Can a Costco Membership Save You Money?

Costco cart
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Editor’s Notice: This story initially appeared on Living on the Cheap.

Many individuals appear to have a love-it-or-hate-it perspective towards warehouse shops, however I’m a proud card-carrying Costco member as a result of it does save me cash.

With solely two in our family, we don’t do all of our purchasing at Costco, however some bargains preserve us going again about as soon as a month. So is it value the price of a membership?

Right here’s how I lower your expenses at Costco and keep away from the (costly) pitfall of overspending on bulk items.

How a lot is a Costco membership?


The Costco Gold Star annual membership prices $60, whereas the Govt Membership is $120.

The Govt Membership will get you 2% again on most purchases on the finish of the 12 months. If you happen to don’t earn sufficient of a rebate to cowl the price of the improve from the common membership, Costco will refund the distinction.

What I’ve discovered is that with cautious purchasing, both membership stage can prevent cash.

How I lower your expenses with Costco coupons

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Our Costco purchasing journeys are based mostly on the month-to-month coupon ebook they mail to members. Many gadgets aren’t an ideal deal with out the coupons, which are likely to repeat each three to 4 months, so by the point I run out of an merchandise, it’s more likely to seem in an upcoming ebook.

With Costco coupons, I discover nice offers on peanut butter, Starbucks or Kirkland (roasted by Starbucks) espresso, canned soup, Ziploc luggage, Kirkland environmentally-responsible laundry detergent, dishwasher tabs, cooking spray, DiGiorno or Costco’s take-and-bake pizza (which might be frozen) and kitchen trash luggage.

What must you purchase at Costco?

Whereas the coupons add as much as glorious financial savings, some gadgets — particularly in produce — are all the time priced nice, with or and not using a coupon. For instance, an enormous 1-pound container of Earthbound Farms Natural Child Spinach is $3.99 (the shop additionally gives a spring combine). The identical container in a grocery retailer runs $5.99 or $6.99.

After all, the bigger sizes aren’t a cut price in the event that they go unhealthy earlier than you utilize them, so take into consideration your loved ones measurement and consuming habits before you purchase the “massive financial system measurement” of perishable gadgets.

Bananas are an ideal deal, however we regularly discover that they’re too ripe for 2 of us to devour rapidly sufficient except I plan to bake with them. Six of their crimson, yellow and orange peppers are $6; the usual sale that I see within the grocery retailer is three for $5. Berries might be discovered for nice costs at totally different instances of the 12 months.

Different nice offers at Costco (costs range by area)

Shopper walking past alcohol at Costco
Trong Nguyen /

Butter: 4 kilos for $7.50, or $1.87 per pound versus $2 per pound on the grocery retailer. Sticks of butter freeze nicely, so I like having further round.

Shredded cheese: A 5-pound bag of mozzarella at Costco runs about $11.50, or $2.30 a pound. Within the grocery retailer, an 8-ounce bag on sale is normally $2, or $4 a pound. Once we get dwelling, we divide the cheese into freezer luggage and use 1 pound at a time. Shredded cheese might be frozen with out lack of high quality and even texture, and also you simply take it straight from the big Costco cheese bag and portion it into Ziploc freezer luggage with out every other prep. We make home made pizza so much, and the beforehand frozen cheese works and tastes simply pretty much as good.

Almonds: $4 a pound versus $6 or extra within the grocery retailer.

Baking soda: 13.5 kilos for $6.50, or the equal of 48 cents per small field within the grocery retailer. There are tons of makes use of for baking soda, so I prefer to preserve an enormous bag round.

Heinz white vinegar: $3.29 for a 1.32-gallon jug in contrast with about $1 for 16 ounces within the grocery retailer. I take advantage of white vinegar for cleansing, so it is a large financial savings and extra handy.

Costco cottage cheese: 3 kilos for $4.99 versus $2 per pound on the grocery retailer

Natural olive oil: 1.5 liters for $9.99, which is half the worth of comparable natural manufacturers. Kirkland Signature Natural Further Virgin Olive Oil is one of some manufacturers not blended with cheaper refined olive oil in line with a examine cited by CBS Information, and Consumer Reports has rated it “Very Good.”

Natural canned black beans: $6.79 for eight cans in contrast with $1 per can at a grocery retailer; typically Costco gives a coupon on prime of that value.

Kitchen trash luggage: 200 for $13.99, and I by no means have an issue with them. There are sometimes coupons within the Costco ebook as nicely.

Excessive-quality cheese: costs range drastically, however Costco gives some nice offers on specialty cheeses, together with a 19-ounce wheel of brie for $7-$8 that’s excellent for events.

Costco meals courtroom

Costco food court
Helen89 /

If this meals speak has made you hungry, you would possibly attempt Costco’s meals courtroom. My husband typically sneaks away for a sizzling canine and soda for $1.50.

You’ll be able to positively feed a household right here for much less cash than at a fast-food drive-through, and it may very well be a bargaining chip to get children to behave throughout purchasing.

Clothes and different bargains at Costco

Costco pharmacy
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Another Costco purchases we’ve been proud of: no-iron males’s and ladies’s gown shirts and sweaters for lower than $20, 50 picture Christmas playing cards for $14.99, two heavy baking sheets with lids for $14.99, and the bottom value we may discover for automobile rental for trip in Hawaii.

The shop additionally gives a number of the lowest-price prescriptions — even for nonmembers. In contrast to most pharmacies, Costco places prices of prescriptions online so you’ll find one of the best deal.

What to not purchase at Costco

Trong Nguyen /

All the pieces isn’t an ideal deal at Costco, after all. I hardly ever buy well being and sweetness gadgets there as a result of I can discover higher offers throughout drugstore gross sales utilizing producers’ coupons.

We additionally haven’t purchased electronics at Costco as a result of we are able to normally discover higher offers on-line (although the shop’s 90-day return coverage on electronics is beneficiant).

And whereas Costco does have some respectable offers on meat, I normally discover higher offers purchasing the gross sales at a number of totally different grocers.

Costco value codes

Costco wholesale warehouse
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Costco doesn’t show sale costs, apart from on sure gadgets within the coupon ebook, however there are methods to inform if gadgets are discontinued or marked down. Take a look at the article “Secret Price Codes Will Save You Money at Costco.”

Costco return coverage

Juan Llauro /

The shop additionally has a really generous return policy, a 30-day value adjustment coverage and a Danger-Free 100% Membership Assure — you possibly can cancel for a refund for those who aren’t happy. These make a Costco membership a really low-risk buy and could be the ultimate level that helps you determine on whether or not to purchase a membership or not.

What has your expertise been purchasing at Costco?

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