A trip to the Bellingham Costco certainly has improved since the store moved to its current location off Bakerview Road in November 2016.
Gas lines no longer seem unbearable; finding a parking spot in the same zip code as the front entrance isn't unthinkable, and you can even find checkout lines that don't stretch midway through the clothing section.
But a journey to Costco still has its obstacles. Between avoiding a herd of shoppers trying to make a meal out of all the samples and waiting in line to have someone mark your receipt and comment about the four boxes of cupcakes you just binge-bought, you don't go to the members-only warehouse to relax — it's all about finding bargains.
BusinessInsider.com, one of the largest business news websites in the country, recently went to the source, asking Costco employees nationwide which products are the biggest deals. In an April 6 article, the website polled 35 employees, and here are the products the people who should know best recommended:
▪ Kirkland products.
▪ $1.50 hot dog from the food court.
▪ Toilet paper.
▪ Dog food.
▪ Bottled water.
▪ Name brand products, such as Tommy Bahama, Birkenstock and Adidas.
▪ Vacation deals.
▪ Microwave popcorn.
▪ Folding chairs.
▪ Oven-roasted turkey.
▪ Produce — "We get first pick before any other grocery store," an employee with 10 years experience told the website.
▪ Rotisserie chicken.
▪ Hearing aids.
▪ Over-the-counter medications, vitamins and prescription drugs.
▪ Gift cards.
▪ The food court.
▪ Baby clothes.
▪ Chocolate-covered almonds.
That article preceded an April 14 story, when BusinessInsider.com asked Costco employees which items they avoided. Here are the 14 items the 27 employees who responded, including one from Washington state, said they wouldn't buy at the store:
▪ Protein powder, bars or supplements.
▪ Produce — "I personally don't eat veggies fast enough to buy in bulk," one Minnesota employee told the website.
▪ Packages of meat — "It's too much for my household," an employee from California told the website.
▪ Mac and cheese.
▪ Fruits — "They go bad very quickly," an employee from Florida told the website.
▪ Bakery products — The "packaging is just too big," said an Iowa employee.
▪ Kirkland brand clothing.
▪ Gallon-sized mayonnaise jars.
▪ Salad — "I don't eat the huge quantity fast enough, then it rots. Waste of money," an employee who has worked at Costco in 10 states told BusinessInsider.com.
▪ Any food they haven't tried before — "Because then I'd have a six-month supply," said an Illinois employee.