1. Use a Costco Cash Card to shop without a membership.
Know someone with a Costco membership? Ask them to buy you a Costco Cash Card (essentially a gift card for Costco), and gain access to all the sweet deals within the store! Just show the card to the door greeter and you’re in.
2. Pay with any credit card when you shop Costco online.
Buy at Costco.com and use any credit card you want, not just a Costco Visa.
3. Use rebate apps like Ibotta to earn cash back on your purchases.
Ibotta and Checkout 51…download them both! Why? Because you don’t have to clip a single coupon, and the offers listed in each of these apps can totally be stacked with other discounts and other rebate app offers.
At Costco, where manufacturer coupons aren’t accepted, rebate offers are gold! Just buy the product available for a rebate, and scan your receipt into the app. I usually get my rebate within an hour, but it may take a day to appear in your account.
4. Wear glasses? Costco’s $69.00 eye exam is the cheapest exam around.
Costco’s licensed, independent opticians will perform a vision and eye health check right in the store. Best part? You don’t have to be a Costco member to get the exam! Just let the door attendant know you have an appointment. (Schedule an appointment here.)
While you can buy glasses at Costco (with a membership), I’ve found that GlassesUSA has name brand and high-quality frames for half the price. You can literally get a pair for a little over $20.00! Get your eye exam done at Costco, and take your prescription to GlassesUSA.com for a better deal.
5. You’ll rarely find a markup over 14%.
Unlike Walmart, which has around 250,000 types of products in most of their stores, Costco only has about 4,000. What this means, my friends, is that Costco can buy products in major bulk (we’re talking multiple pallets, not boxes) and pass on the savings to you, the customer. While most stores mark their prices up to 30% more than the cost to make a product, Costco rarely charges more than 14%.
6. Products that have prices ending in a 7 or 0 have been marked down.
Most Costco prices end in a 9, but there are some products out there whose price tags end in a 7 or 0. These are the items to seriously consider buying since they’re either being discontinued at Costco or are manager markdowns.
- Prices ending in .99 cents is a regular member price.
- Prices ending in 9 (59, 69, 79, etc.) are special offers from the manufacturer and are priced more competitively than other discount retailers.
7. Get your printer ink cartridge refilled for $7.99.
Bring in your old cartridge to the photo center, and a Costco employee will fill ‘er up! Prices range from $7.99-9.99 per refill.
8. Get free tech support on your electronics.
Buy electronics at Costco, get free tech support.
You might not have noticed, but if you’ve bought a TV, computer, tablet, camera, or Blu-ray player at Costco, there’s a free tech support sticker right on the box.
Call 1-866-861-0450 between 5AM to 10PM anytime except holidays, and get help with your electronics. Have your name, Costco membership number, item number, model, serial number and purchase date handy, and you’ll get free help.
9. Don’t buy shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, or razors.
You can get better deals on these items elsewhere! Check out this article for more items to skip at Costco.
10. Kirkland batteries are just as good as Duracell.
It’s what on the inside that counts, right? Rumor has it that Kirkland batteries are made in the same factory as Duracell. Other comparable products under the Kirkland name that I love are trash bags, seasoning, and diapers.
11. Toys at Costco are cheaper than Amazon.
Score discounts on hot brand-name toys like Nerf and American Girl by shopping Costco.
Use the Amazon app to compare prices and ensure you’re actually getting a good deal.
12. An asterisk in the corner of a price tag means the item won’t be restocked.
If a product you love has one of these asterisks, you’d better stock up—you may never see it at Costco again!
13. Shop 3-5 p.m. on weekdays to avoid crowds.
Avoid insane checkout lines by planning your Costco trip a weekday afternoon.
14. Firefighters, police officers and EMTs get a $20 Costco card and $60 in coupons with a new membership.
For a limited time, verified first responders get special freebies by signing up on Costco’s website.
Gotta be 18 or older, and are either a brand-new Costco member or haven’t had a membership in 18 months. Sign up by April 28, 2019 to get the freebies — and allow 2-4 weeks for the cash cards to come in the mail.
15. Buy discounted movie tickets and restaurant gift cards.
Going to the movies is expensive! Before heading to the theaters, stop by Costco and buy discounted tickets for around $8.00 apiece. Plus, pick up restaurant gift cards for up to 25% off retail price.
16. The 5 lb. bag of Kirkland frozen veggies is unbeatable.
Tired of the broken bits of frozen broccoli stems you find in regular store-brand frozen veggie bags? Yeah, me too. I started buying the Kirkland bag of Normandy Style veggies and have never looked back! The quality is amazing, and the price ($6.79) can’t be beat!
17. Kirkland brand frozen chicken is actually more expensive than Foster Farms.
It’s true. Brand name Foster Farms frozen chicken breasts are actually $0.45 less per lb than Kirkland Signature chicken breasts.
18. Costco’s coupon savings are applied automatically — no coupon booklet needed!
Costco will mail members a “coupon” booklet every month, but in reality, there’s no clipping involved. The advertised discounts automatically come off at the register. Stop by the customer service desk for a savings booklet, look for red tags like the one above throughout the store, or check out KCL’s Costco page for deals.
19. Get more rotisserie chicken for less.
Costco rotisserie chickens are around 3 pounds, while chickens at Walmart and other supermarkets are only 1.5 lbs and cost the same: $4.99.
20. Get a half sheet cake for $18.99, less than the price you’d pay for a quarter sheet elsewhere.
At other grocery stores, expect to pay at least $20.00 for only a quarter sheet cake!
21. Shop alcohol and prescriptions without a membership.
Due to certain laws, Costco can’t limit the sale of alcohol to just members. So, if you’re not a member, you can still take advantage of the great booze deals. You can also purchase prescription drugs without a membership. Buy the tasty $1.50 all-beef hotdog and soda combo at the snack counter without ever having to pay the $55 membership fee.
22. Plus Kirkland Signature wine costs half as much as other labels.
TIP: Kirkland Signature vodka is made by Grey Goose (but costs half as much) too!
23. If you spend more than $1,000 or more on travel a year, use Costco Travel.
Get an Executive Membership for $120.00 a year, and you’ll get 2% cash back on the first $1,000.00 you spend on travel when you book through Costco. Plus, Costco offers exclusive deals on cheap flights and hotels all over the world.
24. Bring your own bags to skip hauling bulky boxes.
Avoid lugging a huge box to your car by bringing your own bags, especially if you’re not buying anything big.