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Bright Ideas · Saving Money · 7 Costco Secrets That Everyone Should Know (Even Non-Members)
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7 Costco Secrets That Everyone Should Know (Even Non-Members)

These tips can help anyone make the most of their next Costco run (even if you're not a card-carrying member!)

Costco Tips

Note: The photos included throughout this post were taken in late 2019, and so do not reflect Costco’s current face mask policy. I continue to respectfully abide by mask requirements wherever they exist and encourage others to do the same.

Even though I’ve been a Costco member for many years now, it seems like I’m always learning something new about shopping there! In fact, just earlier this year I shared some of what I’d learned in a post about the “hidden” benefits of your Costco membership.

And in today’s blog post, I have a new batch of Costco tips and tricks to share with you! To be a bit more specific, I’ll be sharing a list of 7 interesting facts and tidbits I’ve picked up about various aspects of shopping at Costco.

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Costco Tips

While Costco’s low prices are reason enough to shop there, these tips will help you make the very most of the experience! (And don’t worry, even non-members will find plenty of useful information here!)

Related:  15 Money-Saving Tips You Need To Know If You Shop At Walmart

7 Surprising Costco Tips You’ll Want To Know About

Costco Tips

1. Their Rotisserie Chickens Are A Steal

As surprising as it might sound, one of the best deals Costco offers storewide is on rotisserie chickens. (Rumor has it that they knowingly sell rotisserie chickens at a loss to draw in customers and increase sales.)

Rotisserie chickens at Costco usually weigh at least 3 pounds and cost around $4.99. While grocery stores sell rotisserie chickens at a similar price, those chickens tend to weigh considerably less (usually around 2 pounds.)

Costco adds salt, sugar, cornstarch, and other seasonings to the chicken, but they don’t use preservatives, MSG, or artificial colors or flavors. I always grab a couple when I go to Costco because they’re great for easy lunches and quick dinners.

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Costco Tips

2. Their Price Tags Can Tell You A Lot

The price tags that Costco displays by each item contains valuable information that can be useful to you as a shopper. Here’s a quick guide to interpreting the price tags:

  • If a tag has an asterisk (*) on it, the item is being discontinued at that location. (If it’s an item you like, you may to stock up while you can!)
  • If the price ends in .97, the item is on clearance.
  • If the price ends in .00 or .88, the item is discounted or on sale.
Costco Tips

3. It’s Supposed To Be A Maze

Do you feel a bit lost and confused in the deepest reaches of your local Costco warehouse, like you’re trapped in a labyrinth? You’re not alone, because it’s essentially a labyrinth by design!

Costco doesn’t display a lot of directional signage and they frequently rearrange their inventory, which means you end up walking through more aisles to find what you’re looking for. The more you wander, the more likely you are to pick up a few extra things on your way to find vinegar than you would have otherwise.

Costco Tips

4. You Can Get Discounts On Past Purchases

Don’t you hate it when something goes on sale a week after you bought it at full price? One of the benefits of shopping at Costco is that you can take advantage of new discounts for up to 30 days after making a purchase!

For example, say you bought an Adirondack chair at Costco two weeks ago, but noticed today that it’s now on sale for $30 off. In this case, all you would have to do is bring the receipt to customer service and they would issue you a $30 refund! (This also applies to Costco.com purchases.)

Costco Tips

5. Non-Members Can Shop There

Some Costco services don’t require you to be a card-carrying Costco member in order to take advantage of them.

For example, non-members in California and Connecticut are free to take advantage of Costco’s notoriously low prices on alcoholic beverages. And no matter what state you live in, non-members can get prescriptions filled at Costco pharmacies!

Another way you can shop at Costco as a non-member is by using a Costco Shop Card. While the cards can only be purchased and reloaded by a Costco member, but they can be used by non-members to shop in Costco stores or online.

Costco Tips

6. You Don’t Need Coupons

Costco used to send out real-deal paper coupons to its members, but not anymore! The advertised discounts are now applied automatically when you buy something from Costco, both in-store and online.

Costco Tips

7. Pay Costco Prices Outside Of Costco

You don’t have to be a Costco member to enjoy their low prices! All you have to do is find a good deal on their website, print it out, and take it in to a store that offers price matching (like Target, Walmart, or Best Buy).

If the store has that item and offers price matching, you can buy the item there for the same price as you would pay at Costco. It’s an easy way to enjoy warehouse savings even if you’re not a member of one!

Costco Tips

Do you know any game-changing Costco tips, or tips about warehouse shopping in general?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

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