The 1 Thing at Costco That Inflation Can't Touch

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  • You can grab a hotdog and a drink for $1.50, and that price isn't going up anytime soon.
  • A hotdog combo isn't the only deal you can find at Costco. But buying in bulk isn't always a bargain, so it makes sense to shop smart.

The price of this item will stay the same…or else.

Wholesale store Costco is well-known for its big discounts. But even Costco's prices are increasing as it responds to the high levels of inflation. This includes the brand's popular bakery staples like muffins and croissants.

However, there's one item at Costco that even record inflation can't touch: the hotdog combo.

The hotdog and soda combo meal from Costco's iconic food court debuted at $1.50 in 1985. Had it kept up with inflation, it's estimated the $1.50 hotdog combo would be a whopping $4.11 today. Instead, the popular combo is still just $1.50 -- refills included. And that price isn't set to increase anytime soon.

Costco has the hotdog figured out

To say that Costco is dedicated to keeping its hotdog affordable is an understatement. Indeed, former CEO Jim Sinegal went viral for his…emphatic insistence that the hotdog meal maintain its historic price.

Current CEO Craig Jelinek recalled the conversion in a Chamber of Commerce speech in 2018: "I came to once and I said, 'Jim, we can't sell this hot dog for a buck fifty. We are losing our rear ends.' And he said, 'If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.' That’s all I really needed."

And Costco has done just that. The company has made a number of changes over the years in their attempt to "figure it out." This included the switch from buying hotdogs to building their own hotdog factories to keep costs down.

Rumors aside, the hotdog combo abides

Despite previous assurance that the hotdog combo would hold steady, rumors circulated earlier this year. After all, everything else is getting more expensive, it would make sense if the hotdog combo needed a small jump in price, too.

Fortunately, those rumors were put to bed last month during a Costco earnings call when Robert Nelson, the Senior Vice President for Investor Relations and Treasury, spoke firmly on the subject.

"I want to address some incorrect information floating around on social media and a few other media outlets claiming that we have increased the price of our $1.50 hot-dog-and-soda combinations sold in our food courts. Let me just say the price, when we introduced the hot-dog-soda combo in the mid-'80s, was $1.50. The price today is $1.50, and we have no plans to increase the price at this time."

Even in the middle of inflation, deals can be had

Sadly, the hotdog combo may be one of the only things spared from the perils of inflation. But even in the midst of rising prices, there are still plenty of ways to save money with a Costco membership.

The warehouse store is a particularly good place to pick up dry goods and other bulk items with a long shelf life. Some of our recommendations for Costco deals include shelf-stable items like vanilla extract and maple syrup. You can also find good deals on gas at Costco's branded stations.

Of course, just because you can buy something by the pallet doesn't mean it's a good deal. Anything that goes bad in a hurry, or that you only use a smidge at a time, is probably a better deal at the grocer than the local Costco.

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