I Never Buy Food at Costco (Here’s What I Use My Membership for Instead!) 

published Mar 1, 2024
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Tigard, OR, USA - Oct 31, 2023: Closeup of the Costco logo seen at its store in Tigard, Oregon. Costco Wholesale Corporation operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores.
Credit: Tada Images/Shutterstock

Everyday household items have gotten so pricey that I now regularly talk about little ways to save with friends. I was recently in the middle of a casual conversation with an old roommate and an interesting topic came up: what’s your absolute favorite food deal to buy at Costco? Funny enough, I froze. Truthfully, my answer is “none.” I don’t actually buy food at Costco; I use my membership for deals on home essentials and seasonal decor and access to products you likely won’t find elsewhere. 

Before we became homeowners in 2019, my husband and I didn’t quite buy into all of the Costco hype. We just didn’t think we needed the membership for our little family of two (and a half if you count the dog).  A regular Costco run became worth our time —  only, I was a lot more excited about the decor for sale than the food.

Sure, I’ve purchased a frozen meal or two from Costco just because, but on any given visit, there is enough affordable decor, furniture, appliances and kitchen essentials on display to keep me busy without ever stepping foot into a food or beverage aisle. As longtime tiny apartment renters turned new homeowners, we had empty rooms (and corners) to fill, an actual yard (with grass!) to care for, and a temperature-controlled garage to store any bulk items.  A Costco membership now felt like the right move for this new stage in our lives. 

Call me old school (or an elder millennial), but I still like to touch, feel and hold things in my hands before I buy them, whenever possible. At Costco, I can reach out and touch that plush pet blanket to see if I think it’ll pill easily or turn on a flameless candle to test and see if the lights are truly “soft white.” 

Like most people, I stock up on household essentials like coffee and paper towels at Costco, but the real reason I’m a member is to shop for the seasonal decor gems. Some of the most asked-about items in our home, like our gorgeous oversized outdoor patio lanterns or the super luxe, pre-lit holiday garland that steals the show every Christmas, came from a quick Costco run. 

I also love the exclusivity of it. There are decor pieces I spotted at Costco one year that I haven’t seen anywhere since. Come spring, we’ll also stock up on large bags of mulch, plant fertilizer and annual plants to keep our yard in shape. And, like any store, Costco knows how to get your attention with strategically placed impulse buys. But even those mostly never disappoint me. That’s where I scored my favorite (and warmest) electric blanket, the 4K TV for our guest room and the healthiest and happiest houseplant we own (a peace lily).

If I sound like I’m on the payroll at Costco, I’m not, but it is my go-to superstore for all things home and that’s served me very well. If you regularly shop for household essentials and decor, and thought Costco was mostly just a great destination for buying bulk snacks or produce (we did), I encourage you to pop in and check out the decor aisles for yourself. As first time homeowners we’re really glad we did. See you at the checkout line!

Buy: Costco Annual Membership, $60