How To Make Your Costco Or Sam’s Club Membership ‘Free’

Supermarkets Compete In Premium Beef Market
Getty Images | Tim Boyle

Wholesale clubs, such as Sam’s Club and Costco, attract customers because of the promised savings they offer. However, shoppers must pay a membership fee to shop at these locations. Wholesale club membership fees can start at $40 to $50 per year. In fact, Costco just announced a hike in their basic membership to $60 annually, according to Kiplinger, as of June 1, 2017.

Yet, shoppers who know what to look for in these huge stores can make that money back easily. Want to make your wholesale club membership pay for itself? Here’s a helpful list to start racking up the savings.

1. Forget Delivery! Buy Wholesale Pizza

Have pizza lovers in your home? A typical 16-inch pizza at a wholesale club will cost between $9 and $10. Compare that to pizza shop prices, which can range from $12 to $18. If you buy a pizza or two a month at the lower price, then you can definitely earn back your membership fee. Even a $5 a month savings can get you $60 in discounts.

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2. Fill Up Your Tank At Your Wholesale Club

Wholesale clubs often have cheaper gas than typical stations. In fact, warehouse club gas prices can be up to 20 cents cheaper per gallon at some locations. If you have a 15-gallon tank, this means you can save $3 per fill up. Therefore, if you fill your car up every other week, that gives you $78 in savings over the year. You’ll actually make a little money over the membership fees.

Getty Images | Tim Boyle

3. Movie Theater Gift Card Savings

Sam’s Club and other warehouse clubs offer some sweet deals on movie tickets. These retailers sell theater gift card bundles at a discount. For example, Goodrich Theaters have a $50 gift card available for only $39.98 at Sam’s Club. At an almost $10 savings, five to six of these gift cards can offset your membership fees. National chains such as AMC, Cinemark and Regal also offer similar deals. So, if you’re a movie lover (or know one), grab these cards!

4. Don’t Forget Dinner With The Movie

Use the warehouse gift card strategy with restaurants, too! Every wholesale club offers discount multi-packs of restaurant gift cards. Favorite restaurants such as Applebees, P.F. Chang’s and Outback Steakhouse have deals such as two $50 gift cards for only $79.99. That’s a $20 savings per purchase! Before you go out to your next meal or give a gift card to a friend, consider purchasing them at your wholesale club.

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5. Picture-Perfect Savings

Buying photo cards and announcements at a wholesale club can save you significant money. Retailers such as Walgreens and Shutterfly can charge from $45 to $60 for a set of 60 prints. However, wholesale club prices start at only $21 for the same quantity. Many of the warehouse clubs also offer free, same-day service.

Flickr | Carissa Rogers

6. Health Screenings At Costco? Yes, Really!

Costco members have access to free health screening clinics throughout the year. A screening schedule is updated monthly on Costco’s website for all its locations. What do these screenings cover? Heart health, diabetes clinics and even osteoporosis screenings are among the services provided. Of course, these checks should never fully replace a doctor visit. However, they can save you some money by helping you be proactive with your health. Or, they can detect a problem and help you get treatment before a condition gets serious.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

About the Author

Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at and connect with her at More.

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