Saturday, March 26, 2011

You Know You Are Tuning Into An Adult When...

You sign up for a Costco membership.

Soon after I moved back to Chicago, I called my friend, I shall call her The Parakeet, and said "Do you think Costco is worth the money? And if so should I join?"

She gave me her candid thoughts about the option: Worth the money? In her experience yes, however a place like Costco can make it very easy to overspend. Should I join? Hard to say with Jürgen being gone, but it can be a great place to stock up on everyday staples such as paper towels and garbage bags. I even accompanied her on a Costco outing this past summer just to get a taste of the experience. However I never took the plunge and signed up.

Recently, while at work, a company wide email went out declaring that representatives from the wholesale magnent would be coming to the office to sign people up for memberships. This got my wheels turning. After all its an option I had considered, Jürgen will be back here in a few months, and my now budget conscious self always enjoys a savings.  However the real clincher was when my friend offered to join with me so we could split the costs of a membership. Badda-bing, Badda-boom.

Today I took my first solo venture into Costco, armed with my new membership card and ready to experience the perks.  I didn't want to fall prey to buying more just because you are saving a few bucks, so I walked in with purpose. I had a list, on it were three items, and that's exactly what I left with. Self control is an important character trait.

And because I am a loser with no life, and because a Target is located just minutes from the Costco I visited, I stopped over to do a little cost comparing after the fact to see if I did, in fact, save anything.

My three items: Sensodyne Toothpaste, ScotchBrite Sponges and 13 gallon garbage bags.

Here's the breakdown:

Target: $4.99 for one tube
Costco: $15.99 for a pack of 4 (normally it's $19.99 but I had a $4 off coupon)

Total Savings: $4.00. Now to be fair you will notice had I not had the handy-dandy coupon there wouldn't have been a savings, it simply would have been breaking even. However, what I did not take into account when I did my cost comparing was the size of the toothpaste, because I think that the tubes I got at Costco are actually bigger than the normal sized tube being sold at Target. Therefore you are still getting more product for your money.

Target: $9.29 for a pack of nine
Costco: $10.99 for a pack of eighteen

Total Savings: $7.59

Garbage bags:
Target: $7.49 for fifty 13 gallon bags
Costco: $12.69 for two hundred bags.

Total Savings: $17.27

Grand Total: $28.86 in savings! Which means that I covered my membership cost ($25.00 after the split) in one visit! Score!

I am a complete dork for figuring all of that out, but I am placated knowing that it was worth the money. However, I do not think Costco is for everyone. For example, if you are the type who always leaves a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond with way more than you planned when you walked in, Costco could be very dangerous. There is so much stuff there, and would be easy to overbuy. Also, if you don't have the room to store the fifty rolls of paper towels Costco will afford you, I would wager it's not worth the savings either. Having extra around is nice, but not if they have to be stored in your living room. 


  1. Love this post!!! I too love my Sam's Club, no Costco neat me. I save a ton on things and I love the books. :)