Costco: A Little Bit of America in Australia

We finally took our first trip to Costco. It opened north of Brisbane shortly after we moved here, almost a year ago. We've always wanted to visit a Costco. Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we're from, doesn't have one, although they are getting one later this year! That Costco coming to Tulsa was one factor that finally got us to the Brisbane store. What we've heard about the crowds and the distance from our home have kept us from visiting before this, but now that we can use our card when we return to Tulsa, the time has come.

Costco wasn't so different from the Sam's Clubs we used to visit, but it was a really fun trip. Almost like a visit back home. We will not renew our Sam's membership when we return. Costco is a much more responsible employer. They pay their employees a living wage and treat them with respect and still make great profits. We feel we need to support a company like that with our dollars.

So here are a few fun observations from our first trip to Costco:  Check out this old fashioned lunch box. Shades of my father! And yes, they have American products at the Australian Costco. Like Stanley and Lawrey's seasonings (More on that later.)

This looks like a handy piece of furniture. An electric fireplace under a slot for your technology. Top it all off with a television. Does that thing generate heat or is it just for show? I think it produces heat. I don't think I'd want my CDs next to a fireplace....Do they have these in American Costcos?

Yes, we bought $50.00 worth of lobster. But that's five lobster dinners! The bugs aren't really large, but they are delicious! We cooked two last night. So yum. One would be enough with veggies and sides, but Dan ate pork and gave me his lobster and OMG!! So good!  We paid $100 for two not much bigger than this from our local fish monger for Christmas. I just hope they're not from the North Sea. We didn't check to see if they glowed in the dark, but Australia is bad about not documenting the source of seafood.

Just had to include a photo of the head of a bed. I know many of these beds with no box springs are sold in the U.S. too.  The difference here is that you can't GET a box springs in Australia. They don't even know what they are. See in the picture? A frame. A mattress. An Australian bed.

And yes, Costco has big food. I've heard about Australians who purchased these pizzas and couldn't fit them into their tiny Australian ovens. My guess is that their tiny ovens are probably standard European ovens. Did you know we Americans have giant ovens? I didn't either, before I came over here.

I'm sure Costco back home has giant food. Even we were somewhat shocked by the giant apple pies. I really lusted after these giant marshmallows. What fun they would have been when my son was in Cub Scouts. Some Australian guys at my husband's work have attended "Costco Dinners." It's a thing here, where someone buys a bunch of big or very American food and has a dinner party completely from Costco.

We saved a little on Dinner Napkins. Understand that Australia doesn't have big box stores. Or didn't. You can only buy stuff in very small quantities here. And here "napkins" are called "serviettes." and you buy them in the picnic section of the grocery store.

One of our most fun finds was yellow cheese. No, they don't have yellow cheese in Australia. It is only food coloring that makes it yellow, you know. But they also don't have sharp cheddar cheese. Yum. Yum.

They also carry Australian products. Big box sizes of Vegemite for everyone.

And it's fall here. Break out the warm clothes. Really. It does get a little chilly. This will be my second winter Down Under. But not as cold as they dress for. They should experience an Oklahoma winter. 

What is Chicken Salt? I see it everywhere. I don't know what's in it and I don't buy it. Spices are different here. And EVERYTHING has sugar, even more that back home. Vanilla has sugar!

One thing that's cheaper over here is saffron. It's actually priced reasonably here.

So if you like to cook with Saffron, Australia's the place for you.  We bought some Lawrey's Mexican seasoning. It's comforting to have the tastes of home. A lot of Asian tastes get mixed into all the spice mixes over here.

We also did very well on Jasmine rice. We usually pay $8.00 for a MUCH smaller bag that this giant thing.

But here is what my husband was looking for. A liter of jalapenos. 

We can only buy little tiny jars here. This find made him a happy man. But I have to find room for it in our Australian size frig.

We don't eat Ranch Dressing, but we hear Americans whining about not having it all the time here. Costco has it, folks.

Here's an Australian brand they carry. Believe me, Anzac biscuits (cookies to Americans) are GOOD!

Giant bags of chips. Something else we can't find. We didn't buy any. We try to stay away from those things. Wish we'd had some when our American guests were here, though.

And finally check out. Our complete trip, with membership, cost about $400.00 Australian. But we seldom get out of any grocery store for less than $200.00. And Five lobster dinners!!! ( now four)

So, to market, to market, to buy a fat hog
Home again, home again, jiggedy jog.

And after being stopped for an accident on the way back into Brisbane, and a flat "tyre" after that, we finally made it home with our goodies and GRILLED!  Best dinner I've had in a long time.  

Thank you, Costco. We'll be back.


  1. We're big Costco shoppers in Sydney. Love getting our American fix - I used some of one of those big bags of marshmallows to make Rice Krispy treats for some Americans today!
    Oh, and chicken salt is amazing on fries (not sure you need it Costco sized, though ;-) ).

  2. We were planning on going back soon. Then I broke my hip as you can see on my posts above. I'll bet we still manage to go back this month.

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