Saving Money at Costco – Can It Be Done?

Costco is is known for having the lowest prices on just about everything, but wouldn’t it be great if you could save even more? Well, luckily for you there are several great ways to put a few extra bucks in your pocket while shopping at Costco. Please continue reading below to find out how.

Know Costco’s pricing codes

Costco’s pricing codes indicate whether an item is specially priced, discounted or will not be restocked.  Per blogger Len Rapoport, there are some key things to look for on those price tags.

  • Prices that end in 97¢: These have been marked down from the regular priced items, which end in 99¢
  • Odd pricing, such as 79¢, 49¢, or 89¢: These indicate specially priced items that Costco got a deal from the manufacturer. These can be better deals than at other stores, but not usually better than the 97¢ markdown.
  • An asterisk* on the upper right side of the sign: The item won’t be reordered.
  • 88¢ or .00 endings: Manager markdowns. Sometimes the company uses these to move a product very fast.
  • Often there will be a date below the price which tells you how recently it was discounted. You can use this to decide if you want to wait a bit longer for a larger discount or buy it before it’s gone.

Seasonal products

In addition to knowing what to pay attention to on the price tag, there are some other things to remember when trying to save a buck at our favorite big box superstore.  Some of you may get the willies when you see Christmas show up in July and August but this is the perfect time to start watching those seasonal items. Once they start stocking for the next season, they have to make room somewhere so all of the products they still have a bunch of usually gets marked down. Pay attention to the date below the price to see when it was last marked down. If it was some time back and there are still plenty of those items, chances are the price will be dropped yet again.

Rebates

Like many retailers, there are items at Costco that offer generous rebates, most of which are instant and given at the cash register so there is no clipping, filling out or mailing. Pay attention to those price tags! Love getting money back after the fact? Check out the app Ibotta. Ibotta offers cash back on many products.

Know where to look

Take a walk down the center of the store for competitive pricing but watch out for the end caps where the samples are given. You can also often find clearance type items around the edges of the store. This is where the floor models, discontinued items and super deals can be found. Now, Costco doesn’t always have items here but make sure you look just in case.

Return policy

If you hit Costco in a spending mood and wind up with a few hundred dollars worth of stuff you don’t “need”, return it! Costco has one of the most amazing return policies and can even track your purchases with your card in case you lose your receipt. They also price match, so pay attention to the prices!

Fill up before you head out

Yes the lines at the gas pump are usually long and you just spent 2 hours spending money in the store but you can continue to save on your way out. Gas at Costco is usually 10-12 cents cheaper per gallon than most other gas stations. If you are filling up that large SUV loaded down with Costco goods, you could save up to $3. Although this may not seem like much, consider how often you shop at Costco and how often you hit the gas station down the street.  If you are filling up every 2 weeks, thats $78 a year. It all adds up.

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