How a Costco, BJ's, or Sam's Club Membership Can Work for Single People

How a Costco, BJ's, or Sam's Club Membership Can Work for Single People

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Membership warehouse stores can bring you big savings if you buy in bulk — but often those large quantities just don't make sense for single people living alone. As tempted as you are by the deal on that 12-pack of chicken thighs or 24-pack of paper towel rolls, it just isn't practical to store these things until you'll use them all. The apocalypse may come before you can finish it all, and you need that refrigerator, freezer, and cabinet space in the meantime!

So does it make sense at all to be a warehouse club member as a single person? Sure, if you share with a friend!

To be clear: You cannot, technically, share a membership. Unless you pay more for a business or premium membership, the membership rules state that the card is for you and your family — aka people who can prove that they live at the same address as you. (Maybe a roommate would qualify, but that doesn't solve your storage problem.) The rules are also pretty clear that you may not resell anything you've bought at the membership club without a valid resale license number on file. Net-net: You're really not supposed to shop for other people.

So much meat!
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

So what I'm suggesting to you is more of a swap. One of you stocks up on the bulk goods, the other signs up for a CSA, milk delivery, Blue Apron, or whatever service for perishables you like best — because often those are hard to get through as a single person, too! Work it out so you have an even spend. Then every week you pool your resources and take what each of you needs.

Also, it's worth pointing out that you are allowed to bring a guest to the store with you. So maybe one person rents a Zipcar, and the other buys the groceries? Get coffees first and it sounds like a lovely Saturday morning once a month, actually — and a good way to stay on budget, too! In the days of easy money exchange with Venmo and the like, it's tempting to split costs down to the penny, but isn't the barter system somehow … friendlier?

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