Like me, many of my clients shop at Costco. I have thought a lot about dollars and sense and Costco trips. On the one hand, they have great deals on things we all need like paper towels and detergents. But they also have lots of things we can live without and they are great at getting us to buy them. I have a two-fold strategy I use and suggest my clients use to keep down the Costco bill.
First, sign up for Google Express for delivery of large, bulky stuff. It can be delivered to your door without extra charges. In addition to the convenience? It keeps you out of the store!
I have noticed how when it rains and I go to Costco, there are great looking umbrellas for sale as soon as I walk in the door. A little nip to the air, and sure enough - a great deal on Patagonia jackets just past the membership-card checker lady! Costco is great at what I call "need discovery enabling."
You go in the store, and the next thing you know, you realize there are all these things you needed that you didn't even know about! The umbrella, the jacket, the camping supplies. The enormous bag of organic veggie chips. Enough to throw a raging party for a bunch of vegans! Do yourself a favor and spend less time at Costco by signing up for Google Express.
A further strategy is to only shop off a list when you are there. If you see something you want, write it on the list for next time. You may find you don't really want it when you think about what else you could do with your money.
Lastly, they have a great return policy. Don't be shy about taking things back when buyer's remorse kicks in. You don't want to be back in my office, needing to file bankruptcy again.
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