7 Things You Must Buy at Costco While on a Retirement Budget (2)

A Prominent Guide on 7 Things You Must Buy at Costco While on a Retirement Budget

Explore 7 things you must buy at Costco while on a retirement budget. From essentials to treats, discover how to make the most of your retirement savings without sacrificing quality.

It can seem impossible to buy what you need and make ends meet. But what if there was an optimal shopping strategy for retirees to save hundreds per year on essential items? 

Did you know that a Costco membership can help you target the best deals on food, medications, healthcare products, gas, etc.? 

When you are retired, you likely live on a fixed income. That means you have to watch how you spend your money. But Costco can still help you save, even with a limited budget. Here are 7 great things to buy at Costco that can work with a retirement budget.

Is A Costco Membership Worth It?

Yes, a Costco membership offers excellent value and savings for retired individuals needing to strictly budget. 

With special low pricing of just $36 per year for seniors to access discounted groceries, medications, gas, and more everyday basics in bulk, Costco memberships quickly pay for themselves. 

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When you factor in the over 80% savings on prescription costs alone by using their pharmacies versus major drugstores, most retirees will save hundreds of dollars annually above the membership fee. 

Costco’s renowned return policy also provides peace of mind when buying items in larger volumes. For these reasons, a Costco membership delivers outstanding year-round value for budget-conscious retirees.

7 Things You Must Buy at Costco While on a Retirement Budget

Here are the 7 things you must buy at Costco while on a retirement budget:

1. Prescription drugs

If you take any prescription medicines, check with the Costco pharmacy. They offer very low-cost generics. Even without insurance, you can get a month’s supply of many generic drugs for $10 or less. This is much cheaper than regular drugstores.

2. Eyeglasses

Costco Optical has discount eye exam services. Plus, frames and lenses cost much less than at the mall chains. Basic single-vision glasses start at $59. Budget progressives are $149. They take many types of vision coverage plans, too.

3. Hearing Aids

Costco has an audiology department with name-brand digital hearing aids. Prices are hundreds or even thousands less than private clinics. Free test and fittings. Return policy, too. Savings are worth the membership alone if you use hearing aids.

4. Groceries

The Costco Kirkland Signature house brand offers quality food and pantry items for less. A big box of breakfast cereal or bars for snacking can be bought in bulk for the month. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are budget-friendly too.

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5. Gasoline

Costco gas stations offer members the lowest fuel prices in most areas. A few fill-ups a month can lead to good savings that add up. Avoid lines by going at off-peak hours if possible. The stations take credit cards, not just cash or debit cards.

6. OTC Medications

Costco has all the common over-the-counter medicines and health items. They sell the Kirkland brand acetaminophen, allergy meds, cold remedies, Tums, etc, for really low prices. Even name brands like Advil are priced better than local stores.

7. Senior Membership Perk

When you turn 60, upgrade to a Gold Star Executive membership. It’s just $60 per year. You get 2% cash back annually on most Costco purchases. That can add up when buying the budget items mentioned here. If you spend $250 monthly at Costco, that’s $60 back yearly. Essentially, it is making the upgraded membership free.

Also Read: A Quick Guide on 4 Crucial Costco Membership Tips For Frugal Shoppers

Costco Membership Basics for Retirees

  • Costco offers special membership pricing of just $60 per year for those 55 and older
  • The “Gold Star” membership includes a free Household Card so a spouse/partner can shop too
  • Without the retirement discount, standard membership is $120 annually
  • Couples and roommates can share memberships to split the yearly fee

Pharmacy Savings

  • Costco pharmacies serve all customers regardless of membership status
  • Generic prescription drug prices are typically 80-90% less than major chain pharmacies
  • Just one or two refills transferred to Costco can outweigh the $60 basic membership cost
  • All common chronic medications are available – blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, depression, etc.
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Grocery Opportunities

  • Kirkland Signature brand items offer quality comparable to name brands at lower prices
  • Shop for the specific grocery and household items already on your existing shopping list
  • Non-perishable necessities can be purchased in bulk for the month, knowing unused products that are unopened can be returned at any point per Costco’s generous return policy

Additional Ways to Save

  • Fill up on gas at Costco’s fuel stations, often the lowest prices in town
  • Take advantage of free eye exams and discounted prescription eyeglasses and contacts
  • Costco arranges discounts on hearing aids, saving members thousands of dollars
  • The Executive Membership offers 2% cash back annually on most purchases for just $120 per year

What Specific Items Are Not Good To Buy At Costco And Why? What Is Your Absolute Must-Not-Buy At Costco?

Here is a table listing items that may not be good buys at Costco for retirees on a budget:

ItemWhy It May Not Be a Good Buy
Fresh produceIt can spoil quickly before a single retiree can consume
Fresh baked goodsIt may expire before it is finished
Wine and liquorLarge volumes are not always needed
Premium gasOnly useful for certain vehicles, regular gas is still discounted
ElectronicsGenerally cheaper elsewhere when on sale
High-end jewelleryNot a need-based item
Gift cardsNo discounts offered
Books and mediaThe local library is free
Pet foodSelection is limited compared to pet stores

Final Words

As shown, Costco can be an invaluable shopping resource for frugal retirees on budgets by offering bulk generic prescriptions. Also, it provides discounted vision and hearing aids, low-cost store-brand food and household items, healthcare supplies, and discount gas stations.

Costco allows retirees across the country to save substantially and make the most of their Social Security funds and retirement income for strategic spending discipline paired with savings on life’s necessities.

Costco is truly the best membership club for those in their golden years who are focused on affording quality staples. The deeply discounted prices found there beat most local retailers every single day of the year.

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