Jess and I had an outing to Costco today. Let me just start by saying that warehouse shopping is not always the cheapest price, but we have a shopping plan in place so we don’t spend over our budget. Aside from that, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that I will share with you. Stop bleeding money you don’t have and see if this works for you!
I learned this awesome shopping trick from an old friend I miss dearly. She had been financially “well off” at one time, and learned it was not what it was cracked up to be. Today she supports herself doing house cleaning and small repairs. This woman is the only female MacGyver I know of, and can run circles around all the men I know… screwdriver in hand. So I figured she may know a little something about living on a budget, and I listened. IT WORKS. And now I am going to share this shopping technique with you!
Stop spending money you just don’t have! And if you do have the money to blow ( I have a charity for you… wink wink), blow it on something awesome and worthwhile. Such as teaching others how you became successful, and then mentoring them to their own success. Living minimally really brings life into focus. Things break, get lost or stolen, lose value, are lost during financial crisis’… etc. They don’t stay with us forever, but an experience does. An experience lasts a lifetime.
Let’s Have Fun Shopping!
Ok, this may seem a bit different from what you are use to. You are actually going to SHOP. We started at the front entrance of Costco, and went up and down each isle, adding to our cart without reserve. New bike helmet, in the cart. New vacuum (though I have three), in the cart. Literally go through the store and enjoy looking at products, discussing them, and then just throw them in your cart.
In this beginning process, don’t worry about “how much it costs”, or “if you really should”. You just add it to your cart. I find this process to be super fulfilling, and feels just like shopping, because, well, you are. But there’s a trick involved and tricks involve slight of hand.,~smile~,and smoke and mirrors. I think you get what I am saying.
Go through the entire store doing this simple process: look the item over, hold it in your hands, and do what you normally do when shopping.- Word of caution- If you are the type of person to put every single thing in your cart, you will need several carts…this is Costco after all. However, use caution using multiple carts. Try to get away with the least amount possible. Instead of filling cart after cart, be selective to a degree. Put the things you want in the cart, then what you need. You may need to remove items to make room for others. It is fun to decide on one or the other. However, if you just want to shop till you drop using this method, by all means, go for it. Definitely finish reading this post before you run out the door though, a bit more is involved, and once you know exactly what we are having you do, you may not want three carts.- wink wink-
Here is an example of our cart.
We were actually throwing anything we wanted in the cart, I am happy to say that “wants” were low on this trip, it isn’t always like that. Hahaha. After going up and down each and every isle, we noticed that hunger was playing a role into our choices and decided on a lunch date. I got an awesome Vegan salad (yep, Costco is moving up), a drink, a berry sundae, a turkey sandwich, and a water for the both of us. The salad and the sandwich were 3$ each, the drink was under 1$, Berry Sundae is under 2$, and the water was a quarter. We ate lunch for 10$… you can’t beat that for a meal I don’t have to make myself, or clean up after!
The little cafeteria area was busy, and well, with a cart full of stuff, you either leave your cart somewhere you can eyeball it from the eating area, or you can do what we did… take advantage of the outdoor furniture display.
How To Choose What You NEED
I hope you “shopped” to your hearts content, and enjoyed that endorphin release that goes along with it. However, by this point, the excitement of shopping is coming to an end, and you are now feeling more fatigue. These symptoms combined create the perfect time to start making decisions about the items in your cart, and the excitement factor has come to a close. I like to go to a quiet area with a second cart, and I suggest you do the same. Then, one by one, I take each item in my hands and ask: Do I need this now? Will this make life easier, or is it a fun purchase? Do I already own another variation of this item? Can I live without this? Will this impact my life more so than the money in my pocket? Can I turn this into a DIY project? Can I find this less expensive on Amazon?
Make your own list of questions that matter to you, and do the same with each item. Take each into your hands and really feel it.It is in this moment when I realize that I don’t really need a third vacuum, but my computer backpack is a keeper because I keep my laptop in the box it came in, not to mention the same item sells on Amazon for over 100$, and I am getting it for 30$. ( A great item for “retail arbitrage”?) Now that’s a purchase I can justify.
You should notice that the excitement you had for those whitening strips has diminished, and that is exactly the point we were working towards. Start removing those items you decide against until your cart looks manageable and full of those things you could really use. As this part of the shopping trip comes to a close, note the cost of the items you decided against, and see how much money you saved by using this system.
For us, our bill went from nearly 500$ dollars down to 210$… a 290$ difference!
What Not To Do When Using This not-shopping technique
Please do not throw everything you see into shopping carts. Show a little self-control, and if that is not possible, then this technique isn’t for you.
Please do NOT leave shopping carts full of items for the employees to put away. If you are going to play this game, play it right and be respectful. Put everything back from where you got it. Knowing you have to do this helps keep your spending under control simply because you have to go put it back if you decide not to purchase it.
Don’t let this be the only tool in your money saving arsenal. Be sure to have several fail-safes in place to ensure you do not overspend when out shopping.
I hope you enjoyed your “not-shopping” shopping trip, that it worked, and that you saved money! Please share your shopping trip with us… if you added or changed anything that worked (or failed humorously), we want to hear it. Please Contact Us and share your story.