5 Items That Will Easily Cover Your Costco Membership Fee

Posted in Tips & Tricks
on December 22, 2019

If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure here.

5 costco items that will easily cover your membership fee Pinterest image
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.

#1 Butter

picture of butter at costco

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

salad mix at costco

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

cheese in bags at costco

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

chunks of pineapple at costco

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

ground coffee at costco

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


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:

summary of savings table

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 not, how do you save on groceries? Please share your money-saving tips for groceries below! I’d love to learn your tips and tricks. 

If you liked this post you’ll also like: 


  • John Willis

    How do you keep salad greens for more than a week? Would love to know.

    April 17, 2020 at 9:25 am Reply
    • Leah

      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.

      April 18, 2020 at 7:22 am Reply
  • Karen C

    Yes! Gas is included. It gives you a 4% cash back rebate. We also charge our car insurance, homeowners ins., and cell phone bills to the Citi Costco card and get a 1% rebate on that and for most other purchases elsewhere. There’s 3% for restaurants & travel. Exec. membership gives you 2% on every Costco purchase. We pay down to -0- every month so we pay no interest. Our rebate from Costco runs $200-something every year, and the Citi Costco Visa rebate is another $600-$700/year. Worth it? You bet. A large rebate they won’t cash for you, so they write you a check. I don’t mind taking it to the bank instead of using the rebate check for more Costco purchases that may or may not count toward the next rebate. This way, it definitely does.

    October 28, 2019 at 2:25 am Reply
  • John H

    Big news Aldi beats all those prices with just as good quality with out all the quantity
    if purchased at COSTCO 1/2 would be thrown out so now that’s a net 50% $ loss for the
    equivalent items at ALDI. Yes ALDI doesn’t have gas and 3 other items I buy at Costco
    BTW Cotco’s pharmacy WalMart beats by between 25-1000% with co pays just saying.

    October 22, 2019 at 4:39 pm Reply
    • Erica

      But Aldi smells like rotten produce and their setup makes absolutely no sense. I wouldnā€™t shop in that disgusting store if they paid me to.

      May 31, 2020 at 1:56 am Reply
  • mini

    Great ideas! Kerrygold organic butter tastes way better and is a good price at Costco.
    I would recommend buying the blocks of cheddar and shred it at home. I cut the blocks in half or 4 pieces and shred them. Cheese blocks and shreds freeze very well

    April 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Great tips, Mini! Thanks for sharing.

      May 5, 2019 at 6:22 am Reply
  • Suzanne

    Great reminders! We get in a rut with what we buy at Costco and skip the other aisles. I never thought to price out butter or cheese. Thanks for the reminder. šŸ˜‰

    January 29, 2019 at 1:21 pm Reply
  • Ann

    Costco hearing aids ! Hands down the best prices for highest quality hearing aids. And the customer service and warranty is the very best!

    January 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Great tip, Ann – thanks!

      January 25, 2019 at 6:08 am Reply
  • Standley

    There rewards back with their credit card is great deal and their gas prices. 4% back on all gas anywhere in USA & Puerto Rico, 3% all Reaurants and Travel, 2% Costco products in store or on the their website, 1% anything else.
    I am on parents plan just my purchases thru out the year I received $346 back just by using the credit card for my purchase

    January 21, 2019 at 9:29 am Reply
    • Leah

      That’s a great tip – thanks for sharing!

      January 21, 2019 at 5:22 pm Reply
  • Kay

    I save my grocery money by watching the flyers. Last week chicken leg quarters were 29 cents/lb, onions 5 lbs/99 cents, mexican gray squash 3 lbs/99 cents, avocados 5 for $1, organic Valencia oranges 4 lbs/$1.99, broccoli 77 cents/lb, 28oz cans crushed/diced tomatoes 79 cents (visited 3 stores). This week pork chops are 87 cents/lb, blueberries 3 lbs/$5, London broil/top round roast $1.87/lb, organic kale 77cents/lb, colossal shrimp (13 to 15 per lb) $5.99/lb, 10lb bag russet potatoes $1.49, green beans 79 cents/lb (visited 4 stores). I started pushing the flyers/sale prices on a couple coworkers that used to just go and buy what they needed on a daily basis, & I’m now picking up groceries for them as well.

    January 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Wow, you are a discount grocery master, Kay! Thanks for sharing your deals.

      January 19, 2019 at 6:27 am Reply
  • Suzette

    That’s the first thing that came to my mind. Affordable and a great variety of frames. You can even take non-Costco frames and have the lenses updated.

    Gas, luggage, and printer ink are also great buys

    February 11, 2018 at 9:03 pm Reply
    • Leah

      These are great ideas, Suzette! I’ll have to remember to check out Costco next time I need new glasses.

      February 12, 2018 at 6:51 am Reply
  • Patricia D

    I think gasoline would also be an item that helps pays for the membership. We usually save at least 15cents per gallon by purchasing gas at Costco.

    January 28, 2018 at 10:19 am Reply
    • Leah

      Thanks for the great tip, Patricia! I am too impatient to wait in the long lines for gas when I’m at Costco, but if you can visit during off-peak hours and aren’t in a hurry you can definitely save lots of money!

      January 29, 2018 at 7:48 am Reply
    1 2 3

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You may also like

    Privacy Policy | Disclosure Policy | Contact Me