Is a Costco Membership Worth It for a Single Person? (2024)

Is a Costco Membership Worth It for a Single Person? (1)

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The benefits of shopping at Costco are pretty great for a family or group of people living together. But what about for a single person?Can you still save money?

While a single person may not need to purchase so much in bulk, Costco’s membership prices haven’t increased much over the years, making it still quite affordable. Currently, it’s $60 for an average annual membership, which gives you access to Costco locations all over the country and in a few other countries, including Mexico, Canada and Spain to name a few.

Experts explain whether a single person will get the same benefits out of a Costco membership as a larger family.

Better Unit Prices

You can often get better unit prices at Costco, said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with

“Very often because of the bulk amounts at Costco, you’ll actually get a better unit price compared to shopping elsewhere. If you’re being very granular with your budgeting, this can really help you to pinpoint how to save even if the face value of the product is higher because you’re purchasing more upfront,” she explained.

Fewer Trips to Multiple Stores

Additionally, buying in bulk means fewer trips and spending less overall.

“Because single people will theoretically go through items slower than full households, shopping in bulk may seem unnecessary but the truth is that depending on the item, it just means you have to buy something far fewer times than if you were to shop at grocery stores or big-box retailers,” Ramhold said.

Cutting down on the number of shopping trips you have to make can also lead to less spending overall because you aren’t dealing with impulse buys or the need to add more to your cart to make your trip worth it, Ramhold said. Not to mention, less driving means buying less gas.

Competitive With Local Grocers

For single people looking to save on home essentials, groceries and clothing, a Costco membership can provide substantial savings, according to Jeanel Alvarado, retail expert, founder and CEO of RetailBoss.

“Depending on where the person lives, it can be much more affordable than local grocers,” she said.

Inflation-Proof Pricing

Costco prices have remained stable despite inflation, as well, Alvarado said.

“For example, cashews can cost $30 for a regular size in rural areas, while at Costco in the same area, you’ll find it at $19.99 for a family size,” Alvarado added.

Annual Rewards With an Executive Membership

For people who upgrade to the $120 per year executive membership (and Costco will prorate this if you upgrade at a later point in the year), you can earn 2% cash back on qualifying purchases.

Small-Business Services and More

Beyond the competitive pricing, Costco’s business centers cater to small businesses, which can offer more options for single individuals who run their own businesses, according to Nick Drewe, founder and CEO of Wethrift.

Wide Range and Name Brand Products

Additionally, the products are often high quality and sourced from name brands, promising a superior shopping experience, Drewe said.

Lastly, there’s the vast range of products. How many places can you shop in one location and find everything from home electronics to fresh produce? Drewe said this can cut down shopping time and fuel costs related to visiting multiple stores.

“Despite the common perception, a single person can indeed harness the benefits of a wholesale shopping model like Costco,” Drewe said.

Kirkland Signature Brilliance

Don’t forget that while Costco does sell many name brands, its signature Kirkland brand is a game-changer for single shoppers, according to Martha Pestarino, a shopping expert and founder of The Goodbye Company.

“Offering quality products at unbeatable prices, opting for Kirkland Signature can help you save big on everything from groceries to household essentials.”

Discounted Gasoline

If you’re a driver, Costco’s discounted gasoline can be a lifesaver, Pestarino said.

“Every penny saved at the pump adds up, contributing to your overall financial wellness.”

If you upgrade to a Costco credit card (by Citibank) you can earn 4% cashback on qualifying gas purchases up to 7,000 miles and then 1% thereafter.

Access to Discounted Services

From travel packages to insurance and automotive services, Costco memberships often come with access to a range of discounted services, Pestarino pointed out.

“These perks may not be directly related to shopping, but they can provide substantial savings and convenience.”

Prescription Savings

Costco has even gotten into the healthcare game.

“Managing prescription costs can be a burden, but Costco’s pharmacy offers competitive pricing, even for those without insurance,” Pestarino shared.

This can lead to considerable savings for single individuals.

Resale Opportunities

For the entrepreneurial-minded, Costco’s bulk quantities present opportunities for resale, Pestarino said.

“By purchasing certain items in bulk and reselling them individually, you can offset the cost of your membership or even turn a profit.”

In short, for just $60 per year, a single person can get a lot of benefits from a Costco membership for almost every area of your life.

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Is a Costco Membership Worth It for a Single Person? (2024)


Is a Costco Membership Worth It for a Single Person? ›

It can be harder for singles to benefit from a Costco membership. That's because a lot of the savings to be had by joining is reaped in the form of discounts on bulk grocery purchases. If you're single, you may not be able to buy as much food in bulk. But joining Costco could still make financial sense for singles.

