The Biggest Thing I Learned Since Canceling My Costco Membership One Year Ago

published Mar 28, 2024
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Last year I took a long hard look at my household budget, including how much I was spending on groceries every month. After evaluating ways to cut costs here and stretch dollars there, one of the biggest changes I made was nixing different memberships, including my six-year-long one to Costco. Allow me to explain.

The warehouse has always been one of my favorite places to shop, so this wasn’t an easy (or fun) decision to make. My main reason for joining was to save money on groceries. Buying in bulk is typically a smart way to get the most for your money. As prices remained stubbornly high though, I started to find more efficient ways to save at other retailers, like Walmart

I also realized Costco was my biggest weakness for impulse buys. The cute tumblers! The bamboo sheet set! And don’t even get me started on the book section! All too often I’d end up with too many items I don’t exactly need in my cart. But a year after giving up my membership, there were actually a few essentials I’d been missing out on in my shops.

Credit: Heather McClees

Why I Rejoined Costco One Year After Canceling My Membership

The No. 1 reason I found myself back at the warehouse? The freezer section. Open my freezer on any given day and you’ll find large bags of berries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and more. A whopping 75% of the produce I buy is frozen, and the price per pound is still the best bargain at Costco. (Believe me, I’ve checked.) 

These frozen fruits and vegetables, like many, are typically flash-frozen just after picking. They’re at peak ripeness, which means they pack great flavor and are just as nutritious as the fresh stuff. They can also be less expensive, more convenient, and easier to source and last for months when stored properly — though I usually go through mine in a matter of weeks. 

I also pick up fresh produce that stay crisp and juicy in the fridge (citrus, apples, and certain veggies, like celery) and other items I’d missed, like organic Greek yogurt and almond milk. As for the impulse buys, I decided to limit myself to one per trip. So now when I make my list, I budget by leaving one space blank.

Got a tip for saving money on groceries? Tell us about it in the comments below.