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7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

I had a friend ask me about shopping at wholesale clubs like Costco. She’s a pro at meal planning and finding deals, but she had concerns that shopping at Costco would make her spend more and throw off her budget.

Well, she’s partly right. When you start shopping at wholesale clubs, you might need to give your budget some wiggle room to adjust. I’ve been shopping at Costco for six years now, and let me tell you, I’m constantly learning new things, discovering new items to try, and tweaking my budget and meal plans.

I used just to grab a jar of spaghetti sauce, but I have to pick up three at Costco! Shopping at Costco requires a little change in mindset regarding your pantry and how you plan your meals.

During our conversation, I couldn’t help but emphasize why I love shopping at wholesale clubs. The key to saving money is meal planning, hunting for deals, and knowing what to buy (and what NOT to buy) at Costco.

I’ve been a bargain hunter for years, and through my experience, I can pretty much tell you when an item is a good value. So, here’s my recommendation for some items you might want to skip at Costco.

So, grab your shopping list, and let’s dive into seven things to not buy at Costco.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

1. Perishable Bulk Goods: More Than You Can Chew?

You know, sometimes the promise of a great deal can really cloud my judgment. I mean, picture this: a whopping two-pound tub of hummus. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love hummus.

But let’s be real here: unless I plan on hosting a weekly hummus-tasting extravaganza, that creamy chickpea dip might just turn into a sad, grey paste that no one wants to eat.

You really have to know what your family will like and eat up.

Keep an eye out for the staple perishables with a longer shelf life, like apples or carrots, but be pragmatic about your hummus habit.

Tips for what to buy: Here are a few alternatives to grab instead of hummus. Peanut butter. This is a great bulk purchase and lasts longer. I’ve also found that those little squeezable guacamole packs can last longer.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not whip up some homemade pesto? It freezes beautifully, allowing you to thaw and relish in the basil goodness on your own terms. Plus, it’ll give you some serious culinary bragging rights at the next potluck.

things to not buy at costco

2. Supplements: The Cost of Bulk Health

Let’s wade into the deep end of the wellness pool. Costco’s shelves are full of supplements: towers of omega-3s, valleys of vitamins, and the grand citadel of—gulp—miracle pills promising the secrets of eternal life (disclaimer: I may exaggerate, but you get the idea).

In a world where quality is a mere suggestion and regulations are more like guidelines, it’s not a stretch to imagine you might be swallowing nothing more than the hope that this supplement will change your life this time. This stuff can get pricey and fast.

I speak from my wallet and bones, saying, do your homework. There’s no substitute for proper research, especially concerning your health.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

3. Specialty Appliances: More Countertop, Less Coping

Costco’s not just about gallons of mayo and huge bottles of beans – walk down the right aisle, and you’ll stumble upon an array of appliances you never knew you needed. Latte maker with a built-in frother? Check. A toaster oven that promises to do it all? Why not?

Specialty appliances can tempt even the most iron-willed bargain hunter. I mean, for the price, how could you not want to add it to the collection?

But the problem arises when buying every new appliance at Costco becomes a thing, and your bank account suffers. You have to stop and ask yourself, do you really need it?

These specialty gadgets often end up as high-ticket clutter in the kitchen, used just once at a dinner party to prove a pointer to convince yourself this will be the item that gets your family to eat their entire dinner.

Stick to the essentials, and invest in quality over novelty. Your wallet and your chores list will thank you.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

4. Impulsive Electronics Purchases: The Quick Click of Consumerism

Electronics are the shining beacons of modern consumer desires. Costco’s tech deals are the siren song to any savvy spender. A 65-inch UHD LED TV!? Or maybe the latest and greatest in a camera, grilling, or campfires?

Did you need a TV that covers an entire wall, a camera fit for National Geographic, or a fire pit that you used one time.

Impulsive electronic purchases can sink your budget faster than you can say “unboxing.” What’s worse is that by the time you’ve busted out that vintage turntable you bought because “it looks cool in the living room,” the industry’s making records out of cloud and could have saved you the square footage.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

5. Overstocked Cleaning Supplies: A Dusty Deal

The allure of bulk cleaning supplies can be powerful. The satisfaction of clutching six gallons of bleach is palpable as the cart glides down the warehouse aisles. The floors will shine, the whites will blind, and the dust mites will run for the hills.

Except, how much bleach-dousing does one household truly require? The truth is, cleaning supplies are only as good as their expiration date, and unless you’re actively avoiding the floors you over-bleach, the danger of that bulk pack becomes a stale, expensive hazard.

It’s all about balance. Grab that 25-pound bag of borax if you’re hosting a “cleaning supplies of the world” collection, but a bit of restraint can go a long way for the everyday slob in all of us.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

6. Non-Essential Home Decor: The Price of Prettiness

Costco’s home decor section is a bit like walking into a Hollywood set – everything’s polished to a mirror shine, the lighting is impeccable, and you simply can’t imagine what it would look like in your daily life.

But as tempting as that king-size ikat-patterned chaise lounge is, consider the trinity of home decor: space, taste, and need. Do you have the space for it? Does it fit with your taste (honestly)? And most importantly, do you really need it?

The lighthouse made entirely of soapstone might speak to you on a spiritual level, but it won’t pay the utility bills. Keep your decor purchases practical and purposeful.

The quiet dignity of a well-crafted lamp may not have the magnetic pull of the soapstone sentinel, but it’s the kind of purchase that brightens your home without dimming your bank account.

7 Surprising Items That Can Spiral Your Costco Bill (And Your Life)

7. Razors: The Sharp and Costly Edge

Finally, we come to the razors.

Costco’s razor aisle is a battleground of what’s really a good deal. The packaging is a bit deceptive.

You may think you are getting a good deal, BUT razors and toothpaste go hand in hand in the deal savers world. You can get razors for free or super cheap, and yes even the name brand ones.

The Dollar Tree has a new razor that people are loving on Tiktok. Not everything is a great buy just because it’s in bulk.

Superstore prices often come with a superstore skew. When it comes to razors, be strategic. Grab out that phone and find the best razor deals for the week instead.

Costco is a jungle where the strong-willed shopper can feast on deals, but it takes more than just muscle to navigate the aisles. It takes mind and heart – an understanding of what you truly need and the resolve to stick to it.

These seven items are just the beginning of your cost-curbing journey. Frugality is a lifestyle, not a list, and the rewards of conscious shopping go beyond dollar signs.

So take this knowledge, brave shopper, and save your money and sanity in the expansive temples of consumption.

Before you tip the scales at the checkout, remember this: a good deal is only as good as the use you get out of it.

Happy shopping, and may your carts be full of value, not vanity.

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Wednesday 29th of May 2024

Yes, you really do have to be careful and mindful. I can be easily struck by the latest of kitchen gadgets or a clearance price on whatever. I have been trying very hard not to do this lately as, I now have all this STUFF that I have to go through for a large yard sale and I’m sure lose a bit of money. When I look at my accumulation of stuff, it makes me sad to see how much money I have wasted and am now looking toget my house back in order. Thank you for your post, I did know all of it but just recently have come to terms that most of it has to go to have the home and savings I’d like.

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