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The good news is that as of February 2023, overall inflation is continuing on its downward trend. The bad news is that the trend doesn’t apply to the grocery store. Shoot, it doesn’t even apply to wholesale clubs like Costco, as we’re expecting to see a Costco price increase on a handful of items this year.
The USDA is predicting an 8% increase on the cost of food at home in 2023, which feels pretty crushing considering the price increases we’ve collectively endured already. While there is a slight silver lining with prices across some categories — like bacon — coming down already, the price hikes in other aisles are enough to turn your stomach.
Here are six items we expect to get a Costco price increase over the coming year. Be sure to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app so you can take advantage of any sales or deals as they pop up — you’re gonna need them this year.
1. Membership fees will most likely go up in 2023.
On the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call, CFO Richard Galanti made it very clear that a rise in Costco membership fees was coming. When exactly these fee hikes will happen is a little less clear.
Historically, Costco has raised membership prices about every 5 years and 7 months. That would have put the next fee hike due in January 2023, but so far, we haven’t seen them materialize.
That doesn’t mean they won’t, though. Keep an eye out for increases in 2023. The last time membership fees increased, they were only $5 more for Gold members and $10 more for Executive members. Whether or not those numbers will go up thanks to inflation remains yet to be seen.
2. Eggs will continue to go up in price.
No secret here — egg prices went up in 2022 thanks to an avian flu outbreak. We’re not really sure yet if 2023 will be any better in terms of spread of the illness. But regardless, you should expect to see a further 27.3% pricing increase on eggs in 2023.
To make the prices even higher, some states like California and Massachusetts have started implementing laws that require all eggs sold to be from cage-free chickens. This is an extremely positive thing for animal rights, but in these states, we would expect to see a rise in prices as a result.
Egg prices went up everywhere — including at Costco. They went up a full dollar per two dozen between the summer of 2021 and 2022.
That said, Costco is still the cheapest place I can find to buy eggs. They’re only $0.30 each. The next cheapest competitor is my local grocery store — Giant Eagle — where they’re $0.34 each. You can find them for $0.35 each at Sam’s Club.
3. Produce (and citrus especially) is up.
The price increases on produce have been wild the past couple of years — including at Costco. Because it’s citrus season, let’s look at a couple of items that should be at their lowest prices all year.
In 2020 you could get a 5-pound bag of lemons for just $5.69 at Costco. That made them just $1.13 per pound.
Okay, are you ready for the 2023 pricing? I promise that you’re probably not. But here we go anyways.
If you were to buy that same 5-pound bag of lemons today, they’d cost a whopping $9.09 — or $1.83 per pound.
Navel oranges have increased in price, too, though not quite as dramatically. In 2021 you could get a 10-pound box for $13.99. Today they cost $14.99.
The good news is that fresh produce tends to not be “sticky inflation” — which means that as inflation ebbs, this is one item that may actually go down in price, or at least not climb much higher. So as long as we keep heading on this trajectory with inflation, the price hikes you see at Costco are more likely to slow.
But just because they may slow doesn’t mean they’ll stop completely. We’re not out of the woods yet. Inflation may be down, but it’s still high, and the USDA’s math is kind of meh on price stabilization for produce in 2023.
TIP: Sam’s Club is the cheapest place to get citrus like lemons and navel oranges. See all the latest Sam’s Club deals here.
4. Cereal will go up, but Costco has never had the cheapest prices.
About one year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine is known as “the breadbasket of Europe,” and the war has impacted all of their exports — including their key commodity of wheat.
We saw prices skyrocket on wheat-based products like cereal in 2022, and these hikes aren’t likely to stop in 2023. In fact, we can expect to see pricing increases of up to 12% this year.
Costco is not likely to be immune to this increase, and as Joanie has been preaching for a while, Costco never had the cheapest cereal prices to begin with.
5. Soda prices are going up — but maybe not for Pepsi products.
Here’s another category where the war on Ukraine has impacted American supermarkets. One of Russia’s primary exports (aside from gas) is aluminum, and with all the sanctions that have been placed on them over the past year, aluminum prices have increased.
They’ve fallen from their peak in recent months, but they’re still well above pre-pandemic price points.
So on top of inflation, pop has gotten more expensive because of the increased costs companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are incurring for canning purposes. Plus, the USDA is predicting a 10.6% price increase on sugar-based products over the next year, and soda fits that bill.
Coca-Cola has announced that they will continue raising prices on their products this year, albeit at a slower pace than they did in 2022.
Life hack, though: Pepsi has pledged to stop the price increases altogether. We’ll see if they stick to their promise, but if they do, you might find Pespi-brand products to be cheaper than anything from Coca-Cola.
Costco already wasn’t the cheapest place to buy pop. It’s about $0.64 per can of Coke, while it’s only $0.49 per can at Sam’s Club. Expect a Costco price increase on soda over the coming year — though your Pepsi products might be spared.
Related: Here’s where to find Peeps Pepsi — and how much you’ll pay.
6. Extra virgin olive oil will likely go up in price at Costco.
Costco is famous for their Kirkland Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO.) It’s a better-than-decent quality, and the price point is pretty low compared to other brands.
Now, there was a $1 Costco price increase between the summer of 2021, when it was $14.99 for two liters, and the summer of 2022, when it jumped up to $15.99.
But we’d expect to see even further Costco price increases even on the Kirkland brand in 2023. We’re expecting to see an incredible 16.5% price increase on fats and oils this year, and we can’t imagine Costco’s famous EVOO will be immune.
TIP: Did you know that Costco online shopping is typically more expensive than shopping in store? That’s because they mark up online prices to offset their shipping and handling costs.