My CostCo Investment: 6 months later
We hear so many iterations of “Savings, Savings, Savings!” from various retailers trying to convince consumers to spend more and more. But aren’t there some deals that actually make sense?
For a long time I’ve wondered about a membershipa at CostCo, so I decided to prove it. As you probably know, I love spreadsheets so I documented my purchases vs the equivalent price at a few local grocery stores. Here’s how it all worked out!
I live right next to a pretty cheap grocery store so I went through with my smartphone one day I wrote down the price/lb for each item I could buy at CostCo.
As you can see there are only a limited number of items I purchase at CostCo. Like I’ve mentioned before, many items at CostCo are more expensive than shopping at your local grocery store, so you need to know what to buy.
- Dish Soap
- Cereals and other dry goods
- peanut butter
- chocolate chips
These items don’t really go bad, so buying them in bulk make sense. The deals vary from 10% to 50% cheaper. There is a $55 membership fee that I had to pay when I signed up, and I really wasn’t sure that the savings would make up the difference
How much do you save?
Each time i hit up CostCo, I took the receipt and recorded my purchases in a Google Doc. After 6 months of buying my staples at CostCo, I summed it all up and graphed the results for everyone to see.
The blue bar is how much I spent on each item throughout the 6 months period, and the red bar is how much I saved compared to if I had purchased an equivalent amount at another grocery store.
I eat a lot of Almonds as snacks between breakfast and lunch at work. It’s one of my favorite foods. I also buy a lot of coffee because I have a daily habit and try to make more of it at home than in coffee shops. Apparently I also eat quite a bit of Peanut Butter and Granola. Good to know…
So here are the financial metrics of the first 6 months of my membership.
- Membership Cost: $27.50 ($55/2)
- Spent: $193
- Savings vs grocery store: $110
- Return on Investment: 400%
It seems like my CostCo experiment was a great success! One thing I’d like to point is that I might have not actually gone through as much of each item had I purchased it at the grocery store. But that’s just an assumption I’ll have to live with.
It’s good to know that my time spent at CostCo is extremely profitable. And that’s not even counting the gas deals I’ve gotten. CostCo typically has the cheapest gas in my area.
So if you are looking to buy a whole bunch of cereal, almonds, peanut butter, or coffee, a CostCo membership might save you $200/yr! It’s worked for me!