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Back when I was a kid, I never really understood how great Costco was. I'd hear all my friends' moms talk about it, especially the ones who were the moms of my friends on my soccer team. All they'd talk about is how they'd have to go to Costco to get Gatorade, Propel, Water and whatever else while we were at practice.
I never cared because, why the heck would I?
I was going to the same practice from the age of 11 years to 17 years old so I don't know, the Gatorade and Propel sort of just showed up in a pack in the garage out of nowhere and I'd drink it.
Now my problem how much it is, I'm 17! Woohoo!
K well, now I'm not, I'm 28 and I'm adulting hard and some days I really have come to appreciate Costco (you were right Mom, okay, you happy?).
Fast forward 9 years from my 17-year-old self and Costco is like heaven on earth to me. And I don't even have a membership! The only reason why I don't though is because my girlfriend and I have no room in our apartment. Realistically, the only things we could get without taking up a ridiculous amount of room is like one pack of Kirkland water and a couple massive jars of peanut butter.
I'll just stick to the tap water for now and not eat as much peanut butter, so I'm good. But it really is amazing if you have the space to store things you need, like water, paper towels, toilet paper, huge boxes of cereal, etc. And there are other perks you may not have known about before either!
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What to buy and some things you may not have already known
Kirkland Ice Cream
- It comes from Haagen-Daaz plants, but they use higher quality ingredients than Haagen-Daaz
- Kirkland ice cream is $0.34 per serving vs $1.03 per serving for Haagen-Daaz
Kirkland vodka is basically Grey Goose, it has the same factory address label on the bottles
- Kirkland vodka also scored higher in taste tests
- Grey Goose is $47.99 for 1.75L while Kirkland is $29.99
Certain locations allow nonmembers to also buy alcohol
Use the warehouse to get discounted gift cards and move tickets!
- In the gift card aisle, they have some of the best offers for things like bulk movie tickets and store gift certificates
- Some locations even give discounted bridge toll passes for area freeways
If you're a member, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for coupons Costco sends in the mail
Buy all Kirkland products in general
- They're surprisingly very high quality and like I mentioned above, they come from brand name factories
- According to Kiplinger, here are some Kirkland products you should definitely buy; they have 10 in the article, but I picked 7 I think are actually worth it
- Bacon: tops the chart on Consumer Reports bacon rankings
- You do have to buy four pounds at a time, but bacon's the best so it's okay
- Nothing like waking up to the smell of bacon in the morning
- Apparently, a Kirkland Signature India Pale Ale scored high with beer enthusiasts on websites like RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com
- I just looked up the ratings, they're not that high
- So, whatever, you be the judge a rating's just an opinion anyway so what the hell do I know
- But I will say you can get a 24 pack of 12-ounce beers for $19.99, which comes out to be $.83 a beer
- Also, a Goose Island Flight 24 pack of 12-ounce beers reportedly was $28.99; that's only $1.21 a beer
- Gasoline for those warehouses that offer it
- A Kirkland gas station in Virginia was selling gas for $.26 and $.29 less than Sunoco and Shell respectively
- Golf Balls
- Golf Balls are notoriously expensive, I was even trying to figure out a way to sell cheap golf balls online, but that didn't work out
- And for good reason apparently, since Kirkland's golf balls were getting compared to those the pros use
- at $30 for 24 balls or $1.25 per ball, that's great compared to $3.33 per balls which is what you'd be paying for Titleist Pro V1 golf balls at Dick's Sporting Goods whatever the hell that means
- If it's a fancy name I guess it's well-known right??
