55 Tips and Tricks to Save Money at Costco

When it comes to warehouse clubs, Costco is one to remember. With its high quality store brand, unique offering of a wide variety of products and selection of what you can buy in bulk, Costco allows you to be healthy and save at the same time.

With such apparent opportunities to save with a variety of products, it can be easy to get overwhelmed in the aisles of free samples and great offers. But with the opportunity to buy what you need in great quantities, how can you be sure that you’re actually saving money? Which products should you seize immediately and which ones should you perhaps pass on if you don’t need them?

Costco can be a great way to save money on those groceries and essentials your family or business needs, as well as additional perks for being a member. Here, we share 55 tips and tricks to get you the greatest amount of savings as you shop at Costco.

Costco Groceries

Be careful with samples: While getting to taste free food is a highlight of the Costco experience, don’t get distracted and buy every sample you try simply because it tastes good. Stick to your list.

Buy store brand: The store brand at Costco, Kirkland, has a variety of products and tends to be very high quality, and less expensive than name brand groceries and products.  

Stick to your list: With so many seemingly great deals, it can be easy to get distracted by all the wonderful products Costco has to offer. Prepare yourself and stick to your list you make before going to the store. Doing so will help you cut down on unnecessary impulse buying.

Get your meats: Costco is a great location for stocking up on meat. When prices are that low, you can buy and freeze for later, allowing you to rake in the savings on your dinnertime ingredients.

Make your chicken dinner easy: One of the greatest and popular deals at Costco is the rotisserie chicken. It comes already cooked so you can pick one up on your way home and be set to go for dinner that night.

Find quality produce: For healthy produce that won’t go bad in just one or two days, try picking out your fruits and vegetables at Costco. Often, they offer organic varieties so you can eat well and healthy for cheap.

Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies: When you’re wanting frozen produce instead of fresh, you can also find great deals on stocking up. The high quality produce will have your smoothies, desserts, sauces and baked goods tasting delicious.

Look at the price per unit: By paying attention to this little detail, you can be sure you’re actually saving money on what you buy instead of just thinking that because you’re buying in bulk, it’s a better deal.

Go frozen: Costco’s bakery section is certainly a win. But, you can also find even greater savings when you buy your cookies and breads frozen and buy the case. This take-and-bake method maintains the delicious quality of the baked cook with the convenience from your own home.  

Stock up for holidays: Costco is a great spot to get set for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. You can buy candy in bulk and typically at a lower price per unit than what you can find in other grocery stores. They also have a wide assortment of candy selections so you can be sure to get the kind you, and your kids, want.

Freeze what you don’t use: Sometimes, you just can’t get through all the delicious and fresh produce, cheeses and meats you find at Costco. Not to worry. Many of these products can be frozen and saved for a later time. Save on what you eat now and what you eat later.

Celebrate with a cake: Order your next celebration cake from Costco to include personalized messages and specialty decorations just like at a bakery.

Pay attention to the store edges: Since there’s greater traffic along the end caps of the store, the prices on those displays are often great deals. While you can still impressive savings in the aisles, the bigger deals tend to be where the people are.

Go canned: When those small cans of vegetables, beans, tomatoes and much more just won’t cut it, you can find large canned goods at a lower price than buying multiple cans at a grocery store.

Get your organic: If you have some or all items you seek out to buy organic, Costco is a great spot to get those healthy and sustainable products for cheap.

Treat yourself at the cafe: From pizza to salads to a hot dog, you can pick up a snack after your shopping experience at the cafe. You can even reward your kids for behaving during your errand with a cheap treat.

Save on booze: Stock up for your next party or your favorite drinks with prices you find at Costco. Even their Kirkland brand alcohol of beer, wine and spirits are of high quality and can taste just like the name brands.

Get high-end wine: In addition to saving on beer and hard liquor, you’ll be able to save big on high quality wines that cost much more at other grocery stores. Even if you don’t have a membership, you can get savings on your alcohol purchase.

Costco Household Supplies

Go with a friend: If you don’t need to buy certain items in bulk, such as paper towels, split them with a friend. Buying in bulk will allow you to get the price per item at a cheaper rate.

Stock up on toilet paper and paper towels: Do you feel like you’re always running out of these household essentials? Stock up at Costco and stop worrying about being stuck without them.

Know what products to stock up on: While toilet paper and paper towels are often a household staple, you might not need to stock up on boxes and boxes of bandages, even if you can get them at a cheaper price per unit. Know those items that you go through quickly and perhaps hold off on those that will take you years to use up.

Print your photos: When you choose to use Costco’s photo services, you can get free prints and additional great deals on creating your very own photo book.

Save on ink: Printer ink is one of the most common expenses for getting your projects done. With Costco’s ink cartridges, you can save on stocking up and getting your printer set to go. Pair your purchase with a coupon to get additional savings.

Keep your space clean: Costco offers a wide variety of cleaning products like disinfectant wipes, cleaners and mops so you can keep your home and workplace free of harmful bacteria.

Look out for clearance: Just like in other retail stores, clearance sections add on additional savings opportunities for you to get what you need at an even better discount. Pay attention to seasonal items to know which items can be expecting a greater dip in price.

Swing by the jewelry section: Yes, in addition to groceries, vacuums and eyeglasses, Costco also sells jewelry ranging from costume to fancy items.

Find a new outfit: When you’re needing some wardrobe essentials, you can pick up both Kirkland brand and some name brand varieties from your trip to Costco, often at deep discounts.

Get your next book: Costco can be a great place to get the latest bestseller you can’t wait to read. With a wide selection of genres, you can find the book, movie, magazine you’re craving to devour.

