Written in 2009, at the end of it, the answer is yes. For me, Costco is worth it (just for the gas alone) as there is no one close to my house.
Mrs. Caj and I decided last week to sign up for Costco (we already had been members in the mid-90s but didn’t renew after a year). We had heard about Costco from a frugal friend (who is not a member but uses her sister’s membership (which might be the best thing to do)), and we will be trying for a year again to see whether Costco is:
- It is worth the subscription fee and saves us money.
- Or is it a waste of money and a dangerous place to shop because you buy huge portions of things that are not necessarily even cheaper than at your regular store?
Costco also has a few payment issues. They do not take most credit cards (they do take
American Express Mastercard) but they do allow you to use direct withdrawal (used to be they didn’t allow that).
Benefits We Have Seen So Far
We know of one significant benefit of our Frugal Friend, which is that the membership is valid worldwide. This means you can buy at any Costco that you can find. Why is that so important, you may ask? The Costco in Gatineau (across the river from Ottawa) sells beer much cheaper. Since this is a Costco, the beer is in huge packages, but you can still get cheap beer. If I were having a party I would go over to get beer just for that reason.
Not sure how the 2% cash back on purchases will work, but that may also be another good factor.
We wandered around and were very conservative in our spending on our first visit. We saw some things that looked cheaper, but we were very restrained and may return soon with a list of supplies we need.
I also found that Costco Gas is a fantastic addition as well.