The last tip, rule, or shall we say warning I’d like to issue when it comes to Costco survival, is this: Have a good financial plan and check-out strategies. That’s a formal way of saying Know how you’re going to pay. I joked in my first post that in anticipation of shopping at Costco, I’d collected enough cash to stuff a mattress. That wasn’t true—it was just close to true. Again I’ve learned the hard way to be prepared to pay far more money than I’m anticipating paying. Costco does not take many kinds of credit cards. In fact, it only takes one.  I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten to the front of the store, my basket loaded to the ceiling, only to get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I remember that.

Now I have nothing against American express, but I haven’t applied for one out of principle. I’m stubborn that way. Luckily, Costco does take checks. It can be very uncomfortable, however, to take this prehistoric route when there are ten or so customers behind me with carts loaded as high as mine. I might as well be getting out parchment and a stylus the way they roll their eyes and jerk their heads as they whisper about being in the wrong lane. Yet, sometimes there is no other choice. Here’s an example of what can happen at Costco:

A few weeks ago,  I went to Costco for the express purpose of getting a new blender. I make a lot of smoothies and I’d been wanting a really good blender for quite a while. I really liked my daughter’s blender and she’d told me Costco had the best price. I never asked what that price was and I had no idea that a good blender can cost about as much as a town home. When the salesman who demonstrated this blender type told me the cost, I snickered a little.

“How about a demonstration?” he asked.

Hey, I was there anyway. Well, that demonstration ended with a sample of peach ice cream. Oh there were some other factors that convinced me to go ahead and get the blender such as the fact that it could practically turn rocks into flour 2. It didn’t take much to clean it and you didn’t need to be a civil engineer to put it back together, and 3. I’d get an instant $50 rebate right there on the spot. Anyway, I told myself, this blender would last me the rest of my life here on earth and considering my age, could be handed down to the next generation. I decided on a red one  and put it in my cart.

While I’m here I might as well get some of the other stuff I always get here, I thought then, pulling out my basic Costco list. My youngest daughter had asked me to pick up a particular brand of granola bars and I got those, then grabbed some almonds for my mother and cashews for my husband—in jars the size of wheat silos, of course. At check-out, guess what? My membership was overdue. By the time everything was added together, I could have bought my own little grocery store, fully stocked. Obviously, I hadn’t brought that much cash with me. It was stylus time again.

By the way, Costco puts checks through on the spot.



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