If you are single is a Costco membership worth it?
I am a single mom of a tween boy, so getting a Costco or Sam’s Club membership was one that took some thought. I had gone decades without one. Up to this point, my son had not eaten too much, and before that, I had been in graduate school and on my own. Why would I need a membership for one? Early last year, I had decided that now the price of membership was worth it. I researched them both, caved, and decided to get a Costco membership. Then after two trips, I started to kick myself. Not for the decision that I recently made, but for the one that I didn’t earlier.
***For transparency’s sake, Costco is NOT sponsoring me or this post in any way. I have a personal preference for Costco over Sam’s Club. Because of this, I use Costco as an example. Depending on where you live, other warehouse stores might be a better option for you. Also, you might be able to find better deals on Amazon (see advertisement), but those are not always available.***
I realized that my Costco membership was a great deal for singles, too. You can recoup the price of membership with a few purchases of household staples. Here are some of the best deals that will help you do so (to compare more 2018 prices on other items check out this site https://www.thriftynorthwestmom.com/costco-products-price-list/ – obviously prices may vary based on where you live). Here are a few examples:
- Bathroom tissue – At Costco toilet paper, in particular, Kirkland brand is a great buy. This comes in at $15.99 for 30 rolls with 425 sheets per roll. Comparing the price per roll, it does not sound all that impressive at first, but these rolls have about double the sheets as their generic counterparts at grocery and big-box stores. If you do the calculations, you will save $1.97 each time you buy this product at Costco vs. Target, and $2.58 at Costco vs. Walmart.
- Toothpaste – Crest 3D White Advanced 5 6 oz tubes at Costco? $14.99. Walmart? $4.86 per 5.5 oz tube ($24.30 for five tubes or $5.30 for 6 oz). Target $4.49 for a 6.4 oz tube ($4.20 for 6 oz). Savings? $6.01 to $11.51 calculating by the ounce.
- Razors – Venus Sensitive Disposable razors $24.99 for 14 ($21.99 on sale) at Costco. Target $12.99 for six ($30.31 for 14), and Walmart has them for ($30.26 for 14). Shopping at Costco for this can save you $5.27 to $8.27 depending on sales. Men’s razors are an even better value. The Gillette Custom Plus 3 razors sell at $25.99 for 26 ($19.99 on sale) at Costco. The most comparable is available at Walmart for $6.99 for 4 or $45.44 for 26. A $19.45 to $25.45 savings. The nice things about razors? They don’t go bad. They don’t take up much space.
- Tampons – Also a good buy. Costco runs $13.49 for 96 counts of Tampax Regular and Super Pearl Tampons. Other retailers run about $7.00 for 36. That is about a $5.17 savings. When they go on sale for $3.50 off or $9.99, you are saving $8.67. Stock up friends, stock up. You will be hard-pressed to find a better coupon elsewhere that can save you 46% on tampons.
- Trash bags – 13 Gallon Trash Bags Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech – You can pick up 200 of these for $14.99. These beat both Target and Walmart who offer 120 similar bags for $16.99 and $13.26 respectively. Breaking it down by price per bag, you can save at least $7.11. ($13.33 if you shop at Target).
- LED light bulbs – When they have a sale on these, the prices can get very low. I have seen $.49 per bulb. Normally a ten pack of 60-watt bulbs runs $14.99. Target $4.99 for four Up and Up brand, Walmart $4.97. If you grab them when they are on sale, you can save $7.49. You will want to buy these when they are on sale; otherwise, it is not a deal. (If you aren’t already using LED light bulbs, you may want to consider switching. They save you money.)
- Batteries – Oh, my. Duracell AA batteries run $15.99 for 40 at Costco. At Target, they run $13.99 for 20, and Walmart $14.94 for 20. One purchase of these will save you at least $11.99. If you opt for the Kirkland brand with 72 batteries (which I use and am very happy with), you will save even more – $30.37. (Keep in mind that this is comparing Costco brand vs. name brand, although I haven’t seen a difference in quality). To be transparent, Walmart also sells 100 packs of Rayovac and ACDelco that might be a slightly better deal per battery than the Kirkland brand depending on sales. Also, the name brand price comparison in this example is the regular price. Costco has run sales in December on the Duracell batteries. In 2017 they were $3.00 off.
- Gas – Today, as I write this, the gas at my Costco is $0.26 less per gallon than the next highest gas station in my area. Sam’s Club has the same price as Costco. I drive a hybrid, so I don’t save a lot in this area. I fill up my car twice a month or so, which equates to $5.00 in savings per month. That, alone, pays for the $60 membership for me.
So, yes, as a single person, I would say that you could regain the cost of your membership rather quickly and then enjoy the other savings on eyeglasses, prescriptions, seasonal products, food, travel, office supplies, and electronics throughout the year. If you are still unconvinced, check out your local warehouse store for yourself. If you have other warehouse shopping tips, please share them in the comments.
(Affiliate advertisement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)