After looking at my Costco price comparisons (which I need to update, by the way, as the entire industry has seen rising prices over the last year), many people still ask me “Is a Costco membership worth it?” While I can’t speak for everyone, I have found Costco to be a great source for many non-food items that save me hundreds a year…easily paying for a membership several times over. While not all food is cheaper in bulk if using coupons paired with sales at a regular store, there are some things that you can’t find many coupons or sales for, that are indeed cheaper at the warehouse store.
I’m not saying Costco is right for everyone; it depends what you’re buying! But, I figured I would tell you about things other than food, just for a fair comparison to make your own decision.
Costco Gasoline is usually $0.20-0.25 per gallon cheaper than any other gas station in my area. Filling up once a week saves me over $100 a year. Twice the annual membership fee.
2. Baby and Children’s Clothing
Carters had a “Black Friday Doorbuster” last week in which their flecce PJs were $8 each. The regular price for these same pajamas at Costco is $7.99. I also purchase Carter’s infant and toddler sets for cheaper than I can find at the Carter’s outlet. I purchased a nice winter coat for my daughter for only $20 several weeks ago.
3. Men and Women’s Clothing and Shoes
There isn’t a huge selection, but Lucky jeans and Levis for $30? Count me in. My husband has had good success with the Kirkland Jeans as well. And, Sperry Top Siders for less than $20. I often get my husband their flannel shirts or Hawaiian shirts. Good quality and a third of the price as department stores!
4. Toys and Books
I was amazed that some Black Friday sales this year at Target and Wal-Mart were the same or not as good as Costco’s regular price on certain toys. I recently purchased a 64 pack of solid wood blocks for $27…similar sets are in the upwards of $75 online. I also get some of my daughter’s learning books here that we use for homeschooling–including $11 for a 3 pack of Dr. Seuss books. Amazon has said books for $5-10 each. The dollhouse pictured below for $85 is currently priced at $131 on Amazon.
So TVs aren’t always cheaper at Costco, but their return policy is amazing. You can return televisions and other electronics within 90 days, no box required and no hassle. They also extend the manufacturer’s warranty at no extra cost.
6. Parchment Paper and Foil
The sale price for parchment paper at my local grocery store is $2.99 for 30 square feet. Or $0.10 per square foot. The Costco price of $5.99 for 205 square feet is only $0.03 per square foot…
Foil is also a good deal. Although it looks expensive, my local Safeway sells heavy duty foil for $0.10 a square foot. Using grocery store prices, this 750 sq foot box of foil would cost $75…so $21 is quite a steal.
7. Christmas Supplies
Bows, ribbon, and wrapping paper are all super high quality and a fairly decent price. (You can get cheaper at Target in the week after Christmas, but the quality of the paper isn’t as high.) One 269 sq foot roll of Costco wrapping paper lasts me approximately 3 years. No joke.
8. Gift Cards
This would pay for your membership by itself! There isn’t a huge selection of gift cards, but it rotates out fairly often. Costco sells certain $100 gift cards for $79.99 or $50 gift cards for $39.99. Sometimes I break them up for gifts, and sometimes I use them to further stretch some of our budget categories.
Not everything is cheaper at Costco, and it remains a controversial store within the money saving community, but there are other things besides food that are a good deal. What do you think?
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