Written in 2009, at the end of it, the answer is yes. For me Costco is worth it (just for the Gas alone really) as there is now one very close to my house as well.
Mrs. Caj and I decided last week to sign up for Costco (we already had been members in the mid-90’s but didn’t renew after a year). We had been hearing about Costco from a frugal friend (who is not a member, but uses her sister’s membership (might be the best thing to do)) and we will be trying for a year again to see whether Costco is:
- Worth the subscription fee and saves us money
- Or is a waste of money and a very 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 issues with payment, 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 knew of one large benefit from our Frugal Friend which is that the membership is valid all over the world. 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 at a much cheaper price. Due to the fact that this is a Costco the beer is in very large packages, but still you can get very cheap beer. If I was 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, however, but that may be another good factor as well.
We wandered around and were very conservative in our spending our first visit. We saw some things that looked cheaper, but we were very restrained, and may go back soon with a list of supplies that we need.
I also found that Costco Gas is a great addition as well.
What’s the verdict now 2 years later. I think it’s worth it if you control your purchases like when you shop at any other store.
I wrote my own post on saving money at costco that might give you some additional ideas.
If you and your family are big meat eaters, Costco is worthwhile. We bought a beef tenderloin there for Christmas and it was probably half of what you’d pay at an everyday store….and delicious. Of course, you get the big portions which doesn’t work for everyone.
I went to Costco one time – the exactly one as yours when I was living in Hull. I find it expensive. Wal-Mart work better for me.
Nice blog 🙂
Don’t forget to include travel costs if you have to drive outside your normal circle. We know many who travel from eastern BC to Alberta “to save the PST”, while they spend more on gas and accommodations than they save…..