You might be wondering is Costco membership worth it?
Well I finally joined Costco last year and I have been wondering just how much I’m saving on the stuff I’d buy anyway, and if that savings justifies the annual membership fee.
The Costco membership fee starts at $60, so it is a significant amount to pay just to shop somewhere for most families.
In this post, you’ll find a cost comparison of five items I buy regularly: butter, salad, shredded cheese, frozen fruit, and coffee.
I’ve calculated how much I save by buying these items at Costco instead of my local grocery store.
Read on to find out just how much you’ll save… you might be surprised!
You’ll definitely want to add these items to your Costco shopping list. And for a limited time, you can get a great deal on a Costco membership through Groupon.
We use a fair amount of butter because I do a lot of cooking and baking at home. Four sticks of butter equal a pound, and I estimate that I use between 4 and 6 sticks per month, depending on how much I’m baking.
Store brand unsalted butter costs $3.99 per pound at my local grocery store. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Butter is $2.37 per pound.
When I buy a four-pound pack, I usually put one pound in the fridge and the other three in the freezer. Each month I save $2.43 on butter.
Total annual savings on butter: $29.16
#2 Salad Mix
I used to buy the little 6 oz. bags of Spring Mix in my local grocery for about $2.99 each. That works out to $7.97 per pound for conventional (non-organic) salad mix.
Now I buy the large 1-pound clamshells of Organic Spring Mix at Costco for $4.49 per pound. The quality is better, the salad is organic, and the mix lasts me through 2 weeks of a lot of salad eating!
I alternate between this Spring Mix and Costco’s Organic Baby Spinach. So each month I save around $6.96 on lettuce for salads and cooking.
Total annual savings on salad mix: $83.52
#3: Shredded Cheese
I use shredded cheese for some purpose almost daily. I had been buying 8 oz. bags of Cheddar, Mexican, and Mozzarella for around $2.50 each at Food Lion.
If I caught a good sale I could get them for $2, which works out to $4 per pound, so I’ll use that price for comparison.
At Costco, the Kirkland Brand shredded cheese is usually around $2.35 per pound. I rotate among the three varieties named above and 5 pounds lasts us about 2 months. I also freeze the cheese in smaller Ziploc bags and it thaws super fast.
I end up saving $4.12 each month on shredded cheese.
Total annual savings on shredded cheese: $49.50
#4: Frozen Fruit
We drink a LOT of smoothies in our house, so I feel like I am constantly buying bags of frozen fruit. I like to add pineapple as a natural sweetener, and put it in every smoothie I make.
I had previously been buying 16 oz. bags at Food Lion for $2.50 and we used about one each week. A four-pound bag at Costco is $6.59, which works out to $1.65 per pound. So we are saving $3.40 each month on frozen pineapple alone.
Total annual savings on frozen fruit: $40.80
#5 Ground Coffee
We make a pot of half-caff coffee each day in our house. I previously had been buying mostly Food Lion store brand ground coffee in 12 oz. bags for $5 each.
That works out to $6.66 per pound. Occasionally I would find a good deal on coffee on Amazon but rarely could I get it for much cheaper than that.
Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ground Coffee is $9.49 for 3 lbs, which works out to $3.16 per pound. I really like how this coffee tastes and think it is actually an improvement over the coffee we had been drinking!
I estimate that we go through about a pound of coffee every two weeks. Our savings per pound is $3.50, so we save about $7 each month just buying coffee at Costco.
Total annual savings: $84.00
Summary: Is Costco Membership Worth It?
It probably clear by now that if you buy any of these items in the quantity that we do, a Costco membership will definitely pay for itself!
Here is the total savings from these five items:
These results totally surprised me, even though I suspected that the membership would pay for itself.
After you subtract the $60 membership fee, you’d save $226.86 just buying these five items at Costco as opposed to a local grocery store. That is a LOT of money to save on stuff I’d buy anyway!
I also need to add that I think the quality of the Kirkland Signature brand is excellent. I think Costco works really hard to make sure that the quality of its store brand surpasses that of any other store brands around.
Do you have a Costco Membership? If so, is Costco membership worth it for you?
If you liked this post you’ll also like:
Thursday 23rd of June 2022
Eyeglasses, spices, wines, gourmet breads, Harland Clarke checks (saved a TON)!
Wednesday 7th of April 2021
Slightly off topic here, since we were discussing food. But we estimate that we have saved about $4,000 over the last five years by using Costco for my husband's hearing aids. Their pricing and service for testing, fitting and adjusting are amazing. Add in his glasses and my contact lenses and the savings have covered our membership for the 25 years we've been Costco customers.
Saturday 23rd of January 2021
Hi Leah, the most underused storage space in a home is the back of the doors. I have over the door shoe racks or hanging shelves on every interior door in my house and they are used for everything from food to sewing supplies - give that a try!
Wednesday 3rd of June 2020
You forgot about their flour! They have 50lb baker’s flour and all-purpose for $7-10. You have to pay at least 3x that at your local grocery store. Also, it is pretty impossible to beat their gas prices. The lowest I saw was $1.25/g regular and $1.75/g premium during COVID. That is the first time I bought premium ever. Even during regular times, they are beating all the Shells/Valeros, etc.
Thursday 15th of December 2022
You can buy the bulk stuff and split it with say, 2-4 friends.
Thursday 4th of June 2020
Great additions, James! I don;t have anywhere to store that volume of flour so I don't buy it there. But wow the savings is incredible. Thanks for sharing!
Friday 17th of April 2020
How do you keep salad greens for more than a week? Would love to know.
Saturday 18th of April 2020
First, get the sturdy spring greens. Second, make sure they aren't too wet inside. If they are, put a paper towel in there to absorb some moisture. Third, you can take half out and put it in a plastic bag so the greens aren't crammed in there. I've had salad last almost 3 weeks this way.