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Is Your Costco Membership Worth It

FFchampMT

Smoke Blower
83
82
Joined Jul 2, 2020
I have a local Sam's Club but there are Costco stores in Denver and Billings.... I'm halfway in between, so I would visit them 2 or 3 times a year. What are your pro's and con's of membership?
Billings Costco member here - they are generally well stocked and prices are competitive. It seems ribs kind of come and go between baby backs, st Louis, and "loin on" ribs. Pork belly is usually pretty thin.
My only bone to pick is that if you make pulled pork there's no bone to pick, their butts are boneless (and butchered in doing so). I've tied them before but it's a pain.
I tend towards Sam's Club for my bbq meat needs. You can also get "case" pricing (-$0.10-20/lb) if you buy a whole 10 butt (90lb) box. Costco doesn't do that.
 
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windlaker

Newbie
28
15
Joined Jul 21, 2012
Absolutely is worth it. We buy the higher level membership (I forget what it's called...the card is in my car). It's about $125.00 a year (I think). Cash back feature. We get a check from Costco for about $100.00 a year (more if we buy tires that year)...we put that back towards our membership costs. Their return policy is iron clad. Last week I returned a 4 pack of golf gloves I bought in 2020...one ripped after a few rounds. Got my money back, no questions asked.

As mentioned earlier, we get our tires there. Free tire rotation, free tire repair.

Good quality meat. First time we tried boneless ribeye steaks (2 days ago) they were really good. Will definitely be buying more of them.
Their pre-made food is always good.

The only downside is their rotation of products. Sometimes they'll carry something for a year or two, you really grow to enjoy it, then they stop carrying it.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,168
2,536
Joined Dec 1, 2019
In your situation I'm not sure monetarily it is worth it.
However, money isn't the only factor to consider.

Monetarily if you live close to a Costco the way cheaper gas prices, the well priced higher quality interstate batteries, the motor oil sold in store, and if you don't need special tires then all of that makes it easily worth it. Hell the low gas prices alone make it well worth it.

Not monetarily thinking, Costco is worth it if you love high quality meat and produce and especially if you can't find certain cuts that you often love to cook or stock up on. The price may be a bit higher compared to a regular grocery but you can bet the quality is top notch all the time.
Costco is the only place I can really find pork bellies and beef plate/short ribs for smoking so if I did those all the time it would worth it.
Coscto is also the only place I can effectively find Prime briskets. I'm lucky I'm in Texas and I can throw a rock and hit a Choice or Angus brisket but finding prime is not simple. My Costco also carries freakin Waygu briskets! Costco always sells giant already skinned Salmon filets for me to do Lox with and it again is higher quality than the normal grocery store.

If nothing I just mentioned seems to apply to you then the $55-60 membership is just not worth it for you.

My guess...
With the trips you speak of making and the cost in gas savings alone, I bet you recoup over half the membership cost so for the remaining not recouped $25-$30 ( cost of case of regular beer) I'm going to guess it's probably worth it to you or at least trying out for 1 year :)
Billings Costco member here - they are generally well stocked and prices are competitive. It seems ribs kind of come and go between baby backs, st Louis, and "loin on" ribs. Pork belly is usually pretty thin.
My only bone to pick is that if you make pulled pork there's no bone to pick, their butts are boneless (and butchered in doing so). I've tied them before but it's a pain.
I tend towards Sam's Club for my bbq meat needs. You can also get "case" pricing (-$0.10-20/lb) if you buy a whole 10 butt (90lb) box. Costco doesn't do that.
Absolutely is worth it. We buy the higher level membership (I forget what it's called...the card is in my car). It's about $125.00 a year (I think). Cash back feature. We get a check from Costco for about $100.00 a year (more if we buy tires that year)...we put that back towards our membership costs. Their return policy is iron clad. Last week I returned a 4 pack of golf gloves I bought in 2020...one ripped after a few rounds. Got my money back, no questions asked.

As mentioned earlier, we get our tires there. Free tire rotation, free tire repair.

Good quality meat. First time we tried boneless ribeye steaks (2 days ago) they were really good. Will definitely be buying more of them.
Their pre-made food is always good.

The only downside is their rotation of products. Sometimes they'll carry something for a year or two, you really grow to enjoy it, then they stop carrying it.
I think we will try it out for a year. One thing I forgot to mention is Costco.com's online shipping. Non-perishable items can be shipped to me via UPS or Fed-X and the online prices have shipping built in.
 

dls1

Smoking Fanatic
834
148
Joined Jun 6, 2012
From my very limited experience, I think the Costco membership is well worth the price. A couple years ago my wife and I decided that we needed to upgrade our family room's TV. Once we settled on the features and size we wanted, I started shopping for brands and ended up an selecting LG model. From there, I started shopping for prices and found that Costco beat every other vendor with an average savings of around $175. Not being a member of Costco, I decided that spending the $60 fee was a good choice, and decided to join.

Rather than joining online, we decided to go to the nearest Costco store, which is about 3 miles away, to see what it was like since neither one of us had ever been in one before. When we got to the membership desk I saw that you could opt for an individual membership or a business membership for the same price so I chose the latter and put it in the name of one of my companies. When we concluded the transaction they gave me a welcome package with coupons for a package of 72 AA batteries, a giant package of paper towels, a similar package of toilet tissue, and two $10 gift cards. The total value of the welcome package was $72.

At the time, I was in the process of remodeling and enlarging my office at home and a couple days later I decided to get the same TV in a smaller size for the office. That model, at Costco, ended up being around $125 less than the competition. So, when considering the $300 savings on the two TVs, the $72 welcome package, and the $60 membership fee, I was ahead by $312. That's the kind of math that I like.
 

gmc2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
11,173
5,890
Joined Sep 15, 2012
We buy most of our non-perishable items at Costco. The way we cut some of the cost is to share our membership with my son. I used to share it with my mother until she passed away. We'll pay the dues one year and then he'll pay it the next. Meat quality is good, however since it's only my wife and myself we have to be careful not to buy with our eyes, and only buy what we have room for in our freezer.

Chris
 

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