How Much Money Do You Really Save At Costco? Tips On Strategic Shopping

How Much Money Do You Really Save At Costco? Tips On Strategic Shopping


How Much Money Do You Really Save At Costco? Tips On Strategic Shopping. Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 2/25/21 Costco raising minimum wage to $16 per hour. STAR MAX Photo: Costco logos photographed off an iphone SE 2020.

Costco has always been like Disneyland for bulk shoppers, but how much money does one really save at the popular one-stop retailer? Is it always beneficial to buy in bulk? It depends, according to shopping experts. Costco can be a great store for big savings but like most things, it can also have an adverse toll on household budgets if one isn’t a savvy shopper. Here are several tips on strategic shopping at Costco.

1. Evaluate what you should buy at Costco and what you shouldn’t

There is an art to shopping at Costco. While buying in bulk can help you save money, that’s not always the case.  According to popular shopping blogger Jordan Page of Fun Cheap For Free, “just because it’s bulk and/or from Costco doesn’t mean it’s cheaper.”

Knowing this, Costco is a great place to shop if you have a growing family more than if you are a single person. For example, if you’re a single person and you buy perishable food in bulk from Costco, but half of it goes bad, you just wasted money, not saved it.

However, non-perishable items that you use often like laundry detergent, toilet tissue, etc. can help both families and single shoppers save.

2. Costco gas is a great deal, especially if you have an SUV.

With gas prices on the rise again, everyone is always looking for ways to keep their fuel tanks full without breaking the bank. Getting gas at Costco can help shoppers do that, particularly if they drive vehicles that need lots of fuel like SUVs.

Make sure you’re not burning fuel to go out of your way to go to Costco for gas as that’s pretty counterproductive. However, if you live a short distance from Costco, or you happen to be in the neighborhood where one is, fueling up is a good idea.

3. Never go into Costco without a plan.

As noted in the first sentence of this article, Costco is like Disneyland for bulk shoppers. That’s why it’s so easy to get caught slipping in its aisles if you’re not careful.

Don’t fall for the enticing displays at Costco because they have A LOT OF GOOD STUFF! Make sure you create your list and stick with your budget when you go to Costco.

“If you don’t need it, you’re wasting money…even if it is a good deal. Be disciplined. Make a budget, make a list, and don’t be afraid to take stuff off the conveyer belt when checking out. Use some self-control, people!” Page advises. 

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4. Compare prices with other retailers to make sure you’re getting the best deal

Make sure you know what costs what at other retailers before you just assume Costco has a better price. As mentioned earlier, buying in bulk, doesn’t always mean cheaper.

“Learn your prices and don’t impulse buy furniture and appliances. Those are NOT always the best deals at Costco. … Only buy items that you will actually use. It’s not worth it to stock up on something that will sit in your cupboards for the next year or two and never be used,” Page wrote.

5. Determine what household staples are worth buying in bulk

There are several things Costco does better than many of its competitors. Its signature Kirkland brand has quality products that last long. There are several lists online which give thoughts on the best things to buy from Costco.

When it comes to food, things like eggs, lasagna, sheet cakes, coffee, taco kits, pizza, cooked rotisserie chicken (for just $4.99 each)water etc. top shoppers’ lists. As for non-perishables, shoppers laud Costco’s deals on toilet tissue, paper towels, trash bags, laundry detergent, diapers, bed sheets, cleaning supplies and more as great deals.

6. Still use coupons

Though Costco already offers bulk deals at great prices, be sure to still use coupons to get even more savings.

“For heaven’s sake people, use the coupons! Don’t get them? Ask the membership desk. They even have them online many times. When there’s a coupon for something you need or would buy anyway (very important) then stock up,” Page wrote.

7. Choose your membership level wisely

Costco has three membership levels. They include: the basic Gold Star Membership at $60 annually, which gives one access to shop in the store; the Gold Star Executive Costco Membership at $120 annually and gives 2% cashback on purchases in the form of a rebate check at the end of the year; and a Business Costco Membership that allows members to add additional people for $60 each!

Determine your needs and select the level that best suits your needs.