Home Personal Finance Dave Ramsey Admits to Making This Common Costco Shopping Mistake. Are You Making It, Too?

Dave Ramsey Admits to Making This Common Costco Shopping Mistake. Are You Making It, Too?

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A person shopping in the freezer aisle with a cart full of groceries.

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Don’t go to Costco again without reading this.

Key points

  • Costco offers great deals on many products.
  • You can save money, but not if you make the common shopping mistake of overbuying.
  • This Costco error is so common, even finance expert Dave Ramsey has made the mistake.

Costco is well-known for offering high-quality Kirkland products, as well as for providing both store-brand and name-brand items at a great price. That’s why the store has so many devoted fans.

But if you’re looking to keep more money in your bank account by shopping for items at Costco, it’s important not to make a big error that many fall victim to at warehouse clubs. This mistake is so common, and so easy to make, that even finance expert Dave Ramsey has admitted it’s happened to him.

This Costco trap has even caused Dave Ramsey to overspend

Ramsey is known for being a major advocate of budgeting and being careful about what you spend money on. That’s why it may come as a surprise to find he’s made a Costco mistake that leads to wasted money.

“To this day, if I’m not careful, I’m still bad about buying things I don’t need — or too much of the things I do need — in warehouse clubs,” Ramsey said. The finance guru explained that, despite what you might think, he’s a “spender by nature,” and warehouse clubs tend to bring that tendency out in him.

There are good reasons why Costco (and other warehouse stores) tend to have this effect.

For one thing, as Ramsey explains, many items in these stores come across as bargains. If you feel like you’re getting a “deal” on something, you may be really tempted to buy it — even if it isn’t actually something you really need. Unfortunately, spending any money on an item that wasn’t really necessary isn’t actually a bargain since you’re out the cash for something you wouldn’t have ordinarily purchased.

Another issue is that Costco often sells items in large quantities. While you pay a reduced price compared to buying smaller versions of the item, this only saves you money if you actually use everything up before it goes bad. If you paid more to buy a larger amount of something and ended up tossing a portion of it in the trash because it spoiled, you actually wasted money rather than saving it.

How to avoid falling victim to this Costco mistake

If you find yourself falling into the same trap Ramsey admitted to falling victim to, there are ways you can fix this problem so your Costco membership actually helps your finances instead of hurting them.

Shopping with a list is one of the best things you can do. If you don’t deviate from your pre-planned purchases, you won’t end up making impulse buys you regret just because something catches your eye on the Costco shelves.

You should also keep track of your consumption before you buy in bulk. If you notice you go through four containers of cereal in a six-month period, for example, don’t buy a 12-pack of the cereal that expires in half-a-year or you’ll end up throwing out half that amount.

By making sure you only purchase what you really need, you can avoid wasting money on your Costco shopping trips — and making the mistake Dave Ramsey is guilty of making.

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