Depending on your personality, shopping at Costco may be the most fun you can have with shrink-wrapped pallets or completely exhausting. Either way, as a Costco shopper, you are one of the chain’s 94 million members who pay a fee to get their hands on items in bulk and at a big discount.
The basic membership is about $60 per year. So, to make sure you are doing all the things to maximize your annual fee, read through these tips. You want to get the best deal, right?
1. You don’t even need a membership to take advantage of a few of the big savings.
Anyone can get prescription filled at the Costco pharmacy to get savings of up to 80%. Non-members can also use the optical department and, in most stores, buy alcohol. The Kirkland’s brand of vodka is pretty famous.
2. Make sure paying an annual fee is worth the savings.
Look at what you can buy there and use. Stuff for pets and kids will add up fast and may even be worth an executive membership. Otherwise, singletons and couples can have someone get them a Costco gift card to shop membership-free.
3. Don’t buy more produce than you can consume.
Just because a bale of produce costs $6 doesn’t make it a bargain if you can’t eat an entire produce bale within 4 or 5 days. Cause, just fyi, produce goes bad.
4. Read the price tags carefully.
Since the markups are so small, most items at Costco are already a good deal. The prices usually end in a “9,” as in $15.99. But, if the price ends in a “0” or a “7,” then the item has been marked down and is at an even better deal. Stock up if you can.
5. Take advantage of the health services offered.
Many Costco stores offer free diabetes, heart screenings and hearing tests. Hearing aids are available for a discounted price with free cleaning, testing and insurance for loss and damage. Members can also enroll in a prescription program for even bigger savings on meds.
6. Figure out price per unit for bulk items.
A big case of something may look like it’s got to be discounted, but you won’t know for sure unless you divide the total price by the number of units included. Sometimes, you can get the items cheaper finding it on sale and using coupons somewhere else.
7. Know you are allowed to shop in other stores.
You don’t have to shop only at Costco and buy everything in bulk. Sometimes, other places are cheaper.
So, price compare and figure out what you need, where you can store it and when you can use it.
With an organized space for storage and a list of what you really need, you can find some great bargains at Costco. Just don’t waste those savings on not-so-great purchases, like that barrel of flour that was such a steal.
Come on. You don’t even bake.