The Reason Costco Shoppers Can't Believe This Receipt

There's a joke common among Costco members that it's impossible to make a grocery run to Costco without spending at least $100. The joke would be funnier if it were less true. Costco is adept at getting customers to spend more money (via Best Life) — to the extent that an unofficial "$100 minimum" really does exist. According to a 2021 survey from Insider, Costco customers spend an average of $114 per trip on an average of nine products.

That's why a recent post on the Costco subreddit has fans of the big box retailer up in arms. On Tuesday, a Costco shopper on the subforum shared an image of a recent Costco receipt — a late evening purchase of two one-gallon cartons of milk — that totaled at $5.21. Titled "Keep it simple and short (KISS)," the post seemed to be addressed to Costco shoppers struggling with overspending at the mega-retailer. (For the record, there are enough Costco shoppers struggling with overspending that a Google search for "overspending at Costco" returns no fewer than seven separate articles on the topic — not including posts to Quora and Reddit forums, per Google.) At any rate, the anonymous customer's photo offered proof that a less-than-$100 Costco receipt was possible.

Costco shoppers were in disbelief

While you would think that Costco shoppers would have been inspired to see a $5.21 Costco receipt, reactions on the subreddit were mixed. User Stormtrooper149 was genuinely pleased for the anonymous customer, and wanted to know what kinds of looks they must have gotten at the checkout. Other commenters complimented them on their self-control. But other users were unwilling to accept the post at face value, bluntly denying the possibility of a $5 Costco receipt and suggesting that the photo had been edited. "Fake! You can see the photo has been edited!!!" declared one member of the subreddit, confidently. "This is clearly fake," read another response. "No way anyone walks away with their budget intact."

It's easy to see why Costco customers might get sensitive around the topic of overspending. The retailer is effective at persuading its customers to overspend, to the extent that the "$100 minimum" joke (via Quora) has become, for some, less of a joke and more of an implicit belief. They should follow in the footsteps of the anonymous Costco shopper, though. Or even do them one better and just buy one bottle of milk.