Costco is one of those places that’s almost universally beloved by those that shop in its stores. Those that go for the first time typically end up becoming members because they see the amazing deals that are offered to customers compared to some of the other large chain superstores. Costco customers save a lot of money with each trip, but is everyone saving as much as they can?
It turns out that there is more to Costco than meets the eye, and simply shopping there (while saving you a lot of money) doesn’t get you the maximum benefit. If you want to reap the full benefits of your Costco membership, follow these five tips to help keep some more money in your wallet.
Get The Top Membership
Every standard Gold Star membership with Costco allows you to shop in their warehouses and online, and you get a pair of membership cards to share with a loved one. It costs $60 per year, which is a great deal, and most people go with this option. For double the price, though, you can opt for the Executive card, and it will save you a lot more than the extra $60 that you spend over the year of membership.
That’s because the Executive card also gives you discounts for Costco services like roadside assistance, auto insurance, travel, and more. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a 2% annual reward for Executive members that are capped off at $1,000. That means that for an extra $60, you can get a $1,000 reward back depending on how much you spend at Costco.
Share With a Friend
When you get a Costco membership, that means that you get two cards, with both of them applying to your single household. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t share your Costco membership with a friend. If you have a close friend that goes shopping with you, you can save by getting just one membership and bringing the friend as a guest on each trip.
This is a great way for young people that are living with roommates to split the costs of groceries, including bulk items. Obviously, a person living by themself isn’t going to need a lot of bulk items, but when you have someone to split with and pay for half, it makes much more sense as you get to save a lot of money.
Top Off Your Tank
When a lot of us stop off at a local gas station, we do so without the full intent of filling our gas tanks to the very brim. Instead, we put in an increment of $5, or whatever we feel will get us home. When you’re taking advantage of Costco gas, though, it makes sense to fill up whenever you’re making a trip to the store.
Costco gas is on average much cheaper than the national average, which is why you see such long lines at the pumps. Costco gas is only available for members, and people save hundreds, if not thousands, topping off their tanks at Costco every week.
Stick To The Sides
When you make a list of things that your house absolutely needs, you’ll notice while walking through Costco that almost none of them are in the center of the store. Instead, that’s where most of the clothing items, televisions, gaming consoles, and other neat stuff is located.
If you’re looking for items such as toilet paper, frozen foods, cupboard stuffers, and other essential items, those are going to be on the sides of the store and in the back. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of the $1.50 hot dog combo or the deliciously cheap rotisserie chicken if you’re getting a bit on the hungry side.
Every major store like Walmart or Kroger has its own store brand for most products, and Costco is included in that list. While those other store brands seem to fall short of the name brands, that’s not the case for Costco’s Kirkland brand.
Those who shop Kirkland brand are almost always unable to tell the difference between its products and the name brands, too. The biggest benefit to sticking with Kirkland brands is that they come around 20 percent cheaper on average.