About 6 weeks ago I finally paid the $50 to join Costco.  There are several reasons why I never joined before—there wasn’t one close to our house, I didn’t want to pay a membership fee, and I had no idea how much I could save.

However, a Costco just opened a few miles from our house.  Also, I have recently tried to feed our family more organic foods and I have also started making all of our bread from scratch.  Several of my wonderful readers on Facebook recommended Costco as a great place to both buy organic food at lower prices and to get bulk yeast, so 6 weeks ago I took the plunge and joined, and I couldn’t be happier.

Much of our special food purchases are dictated by my finicky body; I have within the last year discovered I am intolerant to dairy, soy and peanut butter.  I recently made the switch to almond butter and was quite pleased to find a good sized jar for $5.79 at Costco.  A similar size jar at Whole Foods ran more than $10!  At Costco, we were able to buy a huge jar of organic strawberry preserves for less than $6, and rice milk, which routinely runs $2 per small box, can be had at Costco for $1.38.  However, the greatest savings came when I bought a 2 lb. package of yeast.  I had been buying yeast in little 4 oz. jars that run $6.99 each.  Costco’s 2 lb. package, which contains 32 ounces, is only $3.99!!  The 32 ounces of yeast at Costco costs $51.93 less than the equivalent in the small 4 ounce jars.  The purchase of yeast alone recouped my membership cost.  Considering I make all of our bread from scratch including sandwich bread, garlic bread, hot dog and hamburger buns and English muffins, I will definitely use up the 32 ounces of yeast in a year’s time.

But that is not all.  The savings get better.  Costco has their own gas station which routinely sells gas .15 to .20 cents less than other gas stations in our area.  Our mini-van takes approximately 20 gallons of gas to fill.  Even if I use a conservative estimate and say we only save .15 cents per gallon and need to fill up 1.5 times a month, we are still saving $54 a year.  However, we usually fill up a little more often than that, so I think our savings will be more than that just from gas on a yearly basis.

Yes, I found it irritating to spend money on a membership fee, but a quick analysis of the numbers shows I am saving much more than that on a yearly basis by shopping selectively at Costco.  The key is resisting impulse buys and sticking to the list I make.  So, thank you readers for an excellent suggestion!

What are your favorite items to buy at Costco?  If you purchase organics, where do you like to buy them?

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