Is Costco the new Aldi?

Once upon a time, while everyone knew Aldi was cheaper, the stores were only in a few select sites and were a bit more of a novelty shop than an everyday option.

Now there is an Aldi in most major shopping centres and shopping strips for a total of 586 locations across the country. So is Costco filling that ‘novelty’ space?

While Costco’s sheer size may prevent it from ever infiltrating the suburbs the way Aldi has, its bargain prices are making it increasingly attractive in today’s cost-of-living squeeze.

With only 15 stores across Australia, Costco is never going to become an option for every Australian, but some savvy shoppers are saving hundreds of dollars a year

However, it pays to do your sums and analyse your shopping habits before you hike to your closest store.

First up, Costco membership is $60 a year and while there are savings to be had in bulk buying, if you are a single person or a small family you are probably better off shopping at the chains with a keen eye on the specials. Especially if storage and fridge space is limited.

Another benefit is the fuel prices, which can be up to 20c/L cheaper than most fuel retail outlets, but as the sites are often on the fringes of the city or in relatively remote suburbs, filling up weekly may not be an option.

And be aware of the Costco trap – just because it’s a bigger pack, doesn’t mean it’s cheaper. Always keep an eye on the unit cost before you buy a pack of toilet paper big enough to use as a kitchen table.

And yes, you can still buy coffins there.

Golden tip

If you are making Anzac biscuits for the 25th, remember to get in early and buy your golden syrup as soon as possible as it’s the one time of the year it sells out. Or you could be like me and just use the rest of the jar that has been languishing in the back of your pantry since last year. Let’s be honest, probably the year before that as well.

This week’s best deals


Sensible: Campbell’s Real Stock, 1L varieties, half price $2.25. Can you make your own stock? Why of course. Will you? Don’t make me laugh. With soup and stew season upon us, tucking a few of these away in the pantry saves a lot of angst. Only about a hundred times better than those salty squares they call stock cubes.

Indulgence: Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro dishwasher tablets, half price $26.40. Finish must be pushing these hard because they are appearing half price all over the place. Frankly, it would be a cold day in hell before I pay more than $50 for a pack of dishwashing tablets, so snap them up at this price while you can. 

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Seasons Pride Potato Pommes, $3.49. I haven’t been able to buy potato gems since the potato supply chain slipped and fell over last year. This is a suitable substitute but I will drop them like a, well, hot potato once the gems hit our shelves again.

Indulgence: Kellogs Jumbo Variety Pack, $17.49. The only time we got Coco Pops when we were kids was on holiday with a variety pack. Epic battles ensued over the said Coco Pops and Fruit Loops. This is the same, but on steroids with 25 sachets per pack.  

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Uncle Tobys Delicious Blends, eight packs, half price $3.25. Nothing beats plain oats, milk and brown sugar for me, but the convenience of these packs has its own appeal. Especially great for travelling or a work breakfast. A range of great flavours, so you might have to try a few to find your favourite.

Indulgence: Anzac Biscuits, $5.50, save $1. Save yourself the trouble of making Anzac biscuits with this 24 pack. Put them in your own storage container and pass them off as your own.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Coles Hot Cross Buns, two for $6. God bless them, Coles is persisting with hot cross buns well after Easter. Will this get the perpetually outraged all worked up again? Probably not. Apparently it only applies when they appear too early before Easter.

Indulgence: Bertocchi Soppressa range, $29/kg, save $7/kg. Salami and all its permutations will forever find a home at our place. Soppressa is one of my faves because the slices are bigger so you can have more with one piece. 

See the catalogue here.

Do you shop at Costco? Would you like to? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section below.

Also read: Inflation forcing consumers into unhealthy choices

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. Living in Mount Gambier we are more than happy to continue shopping at Aldi’s. There is no doubt in our mind that by doing so we continue to save on most items compared with other supermarkets.

  2. With Costco you have already paid the $60mMembership Fee before you enter the shop.
    When shopping ay Costco you HAVE to know the prices of the items you wish to purchase.
    My brother-in-law makes up his shopping list, then checks out the online catalogs from Aldi, Coles & Woolies, noting the cheapest price on the shopping list. Then when he goes to Costco, he only buys the items that are cheaper and then calls into the appropriate store on the way home to get the rest.
    Therefore, I would saw NO, they are NOT going to take over from Aldi, or any other chain store.

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