'I went back to Costco after a year and can see why the queues have got even bigger'

The queues at Trafford Costco
The queues at Trafford Costco -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

Food prices might not be soaring like they were, but visit any supermarket and there is little sign of them coming down.

At Costco, however - where I decided to repeat a shop from a year ago - the signs are a little more positive, which probably explains why the queues have got even bigger.

I bought the same 10 products that I picked up at the Trafford branch either last April or July to see how the prices have changed.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that two had actually fallen in price, six had stayed the same and only two had risen.

Read more: Budget buy mum left stunned by first April food shop

Of those that had stayed the same, they're still quite a lot cheaper than you can buy elsewhere. The huge block of cheddar, for instance, works out at £4.99 a kg, whereas Tesco's cheapest Creamfields cheddar, which is price matched with Aldi, comes in at £6.22 a kg.

The Robinsons double strength orange cordial costs £3.50 for one 1.75L bottle at Tesco, but two bottles cost £4.42 at Costco. And the John West tuna, down just 1% at Costco, still works out at 82p a tin, almost half the price of Morrisons' £1.50.

I bought the same 10 products I picked up last year
I bought the same 10 products I picked up last year -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

The American-owned membership-only wholesaler, which also has branches in Oldham and Haydock, stocks big brands and it sells many of its products in bulk, which most budget experts swear by for helping to keep costs down.

The packs of 40 Kirkland toilet rolls and 40 bottles of spring water are a must-buy for many shoppers and had stayed the same price at £19.18 and £4.19 respectively. By comparison, Tesco's packs of water cost £4 for 24 bottles so it's a big saving.

Even the two products that have risen in price are either on a par with, or cheaper than you'd find in other stores. The Kirkland fabric conditioner works out at £1.41 a litre and a 140-wash bottle of Fairy non bio detergent was £16.79. Amazon sells the same size 4.34L bottle for £25.59, while Tesco has a much smaller 51-wash bottle for £9.

One of the products that's come down in price
One of the products that's come down in price -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

I spotted lots of other good deals on my way round the store too. You can get three boxes of 240 Tetley tea bags for £12.49, while one pack is generally sold for £4.99 in most stores.

Toiletries were cheaper, like a 12 pack of Colgate Triple Action toothpaste for £10.18 and a pack of six Sure Men's deodorants for the same price. You'd usually pay at least £2 per deodorant. Calpol was cheaper too, at £2.98 a bottle, where in Boots you'd pay £3.99.

The queues were winding down the store during my visit and it took us more than 20 minutes to get served. But any saving is worth the wait in the current climate and I can't see the queues disappearing any time soon.

Full shopping list with prices April or July 2023 / April 2024 (% decrease / increase)

  • Chicken nuggets 2kg - £12.49 / £11.99 (-4%)

  • Tuna 12x145g £9.89 / £9.79 (-1%)

  • Toilet rolls 40-pack £19.18 / £19.18 (0%)

  • Robinsons orange juice 2 x 1.75L £4.42 / £4.42 (0%)

  • Diet Coke 30 cans £14.14 / £14.14 (0%)

  • Aberdeen Angus burgers 12 x 6oz - £14.99 / £14.99 (0%)

  • Kirkland spring water 40 x 500ml - £4.19 / £4.19 (0%)

  • Mild cheddar £6.47 1.24kg / £6.48 1.25kg (0%)

  • Kirkland fabric conditioner 5L (250 washes) - £6.59 / £7.07 (7.3%)

  • Fairy non bio 4.5L £15.59 / 4.34L £16.79 (7.7%)

The membership fee for Costco costs £33.60 a year. A list of professions from which current or retired employees can apply is listed here and members can add on a spouse for free, or get an extra card for £14 plus vat. You can also get an online only shopping subscription for £15.