Don’t Get Ripped Off at Costco! 4 Things NOT to do at Membership Stores

Don't-GetWalking into Costco for the first time can be super exciting! You are surrounded by tons and tons of products at prices that seem too good to be true. Before you know it, you are at home, wondering why you have $25 worth of ramen noodles, enough toilet paper to get you through the zombie apocalypse, and no food that your family actually eats.

Use these steps to shop smart at Costco and avoid getting ripped off.

Have a Good Idea of Prices Before You Shop

Costco pricing and signage is very convincing. You may think that their price for 50 snack-size bags of Goldfish is great, but unless you’ve ever bought snack-size Goldfish before, you don’t really know. When you go into Costco, know exactly what you want to buy. Know how much those items cost at the regular grocery store. This helps you find out if something is actually a good deal or if you can actually get it cheaper at a non-membership store.

Stick to Non-Perishable Items or Perishable Items You Know You’ll Use

Buying in bulk makes sense some of the time, but unless you have a huge family, it doesn’t always make sense to buy perishable items in bulk. A good sale on meat makes sense, since you can always freeze extra meat and use it as you need it. On the other hand, most families won’t go through 100 eggs before those eggs go bad. Be practical about how much your family can actually eat and use before an item spoils.

Don’t Buy New Brands

Costco can be a tricky place to try out new brands. If you buy something new and no one likes it, you don’t want to have 30 bags to either throw away or force yourself to eat. When you want to try something new, buy it in a small size before committing to a bulk amount.

Try It Out Before You Get a Membership

You likely have someone in your family or circle of friends who has a Costco membership. Ask if you can accompany them on their next shopping trip. You can take notes on prices, find out what’s available, and get a pretty good idea of whether or not Costco can really fit your family’s needs. If you love what you find, you can get a membership and know that you’ll use it. If it doesn’t quite fit with you, then you just saved over $50 on an annual membership.

A bulk food membership can be a great tool for your grocery budget, but it’s important to be smart about how you spend your money and the purchases you make. Remember these tips and you can skip the post-Costco shopping haze!

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  1. Krystal says

    Costco likes you to try new things, and encourages you to do so with their return policy. If you don’t love it take it back for a full refund! Costco is great for clothes, books and other items that aren’t bluk. I love my Costco and go almost weekly!

  2. Tina says

    My friends have enough soap, toilet paper, and paper towels for years. I think a one or two month supply is plenty. In a smaller home, my utilities are much less and I have no place to store 50 lb bags of cat food. For 2 cats, a 3 lb bag lasts at least 2 weeks. For most things, we use very small amounts.

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