- I'm not well versed in golf balls, but for over $3 a ball that you're probably gonna lose, that seems ridiculous and I know there are some that are over $5 it's insane
- Kirkland Signature Greek Yogurt
- It was rated the best tasting plan nonfat yogurt by Consumer Reports
- Fage had a higher score than Kirkland for taste, but you have to pay almost twice as much
- Kirkland Salmon
- You can get 3 pounds of salmon for $29 vs $17 for one pound at Whole Foods
- Maybe it's changed since Amazon bought Whole Foods, but probably not that much
- Kirkland Vodka
- The vodka has the same shipping label as Grey Goose like I said before
- Kirkland's scored an 88 compared to 82 for Grey Goose in a professional taste testing
- Bacon: tops the chart on Consumer Reports bacon rankings
You can skip the lines by shopping on weekdays
- The best time to shop is on a weekday at midday, obviously because people are busy living their lives and working
- If you're on a staycation, it might be worth your while to trek over there during the day
You can use Costco's membership benefits to purchase cars and vacations
- It's like perks at your job, except it's Costco so it feels even better
The best bargains can be found around the edges of the store and in the center, not the aisles
- According to Lifehacker, the middle of the store is called “action alley” because of the high traffic, so distributors pay for the right to be there
- Since that's the case, prices are competitive
- Also, displays at the end of the aisles where the free samples are, seem to be the places where the bargains aren't as good
Organic and healthy food is cheaper at Costco
Costco has price codes that give you reference and an inside scoop on your savings
Ask the customer service team for help
- You can ask them for extra coupons, look up previous purchases without a receipt and learn about rewards that are given through your membership like American Express cash back bonuses
- This is my personal favorite
- They offer the cheapest prescription drugs
- I used to get a prescription from my local drug store that literally ranged from $60-$90 a month depending on what the market was like for a 30 day supply, it was ridiculous
- Now, I can get a 30 day supply for $11 or even better, a 90 day supply for $15; that’s $5 every 30 days!!
- Literally, that's at least 1,200% less
- Since I didn’t think to ask if Costco had a pharmacy until I moved out, my mom was buying my prescription since I was like 18 until 26 or, so paying around $70/month for 8 years; that’s $6,720!
- Now, I’ll be paying $480 for the same amount of years if the price doesn’t change; that’s 1,300% less!!
- Also another drug I get there is the Kirkland brand of Flonase
- At Target, one brand labeled bottle is $13.99
- I’m pretty sure I got 5 bottles for $24.99, it’s crazy
- So if you ever need a prescription or any allergy medicine, transfer your prescription to the nearest Costco and see if the allergy medicine is being sold there
- The best part is you don’t need a Costco membership to go, you can just go right over to the pharmacy and pick up whatever you need
Understand the Costco Pricing Codes
- Items that end in $.97 in price have been marked down from the original price since it usually ends in $.99
- Other pricing, for example, is $.49, $.79 or $.89, means the product is regular priced merchandise
- An asterisk in the upper right corner means the product isn't being reordered, so if you like what it is, stock up on it as much as you can and enjoy it while it lasts
Costco alcohol in general
- You also don't need a membership to buy it in certain states and it's cheaper
Bags of frozen fruits and veggies
- They are much cheaper and fresher than other store's frozen packs
You can get your money back if an item goes on sales after you bought it
- If you bought something and later find out it went on sale, as long as it's been on sale less than 30 days after you bought it, you can get the sale
- You don't even have to show the receipt, Costco will give you the difference back
- You can return anything back you aren't happy with without a deadline, except electronic items and major appliances, which are limited to 90 days
- The famous rotisserie chicken!
- It's only $5 and at least 3 lbs
- Great deal for a great bird
Get Costco's Visa Rewards Card
- The Costco Anywhere Card gives members 4% cash back on gas (up to $7,000) worth, 3% on eligible restaurant and travel purchases, 2% back on Costco or Costco.com purchases and 1% back on anything else you buy there
Check their website
- Sometimes you can find even better deals online than you would in the store
- You can find additional bargains and offers because Costco understands sometimes it can be a real pain to actually drive to their stores
- You can also shop on their website if you aren't a member, you'll just be charged 5% extra for a non-member fee
- Just make sure it's still worth it with the 5% charge
- You can get a $100 eye exam and glasses
- I always go here to get my lenses replaced when I get a new prescription, it's much cheaper
Look at their books they're selling
- they usually have new book releases as soon as specialty bookstores do according to Popsugar
- They keep the prices very low
Avoid membership altogether with a Costco Cash Card
- If you're on the fence about getting a membership or think it won't be worth your time, like for me I don't have enough storage space, you can get a Costco Cash Card and get all the benefits that come with being a member
- But I think you have to provide the named of the card member who gave you the cash card and their member id, so just be aware of that in case you get any pushback
- With all of these savings, you could literally save and invest $1,000 at least in an S&P 500 index fund
- If reinvested every year for 40 years, that would turn into $228,584 even without dividends reinvested
And boom, that's it! What other tricks do you know about Costco? I love learning new things I can use there to save money.
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