3 Reasons I Quit Shopping at Costco

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KEY POINTS

  • Shopping at Costco has its pros and cons.
  • I didn't like how long each trip to Costco took.
  • It also wasn't saving money for me compared to shopping at local grocery stores.

Costco just doesn't live up to the hype for me.

Costco gets a lot of praise for its extensive product selection and competitive prices. Based on all the positive reviews and good word of mouth, I went to Costco quite a bit when I was younger. I always had one within a 15-minute drive, so I figured I'd take advantage and do my grocery shopping there.

I eventually realized that despite Costco's reputation, it just wasn't a fit for me. If you're debating whether you should join Costco, it helps to know about the good and the bad before handing over a yearly membership fee. Here's why I wasn't a fan.

1. Shopping at Costco takes way too long

I'm the type of person who likes to get in and out when buying groceries. Warehouse stores like Costco make that nearly impossible.

For one thing, there's the size. Costco parking lots are enormous, and because the store tends to be busy, you either need to try your luck at finding a space nearby or park way in the back. The store itself is equally massive. And since Costco stocks so many products, getting groceries normally involves navigating through the TVs, appliances, clothes, and everything else at the front of the store.

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On the subject of navigating the store, that's no picnic, either. It's often crowded, and if you're not partaking in the free samples, they become the bane of your existence as you try to get around the people waiting for them.

Last but not least, there's the checkout process. Because of the crowds, and the fact that people come to Costco to buy in bulk, this can take awhile. Then, as you leave, you need to wait for the receipt check. I understand why Costco checks your receipt, but to be honest, I always find it annoying when stores make you wait like this.

2. I wasn't saving money

Costco is popular in large part because of its prices. Now, this might seem like blasphemy to Costco enthusiasts, but I didn't find myself saving money there. Sure, it beats the expensive grocery stores, like Whole Foods. But compared to affordable grocery stores and local markets, prices were similar on many items, so I wasn't left with any more money in my bank accounts.

To be fair, Costco has plenty of great deals. Not all its products are cheaper than the competition, though, and there are even some things that are overpriced at Costco. On most of the staples I was buying, like meat, fruit, and vegetables, it didn't make a difference whether I went to Costco or Ralphs.

The other issue with going to Costco to save money is that it's very easy to buy more than you originally planned. Sometimes stores like Costco make us overspend. There's lots of products to see, and when everything looks like a deal, some shoppers fill their carts from fear of missing out. When you're buying more than you normally would, even if prices are lower, you still end up spending more money.

3. I was only shopping for myself

When I went to Costco, I lived alone, and I was shopping for myself. That meant some of Costco's best food deals weren't an option for me, because the sizes were way too large. Especially with perishable items, buying in bulk just doesn't work well for one person.

I can certainly see the appeal of Costco for families. If you're confident you'll be able to use everything, then buying in bulk at Costco is a smart way to save money. But for single shoppers and couples without kids, shopping at this warehouse store is more hit or miss.

I've got nothing against Costco. It's a great option for some shoppers, and it has its standout products you can't get anywhere else (I still miss those poppyseed muffins). However, if you're not big on buying in bulk, you're happy with your local stores, or you don't like to spend too much time grocery shopping, Costco may not be the best fit for you.

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