Is Costco Worth It? 9 Items That Could Pay for Your Membership

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Costco Wholesale
Image Credit: Dreamstime

If you’re asking yourself “Is Costco worth it?” we’ve got a one-word answer for you: Yes! In fact, there are a lot of items in the store that can pay for your membership over time.

These 9 Items Will Pay for Your Costco Membership

Do you have a Costco membership? If not, WHY?!?

At this point, the only two good excuses for not being a Costco member are living too far away from one OR living alone and therefore not deriving enough benefit from a having a membership.

So how much is a Costco membership? You can get a Gold Star membership for $60 a year. You can see all the available membership plans here.

But maybe you’re on the fence about if a Costco membership is worth it. In that case, here’s a list of items that will single-handedly pay for your Costco membership.

Table of Contents

  1. Tires
  2. Lunch
  3. Movie Tickets
  4. Baby Formula
  5. Luggage
  6. Wine
  7. Guarantees
  8. Rotisserie Chickens and Pizza
  9. Gas

Tires

costco tire installation storefront
Dreamstime

Where’s the last place you got new tires? If it wasn’t a warehouse club, you probably paid too much. The service and price offered at Costco for tire purchases are unparalleled. The only other legitimate consideration would be an online purchase through TireRack.

The great thing about buying through Costco are the free tire balancing and rotation (plus free flat repairs) that you’ll get. That’s not normally something we factor in when making a tire purchase, but it keeps those rubber fellas alive for a lot longer, which saves you money.

Pay attention because Costco often offers $70 to $80 off certain brands of tires at different times of year. Just one set of tires will more than pay your Costco membership fee.

But before you get Costco tires on your vehicle, here are a few things you should know first.

Lunch

costco hot dog
Clark.com

Do you like to eat out? Well, Costco is a fantastic place for a date. My friend Wiley takes his wife Jenny there pretty often and it’s incredibly romantic. First, they take a stroll around and collect some free samples. Then, they head over to the lunch counter for a hot dog and some frozen yogurt. You’ll spend just over $2 and you’ll actually get filled up (those hot dogs are ¼ lb!). Costco’s lunch lineup isn’t super diverse, but it is tasty AND filling. If you save a few bucks on lunch just twice a month it will pay for your membership.

If you’re wondering what’s on the menu, what the nutritional value of Costco’s food court menu is and what the hours are like, we’ve got all that info here.

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Movie Tickets

I don’t often go to the theater for a movie. It’s just too dang expensive. We’ve all got our favorite ways to blow a few dollars though and if going out to the movies is one of yours, it’ll more than pay for your glorious Costco membership.

The regular price for a movie where I live can be anywhere from $11 to $13. Costco will sell you two tickets for $17 (sometimes even cheaper). So if seeing the newest flick on the big screen is important to you, Costco’s discount on movie tickets will be well worth the cost of membership.

Baby Formula

If you have kids and don’t have a Costco membership…I just feel sorry for you. You could be saving a lot more money. Baby formula is probably the sickest value proposition Costco offers. It is seriously less than half the price of formula you might purchase at your local grocery store.

Kirkland signature brand formula is 46 cents an ounce and the name brand, Enfamil, is 89 cents an ounce.

You’ll pay for your membership quickly with purchase of just this singular item. So the answer to the question of, “Is Costco worth it?” is a resounding yes!

My wife and I are using cloth diapers, but if you are going the disposable diaper route, Costco offers the best value in that arena, too.

Luggage

I just purchased a new set of luggage, and the value that Costco provided was incredible. The actual cost of the luggage is super competitive, but on top of that, Costco offers the best guarantee in the land. I wouldn’t buy luggage anywhere else. My final cost was $100 for two fantastic pieces of luggage and I’ll never have to pay out of pocket for new ones again. That’s unreal.

Wine

I’m not a wine guy. Craft beer is my thing. But if you are a wine connoisseur, Costco is the place for you. That sounds odd, but from everything I’ve read about Costco wine, the stuff is supposedly really good. And your average savings will be around $5 a bottle. There’s a great blog detailing all the great Costco wines.

Guarantees

costco membership desk where you do exchanges
Dreamstime

Costco’s overall guarantee system is a great reason to shop there, and will single-handedly pay for that Costco membership.

If you’re ever dissatisfied with your membership, at any point, you can get a free refund for the full cost of the membership itself.

That means that if you test out my Costco membership theory and find it lacking, it won’t cost you a dime.

Rotisserie Chickens and Pizza

costco food court pizza menu board
Clark.com

I had to add these items to my list, because I love them and they make dinner really easy sometimes. I’m pretty sure Costco loses money on the rotisserie chickens, too, because $5 is just insane. Fair warning: If you get addicted to their delicious and gargantuan pepperoni pizza, it wasn’t my fault.

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Gas

I personally don’t use this one much. The line to fill up at the Costco gas station just wastes too much time. But if you get lucky and the line is lacking, make sure to fill up. In some areas of the country you can save almost 30 cents a gallon just by filling up at Costco instead of your local gas station. That means that one or two tanks of gas a month could single-handedly pay for that $60 Costco membership.

If you’ve never filled up at the warehouse club before, here are 7 Things to Know Before You Buy Gas at Costco Wholesale.

Final Thought

I’m a big fan of Costco. And if any of these nine items are something you buy regularly elsewhere, you should definitely start considering a Costco membership. Because just buying one or two of these things at Costco instead of the retailer you are currently using will save you big money — and you’ll find big value throughout the store in other areas. Costco membership is amazing and there’s no going back once you’ve crossed that glorious money-saving threshold.

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