This 1 Costco Perk Could Help You Avoid Food Waste


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As a parent of three young children, stocking my fridge and pantry on a budget can be difficult. This is where Costco tends to come to my rescue.

I’ve been a Costco member since before I had kids, but over the past few years I’ve really managed to get the most out of my membership. Thanks to Costco, I can buy a lot of dairy products and produce in bulk. In the last few months in particular, this has led to a reduction in the credit card tab on the grocery store front. And one specific Costco perk has definitely helped my family waste less money by eliminating the extent to which we buy food we don’t eat.

When you can try before you buy

Talk to anyone who regularly visits Costco and you’ll likely hear that taking advantage of free samples is one of the best parts of shopping there. But these free samples aren’t just fun, they can also save you money. Or at least that’s the experience I’ve had.

You see, my kids are what you might call picky eaters. My son doesn’t eat bread or anything related to it, which means pancakes, waffles and such aren’t on the table. One of my daughters, on the other hand, is extremely picky with dairy and cheese. And my other daughter – well, let’s just say that most nights she eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, for want of trying anything else that I cook.

Because my kids are so picky, I’ve often found myself in the situation of trying my luck with a new food only to end up throwing it away when they decide they hate it. But shopping at Costco makes that less likely. This is because my local Costco tends to be very generous with the amount of products they let customers sample. And so what I’m going to do is make sure my kids get a taste of any given product, whether it’s a snack or a side dish, before I commit to a bulk supply. That way, if I get their approval, chances are I won’t end up throwing this article away.

Now, to be fair, it’s not a perfect system. Children can change their minds overnight when it comes to particular food items. Example: I recently stocked up on specific granola bars because my daughter said they were the best she had ever tasted. The following week, she declared them disgusting. So, how are you.

But for the most part, tasting food before I buy it saves me money by limiting waste. And there are few stores that make it as easy as Costco.

What can a Costco membership do for you?

The free sample trial is really just one of the many benefits of joining Costco. If you have a family to support, it’s worth seeing if membership pays off. To be clear, this won’t always be the case, but it’s worth seeing if a subscription is worth it, especially if your kids are fussy like mine.

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We are firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are our own and have not been previously reviewed, approved or endorsed by the advertisers included. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. The editorial content of The Ascent is separate from the editorial content of The Motley Fool and is created by a different team of analysts. Maurie Backman has no position in the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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