Which Side Are You On in This Reddit Costco Controversy?

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  • Reddit users regularly share tips and tricks for making the most of a Costco membership.
  • Some users recently weighed in with advice on whether you should eat before you shop.
  • There are conflicting opinions and good arguments on both sides.

You need to answer this question before your next Costco trip.

Costco is a popular members-only warehouse club with a devoted fan base. In fact, many Costco shoppers on Reddit regularly share tips and advice for making the most of your membership, scoring good deals, and stocking up on the best products the store has on offer.

In one recent Reddit thread, however, conflicting advice was given on one important issue. And, unlike many arguments on the internet, there's merit to both positions taken.

Who is right about this Costco shopping strategy?

When providing advice on the best things to buy at Costco, one Redditor offered a valuable tip on how to avoid overspending.

"Go full stomach," the user called amitshenoy wrote. "If you go hungry you will end up buying [ a ] lot of unnecessary frozen stuff and snacks." Several others chimed in supporting this position, with a subsequent poster commenting they "went after only eating some pizza rolls and toast today and had such a hard time not picking up every snack I saw."

Not shopping when hungry is extremely common advice given by many financial experts for those who want to stick to a grocery budget. After all, stores strategically set out snack items and treats with the hope of encouraging impulse buys -- and if you're already hungry, you're a lot less likely to have the willpower to resist this targeted marketing.

However, not all Reddit users agreed this was the right way to handle Costco shopping trips. In fact, another user, Melodiouss, chimed in "I like to go hungry and eat snacks!"

This opposing opinion could also be justified, as Costco often offers free samples throughout the store as well as a bargain hot dog and soda deal that allows you to get a whole meal for just $1.50.

If you don't eat before you go, you can get a meal at a low cost or even for free by stocking up on samples -- and that could be a better money-saving approach than eating first just to avoid impulse buys.

Which strategy is right for you?

Choosing sides on this controversial issue can be tough for Costco members. After all, no one wants to pass up the chance to taste great new products that might be available at the sample table -- but spending a ton of extra cash on unnecessary food items also isn't ideal.

Ultimately, you'll want to think about whether you have the power to stick to your list and not charge a bunch of unnecessary items on your credit cards if you go to Costco with an empty stomach to take advantage of free or bargain-priced meals. If you have a shopping list and a set budget in place and you know you won't overspend, there's nothing wrong with going hungry.

If you aren't sure you're strong enough not to blow your grocery budget, though, you could always follow the advice of a different Reddit user that will allow you to both enjoy the warehouse club's tasty treats and avoid coming home with more food than you can ever eat.

That advice: "Food court THEN shop," might just be the perfect solution to this Costco conflict.

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