Not having the right membership
Costco has three different membership options, and choosing the wrong one can cost you money.
Costco’s Gold Star membership and Business membership each cost $60 per year. The Executive Membership is $120 per year with 2% cash back on your purchases. Do some math and see which one is best for you.
Missing the price adjustment
It can be annoying when you buy something and see that Costco put that same item on sale a week later. But you can still save money if you’re proactive.
Costco has a price adjustment feature that will allow you to get the sale price on an item if you mention it within 30 days of purchase. Check with the Costco customer service desk to see if you can get the price change, or request an adjustment online.
Shopping while hungry
Costco is full of delicious foods, which is why it's risky to shop at the warehouse retailer on an empty stomach. Instead, go after you’ve had a meal.
Make sure you create a list and stick with it so you don’t get tempted by the food in the aisles.
Not checking the ad booklet before shopping
Costco sends out an ad booklet each month that lists all kinds of savings on food, home products, electronics, clothes, and more.
Make sure to check this out. You might find a good deal on something you had been thinking about buying.
Skipping the food court
Costco’s food court is a great option for a cheap meal before you head home. Check out their famous hot dog deal for $1.50, or order a warm churro and smoothie.
You can also put in an order before you start shopping so that it’s ready when you leave. For example, place an order for a pizza at the beginning of your Costco run and pick it up hot at the end.
Shopping on a Sunday
Sometimes, it’s not about the money you spend, but rather the time you waste. So, if you want to get in and out of Costco as quickly as possible, don’t waste your Sunday at the warehouse retailer.
Lines will be long, aisles will be crowded, and you might have to fend off other shoppers to get the best samples. Skip the stress and enjoy your Costco trip on another day, or at a less busy time.
Dismissing Kirkland Signature products
It’s a mistake to automatically assume that Kirkland Signature products are not as good as name-brand items.
Items with this Costco brand are usually good in quality, and they could save you cash.
Overdoing the fresh produce
Costco shoppers can be overly ambitious. That’s not a problem if you’re stocking up on pasta or grabbing extra paper towels for the family. But Costco’s bulk-size produce options may cost you cash if you don’t eat them quickly.
Think about your produce purchases before you put them in your cart so you don’t end up disposing of them if they go bad before you eat them.
Missing those member perks
Buying in bulk isn’t the only great thing about having a Costco card: Your membership can also get you discounts on travel, cars, insurance, and other products.
Dig into Costco’s various perks and see if there is something online that might save you money.
Driving past the pump
Don’t drive by those gas pumps in the Costco parking lot.
The pumps at Costco often have lower prices than many local gas stations. So, fueling up at Costco can save you money on gas.
Forgetting the seasonal items
Costco has some great deals on seasonal items for holidays in the winter, gardening in the spring, and other events during the year.
Check for things that you need when these seasons roll around.
Missing the pharmacy deals
Costco’s pharmacy can fill your prescriptions just like your normal pharmacy, and the cost may be lower at the warehouse retailer.
The pharmacy also has various generic drugs at a discounted price, which may help you save money. And remember your furry friends — you can also get dog and cat medication from Costco.
You can save a lot of money as a Costco member, particularly if you know the best Costco hacks. Avoiding the above mistakes will help you keep even more cash in your pocket.
Before you head out, check your wallet for the best credit cards for Costco shoppers. Then, keep an eye out for sales and in-store brands so you can net extra savings.