I have long resisted Costco membership as a single person, but recently decided to give it a try because I big entertaining event and they have some of the best large-group options for bakery items, cakes, vegetable trays, etc. The cost is $60/year up front, so I decided to track my use to see if the savings differences are worth it for a single person. For reference, I will also count any money saved that goes to family members or friends who might come along, because extra money for others is also worth it to me. For reference, I will compare to the estimated cost of getting the same/similar items at my favorite local grocery store where I usually shop, and I will try to note any waste that occurs from getting larger items.
I won’t be listing all the items where the cost was the same as a grocery store, just more or less expensive. For example, 8 lbs of Barilla spaghetti for 9.99- this was a savings compared to the same brand but not compared to my usual store brand, which it was equivalent. I also probably won’t count things I would not have considered buying at the usual price, if that comes up.
Did a big shopping trip for my event to start out:
3 bottles of coffee creamer for 7.99- these are currently 3.50 each on sale, so 2.51 saved
4 lbs of butter for 12.49. These are 3.79/lb for store brand, for a savings of 2.67
30 frozen spinach frittatas for 12.99 vs 6 for 6.49, savings of 19.46
Frozen spring rolls for 10.69 vs 7.99 for 12 count, savings of 13.28 for the quantity
1 quart half and half for 1.99 vs 2.69 store brand, savings of 70 cents
4 packages of ravioli for 22.98 vs 8.49 each, savings of 10.98
Large vegetable tray for 11.99 vs 18.99, savings of 7.00
4 lbs of shredded cheese for 14.99 vs 17.16 store brand, savings of 2.17
Breakfast pastries for 5.99 vs 14.58 store brand, savings of 8.59
Cake for 16.99 vs 22.99, savings of 6.00
2 loaves fresh bread for 5.99 vs 7.38 for store brand, savings of 1.39
2 jars of olives for 11.99 vs 13.38, savings of 1.39
Total saved: 76.14
So far pretty good- these are not things I would buy normally, but I probably would have bought a similar list for entertaining for this many people at the regular store. Definitely the best savings seem to be on prepared foods, which are not what I usually eat. The frozen vegetable prices on what I normally buy didn’t seem much better than store brand sales and I don't have enough freezer space for giant packs. That said, I think this will be a good place to go for holiday shopping too.