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3 Costco Mistakes New Parents Might Make

Parents smiling at infant.

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You may be thinking of joining Costco after having a baby. Or maybe you've been a member for years, but you're now planning to visit Costco more often given the many supplies you're going to need on an ongoing basis, like diapers, wipes, and formula.

Costco can be a great resource for new parents. But at a time when your life has likely gotten a lot more expensive, it's important to make the most of its offerings. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as a new parent with a Costco membership.

1. Writing off Kirkland diapers

As a new parent, it's natural to want the best for your baby — and that might extend to name-brand diapers. But one thing you should realize is that Costco's signature brand, Kirkland, makes its fair share of high-quality products. And unless your baby has known allergies, it pays to give Kirkland diapers a try.

Right now, a pack of 192 size 1 Kirkland diapers costs $34.99 online (prices may be cheaper at your local warehouse club store). The same quantity of size 1 Huggies diapers will cost you $44.99. And at a time when your credit card bills may be soaring, why spend extra?

2. Not looking at baby clothes in the apparel section

Babies have a tendency to outgrow their clothing very quickly. And when they're not outgrowing their clothing, they tend to soil it or spit up all over it.

It can be very helpful to have an ample supply of infant clothing. Otherwise, you might find yourself permanently affixed to your washing machine.

Costco actually carries a variety of kids' apparel items, so it pays to see what the warehouse club giant has on offer for infants. And that inventory might change from one week to the next. So if you don't manage to find anything in your child's size one week, take another look on your next visit.

3. Not upgrading your membership

A basic Costco membership costs $60 a year, while an Executive membership costs $120. You may be inclined to stick with the basic membership at a time when you're spending a small fortune on infant supplies. But despite the higher upfront cost, the Executive membership might be your more cost-effective bet.

The $60 upgrade you pay for an Executive membership gives you 2% cash back on all Costco purchases. Meanwhile, you might end up making a lot more purchases now that you have an infant to care for. So try to crunch those numbers and estimate your upcoming Costco spending.

It takes $3,000 in annual Costco purchases to break even on the Executive membership upgrade fee (since 2% of $3,000 is $60). So if you think you'll spend even a dollar more than that, then the Executive membership makes financial sense.

Shopping at Costco could help keep some of your infant-related expenses down. But do your best to avoid these mistakes so you can reap the most benefit and savings from your membership.

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

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