Wise Warehouse Shopping

0719-costco_full_600I’m guilty of it, and I know you are too.

You’re going shopping at your local warehouse club and plan your shopping list to the minute detail.

However, you march out with your cart overflowing, with items that most certainly were not on your list- but they seemed like such a great deal, it would ultimately cost you more to leave things on the shelf, right?


Is Paying a Membership Worth it?

To start out, you need to do a little math to determine if it is worth it to shell out bucks for a membership to shop somewhere.

You also need to have an idea of what your general grocery needs are, as well as what items usually cost at a regular, non-membership, non-warehouse store.

Truthfully, warehouse stores offer much cheaper prices on day-to-day items, as well as one-time (or occasional) purchases, like electronics, appliances, glasses and furniture.

You have to commit to using it over time, or it’s not worth it. Bottom line.

Waste Not, Want Not

The greatest threat to your budget at a warehouse club is not at the cash register, believe it or not. It is in the garbage can and recycling at home.

If you are going to buy several litres of maple syrup, or chicken legs by the dozen or many, many cookies that have an expiry date, make sure you have an immediate use in mind, or make sure you have appropriate storage

If you don’t need it, it’s not a Deal

Seems basic, but you can’t spend anticipatorily as a general practice.

There are exceptions. Say, you are cruising your Costco this week, and they have backpacks on sale for super cheap, but you didn’t plan to back-to-school shopping for another two weeks, taking advantage of a unplanned deal now is a frugal move- because you are going to spend that money for sure, because that item is a need.

Seeing a cool Santa snow-globe, which might be fun to have in December, or getting lured in by a rack of nifty looking new fall jackets (side note, join me in my quest to no longer buy my clothes where I buy my groceries) is not saving you any money at all, and is a direct contributor to price register shock.

Samples are for Snacking

Free samples are to compel you to buy. Snack, savour and bank mentally for later, if you think it might get consumed in your house. Your taste buds don’t get to drive your shopping cart.