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September 29, 2009


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My problem with places like COSTCO is that the prices are great, but every time I go I end up spending like $300 on things that I usually do use, but in the end don't *really* need. And those items don't replace the need to go to my regular grocery store on top of the trip to COSTCO. My boyfriend's COSTCO membership expired, and we haven't been since (6 months or so) and we're surviving just fine. I do miss COSTCO, but in the end, we ended up spending a lot more on groceries/toiletries/etc. each month when we shopped there... which is not ok for people who are trying to get out of debt. Just my 2 cents.

Your problem is nothing whatsoever to do with Costco. You just need to learn how to live within your means. Living within your means is where financial success and security begins. If you never learn this lesson you are doomed to a life of being in debt.

For one thing, you won't find a better deal anywhere for gasoline than Costco. They always have the lowest price in the area surrounding each store and on top of that if you use the Costco/Amex card you save an additional 3% in cash rewards. The same card also saves you 3% in restaurants.

It's all about having discipline, something that the "Want All" generation seems to lack.

My problem with Costco is the $50 membership fee. I never feel like I will recoup that in savings since I have a small household. $25 or $30 would be more managable. Plus the Costco by me is always super crowded and it doesn't have a gas station, so no savings there. We've considered joining a couple times when we were in the market for a big-ticket item, but still haven't been convinced it's worth it.

It all really comes down to knowing what is best to buy at a warehouse club and what is not. Things that you know that you will be able to use before they spoil/are wasted should almost always be purchased in bulk at the warehouse club with the exception being the buy one get one free specials that one can take advantage of at regular grocery stores (since most warehouse clubs will have significant savings but not more than the 50% that you can save with the buy one get one free offers).

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