.20 for 100 // WINNER

Tide Pods

Costco // 22.8 cents per ounce // TIE

Target // 26.7 cents per ounce

Amazon // 23 cents per ounce // TIE (winner with coupon)

Paper Towels

Costco Bounty // $2.08 per roll

Target store brand // $1.61 per roll

Amazon Bounty // $2.42 per roll

Amazon Plenty (never heard of these but good reviews?) // $.97 per roll WINNER

Toilet Paper

Costco Charmin Jumbo Rolls // $.89 per roll

Target Charmin Double Plus (is this the same as Jumbo?) Rolls  // $.51 per roll

Target up&up // $.47 per roll // WINNER

Amazon Charmin Mega Rolls // $.89 per roll

Amazon Presto! Brand // $.80 per roll

Dishwasher Pods

Costco Cascade Complete // $.21 per pod

Target Cascade // $.21 per pod

Target up&up // $.12 per pod WINNER

Amazon Cascade Complete // $.21 per pod

Amazon Cascade // $.16 per pod

The End.

I’m sure there are some errors in my comparison, for example, maybe I didn’t notice that Costco had a store brand of paper towels that turns out to win. But this was just simple research I did quickly while I was shopping.

I was actually surprised Costco didn’t beat the other stores. I figured for the ~$50 a year membership it would beat them by far. So this just confirms my suspicion that shopping at Target or Amazon is pretty comparable and  should just shop there when I can.

Overall here are the pluses and minuses of the three

Amazon + least hassle + variety – for boxes and shipping miles – for arrival time (2 days)

Target + 5% off + store brand + variety + other fun things to shop for while there

Costco + prices + best food options – annual fee – for least convenient

I would have loved to expand this even more on products and stores – like Boxed or Sam’s Club. Where do you guys shop for household products and why?

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