Costco Membership cards(l), Woman talking(c), Hand holding phone with groupon app(r)

Sadi-Santos/Shutterstock Dennizn/Shutterstock @saraphineisabellestanier/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Groupon still exists?’: Viewers divided after single woman wonders whether she should shop at Costco

'I just can't believe how much money I'm gonna save.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jan 2, 2024   Updated on Jan 2, 2024, 2:53 pm CST

A new Costco customer said that she was having some reservations as to whether or not purchasing a membership to the bulk retail store would be worth it or not as she’s single and living alone.

Saraphine (@saraphineisabellestanier) seems to have quickly had those initial doubts squashed upon purchasing a Groupon for her first annual membership that only cost her $20, after applying “girl math.” She received a $40 electronic gift card voucher after spending $60 in membership fees for the first year.

The TikToker praised the cost of the chain’s prepared meals and was shocked at how much money she now saves on gasoline, too. As far as she’s concerned, she’s not an official #CostcoBeliever.

She begins her video by leaning over a kitchen countertop with an open container of prepared caesar salad before her.

“So want to know what I just got? I just got my first Costco membership and the reason I did that is because Groupon is having a sale right now,” she explains. “You can buy the Costco membership for $60 and you get a $40 Costco gift card, electronic gift card back. That’s girl math, Costco for $20 for the year.”

Saraphine then highlights her gas savings, noting that she paid $2.89 per gallon, while gas is usually $3.59 in her region.

The TikToker then explains that she’s enjoying a prepackaged caesar salad from Costco for dinner—and that this is the third meal she’s got out of the same container.

“I was looking at the caesar salad with dressing, croutons, and lemons, [which] didn’t come with chicken, but I was looking at it and I was like, ‘$9.52 that’s kind of a lot of money.’ For like, this whole thing of salad, and this was completely full.”

Although she says she initially thought the price Costco charged for the container filled with salad was too high, she says it was quite cost-effective.

“I had one yesterday for lunch, I had one today for lunch, and now I’m having this one for dinner,” she says. “And I also got a rotisserie chicken…a Costco rotisserie chicken and this was, $9.52 for the salad and then the Costco chicken was roughly $5.”

Saraphine explains that the total cost added up to $14.52, and she has also used the chicken for other meals. “So that is about $14.52 for three meals and I’ve used that chicken for more than just the caesar salads. I’ve also been using it with these pho things,” she says before briefly going off-camera to grab a box of pre-packaged pho soup containers.

“This was at Costco,” she says, showing off the box to her viewers. “There’s 9 of them in here and it was like…$15. That’s a f*cking steal. I’ve had two of them so far…one of them I used with chicken, one of them I did just by myself and it was delicious.”

She adds that while she was scared she was going to go overboard on spending once she bought a Coscto membership, she says “the Costco chicken basically pays for itself.” It’s significantly cheaper than if she had ordered the same meal at a restaurant.

“I just can’t believe how much money I’m gonna save at Costco. And I usually get those little pre-made salad mixes that you can get at like Walmart or something like that. Those alone are like four bucks for the tiny little ones,” she says. “Pay an extra $5 and I get three meals instead of just one.”

Saraphine ends the video noting that despite her concern about being a single person with a Costco membership, she can still squeeze value out of it. “I was hesitant on being single, by myself and getting a Costco membership but between the gas, the $40 gift card, chicken Caesar salads, for $15 for three of them, and then after I’m done with the Rotisserie chicken I can put it, put it in a pot, put some water in it, chicken stock! or chicken broth one of those two. And then I never have to pay for chicken br—oh my God,” she says, smiling.

“Costco’s a f*cking steal,” she declares at the end of the video, and it seems like there are several other folks in the comments section of her clip who definitely agree with her assessment as to the value of purchasing an annual Costco membership, even as a single person.

One TikToker seemed that think that the retailer’s prepared meals were worth the cost of a membership alone: “Costco has so many prepared meals in the fridge section in bulk that have me set for the week with no prep work.”

Someone else said that the amount of money they’re able to save in fuel purchases is what keeps them happily renewing their cards: “The gas savings alone is worth the membership.”

A fellow single individual agreed with Saraphine about being a single Costco member: “Yes, I’m single but I LOVE Costco. Unbeatable price on staples like beans and rice. Meal prep like the salads and ready to bake items. It’s fantastic.”

@saraphineisabellestanier i will give more updates on whats worth buying there and whats not. #costco #costcogirl #single #costcofinds #costcotiktok #fyp #girldinner ♬ original sound – Saraphine’s Version

It seems that the $60 Groupon Costco membership deal the TikToker was referring to is currently no longer being offered by the discount website, but the site still has a link confirming Saraphine’s deal.

Costco’s a hot topic of conversation on TikTok—there are several accounts with high-follower counts that solely upload Costco related content that covers offerings, deals, news, and developments pertaining to the popular bulk retail chain. While many folks on the app have criticized the store for a purportedly taking a more stringent approach to card-sharing policies, that hasn’t seemed to have stopped folks from renewing their memberships, or enticing new shoppers to sign up and join the Costco clan themselves. Statista writes that between 2014 and 2023 paid membership numbers jumped from 42 million to 71 million.

It’s understandable why store management would be so demanding when it comes to ensuring every single person making a purchase at Costco is rocking a card with their own face on it: money, and a lot of it. Business Insider reported that 72% of the store’s profits come from these membership fees alone; in September 2023, the outlet wrote that Costco pocketed $4.6 billion from member dues alone.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Costco via email and Saraphine via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Jan 2, 2024, 10:00 pm CST