I have long been questioning the point of paying for the privilege to shop. Handing over hard earned money for absolutely nothing in return except for being able to step inside seems a bit looney. After all, enough stores let you in for free!
Costco is a prime example. For $60 a year you will receive nothing but the privilege of stepping into their store. Although I have been a loyal customer for a number of years now, I have actually never put the numbers to the test. Until now!
Off I went to Costco a few weekends ago and made note of the top 20 items I purchase on a regular basis. For comparison sake, I did the same at Target and my local supermarket Food Lion. Just out of curiosity, I added Amazon (Prime/Pantry) too.
It all sounds very involved. And I wholeheartedly expected to have to spend hours crunching numbers. Just to be able to justify the $60 Costco membership fee the cashiers so happily tag onto my bill every year.
To my surprise (seriously!), I was done after analyzing only one item! Yes, you’ve read this correctly. One single item of my top 20 justifies my entire Costco membership fee. And no one could have been more floored than me, myself and I.
Of course, as usual, it all comes back to these two!
The ONE Item Which Justifies My Entire Costco Membership Fee!
Cat litter. Yup, freaking cat litter. What goes in must come out and apparently, in the process, I am not only justifying handing $60 over the Costco every year. I am actually saving three times that much. Thank you Costco (or my cats I guess).
Per lb, the differences aren’t very stark. A few cents here and there don’t hurt, right? Well, not quite. Once you calculate the cost per bag and then annualize it, all of the sudden a few cents turn into a substantial amount of money.
Food Lion and Target alone would cost me an additional $180 compared to Costco. That is three times the membership fee. Amazon surprised me a bit given how expensive it would be. Close to $300, or five times the membership fee.
Over the next few weeks, I will dive deeper into price comparisons for groceries and such across Costco, Target, Amazon, and my local supermarket. And I’ll be sharing them with all of you! Time will tell what other deals and surprises are lurking out there.
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