4 insider secrets that can save you money at Costco

Woman pushes cart down warehouse club aisle.

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You can really enjoy the extra savings.

Most important points

  • Costco’s low prices make it a great source for food and household supplies.
  • Knowing the right tricks can help you save even more money on your Costco purchases.
  • Shopping in person instead of online can save you more, as can searching for items that are marked down – and the price ends at $0.97.

Costco is known as a source of inexpensive bulk groceries, household supplies, and miscellaneous products. Just look around your local department store club store and you’re likely to find hundreds of great deals in a single shopping trip.

But while shopping at Costco alone can save you money, there are certain tricks you can use to save even more. Here are a few you should know.

1. Shop in stores instead of online

The fact that Costco offers a wide variety of products online is a good thing. It means you can stock up on the things you want without having to leave the house.

But shopping on the Costco website isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective bet. Not only can you get stuck paying shipping costs in some cases, but Costco often offers even lower prices for its regular line of products in stores than they do online. So if you want to save money, make a plan to visit your nearest warehouse club store. And if you live far away from your nearest Costco, try to buy many items at once to minimize the number of trips you have to make.

2. Upgrade to an executive membership

An executive membership at Costco earns you 2% cash back on your purchases, while a standard membership gives you no cash back at all, although the credit card you use to pay for your purchases can. Now an executive membership comes at a cost. It’s $60 more than a standard membership per year. But if you do the math and see that you’re spending enough at Costco, an executive membership can make a lot of financial sense.

In fact, if you spend $3,000 a year at Costco, that’s your break-even point as far as an executive membership goes. So if you spend more overall over the course of a year, it pays to upgrade for extra savings.

3. Return items you’re not happy with, even food

One really nice thing about Costco is that it has a generous return policy. If you are not satisfied with a particular item, you can take it back. That includes electronics you’ve already used, clothes you’ve already worn, and food you’ve already opened.

For the latter you will generally have to give a reason other than not liking something. But let’s say you bought a large package of sliced ​​cheese that you thought would last four weeks, but it went moldy after two weeks. Instead of losing money throwing it away, you can most likely return it to Costco for a full refund.

4. Watch out for discounted items

Costco usually prices items to end in $0.99. But if you see an item ending at $0.97, that generally indicates you’re looking at a price cut. If the item in question is something you want or can put to good use, it’s probably worth buying.

Shopping at Costco alone can often add up to a world of savings. And if you follow these tips, you can really take that concept to the next level.

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