Costco Tires

Save on your wheels: When you need to change out those tires or replace a flat, Costco offers tires right in-store.

Save on installation: As you purchase your tires at Costco, you can get them installed right then and there as you make your shopping trip. Drop your car off, get the tires and do some shopping while you wait. Get extra convenience as you team up with Costco for your tire needs.

Get extra savings with tire brands: Depending on what special deal is running at that time, you can get additional savings on the tires you purchase.

Take advantage of other services: In addition to installation, Costco will also rotate, repair flats and check the pressure of your Costco tires for free for as long as you have them. Save on extra service costs by getting them at Costco.

Costco Furniture

Find a new piece for your living area: While groceries are always a great find at Costco, finding other household products, including clothes and furniture is often a much better deal. Fun Cheap or Free notes that while those items tend to have the highest markups in other stores, Costco’s margins don’t exceed 14% on those items. Get to know your prices and find those great price comparisons between Costco and other stores.

Find a mattress: If you’re looking for a new mattress, skip the marked-up, high-end furniture store. You can find a comfortable bed as you pick up your weekly groceries at Costco.

Costco Gas

Make Costco your regular gas fill-up spot: Costco offers gas often at a much cheaper price per gallon than your normal gas station in town. Take advantage of your membership and get your gas from Costco.

Time your trips for gas and groceries: As you make your weekly, bi-weekly or regular trip to Costco, time your gas tank for when it’s time to fill up. Combining your grocery trip with getting gas can help you cut down on excess driving time and save even more.

Stay Healthy With Costco

Stock up on vitamins: Daily vitamins are important, but they can also get pretty expensive. Get your essential vitamins like Vitamin C and Fish Oil in bulk so you can get the nutrition you need for cheap.

Get your prescriptions refilled: Get your essential prescriptions filled for cheaper with Costco’s pharmacy. Add on a coupon for extra savings. And, you don’t even need a membership in order to get your prescriptions through Costco’s services.

Costco optical: Get your new pair of stylish and comfortable glasses with the right prescription for less at Costco. They offer a wide selection of frames that will get you the style you want at the price that works for you.

Costco Deals

Keep your eye out for coupons: If Costco’s low prices on bulk items weren’t enough, you can also discover more savings by using coupons on your purchases as well. When you combine Costco’s prices, sale items and additional coupons, you can really stack on the savings.

Savings codes: In addition to paper coupons you’ll find in the newspaper, you’ll also be able to find other savings codes unique to Costco so you can continue to save even more.

Watch the prices: As you’re looking out for the lowest prices, pay attention to the last number of the price. According to Epicurious, if the last number in the price is a “9”, such as $5.49, that’s Costco’s original low price. But, if a price as the ending in $.97, $.88 or $.00, that’s the lowest discount the product will get.

Notice the asterisks: If you see an asterisk on a price of an item, that means that item will soon be out of stock. If you see that for a product or food you get often, that means it’s time to stock up if you need to.

Use your phone for coupons: Given the already marked down deals of the products, Costco doesn’t accept general manufacturer coupons. But you can still use your favorite rebate apps like Ibotta or Checkout51 to get another way to save.

Be in the know about upcoming deals: Sign up for Costco’s newsletter and mailings so you can always be up to date on what’s on sale and other deals that can get you more savings.

Ask cashiers and staff for other ways to save: Another often notable feature of Costco is their impressive customer service. If you’re looking for other ways utilize your membership or find ways to save, just ask. Upon signing up for a Costco membership, you’ll be able to learn about additional perks of being part of Costco and extra savings opportunities available to you.  

Save with Costco gift cards: Find great deals on gift cards to restaurants, department stores, movie theaters and other experiences. You can find collections of gift cards that when purchased in bulk, you can get extra savings.  

Get more than just bulk: While Costco is known for its low prices and great deals on bulk items, they have more than that. You can swing by and get a gallon of milk or a regular carton of eggs as you normally would at a grocery store.

Avoid simply browsing: With so much to look at in this warehouse store, it’s easy to get distracted and stray from your list. To avoid overspending and buying things you don’t need, make a list before you leave and only purchase those items. A sample you taste may be delicious, but unless you really need it, don’t add it to your card to keep your Costco spending under control.

Take Advantage of Your Costco Membership

Get the membership plan that’s right for you: Costco offers different levels of memberships based on the perks that are included in the plan. As you decide which type of membership to get, discover the value of each benefit and ensure that paying for a higher level is actually worth what you’ll get.

Get cash back with the Executive Gold Star Membership: If you’re concerned about fully utilizing your cash back you’ll earn with your membership to Costco, this membership level refunds you that extra cost in a higher membership, just like that.

Bring your own bags: The bulk items you purchase often fit best in large boxes that Costco often provides. However, you can also bring your own large totes to make shopping and hauling your purchases much easier.

Save time by shopping on weekdays: Weekends at Costco are often the busiest times. If you can, choose to do your shopping on a weekday so you can be sure to find the items you need and save your shopping time.

Try out the Costco Cash Card: If you’re not fully convinced in getting a Costco membership yet, give their cash card a try, which is a gift card you can use even as a nonmember.

Utilize their customer satisfaction policies: WIth a commitment to customer service, Costco offers policies such as a 30-day price protection and 90-day refunds. This allows you to ensure you get the best price for the item you get and have the opportunity to return it if it isn’t what you wanted.

Get Saving with a Trip to Costco

Costco is a wonderland of buying bulk and finding great savings. Getting deals on groceries and household essentials are just the start of getting more money in your pocket. With these tips and tricks, you can get the items you need while preserving your wallet. Get your list ready and head to Costco to savor the savings today.