Thanks so much to Kelly from Kansas City Mamas for sharing this great post with us. I’m still on “leave,” enjoying my time with new baby and settling into life as a family of 6. I’m so grateful for the help and support of my fellow bloggers during this time! ~Erin
I have a little secret. I love Costco.
I love the big carts, the samples, the organic selection, and the oversize parking spots. (Because I can be parking challenged.)
And a few years ago, I was a CA. (Also known as a Costco addict.)
I would get a high as soon as I flashed my well-used card, walk through every aisle, try different samples, buy something that looked cool, and spend $350.00. (And did I mention the clerks knew me and my kids by name?)
Flash forward a couple of years to when we hit a speed bump (or went into the ditch…whichever analogy you prefer) on our financial highway.
I was forced to really learn about meal planning, strategic shopping, and using coupons.
And then came the shock about my beloved Costco.
I realized I was overpaying on many different items at Costco. And it made me start to wonder, “Should I keep my Costco membership? Is Costco worth it?”
And what I found out was…it depends.
Truth is justifying your Costco membership is about as personal as justifying your every-six-week hair appointment. You don’t need it, you could get along with out it, but you really don’t want to see what that would feel like.
But after mastering my price book and tracking the sales cycle of most items, I’ve found that 80% of groceries, health & beauty, and cleaning supplies sold at Costco can be purchased for less at a regular store on sale with a coupon.
And I’ve known many fellow couponers, who after a year of couponing, have let their warehouse memberships expire because they could no longer justify the $50 per year membership cost.
So what about me? Well, after doing the math, I continue to be a proud Costco Carrying Card Member.
There are enough things our family purchases at Costco to make the membership worth the expense. (In fact I even have a Kansas City Mamas Top 15 Costco Deals and a Items That Aren’t A Deal At Costco list.)
I wish I could say there is a definite “Is Costco Worth It?“ answer, but for each family the answer will be different. My advice, get your price book up to date and track your grocery spending. In about 60-days you will see if the $50 Costco Membership is worth it.
What about you? Do you have a warehouse membership? What things do you like to buy? Could you live without it?
Kelly Snyder is the author of Kansas City Mamas – a website devoted to living well by saving more. She is married to her best friend (Hubs) and is the stay-at-home mama to DS (9) and DD (7). In addition, she believes that life is too short for bad coffee, wine or food (but not necessarily in that order).