Costco. When you hear the word, you likely think of a large warehouse space, buying in bulk, samples on samples on samples, and a food court serving up some of the best pizza & hot dogs in the business.

But even at a place known for great deals on bulk buys, you can save even MORE if you know the secret tips and tricks to saving more money at Costco.

So where do you start? How do you shop like a pro? And how can your friends benefit from your membership investment? Read closely & keep these cards in your back pocket as you embark on your next grocery trip.

Pay attention to special pricing codes

Keep your eyes peeled for items marked $0.97 – this means they’ve reached their final markdown price. If you see an asterisk in the upper right-hand corner, then it means that the stock won’t be refilled so if it’s an item that you like, buy as much as you can. ASAP. Lastly, if pricing ends in $0.88 or $0.00, it means that management has slashed prices to move product faster, so don’t be shy – capitalize!

Hang onto your receipts

You should know that you can take advantage of price adjustments due to the big box behemoth’s flexible return policy. If an item you purchased is marked down within a week or so, you can present your receipt to receive a refund for the difference.

Start at the back of the store & avoid the middle

You can find the best deals & prices on items located farthest from the store’s entrance. Try not to be distracted by all of the beautiful, shiny objects in the middle – this is where you may start to empty your pockets when you didn’t even know you were in the market for what’s on display.

Friends don’t let friends shop blindly

Split bulk items with a friend. In fact, did you know that even non-members can reap rewards? All you need to get in the door is a Costco cash card. If you’re already a member, be a good friend & load up a Costco cash card for a pal. If you’re not a member, suck up to one of your member friends so that you can become the proud, new owner of a Costco cash card.

Go during feeding time

We all know that Costco is notorious for its smorgasbord of samples, but did you know that if you properly execute your eating schedule, you can save a couple thousand a year on sustenance by taking advantage of free food?

It’s all about Kirkland

Too often, we’re tempted by the allure of big name brands and their compelling, urgent marketing ploys. But know that there are “no-name” companies that can satisfy you just as much and at a fraction of the cost! Kirkland Signature brand is a no-brainer when it comes to getting the most for your money. From spices and nuts to cookies, diapers & alcohol, their affordable products represent high quality at a good value.

Take a peek at the returned items section

Just because an item was returned, it doesn’t mean that it lacks in quality. Check out the returned items section where product typically receives dramatic markdowns.

Wine, Beer & Liquor Discounts

Though not applicable in every state, many Costco storefronts allow non-members to purchase alcohol, courtesy of a liquor store with a separate entrance. Avoid markups on liquid staples for your next game day gathering, holiday party or regular evening libation.

For the carnivorous folk, specifically

Buy meat in bulk, and freeze it. Meat can be a sneaky expense that adds up really quickly, so if you know it’s unlikely that it’ll go out of style in your house, then stock up and throw it on ice!

Capitalize on Costco’s various other services

From free health screenings to acquiring deals from Costco Travel, you can save on much more than just groceries. Plus, as an added convenience, you can take advantage of Costco’s gas pumps and tire center to truly leverage it as a one-stop shop for the many aspects that comprise your busy life!

Now it’s your turn! Do you know of any other tips, tricks & secrets that you can share with the rest of us Costco-loving bargain hunters?

Need help saving money at Costco? Download OurCart: The easiest way to create a shopping list, compare prices, and save on groceries. Every time you shop. Now featuring sale and circular information from Costco!

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