Is Costco all that? I finally bought a membership, and here’s what I learned
I finally did it. I am officially a card-carrying Costco shopper. After more than 18 years working as a consumer investigative reporter, comparison shopping and helping you all find the best ways to save money, I bit the bullet and shelled out $120 for an Executive membership. This article explains what deals I found on my first trip to the warehouse retailer.
🔒 Don’t shop in bulk? These Costco, Sam’s Club perks might make a membership worthwhile anyway
Wholesalers like Costco and Sam’s Club appeal to shoppers because they give members the ability to buy in bulk, which can mean securing better per-item prices that can lead to significant savings. But what if bulk buying doesn’t work for you?
Comparing popular leggings: Costco vs Sam’s Club vs Lululemon
Knock-offs, dupes, imitations or whatever you want to call them, but finding a product that works or looks like the brand name original can save a lot of money. It’s why when we heard some store-brand workout pants fit just like the much pricier brand for a fraction of the cost, we had to check them out.
Ask Amy show notes: Costco vs Sam’s Club
Amy Davis teams up with KPRC2 producer Andrea Slaydon to talk about saving money at membership clubs. You’ll learn some unique ways to save money at Costco and Sam’s club. Plus, ways you can shop without a membership and some things you might want to just skip.
Here are creative ways 2 save with Costco, Sam’s Club memberships
With the increased costs of gas and groceries, we are all looking for ways 2 save money. If you have Sam’s Club or Costco memberships, you may not be getting all of the savings you can. We are looking into the unique ways you can save money with a discount club membership.
Consumer prices up 0.4% last month but core prices moderate
The Labor Department reported on Thursday, Dec. 10, that the gain in the consumer price index followed an unchanged reading in October and matched the 0.2% September advance. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices increased 0.4% in February, the biggest gain in six months, led by a sharp jump in gasoline prices. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the February advance in its consumer price index followed a 0.3% rise in January and was the largest advance since a similar 0.4% increase in August. Consumer prices are up 1.7% over the past year, a still moderate performance for inflation which is running below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for price increases. Gasoline costs have been climbing since December, reflecting rising costs of crude oil.
Costco to raise starting hourly wage to $16; end hazard pay
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(AP) – Costco will increase its starting wage to $16 an hour, surpassing most of its main competitors. Jelinek said the starting wage for Costco employees would rise to $16 next week, up from $15 the company instituted two year ago. The starting wage scale puts Costco above competitors, including Amazon, Target and Best Buy, which have $15 minimum wages. Walmart's starting pay is $11 an hour. AdThe federal minimum wage is currently $7.25.
US consumer spending fell 0.2% in December in face of virus
Since making a brief bounce-back from the viral pandemic last spring, consumer spending has barely grown. Friday's government report on consumer spending showed that inflation by a measure preferred by the Fed rose 0.4% in December after no change in October and November. AdThe savings rate remained at an elevated 13.7% of after-tax income in December, up from 12.9% in November. In the final three months of 2020, consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy, grew at a 2.5% annual rate. Ad“We believe increased vaccinations, stable household finances and rebounding confidence will lift consumer spending growth” this year, Daco said.
US consumer confidence rebounds in January
A sales associate helps customers as they consider the purchase of a big-screen television at a Costco warehouse on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Sheridan, Colo. U.S. consumer confidence fell to a reading of 96.1 in November as rising coronavirus cases pushed Americans confidence down to the lowest level since August. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence rose in January as Americans became more optimistic about the future. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index increased to 89.3, a rebound from December when it dipped to 87.1. The present situation index weakened further, however, reflecting concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19. “The slow rollout of the vaccines and the still raging pandemic continue to depress consumer confidence despite the prospect of further fiscal aid and a brighter and a brighter health situation,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics.
Consumer prices up 0.4% in December led by higher gas prices
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices rose 0.4% in December, led by a sharp rise in gasoline prices. For December, energy prices rose 4% with gasoline prices surging 8.4%. Even with that big jump, gasoline prices are 15.2% below where they were a year ago, when people were still commuting to work. Food costs rose 0.4% in December and are 3.9% higher than a year ago. Core inflation, excluding volatile food and energy, rose a slight 0.1% last month, and just 1.6% over the past 12 months.
During crucial holiday season, US consumer confidence slumps
– A closely-watched gauge of U.S. consumer confidence tumbled in December as rising coronavirus cases dragged American optimism to its lowest level since the summer. However, rising pessimism is now spreading during the crucial holiday season, which could make or break a number of retailers, airlines, restaurants other sector that have been hammered financially during the pandemic. It may be an ominous sign for an economy in which consumer spending accounts for 70% of all economic economic activity. The index measuring consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions also fell sharply, from 105.9 last month to 90.3 in December. It remains to be seen how Congress' $900 billion relief bill, which was passed Monday and too late for the survey, will affect consumer behavior this winter.
Q3 GDP estimate gets a slight upgrade to 33.4% growth
The U.S. economy expanded at a 33.4% annual pace from July through September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 delivering the last of three estimates on the economys third-quarter performance. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, file)WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy expanded at a record 33.4% annual pace from July through September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, delivering the last of three estimates on the economy’s third-quarter performance. But it's likely that a resurgence in coronavirus cases slowed growth sharply during the last three months of 2020. Employers slashed 22 million jobs in March and April, then began to steadily recall furloughed workers. But the United States is still 9.8 million short of the jobs it had February, and hiring has slowed every month since June.
