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At least I can learn from my mistakes.

Main points:

  • Shopping at Costco usually saves me money.
  • Sometimes I’ve missed the mark and wasted money instead.
  • I have vowed to shop more carefully in the future to avoid regretting my 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 weekly.

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 tab for me compared to buying those same items at supermarkets and big box stores, even. when they are sold. And it’s not just food and paper towels I load up on at Costco. I’ve also bought my share of affordable clothing (for me and my kids), kitchen supplies, and even electronics.

That 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. Excessive costs of painkillers

Most of us need to take some ibuprofen from time to time. And as someone who gets her fair share of allergy attacks, sleep-deprivation headaches, and runner’s aches, I’m no stranger to the need to reach back for pain meds. But I might have gone overboard by buying a bulk supply of two ibuprofen and: acetaminophen from costco.

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 old. Meanwhile, I ended up buying roughly 500 doses of pain medication, which is a lot for my husband and I to use together in 15 months. Going forward, we’re probably better off waiting for these drugs to go on sale at our local supermarket or pharmacy and buying the largest bottle available.

2. Taking a chance on crackers

Having kids often means that crackers are a staple in your home, as kids tend to be perpetual snackers. But a while back I tried some delicious whole grain crackers at Costco and decided my kids would love them. They didn’t. And so 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 went down pretty quickly.

3. Buying a bulk tub of acids

Sour cream isn’t something I use often, but occasionally, I’ll bake with it. I once decided to buy a huge tub of Costco sour cream because I had a specific recipe in mind that needed it and thought maybe other uses would come up that month. They didn’t. And so I threw most of it out. It would have been much more financially beneficial to just buy a regular sized container of sour cream that was sold at my local grocery store.

Lessons learned

We all make mistakes, at Costco and in life. But since falling victim to these blunders, I’ve made it a point to shop more carefully at Costco. That means not going overboard on products I don’t use regularly, and not buying snacks in bulk that have yet to be approved by my kids.

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