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The Ultimate Guide to Costco

If you watch my Instagram stories then it's no secret to you that I LOVE Costco. I also know that not everyone has had the opportunity to fall in love with Costco yet and a lot of that probably has to do with not knowing where to start. Don't worry though I am here to help! We will discuss the different membership tiers, the things you should only buy from Costco, and even how buying electronics at Costco works! So let's jump on in!


There are two different membership tiers that apply to the everyday shopper (aka, you). 

The first tier is the Gold Star Member. This membership costs $60 a year and includes one household card, valid at all Costco locations worldwide. 

The second tier is the Gold Star Executive Member. This membership costs $120 a year and includes everything that the Gold Star Membership does in addition to the following: an annual 2% reward on eligible Costco or travel purchases, extra benefits on select Costco services, and you can add on additional people! 

So I know all of that sounds great and now you're probably wondering which one is the best for me! Luckily for you guys, I have had both memberships personally and have experienced the pros and cons of each one individually. Dalton and I had started with the Gold Star Membership and kept it for the first 8 months of the year. We went in to buy a new Apple Watch (we'll get into this later) and were informed that we could pay the $40 difference for the remainder of the year and get a check back (those are your 2% rewards with the Executive Membership). So, we got sucked in and we did it. The problem with us getting the higher membership is that we really did not need it, mainly because we just did not spend enough money there. The thing with the Executive membership is that it's totally worth it and awesome if you know you're going to be spending a lot of money throughout the year at Costco. This membership is also great if you have a larger family because chances are that you're going to spending more. 

On the other hand, if you know you're only going to be purchasing the essentials on an as-needed base the Gold Star Membership is perfect for you. Dalton and I mainly shop at Costco for the essentials and really don't go enough for the Executive Membership to be worth it for us. We didn't go enough solely because the closest one is about 45 minutes from where we live. If you live close to a Costco the Executive Membership may benefit you more. 

I suggest that if it's just one, two even three of you the Gold Star Membership is the most beneficial and you will definitely get your money worth! We actually have to go and renew our membership this month and we will be dropping back down to the Gold Star Membership. 

Hopefully, that cleared up any confusion about the different memberships and helped you to choose one that is best for you! Now, onto the Costco essentials! 

Costco Must-Haves: 

I know that Costco can be intimidating and the intimidation can lead you to buy half of the store because there are so many good deals. Because of this, I have put together a list of the things you should not skip over while you're at Costco and how to save the most money at Costco! 

Toilet Paper: If you're anything like me you pretty much despise pumping gas and buying toilet paper. My problem with toilet paper is that it's so unnecessarily expensive and it's something that you can't live without so you just have to suck it up and pay the price. That is until Costco came around. You can buy 30 rolls for under $15 and I am not kidding when I tell you guys that it lasts forever. We just buy the Kirkland brand and it's just as good as Cottonelle!

Paper Towels: This is another thing that I hate buying because it is something that we go through so fast in our house. For about $10 you get 12 rolls of paper towels, and they're also huge rolls! We also buy the Kirkland brand in this one too and they work great. We usually keep this pack for about 3-4 months at a time before running out.

Trash Bags: This is probably the best-kept secret of all of Costco. It took us a whole year to get through one box of trash bags from Costco and we use at least 5 bags a week! For $15 you get 200 tall kitchen bags that DON'T RIP! I'm not kidding when I tell you guys that we have had the same box for a whole year, we just ran out of the first box a few weeks ago! We buy the Kirkland brand of these too and love it!

Laundry Detergent: This is another great thing to buy while you're at Costco because it's another thing that's expensive no matter where you go for it. So you can at least save a few bucks and get twice as much while you're there!

Eko Sensor Opening Trashcan: This one is a random thing but it's a really good one! These are the trashcans that you just wave your hand over and it opens for you! They're about $45 but well worth the money! You have to kind of stalk the weekly ad for this one and see when it comes back because it isn't always in stock. They're stainless steel too so they look really nice while also being functional! Be careful though because these sell out pretty fast too!

Cosmetics Mirror: This is probably one of my favorite Costco purchases because it's the least expensive good makeup mirror I have found! I looked online and couldn't find the exact name of this one but it's pretty easy to find in the store! They're $20 and fantastic makeup mirrors. I am actually in need of a new one because I knocked mine off the counter and broke it, but the light still works and it's about 2 years old now. So for $20 you can't beat it!

Electronics at Costco: 

This is probably my favorite section of this whole blog post because there are so many deals to uncover! If you regularly purchase Apple products than you know that it is next to impossible to get a discount on them, except at Costco. Costco sells a ton of Apple Products for $75-$100 less than Apple sells them for! This is where I got my Series 3 Apple Watch from because it was $75 less than it was at the Apple Store for the exact same thing! 

The same thing stands true for most of their electronics in the store! You just need to compare prices and see how much you will be saving and how worth it is! They also have amazing deals on good professional level cameras too! That's how I scored the Nikon I use for my blog! 

If you've been considering getting a Costco membership I highly recommend it! There's so much more that I didn't include in this post because I didn't want to overwhelm anyone, but there really are so many good deals that you can't get anywhere else!

Hope y'all enjoyed it! Leave me a comment and let me know what you love the most about Costco!