Is there anything more exciting than a Costco run? Who doesn’t love endless samples and cheese ball containers as high as the eye can see?
But, are you really making the most of your Costco trips? To make sure you milk that membership for all it’s worth, check out these top saving tips:
1. The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Costco offers a great range of gift cards at discounted rates. These cards cover everything from gym memberships and rounds of golf to movie theaters and iTunes. Taking advantage for holiday gifting is a no-brainer, but make sure you don’t miss out on discounted gift cards for experiences and restaurants you visit on a regular basis too. For example, if you frequent California Pizza Kitchen, you could be saving 20 percent off your meal every time you go with CPK gift cards purchased at Costco.
2. Vacation Deals Galore
Did you know you can plan your vacation through Costco? Yep. Whether you are headed to Walt Disney World with the kids or planning a honeymoon to New Zealand, Costco has you covered with package deals that can include everything from flights and hotels to rental cars and theme park tickets. Occasionally, special extras are also offered, such as a night at the spa or a dinner in the hotel.
3. Take Advantage Of Vision Services
Yes, the purveyor of giant of ketchup bottles can also set you up with some sweet eyewear. From new frames to contacts, Costco Optical has you covered… and they accept most vision insurance.
4. Pay Attention To Price Codes
An item that is marked $39.99 is likely at its base price, but an item that ends in 97 cents (such as $39.97) is a close-out marked down lower than usual in order to clear the inventory. Items with prices ending in 89, 79 or 49 cents have been marked down, too (though perhaps not to close-out prices, as the 97 cents indicates).
Items ending in 00 or 88 cents are manager markdowns. These markdowns will vary store to store and are used to quickly move items off the floor.
5. Get Your Hearing Checked
Here is something else you might not know. Costco also offers hearing exams! Whether you need to order hearing aids or you simply want to drag your hard-of-hearing husband in for a hearing test, you’re set.
6. Share The Love
You don’t have to be a Costco member to enjoy Costco savings. You can put money on a Costco Cash Card and gift it to a friend in need. (Or, they can give you cash ahead of time to purchase one for them.) Extra savings for them, and a shopping (and sample-eating) buddy for you… Perfect!
7. Get Your Meds
Here is another case where you don’t even have to be a member to enjoy Costco’s low prices. If you live in a state that prohibits requiring a membership, you can use Costco for your prescriptions without paying any membership fees.
8. And Your Booze
The above rule applies to liquor and beer purchases as well. Some states prohibit the forming of alcohol clubs, so if that is the case in your state, you can stock your bar at Costco without paying for a membership.
9. Blooms Abound
Got a wedding coming up? Whether you are getting married or you need bulk florals for an event, Costco has great options. Give your guests something pretty to look at while they are swilling that Kirkland wine.
10. Keep An Eye On Your Health
Worried about your elderly parents or your own health? Costco offers free health screenings on a regular basis for everything from diabetes to osteoporosis. Look out for the schedule at your local store or ask an employee.
11. Don’t Miss Out
If there is an asterisk on the right corner of the price sign, that means that the item is final stock and will not be making a return. So, if it’s a favorite item, you better stock up before it’s gone!
12. Don’t Waste Money On Fresh
If you really want to save money on produce or proteins like chicken, frozen is the way to go. Fresh might be more tempting, but, especially when it comes to meat and fish, many of these items arrived at the store frozen and have simply been defrosted. So don’t pay more for that extra step which you can easily do at home (and it will last longer).
13. Drink Up
If you drink bottled water, Kirkland water is your best bet. It works out to about 9 cents a bottle. Considering people pay upwards of a dollar for bottled water when on the go, you are better off buying a pack or two and simply keeping them in the car or at the office.
Do you have any great tips for saving at Costco? Tell us, what’s your secret?