Non-Crazy Money Saving Tip #3: Standing up for your money and why Costco is awesome

by Melody on October 27, 2015


Welcome to the life of an occasional spend-all-the-money-in-the-world impulse shopper who sometimes uses a coupon but tries mightily to save money where she can.  Each week I will be sharing one (or more) of the ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

For the last few years, we have picked up our boys’ Halloween costumes at Costco.  They come out in like August, have TONS of styles to choose from, are generally full costumes (accessories, suit, mask) and are a CRAZY good price.  One year I thought I could be crafty and make their costumes.  One year.  Sometimes it is better to just admit where your strengths DON’T lie and make it easy on yourself.

This year was no different.  We let the kids pick out their favorites, tucked them away in the closet and forgot about them.  We won’t let the kids touch them until close to Halloween because, they’re crazy. We’d like them to trick or treat with costumes that aren’t full of holes and still actually snap in the back.  This past weekend, we decided to pull them out and just double check that everything fit right and figure out what the kids would need to wear under their costumes if is cold.


We have an amazing little samurai warrior and A TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE WITHOUT A SHELL.  I swear I checked each costume up and down for all the parts before we bought, but the belt that comes with the costume is giant and I’m pretty sure I thought it was the shell.  So we have no shell.  A turtle without a shell.  Praise all that is holy that we didn’t wait until Halloween morning.

What are our options?

Fairly certain Costco does NOT have any more turtle costumes, but that’s the first thing to check.  Can we just swap it out for a full costume?  Just like I thought, all the shelled turtles are safely nestled in other kids’ closets.

Make a shell?  How can I accurately describe how hilarious this question is?  If I was a normal human being that could make things stick together in a crafty sort of way, of course this would be an option.  Next.

If it were any other store than Costco, I would probably have just moved on and bought a darn shell and grumbled about it.  But Costco is awesome.  They would have returned the whole costume, but my son really wanted to be a turtle and the price was SO GOOD and the costume is good quality and it FITS.  So I asked if they would be willing to do a partial refund.  Of course, they said.  They refunded me almost one third of the total cost of the costume, just for missing a shell.  I was able to take that money and put it towards the purchase of a new shell on Amazon (thank goodness for Prime and fast shipping).  I only ended up paying a few extra dollars to complete our costume.

My point?  Shop at stores that are awesome and don’t just assume that they won’t want to or be willing to help.  Stand up for your money, friends.

If you are not a returner, I understand.  But I am.  I’ve said on more than 172 occasions that I should start a business being a returner for everyone else.

Are you a returner?  What are your favorite stores to shop at with great return policies?

Don’t forget to check out how we save money by checking our bank account on the regular and how we get toiletries for close to FREE by being the most casual of coupon shoppers.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Lauren October 27, 2015 at 10:55 am

I’m so glad this worked out for you! We too are Costco members (that’s how I found your blog- looking for deals at Costco) and love the return/refund policy. I don’t make a ton of returns, but I’m more confident buying in bulk knowing I can return if something is wrong with the foods or items (especially buying a huge container of protein powder without trying a sample!). Ninja turtles are a hit in our house too!


Kim October 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm

I love Costco, too. I bought a pair of flip flops last summer and the strap broke and they gave me a refund two months later! I feel like I am doing more and more of my grocery shopping at Costco these days because they have so many organic offerings for a reasonable price. This week on Checkout 51 they even have $2 off the Havarti cheese and it is delicious.


Melody November 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the cheese! I haven’t checked out Checkout51 yet, so this was a great incentive. I adore the havarti!


Fran October 28, 2015 at 8:34 am

Costco has the best return policy. I never hesitate to try something there. The other two stores I have no hesitation making a purchase are Trader Joes and REI. Customer service at both are outstanding.


Melody November 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Good to know Fran, thanks! I’m always on the hunt for stores with excellent customer service. It makes spending our money so much easier knowing that they back it up.


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