Should You Join Costco in 2023?

Woman pushes trolley down Warehouse Club aisle.

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It could be a smart move.


Important points

  • It’s possible to save a lot of money by shopping at Costco.
  • Since it’s a membership fee, you need to make sure the payment makes sense.

Today, many consumers are struggling to keep up with basic expenses like housing, transportation, and utilities. We can thank inflation for that.

Worse, we don’t know if inflation rates will fall or stay high in 2023. So as you think about how to ease that burden in the new year, you might want to focus on some of your bigger expenses like groceries.

Getting into Costco could be a good solution. As of now, a basic Costco membership costs $60 a year, and the warehouse club giant recently announced it has no immediate plans to increase membership fees.

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Many consumers save big bucks by shopping at Costco, but before you commit to that $60 fee, you need to make sure a membership is really worth it. And you can ask yourself these questions to find out.

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1. Do I have enough storage space at home?

Buying items in bulk, which Costco allows, often results in you paying less money per unit or ounce than when you buy the same items individually. But for bulk purchases to work for you, you need to have a place to store them. If you only have a tiny fridge and freezer, you may have a hard time stocking up on perishables. And if you live in an apartment with a small closet or two, you might not have the space to store things like toilet paper and paper towels in bulk.

2. Do I have to support a larger family?

If you have a larger family, joining Costco is easy. But if you live alone or if you’re only with a partner, then membership might not make as much sense. A major benefit of joining Costco is saving money when shopping for groceries in bulk. But if there aren’t enough people in your household to look through these items before they go bad, it may not be worth buying.

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3. Do I have pets that I look after?

Stocking up on pet supplies at Costco could result in a lower credit card charge. If you have pets, a Costco membership can pay off even if you live alone or don’t have a large family.

4. Do I have a Costco nearby?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself when considering a Costco membership. You only benefit from this membership if you actually use it. So if your nearest Costco is 45 minutes away, it may not be worth getting a membership if you don’t go that often.

Also think about today’s fuel costs. When you shop at Costco, you could potentially save $20 per grocery run. But if you end up spending an extra $20 on gas to get there, your savings will be wiped out.

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Joining Costco in 2023 could help you lower the cost of groceries, housewares, pet supplies, and even things like clothing. But before you shell out the money for an annual membership, make sure it’s really worth going down this path.

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