Costco is by far my favorite place to shop, as most readers of this blog have already figured out. I can buy most of my food, meat and produce, canned goods, and all the little things that make life easier. Even the computer I’m using right now, I got from Costco. It was a hell of a deal, too, but more on that later.
To be able to really save money at Costco, you have to be able to follow these four simple rules, which I will admit is easier said than done! Remember that consistency is key; your Costco membership costs you at most $10 a month. You can save that much in a single, small order, if you shop smart!
One. Have a Budget and a List. Going into Costco without a clear idea of what you want to spend is a recipe for disaster. Costco is very, very good at presenting you with products you didn’t know you needed, but now can not live without, Make a clear budget, and stick to it like glue. Avoid temptation.
Two. Buy What’s on Special. There are a lot of specials at Costco, and taking advantage of them can really help you save big. There are, of course, the specials advertised by the flyer they give out at the door, but that’s not all. When you go through the aisles, you will notice a LOT more specials that the flyer holds. Take full advantage. To really save money in the long term, you need to buy the specials, and follow the next rule just as carefully.
Three. Buy in Bulk. I know, I know. Everything at Costco is in bulk. That’s not my point. When the huge boxes of Cheerios are on special, buy three. When the laundry detergent is on special, buy a whole bunch. The initial cost of these orders will be more, but if you manage to follow the next rule, you’ll end up saving a LOT of money over the year.
Four. Don’t Buy Impulsively. I know that at Costco, this is the toughest rule to follow. The reason why they move products around all the time is to make you look for what you habitually buy, so that you’ll discover more stuff on the way. Don’t fall for it. IT’S REALLY DIFFICULT.
If you manage to consistently follow these rules, you’ll make the most of your Costco membership, and you’ll save a ton of money of products you need and use every day. For it to work, you have to follow all four. If you skip one – any one – you’ll still be ahead compared to what you would have spent at the grocery store (*** shudder ***) but you won’t be saving nearly as much as you could have.