Becoming a member at Costco is like running a marathon: You have to shell out money in advance for membership (either $ 60 or $ 120, depending on the level you choose), and the price is usually higher because you buy in larger quantities. But over time, being an active member at Costco can save you a serious amount of green money, both from the money saved and the added benefits that come with holding that small membership card.
Of course, saving more money is the goal, so we’ve put together some of the best (and some unknown) money-saving tips from Costco employees that will help keep more hard-earned cash in your pocket.
You can get your money back if the item goes on sale
You end up dropping cash on a hand mixer or cutting board that you’ve been observing forever, but that was last week, and now you see it on sale. Are you just a victim of a bad time? No, according to a Costco employee on Reddit.
The return policy is very, very generous
Costco has one of the most forgiving return policies on the market, according to the same employee. If you buy something in the warehouse and hate it, you can return it and get your money back without any questions. The store limits the return of electronic goods (televisions, computers) and key appliances (refrigerators, ovens) to 90 days, but that’s still cheaper than many retailers.
You can get cash for your rebate check
A Costco Executive Membership – often referred to as a black card – is more expensive than a regular Gold Costco membership, but it comes with many additional benefits. One of the best benefits is a 2% cashback on purchases, which is returned to you in the form of a rebate check. Better yet, you don’t have to use it in-store, according to Reddit user Iccusr, who identifies as a Costco employee. We recommend using it on these 15 Costco Foods That Make Food Preparation Easier.
You can drop by if you don’t get enough cash
Executive membership has many benefits, but there’s another one that many people don’t know about: You can get a refundable upgrade bonus at any time of the year if it’s ultimately not worth it.
Price decoding gives you the best deal
It seems that Costco’s pricing system is arbitrary, but the numbers on the tags can provide a lot of information if you know how to read them. According to Reddit users and employees WinterFreshershist, ‘.99 = Costco price. .98 = retailer price. .97 = deducted from the original price. ‘
‘Also ending at 0.00 is a manager’s price drop,’ added another employee.
And unsold products aren’t necessarily kept until someone buys them. ‘Depending on the item and the agreement we have with the vendor regarding returns and others, usually [unsold items] are returned to the seller, destroyed, or – in very rare/specific cases – some items are donated,’ said Reddit users and employees WaitWhatWut.
An asterisk means the item will be lost
Are you still thinking of purchase but not ready to do so? Check the price tag first, because otherwise, the store will probably remove it.
‘If there’s an asterisk in the upper right corner of the sign, that means the item has been removed, and the item won’t be in again for a while or until next season,’ wrote Reddit user and Costco employee TheyCallMeJugs. ‘If the seller is good, the price won’t go down too much, but if the seller is slow, the price will usually go down more than once.’
Seasonal is another way to tell what will be sold
There is no better time than another to find a good clearance item because clearance always happens, according to other employees. However, ‘we’re always spinning in and out of seasonal stuff,’ wrote Reddit users and employees.
‘Toys will be removed to make room for furniture; furniture will be opened to provide space for spring gardening; spring gardening will be used to provide space for summer pool/beach items; and so forth. The only good tactic to see a drop in prices is to visit once a week or so and look for signs that have an asterisk on them. … Depending on the item/quantity, it may be marked, but that is not always true. ‘
Frozen is usually a better deal
Fresh may be more appealing, but many of the foods sold at Costco arrive frozen and thawed for sale. ‘We baked a lot of stuff from scratch (‘ birthday ’cakes, apple pies, pumpkin pies, etc.), but some stuff was brought in from outside and just melted and wrapped or baked and wrapped,’ wrote user and Reddit 84awkm employees. ‘They come raw, and we burn them and pack them.’
But you can get an even better deal if you cut out those parts and only buy stuff that is still cool.
‘You can buy the whole basic box if you want at a comparable price, as mentioned above,’ wrote 84awkm. ‘Everything is listed on a‘ bakery by the case ’board that you’ll see on the wall somewhere near the bakery. A large number of people never notice it for some reason. The meat and deli divisions also do similar deals for some of their items. ‘
Do the same with the baguette, insiders say. ‘Two in a bag is like $ 4.49, but a box of frozen 20 costs [around] $ 24. Bake yourself when you want bread; an added advantage is that they can still be warm and very fresh while you eat them. ‘
You can pay with a prepaid credit card
One of Costco’s disadvantages is that you can only use cash, a Visa debit card, or a branded Visa credit card at the store to purchase items. However, there is a way to solve it: Use a prepaid Visa card. They work to buy gas, but ‘will only work if the card has a balance of $ 100 or more,’ according to most.
You can use any credit card on the Costco website
You may be limited when shopping at your local Costco warehouse, but some employees chose the Reddit network recently to say that all credit cards-including Discover Discover-are accepted on the Costco website. Bonus: The purchase is sent to you, great if you buy something heavy, like a lot of canned goods.
You get huge savings on tires
Buying tires can be expensive at Costco, but you can save a certain amount of cash on a new set if you’re strategic about it.
‘Bridgestone and Michelin alternate every month [with] a $ 70 discount [on its price],’ wrote to Reddit employees and users systematically_wrote. ‘Costco will spin, flat repair, pressure check, and everything else for the life of the tire for free.’
Rotisserie chicken is plentiful
While it is usually cheaper to buy frozen or uncooked chicken and prepare it at home, there is one big exception: rotisserie chicken from a service deli at Costco. ‘[It’s] $ 5 and weighs a minimum of three pounds,’ Reddit user wrote systematically_wrong. ‘Take it home, tear the meat from the bones, and split between 3-4 meals.’
Very much bottled water
We don’t like bottled water because of the BPA in the plastic. But if the problem remains hydrated, the Kirkland Costco brand is just as good – and some think better than many name brands on the market. It’s also more economical, writing systematically_ wrong. ‘It makes about $ 0.09 a bottle, and they come in 40 packs.’
Desserts You Can Buy at Costco
Ah, Costco: a place where you can get a swimsuit, fresh milk and eggs, and a cake bigger than everyone else on the same trip. There are many great Costco purchases out there, but we highlight one of the store’s advantages: desserts. From ice cream at the food court to frozen mochi and cheesecake, you never know what you’ll find at Costco to satisfy your sweet tooth.