Make Money From Home

Following This Rule Has Helped Me Save Money at Costco – The Motley Fool

Image source: Getty Images

You may want to follow it, too.


Image source: Getty Images

You may want to follow it, too.

Key points

  • Costco offers a host of items at competitive prices.
  • It can be tempting to overspend at Costco, so I’ve since implemented a system for preventing that.

You’ll often hear stories about those people who walk into Costco looking for eggs and milk, only to come out with a cart full of random items and a whopping credit card tab. Okay, full disclosure — I’m one of those people. Or at least I used to be.

There’s just something about Costco that often drives me to make impulse purchases — something I try to steer clear of because they mess with my household budget. Maybe it’s my frugal tendencies combined with my love of snacks. Why limit myself to a small, $2 bag of smoky chipotle potato chips with four servings when I can buy a Costco-sized bag for a mere $6 and enjoy 24 servings or more?

But it’s not just food items that have caused me to bust my budget at Costco. I’ve also been known to purchase random items on the fly (from clothing to kitchen tools to an inflatable kayak) due to them being available at a really competitive price. 

Over the past year, however, I’ve tried to be more careful with budgeting. Not only have my expenses risen like everyone else’s due to inflation, but I’ve also encountered a number of costly home repairs that really ate into my savings. And so now, I’m more motivated to not overspend at Costco. And this one tactic has made a world of a difference in that regard. 

Stick to a list, but with a specific amount of wiggle room

You’ll often hear that shopping with a grocery list makes you more likely to stay within budget and less likely to go overboard. And since I started making Costco lists (as opposed to simply roaming the aisles and grabbing items I deem necessary or useful), my spending has decreased. 

That said, it’s unrealistic to think I’ll never stray from my list and indulge in a limited-time Costco offer. And so while I make myself stick to a list, I also allow myself one non-list item a week up to $20. 

Most of the time, that item is food. Occasionally, I’ll grab a cozy winter item with my favorite sports team’s logo on it. Why spend $40 on an “official” hat when Costco has a …….


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