The Best Costco Shopping Hacks for Thrifty Shoppers (10 Tips)

These are the best Costco shopping hacks you’ll ever need!

If you like grocery shopping at Costco, you probably think you can save a lot of money with a membership, but that’s not always the case. We’ve talked to the CFO, and they’ve told  us that membership fee increases are coming sooner or later.

With that in mind, finding the best deal and getting everything you want is even more important. We decided to try our luck and spent a few weeks going to this retailer regularly to find the best Costco shopping hacks. We’re going to share everything with you, so if you want to save and go home with a cart filled with everything you need, keep reading!

Costco shopping hack
Photo by Alastair Wallace from Shutterstock

1. Invest in a vacuum sealer

If you want to make the most of these Costco shopping hacks, you might consider investing in a vacuum sealer to help you save money in the long run. Since this retailer offers customers the possibility to buy things in bulk, chances are that you won’t use everything, and some items will go bad. This equals food waste and money spent in vain.

A vacuum sealer is a nifty way to store your bulk groceries in a way that extends their shelf life. You can seal meat, fish, pastries, and other perishable goodies in your fridge or freezer and consume them when needed. Moreover, this gadget also helps you pre-portion your food, so you always consume as much as you need.

If you’re looking for an affordable and high-quality gadget to make the most of these Costco shopping hacks, here’s a good one for you!

2. Skip the cart

Is it hard for you to avoid impulse purchases? Then I recommend you skip the cart every time possible! While many people fall victim to getting lots of items each time they’re shopping, including myself, I discovered that it’s easier to stick to my shopping list when I don’t have a cart.

Of course, don’t follow this tip if you have lots of groceries to pick up, like water, toilet paper, cans, or paper towels. If you only head to the store to get a couple of things, putting your items in a bag will ensure you only get the things you need and can carry. Bye-bye, impulse purchase!

Costco shopping hack
Photo by Jiujiuer at Shutterstock

3. Split bulk items

When shopping for large households, Costco’s bulk-sized foods are an excellent option. But it might be challenging to finish perishable bulk goods like produce and bakery items before they go bad if you live alone or with a small group of people.

To get around this issue, some consumers divide their purchases among multiple people. This Costco grocery hack is amazing if you and your neighbor want to save money and not miss things. You can together make a list of bulk items you need, buy them, and then split the costs and the products so you avoid food waste and money spent in vain.

4. Avoid weekend shopping

Weekends are the busiest times to do your grocery shopping. I tried shopping during the weekends, and it was incredibly, incredibly busy!

Crowds can ruin every Costco trip, from finding a parking space to just finding an available shopping cart. As a retiree, shopping in the morning or midday on weekdays can help you find the best deals and stock up on essentials. Beat the crowds and take advantage of fresh inventory and special discounts during these quieter times at the store.

You can also hop later in the evening if you like quietly looking around the islands for the best products and discounts. However, if you can’t go grocery shopping on weekdays, you can go in the afternoon or early in the morning on Saturday or Sunday.

5. Download the retailer’s app

If you want to know where the discounts are, you have to download the retailer’s app if you don’t have it already. What’s great about this app is that it has a digital membership card that you can show an associate without having to fish around in your wallet for your actual card.

Even though some people complain that the app isn’t the most user-friendly, it’s still worth checking to see if you can find out about any bargains that you might have missed otherwise. We have many other Costco shopping hacks to share, so keep reading!

6. Decode the price tags

One of the best Costco shopping hacks I can share with you is how to decode the price tags. Knowing this is going to help you save more and get more. Even though it might initially appear random, Costco’s pricing strategy provides customers with important cues on whether an item is discounted or not.

For instance, prices ending in.99 are usually regular pricing, while a price that ends in.97 usually indicates that it has been reduced, so you pay less. Moreover, costs that conclude in seemingly arbitrary figures, such as .49 or .79, are usually manufacturer specials, so keep them in mind the next time you need something from the store.

7. Stock up on pantry essentials

You can always save money by stocking up on pantry essentials, so why not try this Costco shopping hack? I love to get rice, flour, pasta, and seasonings in bulk or split them with my neighbors or family.

Generally speaking, stocking up on pantry staples is a better method to stretch your grocery budget—just like at other grocery stores. Moreover, when you notice that you get several things in bulk, your money is stretched even further, frequently translating into a reduced price per unit.

If you want to make the most of this Costco shopping hack, you should know that purchasing ingredients is typically more cost-effective than getting packaged goods. Nuts, honey, rice, flour, raisins, and other pantry staples are all good to buy at this warehouse. Other things I love to buy are quinoa and coconut milk because they’re way more affordable compared to other stores.

Take-and-Bake Meats, Costco shopping hack
Photo by calimedia from Shutterstock

8. Get store-brand products

Throughout its warehouse, Costco offers a wide variety of goods, including several well-known name brands. There are several choices available at different price points, ranging from food to household supplies. As you probably know, Costco sells goods under the Kirkland Signature private label. Moreover, Kirkland Signature products typically have greater discounts than other store brands, and the quality is exceptional.

If you want to save money, you don’t need to get brand-name items; you can get the same quality with Kirkland, so check out these products because you won’t regret it. I like Kirkland bacon, soup, and pastries, but many others are worth your buck too.

9. Never shop hungry

This isn’t a special Costco shopping hack, because it applies to grocery shopping in general, but I can’t stress this enough: never go food shopping on an empty stomach. Our favorite retailer has incredible baked goods and food items that will make your mouth water and stomach growl, so the best thing you could do is have a snack before coming to the warehouse.

This way, you save not only empty calories but also money. Another thing you could do is pay the food court a visit before shopping. The rotisserie chicken and the hot dogs are affordable and delicious at the same time, so a quick snack or meal won’t cause any harm.

10. Check out the food court menu

Speaking of snacks, the last Costco shopping hack we’ll talk about today is all about the food court. The retailer knows its customers, so it always has its favorites, including smoothies, pizza, soda, and hot dogs. While many people like to indulge in these items on their own, others are a bit more creative and come up with delicious variations.

One of the Internet’s favorites is the “Forbidden Glizzy,” and if you want to give it a try, you have to put the renownedly inexpensive Costco hot dog inside their well-known chicken bake, and there you have it.

If this is too intense for you, upgrade the food court pizza by adding chopped onions on top, asking for it to be done “well done” for a crispier crust, or adding extra flavor by shaking some dried herbs on top at home.

Do you know any other Costco shopping hacks? Share them with us in the comments! If you enjoyed reading this article and you’d like to check out something else from The Money Place, here’s a good post for you: 12 Easy Ways To Save Money On Prescriptions


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