Should You Join Costco in 2023?

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  • It's possible to save a lot of money by shopping at Costco.
  • Because there's a membership fee involved, you'll need to make sure paying for one makes sense.

It could be a smart move.

These days, a lot of consumers are having difficulty keeping up with basic expenses, like housing, transportation, and utility costs. We can thank inflation for that.

Worse yet, we don't know if inflation levels will creep downward in 2023 or remain high. And so if you're thinking about ways to ease that burden in the new year, you may want to focus on some of your larger expenses, like groceries.

Joining 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 raise membership fees.

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

1. Do I have a decent amount of storage at home?

Buying items in bulk, which Costco allows for, often results in paying less money per unit or ounce than buying those same items individually. But for bulk purchases to work for you, you need to have a place to put 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 one or two small closets, you may not have the room to store things like toilet paper and paper towels in bulk.

2. Do I have a larger family to feed?

If you have a larger family, then it's easy to make the case to join Costco. But if you live solo, or if it's just you and a partner, then a membership may not make as much sense. A big benefit to joining Costco is saving money on bulk grocery purchases. But if there aren't enough people in your household to go through those items before they go bad, then it may not be worth purchasing them.

3. Do I have pets I'm caring for?

Stocking up on pet supplies at Costco could result in a lower credit card tab. If you have pets, a Costco membership might 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 contemplating a Costco membership. You're only going to benefit from that membership if you actually use it. So if your closest Costco is 45 minutes away, it may not be worth purchasing a membership if you don't see yourself going all that often.

Plus, think about the cost of gas these days. Shopping at Costco might save you $20 per grocery run. But if you end up spending an extra $20 on gas to get there, your savings will be wiped out.

Joining Costco in 2023 might help you cut down on the cost of food, household essentials, pet supplies, and even things like clothing. But before you shell out the money for an annual membership, make sure it really pays to go that route.

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