3 Times I’ve Wasted Money At Costco And Why I Won’t Make That Mistake Again

A woman loading a car with groceries looks closely at her receipt.

Image source: Getty Images

At least I can learn from my mistakes.


Key points

  • Shopping at Costco usually saves me money.
  • Sometimes, I have missed the mark and lost the money instead.
  • I have vowed to shop more carefully in the future to avoid regretting Costco purchases.

Some people sign up for a Costco membership and use it several times a year. But shopping at Costco is something my family does on a weekly basis.

I’ve done my share of comparison shopping, and there’s no question about it: Buying groceries and household essentials at Costco results in a much lower credit card bill for me compared to buying those same items at supermarkets and big box stores. stores, even when they are for sale. And it’s not just food and paper towels I’m carrying at Costco. I also bought my share of affordable clothing (for myself and my kids), kitchen supplies, and even electronics.

That being said, my personal Costco record isn’t exactly spotless. There are certain Costco purchases I’ve made in the past that ended up being a waste of money. Here are three I’m not proud of.

1. Spending too much on painkillers

Many of us need to take ibuprofen from time to time. And as someone who has her share of allergy attacks, sleep-deprived headaches, and runner’s pains, I’m no stranger to the need to turn to pain-relieving medications. But I may have overindulged in buying a bulk supply of ibuprofen. Y Costco acetaminophen.

These pills, as you can imagine, come with an expiration date. And to be fair, when I bought them, that date was over a year ago. At the same time, I ended up buying approximately 500 doses of pain relievers, which is a lot for my husband and I together over the course of 15 months. In the future, it’s probably best to wait until these drugs are on sale at your local supermarket or pharmacy and buy the largest bottle available.

2. Take a chance on crackers

Having kids often means things like crackers are a staple in your household, since kids tend to be perpetual snackers. But a while back, I tried some tasty whole grain crackers at Costco and decided my kids would love them. they didn’t. And I basically ended up throwing away half the package because I was the only one eating them, and once the package was opened, the freshness factor deteriorated pretty quickly.

3. Buy a big tub of sour cream

Sour cream is not something I use often, but from time to time, I use it in baking. I once decided to buy a huge tub of Costco sour cream because I had a specific recipe in mind that I needed it for and thought maybe other uses would pop up that month. They didn’t. So I threw out most of it. It would have been much more financially beneficial to buy a regular size container of sour cream on sale at my local grocery store.

Learned lessons

We all make mistakes, at Costco and in life. But since I fell victim to these mistakes, I made it a point to shop at Costco more carefully. That means not going overboard with items I don’t use regularly and not buying snacks in bulk that haven’t gotten my kids’ stamp of approval yet.

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