Are you debating if a Costco membership is worth the money? Though several of our Costco97 readers could tell you all the reasons why they choose to shop at Costco, like the membership benefits, it comes down to what you need as a shopper. In this article, we’ll answer all of the questions that you would want to know before joining the Costco family.

First things first, is a Costco membership worth it? The short answer is yes, but keep reading to see all of the perks and reasons to join.

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What Are the Perks That Make a Costco Membership Worth It?

is a Costco membership worth it?
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Along with Costco’s various membership perks, there are some “hidden” surprises waiting for you with a membership. Below are four specific perks that could make the membership price worth it.

Costco Price Adjustment Policy

You have thirty days after buying an item to request a price adjustment from Costco. What does this mean? They will match the lowest price on an item, even if you bought it weeks prior. The best time to take advantage of this policy is during the Black Friday holiday season. That being said, you never know when you might spot a lower price later on. This Costco policy could save you lots of money. Don’t forget: it applies to clearance (.97) deals as well!

Costco’s Return Policy

Costco has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  This extremely generous return policy is great for members who need to return items that break, don’t match the description, or are no longer needed. Basically, you can return almost anything* purchased at Costco for a full refund.

*There are a few exceptions such as electronics (TVs, Projectors, Major Appliances, Computers, Tablets, Smart Watches, Cameras, Drones, and Cell Phones), large diamonds, liquor, cigarettes, installed tires, gold bars, and Shop Cards.

FYI, their satisfaction guarantee also applies to your membership! Costco will cancel and refund your membership fee at any time if you tell them you are dissatisfied.

Costco Coupon Book

If you like to shop with coupons, then Costco might be the store for you. Luckily for all Costco members, Costco puts out a Coupon Book once a month for new and exciting sales they are holding in-store. You can get early access and an inside scoop into each month’s sales through our Costco Coupon Book coverage here.

Black Friday Deals

Does anyone ever stop thinking about Black Friday sales? No! Costco brings all the major deals to your wallet during the Black Friday holiday season. You should think about trying a Costco membership before this time of year to take full advantage of the deals.

Related: What Are the Main Costco Benefits That Come with a Membership?

Is a Costco Membership Worth It for Gas?

If you drive frequently and happen to have a Costco gas station near you, a Costco membership might be the best way to save money on gas. Costco gas usually costs $0.20 – $0.50 less per gallon than other gas stations, and if you’re filling up the tank every two weeks you can get around $80 -$200 in yearly savings just by using your $60 Costco membership. Of course, these numbers could fluctuate, but if you need gas and there’s a Costco near you, this could be a great way to save. And, don’t forget, Costco sells Top Tier gasoline.

What If I Have a Small Household?

is a Costco membership worth it?
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Will a membership be useful for a single household compared to a whole family? In some cases yes it can. Personally, I like to eat a lot of rice, so buying a bulk container of rice may be more cost-effective over time. Another benefit of Costco’s larger items is that some are packaged in single servings. This way, you can take out what you want to eat each time and avoid wasting extra food.

In terms of non-food items, buying in bulk can help lessen errands and make sure you have the necessities when it comes to household products. For items like toilet paper or napkins, you might want to have bigger bulk packages on hand. Make sure you have the storage space required for buying in bulk whether that be a garage, hall closet, or big refrigerator.

Also Read: How Much Is a Costco Membership?

Reasons Why You Might Pass on a Membership

pantry filled with food
Credit: Annie Spratt

Since we’ve covered all the reasons to get a Costco membership, some considerations might not make this store cost-effective for you. This could be simply because there are no Costco’s close to your house or that you like to shop around for groceries. Here are three reasons why you may reconsider your plan to join Costco.

Storage Space

Buying any item from a wholesale store will probably take up more space in your house. These items are often sold in bulk or “family-sized” portions, so you have to be sure you’ll have the space to store the extra food or products you won’t use right away. After all, limiting your trips to the store and getting more products for the cost is exactly why shoppers love Costco. If you simply can’t fit the extra, this might not make the Costco membership worth it for you.

Transporting the “Goods”

While most people own a car in rural or suburban areas, cities can be too crowded to own a car. This can become an issue if you shop at Costco since you will have lots of bags when you check out. You can use services like Costco.com or Instacart to get bulk items delivered, but it may become less cost-effective.

Varying Meal Plans

If you’re like my family, we keep a list of recipes we enjoy and rotate between them. This kind of lifestyle can be super helpful for Costco members because you can stock up on your favorite items that will never go to waste. However, if you like to try new recipes often, this might require small amounts of each ingredient before you decide to keep a big batch on hand.

Related: How Much Is a Costco Membership?

What’s Worth It?

Ultimately, you need to decide if a Costco membership is worth it based on your lifestyle. Our opinion? The positives outweigh the negatives and lead to tons of savings. Plus, the shopping experience is enjoyable for the whole family. However, if your location doesn’t make sense, then you might want to do a bit more research about the options on Costco online. A Costco membership is built to help you stock up and save, so make sure that you can take advantage of the perks before joining.