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Is a Costco membership worth it for two people?

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Updated September 16, 2014 at 8:12 PM
Created August 04, 2013 at 1:36 PM

When I was growing up, I think the only way that my parents managed to feed my huge family was to buy SAD food from Costco.

When I grew up, I moved to a state without Costco, and never really thought about it.

Now my BF and I are moving in together, to a city that has a Costco. It's just the two of us, though, and we're both paleo. I know that there's a decent-sized produce section, and meat section, and that there are some non-food items (electronics, kitchen appliances, etc) that we might make use of. I'm curious, though, if we'll eat enough to make a Costco membership worth it for the two of us.

Any of you PaeloHacks have a Costco membership? How many people do you feed? Do you find that it's worth it?

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394 · August 04, 2013 at 1:45 PM

costco sucks, just shop at your local butchers and haggle long term big buys with him. You will be surprised how good the prices can be. Costco is good and cheap for cakes and sweatpants.

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8 Answers

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1087 · August 04, 2013 at 2:55 PM

We buy 1/4 cow (bones and offal included) a year, plus 12 chickens, and sometimes half a pig from a farmer. We buy and preserve at 38F about 12 bushels of apples, and we have a large (2000 sq ft) vegetable garden. We buy other fruits from the farmer market between July and November. All the eggs come from the farmer market. I make wine and beer. Yet (for 3) Costco makes sense. There is coffee, parmesan, salmon and all other fish, all potatoes, and all other fruits the rest of the year. Cod liver oil pills, non alcoholic wine for my daughter, cooking wine and the occasional bottle of sparkling, as well as cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, soaps, shaving cream. My wife buys enormous amounts of supplies for my daughter's rowing team. We are currently testing olive oil and coconut oil from Costco, having finished gallons of the stuff from Nutiva and other small producers.

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15 · August 04, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Maybe not a membership, but if you find a source for giftcards, you can use the gift card to just go when you need to. I go to costco maybe 3 times a year for my family of 2 (and 2 dogs), so it isn't worth the membership. I just get a gift card from my roommate or go with a friend that has a membership. Just remember that if you aren't a member they only accept cash or gift cards.

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2269 · August 04, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I let my membership expire this year and won't be renewing it. They do not offer clean (naturally-pastured) meats and eggs and rarely have organic produce. It's just me so I don't need to buy bales of toilet paper every week.

I might renew it if I'm in the market for a high-end thing like a TV or camera or something like that but I don't buy enough non-food stuff to justify the membership price.

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11048 · August 04, 2013 at 3:30 PM

It's worth it for us, two adults and two children. I am not always able to find grass-fed beef, so their organic ground beef is the next best choice. Aside from the organic items, like tomato sauce,it is where we buy all of the household items, like toilet paper, cat litter, kitchen sponges, etc.

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421 · August 05, 2013 at 8:08 PM

I dont have a costco near by, but I do have a Sams club which I think is the same thing in principle. It's me, my wife and a 19 month old little girl and we have a membership. My wife, who is a numbers person, figured out last year that we saved over $1100+, minus the $100 membership fee and we saved $1000+ in household goods alone, ie. toiletries, paper products, cleaners, garden needs, etc. That did not include the money we saved in meats and produce as well as electronics.

I will say though, we spend every Saturday or Sunday shopping together and hit several food stores for our needs. We go to Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Sams Club, Walmart, Food Lion (typical supermarket) and Fresh Market ( high end Supermarket). They are all relatively close in proximity and we shop for deals.

I would say that if you look at the stuff you use most around the house and determine your cost per week or month on that stuff you could easily figure out if it is worth it or not for yourself.

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17028 · August 05, 2013 at 10:57 AM

It depends. Do you have the room to store the stuff you buy from there? Typically I find that the same stuff at the local supermarket is twice the price, (or the same price but half the size.) Maybe my local supermarket is overpriced, I don't know.

They don't have everything I'd want to buy, so buying from a supermarket, or USWellnessMeats, farmer's market, etc. or otherwise is required. It's a good place to buy electronics from due to the ability to return things easily.

Does the warehouse near you have what you want? Is it even near you or do you need to drive 20 miles out of your way?

Do you spend enough there to justify the membership? Or do you spend so much there that you'd get enough of a kickback from the executive membership and their Amex card to make pay for the executive membership? We do, so for us it's worth it.

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66 · August 05, 2013 at 10:15 AM

For every response on here stating that it's non-whole, non cost-effective etc. I would like to chime in on the opposite side of the fence!

I live on my own and make a monthly trip to costco to stock up on meat and non-perishables. I spend around $150 a month and then freeze everything I get. It's simple, the meat is of a relatively good quality and I don't have to worry about anything for the rest of the month.

tl;dr I spend $150/month for myself each month at costco and freeze everything. it's really handy for me.

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540 · August 04, 2013 at 8:14 PM

cost co has great grass fed organic ground beef in freezer packs that average 4 - 5 dollars a pound. i haven't seen that price anywhere else. and per others on PH, it is grass fed and finished according to the manufacturer.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/66663/costco-organic-ranchers-ground-beef-grass-fed#axzz2b26MKpjT

they also have whole organic chickens that are a great value. you need to watch your prices, but i'd say its worth it, even if you only make one trip a month and get your produce from elsewhere.

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