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20 Insider Secrets to Shopping at Costco

5 min read

Costco, the membership-only warehouse club, is a haven for shoppers looking for value, quality, and a wide array of products. It’s a place where savvy shoppers can make the most of their membership to score incredible deals. In this article, we’ll uncover 20 insider secrets to shopping at Costco, helping you maximize your savings and make the most of your visits.


Get the Membership: The first step to unlocking the savings at Costco is to become a member. Choose from Gold Star, Business, or Executive membership, each offering unique benefits.


Understand the Return Policy: Costco’s return policy is incredibly generous. Most items can be returned for a full refund at any time, making it a risk-free shopping experience.


Look for the Price Tags: Keep an eye on the price tags. Prices ending in .99 are regular prices, while .97 indicates a markdown, and .00 signifies a clearance item.


Explore the Kirkland Signature Brand: Costco’s own Kirkland Signature brand offers high-quality products at a fraction of the cost of name brands. It’s a smart choice for various items, from food to clothing.


Utilize the Executive Membership: If you’re a frequent Costco shopper, consider upgrading to the Executive Membership. You’ll earn an annual 2% reward on eligible purchases and receive additional benefits.


Check for Instant Savings: Look for Instant Savings deals in the store and on the website. These discounts are automatically applied at checkout.


Opt for the Rotisserie Chicken: Costco’s famous $4.99 rotisserie chicken is a steal and a great option for a quick and affordable meal.


Buy in Bulk: Costco is all about bulk buying. Stock up on non-perishable items, like toilet paper, paper towels, and canned goods, to save in the long run.


Split Large Items: Some items, like electronics or appliances, may be too large to store or use quickly. Consider splitting the cost and sharing with a friend or family member.


Use the Pharmacy: Costco’s pharmacy offers competitive prices for prescription medications, even for those without insurance. Plus, you don’t need a membership to use the pharmacy.


Take Advantage of Coupons: Costco mails out a monthly coupon book to members, featuring additional savings on a wide range of products. Keep an eye out for these discounts.


Shop Early or Late: To avoid the crowds, visit Costco right when it opens or during the last hour before closing. This can lead to a more relaxed shopping experience.


Go on a Weekday: Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends. If your schedule allows, plan your trips during the week for a more pleasant shopping experience.


Pay Attention to the Sample Stations: Costco is known for its generous sample stations. You can often enjoy a free mini-meal while shopping. It’s a great way to try new products.


Purchase Gift Cards: You can find discounted gift cards for various restaurants and stores at Costco. These can be a great way to save on dining and shopping outside of Costco.


Consider the Food Court: The Costco food court offers budget-friendly meals and snacks. The famous $1.50 hot dog combo with a drink is a staple for many shoppers.


Watch for Seasonal Items: Costco carries a range of seasonal products, from holiday decorations to summer outdoor gear. These items often offer significant savings during specific times of the year.


Join the Auto Program: The Costco Auto Program offers members pre-negotiated pricing on new and used cars, as well as other automotive services.


Explore Online Shopping: Costco’s website,, features exclusive online-only deals and a broader selection of products. You can have items delivered to your doorstep or pick them up in-store.


Track Your Spending: Keep an eye on your spending to ensure you’re making the most of your Costco membership. You might be surprised by how much you save by shopping strategically.


Shopping at Costco is more than just purchasing everyday items; it’s an art of savvy spending. By understanding the nuances of Costco’s pricing, utilizing your membership perks, and taking advantage of discounts and deals, you can unlock substantial savings on a wide variety of products. Whether you’re looking for bulk groceries, electronics, or a delicious hot dog, Costco offers something for everyone. With these 20 insider secrets, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your Costco shopping experience and get the most value out of your membership. Happy shopping!