Do you need to restock on paper towels? Can’t get through the morning without a bag of bagels? Want to get the cheapest hot dog and 20-ounce Coke on the planet? Costco is the only location where you can get it all.
The world’s best bulk emporium is a fantastic location to stock up on household necessities and find interesting new products at discounts. However, not every visit to this warehouse utopia is enjoyable.
Sometimes we leave the store with a deeper dent in our checkbook than we intended, or we must push our trolleys through crowds of fellow bargain hunters. However, several considerations exist to make your buying experience pleasurable. Here are nine Costco buying blunders you should avoid.
1. Going On The Weekend
This error should be obvious if you’ve ever tried to go to Costco on a Saturday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days at the warehouse, with crowds peaking in the early afternoon. While Costco is continuously refilling, they may run out of basic household items if you shop on the weekend. If possible, try to shop on weekdays.
2. Eating At The Food Court After Check Out
The Costco food court is set up similarly to the gift shops after amusement park rides—you must complete the full process before you can shop. But it doesn’t imply you should wait until the end to eat your pizza. Eating before shopping is a better idea.
This allows you to avoid shopping on an empty stomach, which keeps unneeded food out of your cart and lowers your overall price. Another reason to eat at the food court when you first arrive is that you won’t have to navigate a cart full of products while enjoying your $1.50 hot dog combo.
3. Shopping Without A List
Costco is the best place to stock up on necessities, but it’s also a wonderland for discovering stuff you didn’t know you needed. But, you must plan to keep your eyes on the target and lower your bill.
That isn’t to say you can’t treat yourself to a new item or two, but knowing what you need to buy will help optimize your shopping experience.
4. Buying Produce
You should generally skip the produce area unless you’re planning a large event requiring a pallet full of vegetables. Unfortunately, most homes cannot consume many fruits and vegetables before deteriorating.
So, when you grab the huge container of raspberries, be realistic and ensure you won’t throw out most of them. Certain vegetable items like potatoes give us additional flexibility because they last longer. However, buying fruits and veggies from Costco is generally a bad idea.
5. Not Buying Gift Cards
You may believe that gift cards are only for birthday presents and raffle prizes. However, in Costco, it’s essentially free money. Most of the gift cards sold at Costco are discounted by 20%. That means you can get a $100 gift card for just $79.99.
Costco sells gift cards from large chains, local small businesses, and vacations. So, if you play your cards right (pun intended), you can get Costco-level bargains and discounts without leaving the warehouse.
6. Exclusively Buying Name Brand Products
Popular name brands guarantee dependable quality and can be found at Costco at reasonable rates, but that doesn’t mean you should always choose them. For example, Kirkland Signature, Costco’s private label, frequently obtains products from your favorite manufacturers, including well-known brands.
Reynolds manufactures Kirkland’s aluminum foil, so you’ll get the same quality at a reduced price. Their brand of coffee beans? Those are Starbucks products! You can be brand loyal while enjoying a good deal.
7. Choosing The Wrong Membership
The difference in annual expenses between the basic Gold Star and Executive membership appears to be only $60. However, choosing the lower-cost membership may be a mistake if you’re a Costco regular.
Executive members save 2% on Costco purchases and receive other advantages. So, each year, you’ll receive a voucher with a rebate that you can use to purchase further products. And if you purchase at Costco for your household requirements, you can save a lot of money.
8. Shopping Online
If you don’t want to drive to Costco and deal with the crowds, it’s tempting to just shop on their website. However, in most circumstances, this is a mistake you should avoid. Costco’s online store prices are higher overall due to shipping and handling charges. And you can avoid paying a delivery fee if your shopping basket exceeds a particular amount.
Aside from the higher rates, you’ll also lose out on sales at your local warehouse. Managers can set some things on sale that you can’t acquire for the same price online, depending on what’s in stock and what’s popular near you.
9. Only Shopping At One Location
Even though each Costco warehouse offers the same items, such as excellent baked goods, household basics, and food court snacks, they are not all the same. Individual stores choose their stock based on local demand, warehouse size, and other external variables.
That means that two Costcos may have specific products that others do not. You may visit the warehouse nearest your home, but it is a mistake not to consider all of the other Costco facilities in your area.
Learn more: 7 Reasons You Should Never Drink Coffee Creamer