One of my long time favorite bloggers, Funny About Money, is contemplating something that you rarely hear about: Quitting Costco. She’s finding that, for her, not going to Costco is actually saving her money. Could bucking the stockpiling trend actually work?
I think that many people don’t even consider such a thing. They just assume that Costco saves them money by giving them lower pricing, with the tradeoff that you have to buy in larger quantities in order to realize the lower per-unit pricing. So, the kicker is that you have to use more in order to really realize the savings.
Looking At Our Stockpiling Habits
After my wife took a recent trip and left me the pile of stuff to put away, as is our arrangement, I started taking a look at our stockpile in our pantry to see if waste was leading to us actually overpaying for items.
I’m happy to report that we went through our entire pantry shelf and found just two items that we threw out because they were past their due dates to the point where we no longer felt comfortable using them:
A can of cream soup and a half a box of taco shells, both which expired in early 2014.
And, what’s even better: Neither of these items was bought at Costco.
So, it seems that for us, the food we buy at Costco to take advantage of the lower per-unit pricing actually gets eaten. This is a good thing.
The (Much Much Higher Priced) Organic Trend
We’re still keeping an eye on Costco. I think there are factors that come into play that affect our ‘value proposition’. For example, who’s noticed that they’re shifting more and more food items to organic options? If you have this as your preference, then I suppose this is great. However, for people who don’t necessarily have the budget or the desire, buying organic may not be practical.
Every trip we take, we seem to find at least one item on our ‘regular’ list that we either have to choose to pay more for to get organically, or switch back to our grocery store to purchase the non-organic option.
Right now, we still save money with our Costco membership, but it’s started to occur to us that if Costco really wants to shape themselves as the Whole Foods of the bulk warehouse shopping category, they might very well lose us as customers.
Funny makes a great point. It’s always good to really take a step back and make sure that you’re getting value from your membership. Even though Costco memberships are a way of life, they aren’t always a guaranteed money saver.
Readers, do you save money with your Costco (or other warehouse) membership? How often do you check and how do you evaluate your return on investment?Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.