Should you get a Costco membership?
If you've ever considered getting a Costco membership, you might wonder whether it's really worth it. Here's how to figure it all out.
Let me say this up front: I am not affiliated with Costco in any way. They don't know I am writing this, and they don't even know I exist. This is just my opinion!
Whether or not a Costco membership is worth it depends largely on your shopping habits and your particular situation. Let's take a closer look!
The first thing to consider is the membership fee. The standard "Gold Star" membership is $55 per year, which includes a free spouse card. The Executive membership is $110 annually, which affords you all of the benefits of the Gold Star membership plus additional perks, including 2 percent cash back reward on your eligible purchases. With all memberships, you can gain entry into all Costco locations around the world, and one of the terms of membership is that if you are unsatisfied with your membership at any time, they will refund your fee.
The membership cost isn't the only factor in determining whether to hop on board the Costco train, however.
Do you have a baby (or are you expecting?)
If you have a baby or are expecting one, diapers are going to be part of your reality for the foreseeable future -- lots and lots of diapers! Here's where Costco becomes one of the most affordable options. Because you can buy diapers and baby wipes in bulk, the unit price goes way down. And with something like diapers that you will use daily for a couple of years, getting a good price is important. For that reason alone, a Costco membership may be worth it.
Are you a family of two?
Many people have the opinion that Costco is only worth it if you have a big family. Although it's true that buying in bulk at Costco can be a great money saver for big families, it can work that way for couples and small families, too, if you split your purchases with another family. This way, you can take advantage of the lower unit prices from buying in bulk, without having to find pantry and freezer space for the larger amounts of food you'll be buying.
Do you take medication?
If you take over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or vitamins regularly, you know how costly they can be. This is one area in which Costco can save you significantly. Costco's medications are much less expensive than at other retailers. If you take OTC meds daily, your Costco membership will soon pay for itself just in what you'll save in this area.
Do you like to buy organic?
If buying organic products is important to you, a Costco membership may be a good idea. It may come as a surprise to some, but Costco actually offers a big variety of organic products, from meats and eggs to organic snacks, etc. More than that, the products they offer are almost always at a better price point than the same product elsewhere. However, there's a caveat here: If you don't plan to do all, or at least most, of your organic grocery shopping at Costco and instead plan to supplement with trips to your local grocery store (if Costco isn't close to you, for example) you won't see the kind of savings that might make the membership worthwhile.
Do you have pets?
Pet food and supplies are expensive, as any pet owner knows. Costco has a big variety of affordably priced pet food and other supplies and again, because you can buy dog food in bulk you'll save money by buying it at Costco.
Do you have a Costco nearby?
Regardless of the size of your family or your buying habits, if you don't have a Costco near you and it's not convenient to go regularly, you won't get your money's worth. If that's the case, you'll actually end up saving more money by shopping at your local grocery store. But if you intend to go regularly and do the bulk of your shopping at Costco, it's probably worth the cost of membership.
So there you have it. There are lots of situations in which a Costco membership may be more worthwhile than you might have thought in the past. Before you get your membership, though, ask yourself whether you will really go to Costco often and whether you have room to store the bulk amounts (or someone with whom you can split the amounts).
If you already have a Costco membership, what are your best tips? Comment below!
Bwaste of money if it ends up in the trash.
Happy shopping! And pick me up a hot dog while you’re there, OK?
Your Turn: Do you have a Costco membership? If so, do you think it’s worth it?