Author Topic: Drive an hour for Costco?  (Read 4362 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Drive an hour for Costco?
« on: December 10, 2015, 01:04:23 PM »
My good Mustachians - I have just moved. For you frequent Costco'ers - is it economic to drive an hour each way to Costco? What are they generally cheaper on, if anything?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 01:14:08 PM »
Would you be going to the area at any point anyway? It may make sense if it's not a special trip.

Myself, Costco is about 10 miles away. It's outside my normal circle and I don't want to drive out there. So I don't have a membership. But your circumstances may be different.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 01:30:10 PM »
Our nearest Costco is an hour and twenty minutes away, but it is a place we either pass through every couple of months or (when we do make a special trip) we can bundle several errands at the same time.  When we're traveling to and fro for business we make sure to stock up.

I keep a list going on my phone of everything we need, and this makes sure we don't over do it.  But it's still worth it.  We don't really go out of the way much to make a trip.

Sometimes I also have friends buy a couple of things if they're going and I'm not.  We've also made major purchases (clothes, computer, mattress) online, so the membership is worth more than just what we buy at the store.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 03:48:42 PM »
How big is your household?

Costco has really good prices on milk in our area, but can be hit or miss on other items. Things like toilet paper/paper towel are good, too. They have cheap LED bulbs. They have a really good price on a 64oz tub of plain yoghurt. etc.

Given the membership fee, I'd think it would be difficult to justify the two hours of driving unless you're going to buy a *lot* of stuff there.


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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 04:19:25 PM »
As other's have said, "it depends".  Monetarily, the membership can be worth it after buying a few hundred $ worth of certain things.*  That can be in a single trip or multiple trips.  It's certainly possible to go to CostCo to stuck up several months worth groceries at once and make a membership worth it, even adding in the cost of driving.

It can be a trap if you shop "in the middle" of the store and/or buy lots of things you weren't planning on buying before.

I've found they routinely have the best prices on the following:
Cheese - especially higher quality aged cheeses
Dish soap
Laundry detergent, dish soap, dish-washer soap, fabric softener etc
Nuts - especially walnuts, pecans and almonds
granola bars
dried fruit
Cat litter
Hot-dog-and-coke combo
whole rotisserie chickens

They usually have competitive prices (though not necessarily the absolute lowest) on

baked items (bread, muffins, cookies, .. most of which are just average in quality and not particularly healthy)
All their home-ware stuff (towels, sheets, clothes) in the middle of the store
Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins etc.

They don't have the best prices on:
electronics & cameras
books and DVDs
.... a bunch of other random stuff like flooring and automotive/garage stuff.  Shop around and know what a 'good' price is!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 05:13:58 PM »
I wouldn't even drive across town to go to Costco.  If I was shopping for a family of 5, I could see the appeal.  If I had no value on my time*, I could see the appeal.  As is, I can get close to the same prices on almost everything by shopping around and stocking up on sales and I don't have to wait an hour in line to check out*.

* Every Costco I've ever been at has been horribly understaffed to the point that I can't understand why anyone would wait in line for so long to save a tiny bit of money.  Your Costco experience may vary.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 06:14:01 PM »
In our area most people go to Costco because they have the cheapest price for most things.  Mechanics have told us to get our tires there and most groceries are cheaper there.  We drive 45 minutes each way once a month but also go to another when we are in the area.  I think there are three or four here.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 07:31:25 PM »
Costco costs more than the nearer alternatives, so no. It's about an hour for me, too.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Drive an hour for Costco?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 08:07:41 PM »
I used to, in Oregon.

From the Coast it was about 1+ hour each way.

Worth it because the cheese/coffee/horse carrots/gasoline/organic produce paid for an executive membership.

I used to buy hardcover books there and sell them on Amazon: only made 1-5 bucks a book but hey....I got to read a brand new hardcover and make money on it after! (primarily because no sales tax in Oregon)

So, for me, in a household of one, it made sense.

Now I'm 12ish miles away and it still makes sense.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!