Food Theory: Costco DOESN’T Save You Money!

Food Theory: Costco DOESN’T Save You Money!

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Inflation is getting out of hand! With rising gas prices, egg shortages, and interest rates, most of us are looking to save a buck where we can. And a great way to do that is buy buying BULK! Or is it actually the way to go? We’re breaking down the biggest myth when it comes to Costco and the best hacks for saving money at your local retailer.
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Writers: Matthew Patrick and Brittany Leigh Turnbull
Editors: Tyler Mascola and Danial “BanditRants” Keristoufi
Sound Designer: Yosi Berman
#Costco #GroceryShopping #SaveMoney #Grocery #GroceryStores #MoneySavingTips #MoneyHacks #CostcoHaul #EggPrice #Inflation #Theory #FoodTheory #Matpat

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32 Responses

  1. Ready, Set, Game Over! says:

    Matpat’s inner dad is on full display. Trying to be as cheap as possible with shopping like a true father.

  2. Havendidit says:

    As someone who recently said to my husband “what if we got a costco membership and just ate hotdogs for every meal, that would save a lot of money right?!” I feel like this video is incredibly relevant to me personally.

    • ED V8 ZR1 says:

      @CS I wonder when they’ll finally start carrying ethanol if ever E85 or E90 possibly they do in some places Costco does.

    • CS says:

      @ED V8 ZR1Yup! Absolutely. My car takes a higher grade of gas and Costco only has the normal and the premium version (at least where I am). The thing is though, the premium gas is cheaper than the stuff that’s a grade below it at all the other gas stations. It’s definitely saved me hundreds by this point, if not thousands.

    • Havendidit says:

      @Crypto Facts I’m Australian though and I don’t know if that’s possible here… I’ll have to check

    • ED V8 ZR1 says:

      ​@Crypto Facts something you might want advertise to people the pharmacy is open to non-members also the photo area where they do print jobs

  3. ThatElfNerd says:

    My family falls in the poor camp, but we’re also executive members at Costco, which is something you didn’t actually fully cover in your theory. You mentioned the executive member benefits, of which there’s a pretty good perk. At the end of the year, executive members are sent a redeemable coupon from Costco that refunds them a small percentage of all the purchases they made at the store that year, up to a max of $1,000. Since my family’s the type to bulk buy everything we need for the family to last until the next paycheck, we do the majority of our essential purchases at Costco. While we never spend enough to get $1,000, we do often get enough back that it’s above the cost of getting a new executive member card, and then some. So we do get our money’s worth that way. And while there have been the impulse buys on occasion, pretty much everything we’ve bought there gets used before it expires. Often times we know that something won’t be used right away, so we store it in a deep freezer my parents got back in the late 80s until we need to take it out and thaw it. Sometimes it results in us having some leftover meals that we don’t have to spend as much during our next grocery run.

    • KrepsyK says:

      Plus if you use the credit card you save twice on gas! Gas is usually aprox 10 cents cheaper PLUS an extra 4% back on gas up to 5k I think.

    • Shirley Regueiro says:

      We do the same with the executive membership and we mostly just get gas. We always make more than our membership back at the end of the year

    • Brandon W says:

      This is the true hack of Costco. Executive membership, buy everything that you know your household goes through routinely. If there’s something new that you need, always check Costco on your monthly trip first. Buy your proteins there, freeze the excess, be very careful buying produce, only stuff that you go through quickly. Your executive member refund will pay your yearly membership plus some.

      Note: I am a Costco employee, I buy way more than this. My household buys prolly 80% of it’s groceries from Costco. Just showing there are absolutely ways to to not fall into the Costco treasure hunt trap.

    • EmpatheticRage says:

      ​@Aj Okami The fact that the employees are valued there is a big reason I go to Costco. That and I have twins lol.

    • Bill says:

      Between the executive membership and the Costco credit card, I get well over 1000 cash back on just Costco and gas purchases. Having a big family, it’s easy to shop smart if you only buy the sale items in bulk when possible and store / deep freeze it. And the produce is legitimately better than all the local grocery store while being the same or lower price.

  4. EspressoBug says:

    My Costco membership has paid for itself the last several years. (Executive membership)
    Thing is that the products all tend to be high quality. And they have the most painless return process. I also tend to buy things in bulk with a family of 5. Its also a more pleasant shopping experience than a lot of other stores. Even if everything comes out the same, its a pleasant place to shop.

  5. Trevor M. says:

    As the oldest of 7, Costco and Sam’s Club are a lifesaver. When you have to buy 9 peoplesworth of things, you end up getting way more bang for your buck, you use everything, and it’s way less individual items to handle when shopping. So while it’s a mediocre deal for an average family, it works wonders for a large family like mine.

  6. samanthamark says:

    When I lived in LA in a large, poor, family, my mother used her Costco membership exactly how you’re suggesting. Every other dinner was Costco hotdogs, and it kept our family fed for years. We couldn’t afford meals, so 3.00$ to feed 5 people was a great deal. My mother is an amazing and thrifty woman.

  7. Elliott Gonzalez says:

    When I was younger, my family would always shop at Costco. We were a family of 9, so we really needed the bulk products.

    • EmpatheticRage says:

      Yeah I was a little disappointed that he did this from his own perspective, they have one kid at the age when it doesn’t make sense that they’re able to stay alive with how little they eat. Costco doesn’t make sensefor a family his size and income level.

    • Lydia says:

      Yes! Family of 7 here. We definitely drank all that milk and ate all that cheese. That $1.14 per product adds up when one of those seven is a teenage boy.

  8. RiKShaw231 says:

    Since Covid, CostCo’s near me are disallowing people to walk to the food court. And there’s a decent chance they’d catch you skipping the membership desk if you walked past that too.

    But they don’t check card validity when you walk into the store. You just flash the card. You can’t check out without them verifying the card but there’s nothing to stop you walking into the store, empty-hand your way through checkouts and then into the food court.

  9. Sunny says:

    I don’t belong to Costco. Every time I go in with a friend I can’t help but notice prices aren’t precisely ‘cheaper’ and people buy WAY too much crap. Unless you have a large family to feed (like 6 and up) there is hardly any reason to shop here regularly.
    Edit: This whole video is what goes through my head and why I don’t shop at Costco! ugh. Finally people understand.
    ALSO you can enter without a membership. You CANNOT purchase at the checkout without a membership. Costco has a pharmacy and takes passport pictures and their food court are open to anyone.

    • Jonathan Vlietstra says:

      It really depends. I think you hit upon the gap in this video – some things are cheaper, others are not and are more expensive to an grocery sales prices.
      On yogurt I get double the amount $1 more, so saving $5. Meat on the other hand is usually more expensive. If Matt Pat was just averaging then yeah it’s not that great in savings. But if you know your prices and only get the good deals you will save a lot.

  10. TheBee03 says:

    I’ve done that. My Costco has an independent optometrist and so they don’t check memberships at the door, only when you leave with items. I can go to the self service kiosks and buy food after every appointment without a membership. They also let me return bottles without one and I get food then as well

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