I’ve heard from so many people growing up that having a warehouse club membership automatically meant you save money. My mom has been a Sam’s Club member for years and she’s saved money, especially when we were growing up in a family of four.
We currently have a Costco membership. We planned ahead before we paid for the membership, but I thought it would be useful to see if we really did save money with our Costco membership.
Costco Membership Costs
As you’re well aware, there are are fees to become a Costco member. They offer different memberships, each with their own fees and benefits.
- Gold Star Member ship ($50/year): This membership allows you to purchase products for personal use at any Costco in the world. You also get an additional card for one member in your household included.
- Business Membership ($50/year): In addition to the Gold Star membership benefits, you also purchase business products for use or resale and you can get to add 6 additional cardholders.
- Executive Gold Star Membership ($100/year): Executive Members enjoy an annual 2% Reward on most Costco purchases, as well as additional values on member services, such as lower prices on check printing, payroll services and identity protection; an account bonus for money market and online investing accounts; free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the auto insurance program; and extra travel benefits.
We decided to get the Executive Membership for our family. I’ll review the discounts and savings we have. I’ll also keep a running total of the membership’s value after each section where I have some numbers.
Costco Savings: -$100
Car Insurance Savings with Costco
We found a great discount with our Costco membership on our car insurance. Our previous policy with Progressive was $118/month. I shopped around for car insurance rates, trying to see if we could get something better.
Amerprise through Costco offered auto insurance coverage for $58/month. That saves us $60/month for an annual savings of $720.
I’ve also used their roadside assistance and didn’t have to pay anything, since that was included in our Executive membership.
Costco Savings: $620
Gasoline Discounts at Costco’s Gas Stations
I have noticed that Costco’s gasoline has been 12-15 cents cheaper a gallon then other gas stations around my area, which is a bit more expensive then the city’s average. If I lived in a different part of town, the savings would drop to around 5-7 cents a gallon.
Since I live relatively near Costco, getting my gasoline there is a c0nvienent way to save money. I fill up about every 10-14 days, and my husband fills up just as frequently. We have about 12 gallons for our cars’ gas tanks.
To keep it simple, I’ll calculate we fill up every two weeks and we get to Costco about 75% of the time for a total of 39 fill-ups between the two of us each year. I’ll say we save 13 cents a gallon. The annual savings comes out to $60.84.
Costco Savings: $680.84
Big Purchases and Warranty Savings
My husband purchased a 40″ LCD HDTV from Costco. It was $499 and with shipping, the total was $560. Best Buy has the model listed for $579.99, with a delivery cost of $70, for a total of $649.99.
It has a 2 year warranty with Costco. Best Buy has a 4 year warranty available for $100. To keep it fair, I’m using the deliver price to calculate savings of $89.99 .
Costco Savings: $770.83
Food and Bulk Item Savings
You may be surprised, but we haven’t saved a huge amount as we have in the other categories. We’re a family of two, so some bulk items aren’t good buys for us based on the amount we eat and our limited freezer space. We do buy our cold cuts of roast beef and ham for lunch sandwiches.
We have saved money on paper goods like toilet paper and paper towels. We plan most of our purchases, so we don’t inadvertently spend too much, a complaint many families had with warehouse club shopping. i also want to point out some of Costco’s heat up and ready dinners are great for dinners where you invite a few friends over. their past and shrimp was phenomenal.
Update: September 27, 2009 We just received our 2% Reward rebate check from Costco. It’s not huge, $34.87 , but getting cash back is always welcomed.
Costco Savings: $805.70
Run The Numbers Yourself on Warehouse Club Memberships
Even though the Costco Executive membership has saved us almost $800 in a year, you have to figure out for yourself and your family if warehouse membership will pay off. A candian blogger also took the time to see what Costco membeship benefits worked for them.
Your Take: How Do You Save Money with Your Warehouse Club?
If you’re a warehouse club member (Costco, Sam’s, BJ’s, or something else), what do you get and why? Has the membership paid off?
Photo Credit: reenwenvy08