Christmas Day 2020: The Houston-area stores open, closed on the holiday
It’s not every day that the Big Man in Red makes a visit, so it’s easy to forget some things in the excitement. Most area grocery stores and retailers will not operate on Christmas Day, but there are a handful of options for the forgetful. Scroll below to see the operating hours for some of the Houston area’s most popular retailers and grocery stores. ALDI: ClosedCostco: ClosedCentral Market: ClosedCVS: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Hours vary by location)Food Town: ClosedH-E-B: ClosedLowe’s: ClosedKroger: ClosedHome Depot: ClosedRandalls: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Sam’s Club: ClosedStarbucks: Most locations will open on Christmas. Call ahead for specific hours.
Fun advent calendars you’ll want to snatch up this holiday season, guaranteed
It’s not guaranteed that the store listed below will have these advent calendars in stock, so just note that you may want to call ahead to ensure your local Costco has the products we’re referencing. This advent calendar is perfect for anyone who loves to watch the movie during Halloween or Christmas. Trader Joe’sNot only does Trader Joe’s have advent calendars for your pup, but also for the kitty cat in your life. AldiAldi is the KING of advent calendars. The month of December is already pretty magical with the holiday spirit in the air, but these adult advent calendars just make it even better.
Costco’s got a 3-liter bottle of Prosecco for $30, just in time for peak 2020
HOUSTON – Just in time for the holidays, Costco customers are in for a treat and could have many wine lovers running for a temporary membership after the company brought back its fan-favorite -- a 3-liter bottle of prosecco. Costco_empties posted a photo of the Kirkland Signature Prosecco. Each bottle equals four 750mL bottles for $29.99. The only thing we suggest? Drink responsibly.
Thanksgiving 2020: Here’s which Houston-area grocery stores are open, closed on the holiday
Luckily, many area grocery stores will remain open on Thanksgiving Day. Scroll below to see the operating hours for some of the Houston area’s most popular grocery stores. ALDI: ClosedCostco: ClosedCentral Market: 6 a.m. - 2 p.m.Food Town: 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.Foodarama: Hours vary by location. H-E-B: 6 a.m. - 2 p.m.Lowe’s: ClosedKroger: 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.Randalls: 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.Sam’s Club: ClosedTarget: ClosedTrader Joe’s: ClosedWalmart: ClosedWhole Foods: Hours vary by location. Do you know any other Houston-area grocery stores operating on Thanksgiving Day?
VIRAL VIDEO: Man yelling ‘I feel threatened’ to Costco customer after mask argument
FORT MYERS, Florida – A viral video of a man yelling after being told to wear a mask at a Florida Costco is quickly making rounds on social media. According to Storyful, the argument began when the man and an elderly customer confronted each other over mask wearing. The situation escalated when the man started to yell “I feel threatened” at the customer who confronted him. Not long, his employer, Ted Todd Insurance issued a tweet stating that the man in question has been terminated from his job. Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated.
VIDEO: Costco customer refused service for not wearing a mask
A customer who refused to wear a mask while shopping got kicked out of a Costco Warehouse in Colorado. The Costco employee then tells the customer he must leave the store, and walks away with his shopping cart full of items. The customer whose video of the incident went viral spoke to Storyful about his altercation with the store employee who denied him service, MSN reported. According to the report, the customer told Storyful that he has been isolating at home for the past two months and does not have COVID-19. According to MSN, a Twitter user who claims to be the Costco employee in the video said, “People of Twitter, thank you for all of the support.
Are you a first responder? You can cut the line at Costco
(CNN) – Costco is giving first responders and healthcare workers priority admittance into their warehouses. The company recently started limiting the number of people into each store. Since then, Costco customers had to wait in long lines to get in. Beginning Wednesday, first responders such as police officers, paramedics and firefighters in addition to healthcare workers that are members can cut the line with proof of identification. Other changes include earlier closing times and limiting the number of guests a member can bring in to two people.
Here is how Walmart, H-E-B, Costco and other major stores are changing their hours and policies in response to coronavirus
As the new coronavirus continues to spread despite great social distancing efforts, grocery stores are stepping up to do more in their stores. Fiesta• Fiesta stores will be opened for the adjusted store hours of 8 a.m. -10 p.m. until further notice. Kroger• Adjusted store hours from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. in the Houston region. Sprouts• Stores are open for the adjusted hours of 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.• As of March 18, all sales are final. Whole Foods• Whole Foods stores will be open the adjusted hours based on location.
Report: H-E-B tops another list, recognized for customer satisfaction
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Retail and Consumer Shipping Report, Texas’ favorite grocer is tied with Trader Joe’s and Wegmans for customer satisfaction. In the supermarket category of the report, both Trader Joe’s and Wegmans were the top two companies in 2018. H-E-B tops Trader Joe’s as No. Trader Joe’s: 2019 - 84; 2018 - 863. The grocery chain was named as the top U.S. grocery retailer in a report by dunnhumby, which was cited nationally.