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Feb 7, 2012 11:35 PM

Costco worth it for a couple?

I live with my boyfriend and we currently do most of our grocery shopping at Superstore and Walmart. There's only the two of us to feed but we do cook at home a lot. Are the bulk portions and savings worth the $55 annual membership fee for a household of two?

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  1. IMO, not really ... unless you really buy into the Costco lifestyle.

    It's better to just get a member friend to get you a Costco Gift/Cash card and you reimburse them, that way you don't have to have a membership to shop there.

    Or, if you really like to spend money there at Costco, get the executive membership for 110 bucks and that way you get a small percentage back at the end of the year. We have a family of 6 (4 boys) and we shop at Costco all the time apart from the local Safeway which is convenient. Usually our rebate check at the end of the year amounts to ~ 180 bucks or so.

    But for a couple the previous recommendation stands.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bill_n_opus

      Yeah, buying in bulk without family or friends to use it is a slippery slope, especially with food. Many of the meats, etc. would have to be frozen and what's the point in that?

      Sure there are a few fun things that you can't find elsewhere but once again how much can you use of any one item as they invariably come in large sizes?
      I'd get sundries at SuperStore as their prices are comparable and the quantities make more sense for a couple (Walmart as well I guess but I never shop there).

      As bill mentioned you can get your Costco fix by getting a card holder to buy you a $20 gift card and this allows you to shop like a regular member for the day, paying the rest with cash or debit (no credit cards though). That way you'll get Costco fever out of your system...

      1. re: eatrustic

        the big value for me is not centered on the food offerings or on the sundries.

      2. re: bill_n_opus

        you don't need the executive membership to get money back. costco sponsors an no-fee american express card that will give you 3% back on all gas purchases (even on costco gas), 2% back on restaurant purchases, and 1% back on all the rest.

        the money i save in gas on this card practically pays for the membership fee. my tank takes 14 gallons of premium.

        also, as you would imagine, being on chowhound, the restaurant purchase discount is very meaningful to me.

      3. Depends. Savings on a set of tires may pay for your membership. Costco is not just about food. They have travel deals, car deals, home improvement deals (we bought our granite countertops through Costco and saved over $1,700 over the lowest non-Costco bid). We also entertain a lot and have several large parties over the summer barbecue season. Gas savings can be over $2 per fill-up. So it's really up to you whether a membership price of a little over $1/week is a good deal for you.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          And don't forget, you can get a great deal on a casket.

          1. re: ferret

            I have had a costco membership for about 6 months. It is just me and my husband. We have used it for tires to get a savings that did in fact offset the cost.

            I don't always find great deals on groceries, butI go there bi-weekly to buy items for my husbands lunch and pick up other random things. There are several things that we regularly consume that are better priced at costco.

            There is one by my work that is always 10-25 cents per gallon less, so I fill up there when I can.

            We also buy restaurant gift cards for restaurants that we frequent at 20% savings off face value.

            I do this for spa gift cards as well.

            You can get discounts on insurance, travel, and many other things...including caskets as previously mentioned.

            My favorite purchase has been knock off Lu Lu Lemon workout clothing.

            I bought the executive because the reimburse you for the extra cost if your rebates are less than the difference between the membership plans.

            It is 100% refundable, so if you buy it and it does not work out, you can get a full-refund.

            1. re: brilynn79

              I understand that the dental insurance could be a considerable savings if one doesn't have access to group coverage in any other way.

              1. re: Stephanie Wong

                We get our car insurance through Costco.

          2. Do you or your boyfriend drive?

            Just the savings in gas will more than makeup for the membership fee.

            1. For DH and me, a Costco membership has been a staple because it works for us. We buy so much more than food, though. We utilize Costco fully. It's not all about 20-packs of toilet paper ;-)
              We live about 15-20 minutes away and have a freezer (and a vacuum sealer) and room to store bulk. It's not a one-size-fits-all deal. You have to weigh the factors and see if it works for you. It's also not a lifetime membership or a time share, so I think the worst that could happen is that you don't utilize Costco as much as you thought you would and therefore, don't renew.

              1. It's also not solely 55-gallon drums of mayo. Probably half (or more) of their food items are multi-packs of regular sized products.