When you want to save more money on groceries and other household items, Costco is a great destination. However, you may not be maximizing what Costco offers if you don't have a few tips to follow. Putting some of our tricks into place will help you optimize your shopping and get the top deals at this popular store.

When you fine-tune your shopping process at the bulk retailer, you'll learn about unique deals only found at Costco. Keep reading to take advantage of better prices and the ability to save more money.

Select the Right Costco Membership

If you want to save money, make sure you choose the right membership option at Costco. You have a choice between a Gold Star Membership or an Executive Membership. Those who spend a lot of time saving money at this store should often upgrade to the Executive Membership for the top savings.

The more expensive card provides a 2% reward on qualified traditional Costco, online Costco.com, and Costco Travel purchases of up to $1,000. You also get better discounts and benefits on Costco services like insurance plans and mortgage purchases. This can add up to some major savings over time.

Be Aware of Costco Price Codes

A simple glimpse at the price tags of products can tell you if you're getting a good deal. The price itself indicates whether a product will be restocked, has a special price, or is being discounted. Use this knowledge to get the best value from your purchases.

  • If the cost ends in $0.97, the product is cheaper than usual. Seeing $0.99 shows that the store is selling something at the original price.
  • Pricing like $0.89, $0.79, and $0.49 usually means the product is at the normal price.
  • Products with an asterisk near the right upper corner of the sign will typically not be restocked. If you like these brand name or Kirkland products, it's best to stock up before they are gone.
  • For items ending in $0.00 or $0.88, there's usually been a manager markdown. This is often the case with good condition returned merchandise.

Split Bulk Items Like Toilet Paper with a Friend

Those who are single and live in smaller spaces might find it hard to justify purchasing and storing huge amounts of items, such as 30 rolls of toilet paper. The price is right on things like paper towels and plastic cups but the storage space might not be available.

Consider hitting up friends who love Costco so you can split the costs of necessities or even non-essentials that you wouldn't use entirely on your own. You get what you need and retain extra cash since your friend is splitting the purchase price.

Save on Meal Costs Using the Food Court

Many food courts are pricy but Costco shoppers know this store is one of the exceptions. For instance, every location offers an all-beef hot dog with a 20-ounce soda for $1.50. They always have and say that they always will feature this price. Other items are just as inexpensive and can make for a great way to save money compared to choosing restaurants. There's nothing better than enjoying a great deal for half the price you expected.

Start Shopping at the Back of the Store

It might seem like a strange tip but it's often best to start your shopping trip at the back of Costco. In many cases, you'll find the best deals in this section of the store. Just head to the back of the warehouse and the end of the aisles. Then simply work toward the front of the store as you shop. You might run into better deals quicker.

Consider Seasonal Items

Similar to other stores, you can often get a better deal when you buy items at the end of a season. For instance, at the end of summer, you might find pool toys and patio furniture for cheap prices. Camping equipment, beach chairs, and barbeque grills are other examples of a great buy available at the end of a season. Summer isn't the only time to watch out for these things. Check for them after the holidays too to get the cheapest prices.

Watch for Rebates

Some products on Costco online and warehouses have manufacturer rebates. This is a great way to save even more cash. In most cases, you'll need to submit the required documents within 30 days of purchase to get some money back. Members can fill out the rebate online but non-members will need to send it via traditional mail.

Pay Attention to Price Changes

Costco offers a 30-day price protection policy when you make online sales so pay attention to that. If you make purchases on the Internet, make sure you check Costo.com during that timeframe to be sure the price hasn't dropped. If it has, get in touch with customer service, provide your information, and you'll get a credit in just a few days.

Shop with Someone Else

If you have trouble sticking to a budget while at Costco, consider bringing along someone else. Let them know how much you want to save and encourage them to help you buy only the items you really need. If the person who accompanies you also overspends at Costco, you could make it into a competition. For example, whoever saves more has to buy the other person a slice of pizza at the food court.

Purchase Meat at Costco

The best deals you'll find at Costco occur when you choose to buy in bulk, especially when it comes to meat. Even if you only need one pound of beef, for instance, consider purchasing several more to use later on. The price is better and you'll have something easy to make another day.

Another thing to consider is purchasing rotisserie chicken. This is probably the best deal on a prepared meal that you could hope to find. It's inexpensive and very versatile. You can butcher it for several meals if you're in a small family or live by yourself.

Enjoy Some Free Samples

Going into Costco when you're hungry can make you want to buy up everything you see that looks tasty. The problem is that this can easily make you spend beyond your budget. Thankfully, you can take care of this issue with a stroll around the store. Enjoy some of the sample stations and fill your stomach before you do your shopping. Just don't go overboard buying everything you take a taste of.

Download the Costco App

When you download and use the app, you can see current offers and deals. Take a quick look before you go to Costco if you want to plan your shopping trip. Those who prefer not to worry about paper coupons can also use the app for great deals. Just show the app to the cashier to redeem any offers and walk away with a happier wallet.

Final Thoughts

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