MONEY ADVICE: 10 Reasons Not to Shop at a Warehouse Club Store … by Penny Crumpton

Cost Plus Mattress
Like many warehouse clubs, Costco offers a lot of great deals, but too many great deals can lead to waste and over-spending.
Like many warehouse clubs, Costco offers a lot of great deals, but too many great deals can cause the consumer to over-spend and over-indulge.

For some, shopping at warehouse clubs has become a status symbol. But to me, it’s better and more rewarding to frequent your local grocer or farmer’s market or neighborhood merchant. Here’s why:

  1. You pay them to shop. $50, $75, $100. Right from the get-go you’re in the hole.
  2. You need a big vehicle to haul everything away. How much are you eating, anyway?
  3. Whatever you buy, you end up eating or wasting. Sure, you can buy a 72-unit box of Snickers at, let’s say, 32 cents per candy bar versus a buck at the checkout counter at your local grocery store, but what are you going to look and feel like after eating 72 Snickers bars?
  4. Okay, you didn’t eat all 72 Snickers in a week. The ones you didn’t eat that first week got stale and then you ate them. Bravo!
  5. You invariably buy crap, okay, impulse items, you don’t need!
  6. You eat your way through all the sample stations, of which about 1 in 10 might be considered healthy.
  7. The Club peddles a lot of second-rate gear that was so last year. Because it’s dated, you get a discount! Whoopee!
  8. If expiration rates on everything from tires to lettuce don’t mean anything to you, join the Club.
  9. Foodstuffs and perishables also have a way of attracting nasty pests. Don’t ask me exactly where they come from, but if you keep something long enough in your pantry or home refrigerator, because you never got around to using it, you’ll start to notice that creepy, crawling and flying things seem to love the same stuff you love.
  10. Frozen is never good as fresh! I don’t care how big or deep your freezer is.
  11. The deals aren’t that good! If you shop around and use coupons wisely and strategically, you should be able to price match. Local grocers have become more competitive, too, the way Best Buy has done a better job of price-matching Amazon.
  12. The Clubs have your right where they want you – in their stores where they are merchandising masters. They also have your trust, meaning that you automatically believe their prices have already been shaved to the bone. As a result, you let your guard down when in fact that television or basket of blueberries might be cheaper somewhere else.

That’s a dozen reasons, when I said I would give you only 10. I’m guilty of excess, too. Next time, I vow to do a better because when I trim the fat and excess out of my life, I just feel healthier, richer and better about things.