Best Big Box Store 

COSTCO

Readers' Pick

Just how big is this perennial box store winner? According to Christy Arledge, membership marketing manager for our local Costco, the store counts approximately 40,000 current memberships, which she estimates to equal more than 80,000 individual shoppers perusing the 117,000 square-foot facility. More importantly, Arledge says Costco employs about 200 people, 30 percent of whom are students. But you probably voted for Costco because of the great deals. We asked Arledge, who has worked at Costco for 18 years, what she recommends as the best bargain in the box store. "Milk," she answered quickly. "Two gallons of non-fat milk runs just $3.59. For the average family, that alone will pay off your membership in less than a year." We can drink a shot of cow juice to that. Costco: 3220 N. Reserve; 721-1535; costco.com

FINALISTS:

2. Target: 2420 N. Reserve; 543-4000; target.com

3. Walmart Supercenter: 3555 Mullan Rd; 829-8489; walmart.com

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