We don't currently have a membership but we probably will soon. When we run out of coffee and toilet paper we'll join again.
In our family we all love shopping at Costco so it's more like trying to keep them from going so often rather than dragging them to go. And as you said, if you need eyeglasses or tires or a mattress that can cover your membership fee right there. You just don't buy stuff you don't need, like at any other store. And just because the samples are there doesn't mean you have to buy the product. We have occasionally, but not often.
Tawra and Jill's articles are usually exaggerated or just plain common sense. This one was completely ridiculous. The Food Stamps Cooking Club looks interesting though.