I Went To Costco In Canada For The First Time Ever & Dropped Over $200 On These Essentials

I moved to Canada from Dubai - and I'd never even heard of Costco!

Janice Rodrigues. Right: Inside a Costco in Canada.
Associate Editor

Janice Rodrigues. Right: Inside a Costco in Canada.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

As a newcomer to Canada, I've had a lot of interesting first-time experiences over the last few months, and a recent trip to Costco is definitely one of them.

I moved to Canada from Dubai, which doesn't have the bulk retailer, earlier this year, so I had no idea how to shop at Costco or even what Costco really was!

When I did find out, I'll be honest, the concept didn't thrill me in the slightest.

Not only did the idea of needing a membership to shop seem very elitist to me but, as a single person, the concept of bulk buying wasn't particularly appealing either.

But, after months of being absolutely gouged by rising grocery store prices in Canada, I finally bit the bullet and planned a trip.

And, let me just say, shopping at Costco for the first time was overwhelming.

My idea of just scoping out good deals and buying what I needed quickly went out the window when I saw the sheer variety of products available (and, of course, the prices).

... Which is how I found myself dropping an easy $200 on products that I didn't even know I needed!

Here are some items I plopped into my (extremely oversized) cart, with no questions asked.

And, as a newcomer experiencing their first winter in Canada, I think at least some of these purchases made a lot of sense.

Trail socks, 4-pack $19.99

Kirkland Signature trail socks.

Kirkland Signature trail socks.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

One of the new things I learned was that Costco has its own retail brand called Kirkland, which is sold exclusively through them.

So, I wasn't going to leave without picking up some Kirkland essentials.

This pack of four pairs of socks looked light, but are made with extra-fine merino wool. I was sold.

Lole neck warmers, 2-pack $14.97

I'm not even a big fan of neck warmers as winter accessories, and much prefer the look of scarves.

But the minute I touched the soft fleece inside, I knew I needed to get this.

They look like just what I'd need to tuck my face into on those cold, windy days in Toronto. And, now I don't have to worry about my scarf blowing away in the wind either!

Mixed nuts $20.99

A jar of mixed nuts.

A jar of mixed nuts.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

I had been buying smaller packets of nuts from my local Loblaws and, I now realize, was poised to spend a fortune in the long run.

This value pack isn't what I'd call cheap, but it will probably last me a few months and eventually save me money.

Salmon fillet $36.57

Another item I might have gone a bit overboard with (it happens at Costco, apparently), was a giant salmon fillet that easily weighed over 1 kilogram.

But, hey, this one went straight in the freezer and now I'm sorted for dinner for the next two weeks.

Chicken with stuffed asparagus, 4 pieces for $25.37

Stuffed chicken breasts at Costco.

Stuffed chicken breasts at Costco.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

I have to say, this was picked up on a bit of an impulse because it just looked like such an easy (and tasty) dinner option for me.

It's also not at all bad for that price point considering that buying boneless, skinless and un-marinated chicken breasts from Loblaws adds up to more!

Spyder gloves $21.99

I needed a pair of gloves that are warm, comfy and touchscreen compatible, and this pair fit the bill nicely.

I tested out the touchscreen compatibility in-store and it seemed to work perfectly fine.

And since I have a habit of losing gloves on the daily, I didn't want to spend too much, which is why this price point seemed perfect.

Mitts $54.99

A cart full of products.

A cart full of products.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

Surprisingly, this was the most expensive item on the bill.

But since I definitely have a very low tolerance for the cold, I justified the price tag as a necessity.

Mitts, I've been told, are a much-needed extra layer to protect the hands during those extreme temperatures.

And, I'd rather have them and not need them than the other way around.

Lemon women's fleece-lined leggings, 2-pack $14.99

By now, I think you might have an idea of just how worried I am about winter!

I do have thermals and fleece-lined leggings already, but decided to snag this extra pack too. One can never have too many leggings, right? ...Right?

The final bill, after taxes, came up to a whopping $229. And, honestly, I'm not quite sure how it happened.

It's a lot more than I've ever spent on groceries in my life, but considering I splurged on some much-needed winter accessories, I think I still got a pretty good deal.

Also, I am now completely sorted for my first winter in Canada!

This newcomer is very happy with her Costco haul. Any tips for next time though, Canada?

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.