Cost of Costco

If you had asked me prior to kids whether I would ever shop at Costco, I would have scoffed. In college I even wrote a paper reflecting on my thoughts of disbelief at the scale of consumption Costco enables and perpetuates. I couldn’t fathom that people would actually pay money to be a member of such a “sales” club. Who really needs a gallon of olive oil?!

I grew warmer to idea when I read an article about how they treat their workers, and how they are a liberal NW business. Yet, it was actually the diapers that sold us our membership. After getting a case of disposables as a gift, we were intrigued by the concept of being able to purchase staples every few months and then get our local organics delivered weekly. Very appealing indeed to a family who really rather do other things with our spare time than go shopping. Now that we use cloth, the diapers are no longer a draw and I’m thankful not to have to spend extra $40 every visit, but the case of baby wipes is still a must.

After three years as members, I’m beginning to question the true convenience and savings of Costco. 

  1. Because we try to go infrequently we end up blowing our monthly budget every time, although it does equal out over time as we don’t have to purchase items. Items average $10, so they add up very quickly!
  2. The nearest Costco is 22 miles round trip, although I do try to chain trips together.
  3. There are always temptations to buy more than your shopping list. My last splurges were new kiddie jammies and Easter dress, a case of wheat ale and organic Oregon wine, and some perennials. Extra price: $145.

Yep, I’ll admit it, neither very finaance nor eco-friendly. Are you a Costco member? 
Do you feel like your family really saves?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

One thought on “Cost of Costco

  1. Sara Anderson

    One of the big draws for me is in waste reduction. Tim loves Darigold cottage cheese, I can buy it in the 1/2 gallon tub at Costco or buy four small plastic containers to arrive at the same quantity. It’s cheaper too but I love not having to recycle the additional three plastic tubs.


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