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Your Local Costco Could Get More Crowded Soon, Experts Say

As if the lines weren't long enough.

Americans are dining out less and less right now thanks to the high prices of food stemming from inflation. While more people are eating at home, the prices at grocery stores are still growing and shoppers are looking to relieve some of the pressure on their wallets. Consequently, bulk buying is looking like a nice way to save some money for shoppers right now, just like at the beginning of the pandemic two years ago.

It's not just customers that are seeing the low-cost appeal of Costco and other warehouse chains right now but investors. Lately, they have been flocking to the wholesale club, whose stock is currently sitting strong, according to Investor Place. Investors say this trend is going to continue.

Related: These Are Costco's Most Popular Items Right Now

Costco has seen success this year, CNBC says, with a net sales of $21.61 billion for the retail month of March. This was an increase of 18.7% from $18.21 billion last year, according to Yahoo Finance. Predictions suggest that the inflation rate for all food is at 8.6% and that this is only the beginning of grocery price hikes as gas and energy prices continue to climb.

Costco, whose appeal to consumers is its strong stance on value, could be capitalizing on inflation pricing. Cost-saving and price-fixing are at the very heart of the warehouse's allure for its members. While other grocery chains are figuring out ways to mitigate inflation, Costco's food court hot dog is famously been the same price since the 1980s ($1.50!). For potential members looking to decide if an annual fee is right for them, these shockingly-low price tags are actually advertising memberships.

Costco food court prices

One of the products that are seeing the biggest increase in inflation is the price of meat, which has gone up 13.8%. Looking at the price per pound difference of ground beef at Costco ($4.00), Target ($6.69), and Walmart (around $5), it's clear that shoppers will save by choosing wholesale if they do the majority of their shopping there with a $60 annual membership fee. While bulk shopping may not be the best choice for every household, families and those that have the space to store extra products will see the savings reflected in their grocery budgets monthly.

Other chains are looking to battle inflation in different ways, either by shrinking items, chartering ships, or dipping into supply. Recently, discount grocery store ALDI pledged to keep its prices low despite inflation, according to CEO Jason Hart in a recent statement released.

Thinking about a membership to Costco? Check out these 5 Costco Items That Will Never Rise in Price before you decide.

Amber Lake
Amber Lake is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! and has a degree in journalism from UNF in Jacksonville, Florida. Read more about Amber