Is Costco a good deal for single people? ›

You don't need to be shopping for a big family to save big money at Costco. Even if you're a household of one, there are great deals for single people at Costco on monthly shopping or few-times-a-year big-ticket items.

Is a Costco membership worthwhile? ›

The entry-level cost of joining Costco is $60.00 per year. If paying the 5% surcharge on your purchases is less than $60, it would not make sense for you to join Costco just to avoid it. You'd be better off doing your online shopping as a non-member and paying the slightly higher prices.

Is a Costco membership worth it if you don t live near one? ›

Even if you don't make it to Costco in person very often, there can be good deals on You can also take advantage of the chain's travel services to book a vacation. Stocking up on bulk items, even just once a year, could more than make up for the membership fee.

How much is a Costco membership for a single person? ›

Gold Star Membership: $60.00 Annual membership fee* Includes a free Household Card. Valid at all Costco locations worldwide.

Does Costco make sense for a single person? ›

If you're single, you may not need the bulk version of every perishable item you tend to consume. But if you're someone who cooks often, you may benefit from some of Costco's grocery deals. And even if not, there are plenty of non-perishables you may be able to enjoy on your own well before they go bad.

Is Costco cheaper than grocery stores? ›

Comparing prices, I found that Costco definitely offers better deals. Take Cheerios, for example: a two-pack of 20.35-ounce boxes costs $9.99 at Costco, or 25 cents an ounce, whereas one 20-ounce box at Target rings up for $6.69, or 33 cents an ounce, and the same 20-ounce box at Kroger is $8.49, or 42 cents an ounce.

Should I get a Costco membership if I live alone? ›

But shoppers who are single also can benefit from a membership to the warehouse club. There are plenty of options that are great buys if you're single, even if you might want to skip bulk perishable items such as fresh fruit or Costco's chocolate cake.

Do you really save money with a Costco membership? ›

Even if you only save $5 on groceries every other week, that's $130 in savings after a year, which more than justifies the $60 cost of a membership. And remember, once you join Costco, you'll be privy to great prices on items you probably don't buy every week, like clothing and electronics.

How do I get a Costco membership for free? ›

Costco doesn't offer free or discounted memberships, but rest assured that the cost of membership can be recovered quickly thanks to massive price savings once you start shopping.

Can you go to Costco as a one time guest? ›

When you visit a Costco warehouse, you'll discover all the valuable savings we have to offer. As a nonmember, you may still purchase prescriptions from a Costco pharmacy with cash, debit, Costco Shop Cards or a Visa® card. However, you must be a paid member to enter the warehouse and purchase any other items.

Is Costco or Sam's better? ›

Costco is a publicly traded company, while Sam's Club is a subsidiary of Walmart. Costco's membership fees are more expensive and the prices of basic products at Sam's Club are generally cheaper. Costco has more stores worldwide, but Sam's Club has more stores in the U.S.

Does Costco check if you live at same address? ›

Household Cardholders will be asked to present proof that they live at the same address as either the Primary or Affiliate Member when picking up their card at the membership counter. To add someone as your Household Cardholder, visit the membership counter of your local Costco.

How much is a senior membership at Costco? ›

There's much to be gained by getting a Costco membership when you're older. Unfortunately, though, Costco doesn't offer senior discounts. You'll need to prepare to pay $60 for a basic membership or $120 for an Executive membership. You may find, however, that the savings you enjoy can more than make up for those costs.

How much do you have to spend at Costco to make it worth it? ›

How much you'd need to spend to make Costco Executive Membership worthwhile. In order to receive $60 in reward dollars and recoup the $60 more that an Executive Membership costs, one must spend $3,000 over the course of the year at Costco on eligible purchases, an average of $250 a month.

How to get a $20 Costco membership? ›

Right now, when you pay $60 for an annual Costco membership on StackSocial, you'll receive a digital $40 Digital Costco Shop Card, bringing the total cost of membership down to an impressive $20.

Is Costco worth it for small household? ›

There are ways to make a warehouse membership work for homes of any size. Smaller households will need to shop strategically to make sure that the foods they purchase are eaten or preserved before they are past their prime. Costco might not be the place for you to buy your lettuce or milk, for example.

Is Costco Executive membership worth it for one person? ›

A Costco Executive membership costs twice as much as a basic one but gives you cash back on your purchases. You might spend less on groceries and household essentials than someone who's married, but an upgraded membership could still make sense even if it's just you.

Can you bring one person to Costco? ›

General Policies. Shirts and shoes must be worn on Costco property at all times. Members are welcome to bring children and up to two guests into the warehouse; members are responsible for their children and guests. Children should not be left unattended.

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