- When I tell people I shop at bulk retailer Costco, they’re usually confused because my household only has two people: me and my husband.
- But I like to go every two or three weeks and load up on groceries for a better price than my local store, I use Costco to book our travel, and I can’t get enough of the free snacks.
- For our family, paying $60 a year for a Costco membership saves us more in the long run, even though we’re only two people.
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I was thrilled when a brand new Costco opened up about 10 minutes from my house.
Some people didn’t quite understand my excitement. They would say things like, “Why do you need a Costco membership? It’s just you and your husband!” they’d tell me. Or they’d ask, “Are you planning on having five children and buying everything in bulk?”
The truth is that even though Costco is a bulk retailer and you have to join to shop there, I believe a membership is worth it for smaller families like my own. At least, it is for me.
The cost of Costco membership
Costco offers three different membership options:
- Gold Star Membership: The Gold Star is $60 per year and comes with two membership cards.
- Gold Star Executive Membership: With the Gold Star Executive, you get two cards plus 2% rewards on all purchases for $120 per year.
- Business Membership: There’s also a Business option that offers the same benefits as the Gold Star and Gold Executive memberships, but allows members to add additional people for $60 each.
I went with the Gold Star membership because it has everything I need: the freedom to shop at Costco whenever my heart desires and a membership card for me as well as one for my husband.
If you’re wondering whether my $60 yearly membership is worth it, I’m here to tell you: absolutely! Here’s why:
1. I get access to lower prices than I see anywhere else
When I compare the prices of some of the foods I get at Costco to the prices of similar foods at my local grocery store, Giant Eagle, I know I’m getting a great deal. For example, Costco’s blend of frozen veggies is $0.28/100 g instead of the $0.45/100 g at my grocery store. Not to mention, Costco’s blend has broccoli and cauliflower, two veggies that I love and are not found in the grocery store version.
Also, Costco’s organic, cage-free large eggs are $6.39 for two dozen, or $0.26 per egg. The same eggs at my grocery store are available for $5.85 for 18 eggs, or $0.32 per egg. Since my husband and I go through eggs quickly, Costco eggs are a big money-saver.
In addition, wild Alaskan salmon at Costco is $32.99 for 3 pounds, which equates to $11 per pound or $0.69 per ounce. Similar salmon at my grocery store is $12.99 for 12 ounces or $1.08 per ounce. Salmon is one of our go-to dinners, so I always buy it from Costco.
2. I make fewer trips to the store
Since Costco allows me to buy in bulk, I grocery shop a lot less than I used to. This is a big deal for someone like me who is self-employed as my time is literally money. I try to stock up for at least two to three weeks’ worth of meat (I love the chicken and lamb!), eggs, frozen fruit and veggies, snack foods, and household products like paper towels and toilet paper.
3. I get to snack on the free samples
This may sound crazy, but I love to head on over to Costco if I’m craving a little snack. The store is packed with delicious free samples that not only fill me up but inspire me to try new foods that I don’t typically eat. Fortunately, I have pretty good self control and rarely buy the foods that are being promoted.
4. I regularly use Costco’s vacation deals
Believe it or not, I also use Costco to book my vacations and save big. I used to use American Express Travel but found that Costco prices are better.
In April, my husband and I went to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun and paid $1,775 a person for seven nights through Costco. This price included everything: flights, airport transfers, and all-inclusive lodging. When we checked American Express, it was $1,950 a person for the same package. We spent the $350 we saved on a dolphin excursion and had the time of our lives.
While Costco may not be the right option for every family, it makes complete sense for mine. I know I’ve saved much more than the $60 a year it cost me to join.