Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Startling Realization

Well... we just got our Costco executive membership rewards certificate in the mail today. It covers the 2% rebate on all purchases at the register (they don't do it on gas, the food court, or online purchases) since we converted from a regular to an executive membership last August.

That's 2% pre-tax of course.

We did the math on what we figured we were purchasing at Costco at the time (about $400 a month), and figured that at worst we'd just about break even on the membership (which is $100); whereas with the regular gold star membership we'd still just be paying the $50 a year.

Oh and getting into the store that extra hour early is a major convenience, it means that we can usually shop in the morning without the long lines that are pretty much inevitable during normal hours in every Costco I've ever been in.

So, how much was it you ask?


That means that since the end of last August, less than 10 months ago, we've spent $6618 dollars at Costco; not including tax, which is 8.1% on our taxable purchases (about 1/3 of what we buy at Costco, for about $270).

Of course in a given month Costco gets between 1/2 and 2/3 of our food budget, and about 1/2 of our household goods budget, but still... it's kind of a kick in the head to see just how much that is all at once.

And of course that's not even a full year. We'll probably drop another $600 there on food and household goods between now and the end of August; AND I'm about to drop $600 on four new tires for the truck there (they were about $100 cheaper on the same tires - mounted and balanced - than anyone else).

So I guess we're an $8000 a year family not including gas; which makes Costco the single biggest payable other than the house... well... its about $150 less than the car, insurance, and gas combined; but most of our gas (at least half of our $400 a month gas budget, usually 3/4) gets bought at Costco as well.

Now, we've done the numbers, and if we were buying what we buy at Costco elsewhere, we would be spending at least 25% and probably more like 35% more.

The fact is, if we didn't shop at Costco, our quality of life would be materially lower; that's how much difference that money we save makes.

Oh and obviously, we've more than paid for the higher level of membership.

If only they werent anti-gun bigots...