Costco is one of those places you enter with a set list of what you need and exit with a lot less money and a trunkload of things that you weren’t planning on buying.
But even if you are good at sticking to your list, are you saving as much money as you could?
Take a look to see if you’re making these mistakes:
1. You don’t have Costco on your favorite store list on The Krazy Coupon Lady app.
When you download our free app, you can choose between tons of different stores. Once you’ve chosen those, you can easily find deals on the homepage of the app.
2. You aren’t using rebate apps like Ibotta for your groceries.
There are tons of great apps you can use to find rebate offers on things you were planning on buying anyway. Ibotta is one I use all the time.
Just search for items on your list and find offers.
3. You’re buying more for less but wasting most of it.
One of the great things about Costco is how cheap they are able to price things, but you’re actually spending extra money if you buy more than you’ll use. See what Costco does to increase their sales here.
For example, ketchup can be a good item to stockpile, but it does have an expiration date. You could spend $7.99 on a pack of three bottles ($0.06/oz.) at Costco, or you could buy a bottle from Walmart for $4.78 ($0.08/oz.). That’s $3.21 wasted if you end up having to toss it.
Know how much you need and stick to that amount.
4. You’re spending money on impulse buys.
It’s easy to see something awesome and think you need it. If that’s the case, write it down on your list for your next Costco run to give yourself time to decide if that’s something you actually need or you just want it in the moment.
5. If you spend over $250 a month at Costco, you should have the Executive Membership.
The average family of four spends $295 on groceries every week, and if you fall into this category, it may be worth spending a bit extra on your membership.
The regular membership fee is $60 annually, and while the Executive Membership is $120, it gets you 2% cash back on eligible purchases with a $1,000 cap. So if you spend $3,000 in a year at Costco, the extra fee will pay for itself.
6. You fall for your cravings.
We all know the dangers of shopping on an empty stomach, so don’t. Ever.
Make sure you grab a snack before you start browsing the shelves of Costco — or you can always munch on the free samples. But don’t buy everything you try. Free samples can boost the sampled product’s sales to more than 30%. That’s how they getcha.
7. You buy quantity over quality.
There are some things that Costco makes really well, and there are a few other things that may not live up to name brand products.
For example, I’m not a huge fan of their facial tissues. I always seem to use them up faster than other brands and end up spending more money to have to refill them quicker.
I’m able to buy two 4-packs of Kleenex (640 tissues per pack) at Target for $11.98 (1,280 sheets total), while I’d be spending $14.29 on a12-pack of Kirkland tissues (1,080 sheets total).
8. You’re buying books and movies there without checking Amazon.
A few things that Costco tends to have a higher price on than Amazon are books, CDs and DVDs. If you do find one that you’d like, make sure you check the Amazon listing first to see if you can find it cheaper.
I found the LEGO Book at Costco for $24.99, but when I looked it up on Amazon, I found it for $16.51.
9. You aren’t reaping the benefits of their return policy.
Costco is known for having a great, almost ridiculously obliging return policy. They will give you full refunds on things you’ve had for a year or more if they break.
A lot of people will not like a product or not use it, and instead of returning it, they’ll just forget about it. Make sure you’re using that return policy your membership has paid for by bringing back anything you’re not going to use!
10. You’re not comparing big-ticket items.
Stores like Costco sometimes sell things like TVs that look the same as ones you’d see at Best Buy — but like Black Friday TVs, they are actually an inferior model.
Just make sure to check specs and features before deciding whether or not the deal is worth it.
11. You’re not looking at expiration dates before buying large amounts.
I’m all about stocking up, but you have to make sure you’re not overstocking.
If you’re buying in bulk because it’s a good price without checking the expiration date, it may go bad before you have the chance to use it. That’s wasting money, y’all.
12. You’re buying diapers instead of setting up a subscription service somewhere else.
Before you buy diapers from Costco, make sure you’re price checking other places like Target, Walmart and Amazon where you can get a discount with a subscription service.
I found Kirkland diapers for $29.99 for a pack of 192 ($0.16 each) and found Target’s Up&Up diapers for $20.89 for a pack of 176 ($0.12 each) when you sign up for their subscription service and get a 5% discount.