I’m a huge fan of Costco. I visit a Costco warehouse at least once a week as they carry so many of the products my family uses on a daily basis at a great price. You do have to have a membership to shop there, but it’s easy to justify the annual $60 cost of a Gold membership. There are several shopping techniques that are as good as finding a Costco membership coupon.
Buy Products You Already Use
Costco sells products that you probably already use. Making your Costco membership work for you by buying products you would buy anyway is a no-brainer. Here are three of the biggest money savers I buy at Costco:
- Toilet Paper : Costco carries several brands of toilet paper including my family’s preferred choice, Charmin. Per roll, Charmin at Costco is cheaper, especially when there’s a manufacturer’s rebate taken off right at the register.
- K-Cups : My wife is the only person in our household that drinks coffee, so she uses a Keurig to make single servings. K-Cups are sold in huge packages at Costco, but the price per K-Cup is unbeatable.
- Meat Products : Whether it’s hamburger, steak, chicken, or seafood, Costco meat products are consistently cheaper than a traditional grocery store. Meat products at Costco typically come in packages larger than an average family would use at once, so I typically keep enough for one family meal, and then vacuum seal the rest with my food saver for a later date.
Buy Kirkland Products
Buying store brand products is always a great way to save money. Kirkland is the Costco store brand, but their products are typically high quality making them a great choice. Three of my favorite money saving Kirkland products are:
- Bottled Water : A 48 pack of Kirkland brand water is cheaper per bottle than anything I’ve found elsewhere. If you use bottled water, this is definitely the way to go.
- Paper Towels : I’m usually skeptical about store brand paper products, but the Kirkland brand paper towels are inexpensive AND they work great. As long as I have a Costco membership, I’m buying my paper towels from Costco.
- Laundry Detergent : I’m sure there is some difference between laundry detergent quality if you would do a comparison with really difficult stains. My family is pretty easy on clothes when it comes to soiling them, so the Kirkland brand detergent works just fine for us.
Shop The Costo Liquor Store
As you enter Costco you may see an entrance to the separate Costco liquor store. If you enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, you may find significant savings on your favorite fermented products. The selection is limited to the most popular products, but savings on hard liquor can be 25% less than a traditional liquor store, and the savings on Costco beer can also be significant.
Buy Costco Gas
Costco members can also take advantage of Costco gas stations, which usually price gasoline at 5-10 cents less than your corner gas station. A minivan with a 20-gallon tank can save $1-$2 with every fill-up, which over the course of a year could pay for a Costco membership all by itself!
Costco Gift Card
There are no guest passes or trial memberships to Costco, but you can get around this by giving someone a Costco gift card. Anyone holding a Costco gift card can enter the store and shop just like any other member. If you don’t have a Costco membership, but know someone that does, they could get you a gift card to allow you to take advantage of Costco savings!
Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi
If you take advantage of credit card rewards programs, you’ll want to look into the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi. Not only will you earn 2% cash back on your Costco purchases, but 4% on gas purchases, 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, and 1% on anything else. The rewards are paid out once a year in the February/March time frame and can easily pay for your annual membership all by itself!
You need a membership to shop at Costco, and at a price of $60 a year many people may wonder whether it’s worth the cost. Utilizing any or all of these techniques can easily make the membership pay for itself, essentially allowing you to make your own free Costco membership coupon!
How about you, Clever Friends, do you have a Costco membership? Are you taking full advantage of it?