I saved so much money that my membership paid for itself in six weeks.

By Kaylee Hammonds
April 12, 2019
Michael Brochstein—SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Ah, Costco. The stuff that thrifty mom dreams are made of. Well, my thrifty mom’s dreams. And every year, in an effort to make them come true for me, too, she buys me a Costco membership. A membership that I, until two months ago, never used for two specific reasons. First, I live alone. I don’t need 45,029 rolls of toilet paper. And second, I love to cook. I love to grocery shop. I don’t mind going to the market every day.

But about three months ago, I had a Saturday afternoon to myself and I thought hey! I could use some samples of random food and maybe, just maybe, one of those giant Costco bears.

You guys. Costco is my new spot. Here’s why.

I’m saving so much money. Specifically, I’m saving so much money on healthy food. I typically shop and eat healthy anyway, but buying large quantities of healthy food has actually made me eat healthier… to the point where I lost 14 pounds effortlessly. I hate food waste, so it took me a couple of trips to narrow down what I could and couldn’t eat enough of before it went bad (remember, I live alone). Some of these things I buy every week, and some every other week, but in general, my list stays pretty stable.

 

Here’s my healthy shopping list:

  • 2 lb bag of broccoli florets - $4.99
  • 2.25 lb of asparagus - $4.99
  • 35.2 oz package of Love Beets - $7.99
  • 6 ct. ginger-lemon kombucha - $9.99
  • 24 ct. organic string cheese - $7.99
  • 1 lb container fresh spinach - $3.99
  • 6 ct. bag of avocados - $5.49
  • 6.5 lb bag of sweet potatoes - $5.99

Total: $51.42

Awesome, right? I drink kombucha every day, and at $3.49 a pop, I was paying $20.94 for six. So I save $11 a week right there. What I save on kombucha basically reimbursed me for the price of the membership in less than six weeks.

Here’s the same list from my local Publix:

  • 2 lb broccoli (not florets): $6
  • 2.25 lb of asparagus: $5.60
  • 35.2 oz of Love Beets: $15.96
  • 6 ginger-lemon kombuchas: $20.94
  • 24 organic string cheeses: $17.16
  • 16 oz fresh baby spinach: $8.35
  • 6 avocados (on sale): $6
  • 6.5 lbs sweet potatoes: $7.74

Total: $87.75

I still hit my local Whole Foods or Publix for things like lentils, barley, and smaller quantities of veggies like onions, garlic, and peppers. (And Costco, if you’re listening, some PLAIN Greek yogurt and tempeh would be much appreciated!)

I’m saving a lot on what I do buy—and that’s not even taking into account the things I don’t buy that often, like cooking spray (no, canola oil is not bad to cook with), walnuts (I keep them in my freezer and toast them in batches for salads and pesto), and smoked salmon (an occasional treat). It took me a few weeks to identify another very real source of savings—you know how you go to the store for one thing, and then you leave with four? Well, I wasn’t hitting my local grocery for fresh veggies every single day, so all of those unnecessary ancillary purchases stopped. Maybe even more importantly, my chances to purchase less-than-healthy food decreased.

So, Mom, I get it now. I’m finally using that membership you get me every year. And don’t worry about getting it for me next year—I’ve saved so much money I don’t mind buying it at all.

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