Costco Membership Review #894
Costco, many people hate it and many equally love the warehouse membership. I’m a lover, not a fighter, so I’m all for a trip to Costco. You have to be careful shopping at Costco just like anywhere else. If you choose the 5 pound of Olives you better be either planning to live off olives for a month or have one heck of a olive finger food fiesta.
We use Costco primarily for grocery shopping and toiletries, you will not see us purchasing the fan with no blades, Chris Angel of fans, sitting in the aisle. Our visits to Costco are a simple search and destroy mission. I’ve asked Suspicious Sheep along to ask a few questions because like many he thinks Costco is another quest at America trying to over indulge, get larger, and pay more money. Suspicious Sheep(if you like Suspicious Sheep, please check out my friend’s website to show some love at Afro Pig) ask away.
How much does a Costco Membership cost, sounds terrible you have pay to shop at a store?
They have 2 memberships for the individual customer. One is the $55 Gold Membership, the other is a $110 Executive Membership which also includes a 2% Annual Reward. If you purchase around $3000 year or $250/month the Executive Membership is worth the extra money. The reason Costco charges a membership fee is to keep costs down and get the best prices for the members. Costco needs to make money so the membership fees are the beginning once they get that money flowing through, they can then negotiate and pass on savings to the members.
What kind of membership do you have?
We have the Gold Membership as of yesterday. We switched because in the beginning we were purchasing more things for our new home and spent extra money that we have since cut out. Items like garbage cans, cleaning supplies, and some other household items add up and we were looking to take advantage of the 2% Annual Reward, which paid off. We made the switch as weknow primarily use Costco for meat, toiletries, and dog food.
Don’t you need a credit card to become an Executive Member?
That’s actually what we thought until we switched our membership yesterday, but you do NOT need to have the credit card. Mrs. Even Steven wanted to have a credit card when we signed up and the American Express credit card being offered had some good selling points, especially since they incentivize using the card at Costco. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN CREDIT CARDS, I HAVE BEEN IN CREDIT CARD DEBT AND THINK IT IS A BAD IDEA TO USE A CREDIT CARD FOR ALMOST EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE, I HAVE LUCKILY CONFISCATED THIS CARD AND WE ARE BOTH HAPPIER PEOPLE!
So is Costco worth the money?
When we first looked into Costco all I could think about was why would I purchase 30 granola bars, I’m going to eat them in a week and become Tubby Tubby Even Steven. I was right that’s exactly what I did in the beginning, but I learned 30 granola bars is not a good idea for Mr. Even Steven. Less than a year ago I switched to primarily Paleo diet, which increased my need for lean meats, non-processed foods, and a major switch to organic items whenever possible. So basically I became health conscious, cut out processed foods and lost and maintained my weight, it’s been really great for me. My local grocery store is slow to the movement of organic and tend to go with a low cost value grocery which is great for the frugal side of me, but lacks sometimes for my health conscious paleo movement, so off to the cost friendly Costco it was.
You didn’t answer my question, Is Costco worth the money?
Do I save $55. I do not have the hard numbers to back it up, let’s Google it and take a look at other articles out there. Is Costco worth the money, here are some great blogs that share their thoughts.
Many people ask the question and unless Costco has some crazy vampire spell on every finance blogger out there, it is a resounding YES it’s worth the money. Mr. Money Mustache said “Holy Shit! My Costco habit is even more useful than I had been assuming!”, this is the same guy who bikes through Colorado in snow storms to pick up lumber in his bike trailer, for those of you that are unfamiliar who he is, I would say he is the Chuck Norris of Financial Independence.
So what to you buy at Costco that’s so freaking great?
We have a few staples that we buy once a month. We buy our dog food for our siberian husky, which is grain-free and has quality ingredients, researched extensively by Mrs. Even Steven and for the cost is a great purchase for us. Our dog is full of crazy energy and I want her to be ready for a 3 mile run, walk at the local park, and jumping through the snow during the Chicago winters, Costco gets the job done.
Meat. This is our go to for purchasing quality meat in bulk at a great price. We purchase frozen chicken breasts/tenderloins almost every time we go, skirt steak for Carne Asada, lean beef for my Paleo Pasta recipe, and a change of pace meat like ribs/pork, and an organic whole chicken from time to time.
Butter, Bacon, and Eggs. This one is all about the organic quality and great prices. Kerrygold butter, Coleman bacon, and Kirkland Organic eggs, and I’m ready for a delicious breakfast.
There are other purchases we make like organic tomato sauce, organic frozen vegetables, cold pressed olive oil, but these are our big winners. For us it’s not only the great prices but the known quality with Costco and the brands they choose to stock in there stores, we are sold.
How long does your Costco haul last you?
I usually estimate our Costco trips are about 3-5 weeks apart, I’m actually going to keep track to the day for this most recent visit, expect a spreadsheet and cost breakdown on everything in about a month.
Well thanks for all the questions Suspicious Sheep, I think you really brought out all the answers behind saving money at Costco. Suspicious Sheep are you still suspicious? Yes, but then again I’m suspicious the sun will come out again tomorrow so take my answer for what it’s worth.
What’s your opinion? Are you a Costco member? Do you think the Costco membership fee is worth it?
Featured image courtesty of: savingsmania.com