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5 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make at Costco Right Now

Here's a first-hand account of easily avoidable mistakes shoppers recently made at one Costco.
costco membership

Taking a trip to do some Costco shopping has always been something customers look forward to. Even though it has been a bit of a different experience lately in response to the safety measures being put into place as the world is living through the pandemic, there are still some crucial mistakes shoppers are making. And you ultimately want to make sure you're doing all you can to keep yourself, other customers, and the employees safe to help prevent the spread of  COVID-19, right?

Well, we're here giving you some insight based on a recent shopping trip to a Costco in New Jersey, so you can avoid making any shopping mistakes during your next visit. While most cities are beginning to reopen and some rules are loosening up, you still want to do your part!


You try to go in without a mask on.

costco line coronavirus

If you're thinking it's OK to leave the mask at home, think again. It's still Costco's company-wide policy that everyone who enters needs to have a mask on. There will be an employee at the door when you walk in—as there was an attendant at the Costco in New Jersey— and if you don't have a mask on, you won't be allowed inside. All of the employees in the store are wearing masks as well.


You shop with a group.

Mom and little boy buy fresh vegetable in grocery store. Family in shop.

For some families and friends, heading to the store together is a fun bonding activity. But right now, still shopping by yourself or with as few people as possible is still ideal. The Costco in New Jersey was much more crowded than it has been in recent months and more small groups were seen shopping together. It's best to still keep your families at home if you can to better limit the number of people who are in the store at any given time.


You're not disinfecting.

Man wearing disposable medical face mask wipes the shopping cart handle with a disinfecting cloth in supermarket

Although the CDC did say the main way to catch coronavirus is from person-to-person contact while you're shopping, you still want to sanitize as much as you can. So that means when you take a shopping cart, you should still wipe down the handle—you never know if someone coughed or sneezed on it before you used it. Gross, yes, but it can happen!

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This Costco in New Jersey has disinfectant wipes available to customers all throughout the store so at any point while you're shopping, you can wipe down the cart.

RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!


You're not paying attention to social distancing rules.

customers at costco checkout aisles

There are signs on the floor of the store telling you which direction to walk in down the aisles and where to stand when you're waiting in line. In this particular Costco, shoppers were disregarding the markers telling them which direction to walk down the aisles, but ignoring these could possibly result in customers bumping into each other. And that's not really avoiding contact with others! Social distancing is still being enforced, so be sure you're following these rules.


You're not prepared at checkout or when you're leaving the store.

costco membership card with receipt

To shop at Costco, you need to be a member so when it comes time to pay, you would think you just hand your member card to the cashier, right? Well, that might be how it was before, but now, you want to make sure you hold up your card for the cashier to scan it without handing it to them. Cashiers are protected behind a partition, but the less contact the better for the time being.

You want to make sure you have your receipt out and ready to be inspected before you leave the store without handing that directly to the employee checking receipts as well. In this Costco, they were behind a partition similar to how the cashiers are, and while you may think it's easier to hand your receipt to be inspected, for now, you'll need to hold it up as it's checked through the partition and you then can be on your way.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more
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