Is it worth $50 to join Costco?
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  1. #1

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    Default Is it worth $50 to join Costco?

    We received a flyer the other day with an invitation to join Costco for $50 and I am wondering if it's worth it? We shop at a store called King Soopers which is really a Kroger store. They have some pretty good weekly specials but, of course, I would like to cut our grocery bill as much as possible. So, if anyone belongs to Cosco, I would like his or her take on whether or not the $50 is worth it and maybe some examples of Costco prices.

    Thanks,

    Frugal Doug

  2. #2
    Registered User cheles2kids's Avatar
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    Well, it all depends.
    If Costco is your only warehouse type store close by, then I would say yes.
    I personally save enough money each year buying their Kirkland brand HBA to pay for the membership.
    Ours does not sell gasoline but I've heard from others that live close by to one that does and they say that their gasonline is fairly cheap, well it's not "cheap" anywhere nowadays, but they are cheaper than others.

    But, we actually purchased our Costco membership for the sole purpose of buying their dog food.
    Yes, it's that good and the savings is unbelievable. We have 5 large dogs (3 Greyhounds & 2 lab mixes) and their 40# bag of dog food is only $20.00.

    Normally I wouldn't even consider such a cheaply priced dog food, but after reading the ingredients lists, I couldn't find a more expensive, premium dog food for that price.

    I also buy their dog beds. At $22.00 a piece for the large dog beds, I can buy 2 and stack them together to make a super soft, cushy bed for my dogs and still come out waaaaaay ahead of some of the other dog beds I've found for $100's of dollars.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is.
    Costco does have some good deals, but just like everywhere else, you have to be a wise shopper.

    I will say as far as grocery items, I've never been unhappy with any of their generic items (Kirkland brand).
    That includes everything from frozen veggies, juice, eggs, milk, toilet paper, etc.

    Oh & they will also put you on their mailing list and you will be sent monthly coupon books to save on different items, as well.

    HTH you some!
    Michelle
    Michelle in middle Tennessee!


    Ever so slowly rebuilding my stockpile...

  3. #3
    Registered User danni's Avatar
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    Personally there are only a few things that I find to be a good deal at Costco so it doesn't make sense for me to buy a membership. I was just told recently that if I were given a costco gift card by a member that I can use it without buying a membership. I'm going to call the store and ask them if it is true because then I would just give cash to a friend and they can buy me the gift card and I can use it whenever.

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  5. #4

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    I love my Costco membership, but not really for saving money, although I'm sure I do save by shopping there. I like the quality. There are some products like baked goods and a certain canned chili that I can't get elsewhere. But the reason I will keep renewing my membership is because that's where I buy our steaks and hamburger meat. The cuts are wonderful, very tender, reasonably priced. I can buy hamburger at about the same price at Wal-mart, but then I have to come home and break it down into individual packages. Costco hamburger meat (in the freezer section) is already in 1 lb packages. Their produce is good too. The spices are priced well. I also buy 10lbs of pancake mix there cheaper than Wal-mart.

    Also, if you don't have health insurance, they are the cheapest for prescriptions and you don't have to have a membership to get a Rx filled.

  6. #5
    Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob baronmom's Avatar
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    Out of all three warehouse type stores, Costco is my least favorite. I never really thought they had good deals at all. I love BJ's the most because you can not only use the coupons that they send you in the mail, but you can also use coupons that you get out of the paper or any other type of manufactures coupons you may have. In some cases you can double up on coupons and really save.

  7. #6
    Registered User Jskell911's Avatar
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    We don't have a Costco around here. But, do they offer a non member day pass? Our Sam's club and BJ's do that all the time. If so, I would say, take your price book with you when they offer that and compare notes on the items you would buy most often. Then add the $50 to that yearly savings and see if it's worth it to you.

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    Costco does have nice stuff, and supposedly their business practices are some of the best. For me, though, it's more practical to have a BJ's membership.

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    Do you have a friend or know someone with a card. I don't have one and only go once or twice a year. So I go with a family member that has a card. Maybe you could get a card with a friend and split the cost $25.00 each.

  10. #9
    Registered User mommymath's Avatar
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    I strongly support costco, mostly because of their political alignment (same as ours) and known good treatment of employees. The best prices that I find are when they issue their coupon books a few times a year -- especially on paper goods/detergents, etc. We tend to treat our college students to breakfast food a few times a semester, so the savings on muffins, croissants, etc. is well worth it for us. Their generic claritin-D is a great price (we have lots of allergies here!) and I like the quality of their meats and produce.

  11. #10

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    Costco has some really good prices compared to my local grocery store. I usually buy the Krusteaz pancake mix, paper products, laundry soap, large packs of chicken, beef and salmon. They have awesome double layer, filled 1/2 sheet cakes for under $15.00. Just like any other store, some prices are better than others. I stock up about every two months because it is very easy to drop a couple hundred dollars in one trip.

  12. #11
    HBS
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    I shop Costco once or twice a month for things like salmon, tilapia, artichoke hearts and cheese. These really are money-savers for us plus the quality is second to none. Every once in a while they'll send me a coupon for free muffins so I'll grab those and freeze them two in a package for quick snacks or as an addition to breakfast. I've also found their bacon and link sausage to be super cheap so L gets a nice hot breakfast every day before school. Some things like paper goods really aren't inexpensive so I buy those at Kroger or CVS with coupons. For me the membership cost is absolutely worth it.

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    Gack! You have to pay THEM to be able to shop at their store? I completely get the Costco and Sam's Club (crosses self) business model, but I don't see the return on investment for membership. Does Costco accept coupons? Do they have better prices than the loss leaders for other grocery stores? I would think the temptation would be too great to fill up my cart with lots of things I just did not need because they were 'a good deal'. I remember reading in one of the 'Tightwad' books that few people actually saved money at warehouse clubs because they couldn't resist temptation.

    If you pay for the $50 membership, can you get your money back if you change your mind? Is it pro-rated?

    If I were in your shoes and considering a membership:

    1. Buy the membership but check their coupon and cancellation policy first.
    2. Share a membership (if possible) with a friend or family.
    3. Give a friend the money to buy a gift card for you.
    4. Go on a trial member ship. But, you usually have to pay an extra 10% or so on top of your purchase price, so not a good deal.

    Here's Costco's 14 page membership brochure, might have some useful info:

    http://www.costco.com/Images/Content...Brochure05.pdf

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    HBS
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    I know Costco will fully refund the price of your membership if you aren't satisfied at any time.

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    I don't have a Costco anywhere around me but we have a Sam's membership and use it a lot. They ofcourse sell gas and I save enough on gas a year to more than pay for my membership and there are other great deals there as well. You do have to watch and figure single unit prices though b/c some things are not a good deal in bigger pkgs.

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    Registered User frugal-fannie's Avatar
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    I go to both, my BIL added me to his costco, but I normally don't go as it is a little farther away . But I have thought about just stopping at random ones to fill up for gas. I usually go to sam's and the savings on a few things of kraft Parmesan cheese and Sue Bee honey pay for the membership. I also like their meat , they usually have a good price for korean BBQ-short ribs .when we have a get together, that would also save us the cost of membership. But I also buy meat markdowns at the other chain grocery stores and those work out to be cheaper than the membership stores.

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