Home > Gas for $1.86 a Gallon and Rethinking Costco

Gas for $1.86 a Gallon and Rethinking Costco

October 22nd, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I just filled up my gas tank for $1.86 a gallon. I had 30 points on my Safeway card since I've spent $300 there this month. So that was 30 cents off per gallon, and then I used cash which made it an additional 10 cents off per gallon. So while Safeway's regular gas price won't beat Costco's regular gas price, with points and cash discount, it is 20 cents cheaper to get it at Safeway. Plus Safeway is only a mile from my house and not on the other side of town.

I am thinking hard about letting my Costco card go when it expires in March. I keep it mostly for buying organic olive oil, butter, toilet paper, organic brown rice, organic sugar, organic tomato sauce and paste, organic frozen broccoli, and organic chicken.

But...we have a freezer full of chicken we grew this year. I now have enough spaghetti sauce canned for a year from my garden. I could stock up on a year's supply of olive oil, butter, tomato paste, brown rice, sugar and frozen broccoli right before it expires. I don't have to renew it and I can revisit the idea in a year of using the membership. Or my FIL and MIL have a membership so we could have them pick up what we need when we need it.

I used to buy cheese there, but Safeway's sales and often their regular prices are better than Costco's regular price. I am finding a lot of things that is true on. I know if I watch sales I can probably find Charmin for cheaper and find coupons for it. And when we run out of chicken, Trader Joe's does have less expensive organic chicken nowadays.

Another reason I am thinking of dropping Costco is that they will no longer be partnering with AMEX, which means I'd have to get another credit card and I don't want to.

It's just that the many things that used to be selling points for a Costco membership are now being chipped away at and as prices rise it just no longer seems the bargain it once was. The parking is atrocious and it's just getting to the point where it is not really worth it anymore.

11 Responses to “Gas for $1.86 a Gallon and Rethinking Costco”

  1. AnotherReader Says:

    We have Sprouts here and their prices are lower than Costco and the quality is better for chicken and produce. Costco fish is tasteless or fishy, the snacks are stale, and the baked goods have a lot of additives. Kirkland products generally are not equal to the brand names I buy. Everything else I used to buy at Costco is the same price or cheaper elsewhere. It's just not worth the hassle to save a dollar on 30 rolls of toilet paper.

    I will downgrade from Executive to Standard next year and likely not accept the Citi credit card. The letter I received from Costco states that any Visa card can be used when the switch over occurs, and I already get three percent back on gas from B of A cash rewards Visa. B of A recognizes Safeway Fuel as a gas station, while AMEX, Discover and Chase do not. My guess is the same will hold true for Costco.

    I buy dry cat food, Bolthouse Farms carrot juice, and occasionally some odd item such as paper towels at Costco. There is rarely anything interesting in the monthly circular. I go every 6 weeks now, so need to spend the extra for the Executive membership.

  2. AnotherReader Says:

    Oh, and I buy cheese at at Sprouts or Trader Joe's. Nuts generally come from Trader Joe's. Good prices and more manageable quantities. Costco is for people that don't do their homework and buy into the idea that a crowded warehouse and changing inventory must mean you are getting discounted prices. Way too many overpriced impulse buys end up in the carts of those folks.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I think you have a good plan LR to let the membership expire at least for a year. And if in laws are willing to buy what you need, even better!

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    I inherited my mother's costco card til it expires in a few months but i think i'll stick with BJs. I did shop Costco twice but I ONLY go when I have a weekday off from work, becus on the weekends it's MAYHEM there and not worth the stress. They do seem to have more organic produce there.

  5. snafu Says:

    Why pay for a Costco card you don't need? You've made a strong case for dropping that expense.

  6. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Have you all checked the auto insurance? We've been with them 5 years and no one has been able to top the prices. Besides the fact the service is OUTSTANDING. Anyway even after moving and checking progressive, farmers, geico, Ameriprise auto, home, and umbrella is still the best deal out there.

    I turned 3 friends onto costco auto and all three left who they were with for MUCH cheaper insurance. Two signed up for Costco just for the auto insurance and rarely shop there.

    As for me I use the gas station and it's across the street from safeway. My BIL is single guy and shops infrequently at costco but keeps it for the auto insurance savings alone.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I had no idea they had auto insurance.

  8. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    We did Costco, mostly for food, for three years until our kid left for college. After that we just couldn't make use of the volumes they sell. Plus the drive to get there was just too long.

  9. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Anyone with costco membership is doing themselves a disservice if they don't price out the auto and home insurance.

  10. LuckyRobin Says:

    I will see if it is available here. That might make me rethink my rethinking.

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    My Sam's card is expiring this month and I am planning on not renewing it. Neither NE nor I have been there in probably six months. (I gave him the extra card.) I just rarely get over to where either of them are here, and the gas isn't *that* much cheaper. I will have to check and see if they have auto insurance though ... that could be interesting if they do and they actually beat Geico.

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