Using Costco for This Home Upgrade Saved Me $1,000

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  • Costco can be a great source for low-cost grocery items and household essentials.
  • It can also save you money if you're making home improvements.

It's just one of the reasons I'm so happy with my membership.

I happen to live in an area that's prone to power outages -- several dozen outages a year.

Not every outage is lengthy -- some might last only a handful of hours. But still, power outages are annoying and inconvenient. As a self-employed writer who works from home, they've also, in the past, cost me money by preventing me from being able to do my job.

That's why my husband and I made the decision a couple of years ago to invest in a standby generator. If you're not familiar with how these work, a standby generator is fueled by natural gas and kicks in automatically when the power to your home goes out.

Some standby generators can power your entire home. Others can power a portion of it. We opted for full-power mode, figuring that if we were going to make the investment, we might as well go all-in.

Having our standby generator has been a true game changer. Last summer, our neighbors had to endure days without power following several storms, while we had no interruption whatsoever save for the 30 seconds it takes for our generator to kick into gear.

But if there's a drawback to having a standby generator installed, it's the cost involved. For us, that generator resulted in a $10,000 bill.

Thankfully, we had the money in our savings account to pay for that upgrade. But we were actually able to eke out $1,000 in savings after the fact by using Costco for our generator purchase.

More than just bulk grocery items

As someone with a family to feed, I'm no stranger to the great deals you can get at Costco. I typically shop there about once a week to stock up on produce on the cheap and buy household staples in bulk.

But my Costco membership also comes with some lesser-known benefits. And those include access to affordable home improvements, like generator installation.

Not only did Costco offer an affordable price on our standby generator, but we were also eligible for a 10% rebate on our purchase in the form of a Costco gift card. Since our generator cost $10,000, that meant we were entitled to $1,000 in Costco cash.

Now in our household, Costco cash is, well, cash, because we commonly spend $50 to $100 there each week on food and other household items. So once we got that $1,000 gift card, we knew we'd have no trouble spending it in time.

Make the most of your Costco membership

If you're going to pay for Costco access, it pays to read up on the many perks your membership might buy you. These extend to services like pharmacy, travel, and home improvements.

What’s more, if you're planning a lot of larger purchases at Costco, it could pay to upgrade to an executive membership. For an extra $60 a year on top of your regular membership fee, you'll get an annual 2% cash back reward on qualifying Costco purchases. In our case, we easily make our additional $60 back -- even during years when we don't invest in a $10,000 home upgrade.

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