Written by: Alison Hutchinson, Convention Sales & Marketing Representative
There’s been quite the buzz for a while around the Fox Cities with big retailer Costco coming to the area. They finally opened their doors this month and the response has been great so far. I was already a fan so naturally I was on board. Prior to moving to the Fox Cities 10 years ago, I was a Costco Wholesale member. Shortly after they opened a location outside of Green Bay in Bellevue, I became a member once again. Imagine my delight when I found out that Costco would be opening up on the west side of Appleton in Grand Chute on 5401 W Integrity Way. I was thrilled!
Costco is a great store for families of all sizes. I am a family with only one child, and we make a trip to the store monthly. I love never running out of essentials like frozen vegetables, crackers or tissues. Also, they have great prices on seasonal items that you can’t find in other stores.
For being a member of Costco, I was invited to attend the Member-Only Open House on Friday, November 6, 2015. The Open House was on the Eve of the Grand Opening. This was my first time attending an event such as this. There were plenty of staff at the entrance welcoming us. These giant 93-inch stuffed bears were among the first items that you saw as you walked in.
Throughout the store were several opportunities to sample food items. I nibbled on a European cookie, some hot turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, salted chocolate covered caramels and grabbed a bottled water.
There were staff members around the store to answer any questions on the items in all the different departments from bakery, meat, wine, produce, clothing, electronics and tires. They also had the optical and pharmacy department staffed to answer questions.
Near the food court, I ate some of their tasty frozen yogurt. I am very familiar with their all beef hot dog, chicken Caesar salad, pizza by the slice and hot turkey and provolone sandwich. There is something for everyone at the food court.
My favorite area of the store is the clothing department. It is located in the center of the store and can be accessed from many sides. They always have clothes for the upcoming season. At the time of the Open House, they featured warm weather items from brands such as Under Armour, the North Face, Realtree and Calvin Klein. You could pick up some warm wool blend socks or a new flannel shirt too.
For those of you are just getting familiar with this new store in the Fox Cities area, here are some tips on things to buy at Costco that will make your membership worthwhile:
Rotisserie Chicken and Meats: The ground turkey, for example, comes in four one-pound packages. The frozen chicken breast bag has individually wrapped breasts. This is great, so you can take out what you need and not have to worry about whether or not you sealed the bag properly to prevent freezer burn.
Frozen Vegetables and Meals: If you’ve got the freezer space, these items will keep. You can have great tasting vegetables all year round.
Soda and Alcohol: Here, volume is your friend. Buy soda in 32-packs and beer and wine in large packs, which are cheaper per unit than in grocery stores. They carry all the brands and flavors that you love.
Gift Cards: However you feel about gift cards, Costco sells major restaurant and retailer gift cards for 15 to 20 percent less than face value. Bargain! I like to stock up on I-tunes cards for gifts.
Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: This would also include your eyeglass prescription. I got some designer frames and contact lenses at very affordable prices.
Kitchen Appliances: The list price on items like a microwave tends to be much lower at Costco.
So if you’re looking to save money, stock up on items for your family, and find great deals on big ticket items..wholesale shopping just might be for you!