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Nov 7, 2013 08:32 PM

Should I get a Costco membership?

Just wondering if there are any pro's to having a membership at Costco?

It's just the two of us here, but I've heard the meat is pretty good there. It doesn't seem too expensive for a year, but I want to make sure it's worth it as I'm not exactly rolling in dough :)

What are your thoughts?

If this helps at all, I cook pretty much every meal the wife and I eat and spend ~$125-150 weekly at the various grocery stores I shop at....

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  1. As far as I know, the cost of the Costco membership is refundable for quite some time after you buy it. Get one, and if it doesn't work out for you, ask for the refund/cancellation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      From Costco website:
      On Membership: We will refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied.
      On Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price, with the following exceptions:"

      I like the easy return - since everything you buy is with your membership card, they can retrieve the receipt if you lose or forget it. They also let you return almost anything you don't like.

      Some things I like - some not so much. You never save money when you buy too much or things you do not need. I find I sometimes I am tempted to buy too much (size is too big) because I don't want to stop at another store.

      One surprise for me is how much I like the quality and price of some of the Kirkland (Costco) brand items.

    2. Yes

      The cost savings of gas and one set of tires will more than bring a positive return on your investment in the membership fee.

      Even if you hate the place, walk never drive, then simply sell "single visit (cash-only) memberships" on Craigslist, and you'll recoup your money in no time.

      10 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I have a costco membership that I use for almost nothing but gasoline and bananas! LOL How do I sell 'single visit (cash-only) memberships' on Craigslist? I'm thinking I just meet the person there and shop with them? LOL

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I looked into tires recently and the cost was not that much better than at my local tire shop. The difference was mostly that Costco's included road hazard, etc. within the price but for about a $40 difference for four tires, it was not worth the ride out there for the change, rotation, etc. (my tire shop is walkable from my work, Costco is about 15 miles away).

          What was your savings?

          This was for an older model Yukon. They don't carry much for my Audi.

          1. re: Dax

            Michelin Pilot Super Sports (F 245/35 and R 305/30)

            Probably saved close to $200 (versus, say, Tirerack), and this was before the mail-in rebate at the time.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I'm a car guy (have my own car club). And yup, generally speaking Costco beats TR when it comes to prices. They even post examples of price differences (Costco vs. TR) on a big banner by the entrance. I'm sure that ticks off TR staffers who shop at Costco :-)

              1. re: LotusRapper

                I'm a car guy (have my own car club)

                Which one?

                Let me guess. Wait. Wait. Give me a minute. Um ... Lotus?

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Right off the endangered species list.

            2. re: Dax

              I too shopped around for tires and my local guy was cheaper. But we did lease a car through costco which saved us a lot of time by not having to shop around...Also got $500 gift certificate.

            3. re: ipsedixit

              Costco doesn't even carry the tires for my car and driving almost 20 miles each way to get gas wouldn't make much sense.

            4. I LOVE costco. It's just my husband and I, but between paper towels, TP, and chicken, it pays for itself. They have super high turnover on their veggies (the ones they have), so they're always fresh, great deals on mushrooms, and they have a huge variety of sausages and deli meats. Plus everything else. I can't get enough.

              1. I think you can get a one day guest membership. Take a notebook with you and write down anything you might be interested in and the quantity, when you get home you look it over and do some math.

                We found that it is NOT worth it for us.

                6 Replies
                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  Interesting, I may just do that this weekend. Or maybe save it for a weekday, I'm sure it's a madhouse in there on the weekends.

                  1. re: Kleraudio

                    Another way around getting membership but still able to access and shop at Costco, is to get friends who are members to buy you gift cards (you pay them back of course). With gift cards you can enter the store like a reg. member, buy and pay for your items. If your purchase > the balance on the card, you can make up the difference with cash or AmEx (at least here in Canada) but not credit cards nor debit cards.

                    My parents are on this "gift card plan" and it works well for them. Every 4-6 weeks I buy a new $100 gift card for them and they simply pay me back. Easy peasy.

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      That's interesting. When my mom was out of the country, I switched my membership from having her as a secondary to a close friend, so he's my costco-husband, and I'm his amazon prime-wife. It's a good tradeoff. Now that my mom moved back to the US, I wasn't sure how to handle another member.

                      1. re: LaureltQ

                        " ..... I switched my membership from having her as a secondary to a close friend, so he's my costco-husband, and I'm his amazon prime-wife ..... "

                        So much for the good 'ol traditional Sears-Roebuck family ...... ;)

                        1. re: LaureltQ

                          You can add another person for a $55 fee for executive card.

                          1. re: flylice2x

                            That's the cost of adding a person to the business membership too.

                  2. If you are already shopping at more than one food store, I don't know why you wouldn't add Costco. You could go there every other month and stock up on the things you like.

                    We buy salmon burgers, some cheese, fresh nuts, coffee, canned tuna and canned salmon. We bought some ground beef there that seemed pretty good when we ate it. The thing I don't like about the meat is that you have to buy in large quantities. I don't seem to mind buying other things in large quantities.

                    We also buy paper towels, dishwasher detergent, paper napkins and other paper goods.

                    I bought a cast iron wok there recently.

                    I'd buy a membership and see if it is worth it to you for one year.

                    Also, Costco has the cheapest gas around here.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      OK I'm pretty much sold on the idea. Not sure how I like buying in bulk, I guess we'll find out.

                      Buying meat in bulk is OK. I have no problem using the freezer and those ziplock "pump" vacuum bags work pretty well so there is no freezer burn.

                      I'll have to look into this. I get my paper supplies pretty cheap by buying the Kroger store branded stuff, I'll have to compare that to Kirkland brand. I may head up there tomorrow actually and get a one day pass just to compare pricing.

                      Thanks for the input everyone.

                      1. re: Kleraudio

                        When I rejoined Costco the first thing in my cart was a Foodsaver and bags.

                        I shop for two and the vac seal was a must

                        1. re: Kleraudio

                          Kirkland brand is generally better than most brands.
                          (their vanilla ice cream is haagen dasz, for example,
                          not that they use the brand, but it's from the same

                          1. re: Chowrin

                            Yes, the Kirkland brand is pretty darn good. I am currently drinking the Kirkland Craft Beer (IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager) and think all the varieties are quite good. It is not top-notch, but a great value for the price. Think of it as good everyday craft beer.