A friend of mine asked me for the scoop on shopping at wholesale clubs like Costco. She knows all about meal planning and shopping for deals. She was convinced that shopping at Costco was actually going to make her spend more and mess up her budget.
The reality? She is partly right. When you FIRST start shopping at wholesale clubs your budget is going to need some wiggle room to adjust. I have been shopping at Costco for six months and every time I learn new things, find new items to try and tweak my budget and meal plans.
My old shopping list consisted of a jar of spaghetti sauce and at Costco, I have to pick up 3. To shop at Costco effectively you need to change your mindset about your pantry and how you’re going to plan your meals.
That afternoon with my friend I couldn’t help but really drive home my point on why I love shopping at wholesale clubs.
The key to saving money at wholesale clubs is learning to meal plan, shop the deals and know what to buy and what NOT to buy.
I have loved shopping for the best bargains for years. Through this experience, I can pretty much tell you when an item is listed at a good value. Here is my recommendation for some items not to buy at Costco.
Here are the top 6 items to avoid when you start shopping at Costco.
I know those huge boxes are tempting, but I have yet to purchase a single one since I got my membership. Cereal does not stretch very far in a budget and there are always coupons available.
For example, they had this big double box of cereal for $7.89. I quickly did a google search of coupons and my local grocery ad and found I could get the same amount of cereal for $4.00 less.
That is a HUGE saving. Really want that cereal from Costco? I recommend that you wait for your favorite to go on a monthly sale and then stock up.
Typically I would not recommend that you purchase shampoo/conditioner at Costco. You can always find a coupon for shampoo and match it to a local drug store in your area saving you a few dollars each time. If your brand loyal, check the prices and see if your bulk size is the best deal.
If you love BJs or wonder if it’s better- Here are 7 Things to Always buy at BJs
My husband and I always fight about razors. I always buy what is on sale and he really wants to stick to his typical brand. The prices at Costco and other warehouse clubs may look good for razors but the packaging is very deceiving.
Razors are another item that constantly has coupon deals and you can get the same amount for half the cost if you check the local ads.
If you shop BJs check out the review on how terrible the BJs brand razors are here.
Some spices are an excellent deal at Costco and you will see me write about them often. However, when it comes to spices purchasing at Costco would be a waste for some families.
For example, take a second to think about grabbing the huge bundle of black pepper if your family is small. You use small amounts of spices and unless it is something you use quite a bit of, chances are it will go to waste when it expires.
More Costco Saving Tips:
- Starting Monday March 30th Costco Will Be Closing Early
- 5 Grocery Staples You Need to Try at Costco
- 6 Must Buy Baby Items at Costco
- 8 Bakery Items that Make a Costco Membership Worth It
- All Your Costco Summer Fun Essentials
The variety of supplements that Costco has to offer is actually quite extensive. Working in health and wellness I really see the importance of understanding what your purchasing when it comes to a supplement for your body.
You might see everything your doctor recommends at the warehouse for a great cost, but be careful. Quality is not regulated in the supplement world and we want things to benefit us.
The bulk size bottles may not stay fresh as long as it will take you to finish the entire bottle. Pause when it comes to picking up your supplements at Costco and take a second to do research before you buy.
I am pretty sure at any given time I can get toothpaste for under a $1.00 a tube. This warehouse bundle may seem like a good deal and easy to pick up last minute. For those looking to save money shopping at Costco, I would skip the toothpaste and grab that on your next drugstore run with a coupon.
My friend and I had a long chat about comparing costs and shopping at Costco. One of the great things about shopping Costco is that you can trust that for the majority of items you are paying an excellent price.
It may take you a bit to understand how to manage your budget and meal planning shopping in bulk. Stay encouraged that you are saving your family hundreds of dollars a year and can have fun doing it.
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What item do you not buy at Costco? Did I miss anything that you feel is overpriced?
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