How To Shop At Costco More Efficiently

While shopping at Costco you will find great deals. If you are unfamiliar with Costco, they are a warehouse club that brings their valued members the best possible prices on many different top quality brand-names’ merchandise. In 1997 the company rebranded themselves by renaming all Price Club locations to the current name Costco.

Shop Costco EfficientlyWhile Walmart offers about 100,000 different items to their customers, Costco only offers about 4,000 items to their 64 million customers. Costco is the leader of the warehouse clubs, owning over 50% of the market share. They average over 3 millions shoppers per day in total at their 600 different locations worldwide. They not only sell groceries in bulk, but also sell gasoline, vacations, mortgages, wedding dresses, caskets, designer brands and health insurance.

Costco is a store that doesn’t advertise or bag your purchases. They don’t even have signs in the aisles because they want customers to wander around the store to discover different items. Many customers love this sense of discovery and buy more then they intended. This makes Costco one of the hardest stores to control your impulse buying, if you’re looking to limit your impulse buying check out my article here.

However if you find your cart piling up with more then you wanted to buy because you’re shopping hungry, don’t be afraid to catch a bargain at their food counters. Costco takes pride in keeping their prices as low as possible. In fact they haven’t changed the price of their hot dogs since the store opened. It still cost only $1.50 for a hot dog and a soda.

Here are a few tips on how to efficiently shop at Costco:

  • Although Costco doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons, they do offer coupon booklets and at most locations you don’t even need to waste the time of cutting out each individual coupon. When you hand the cashier your coupon book, one scan should automatically deduct the appropriate amount from coupons on your purchase.
  • Although their trucks make deliveries almost daily, the best days to shop at Costco are in the middle of the week, Tuesday or Wednesday, when it is less crowded. These are also best days to guarantee they have all of the items on your list in store because during most weekends certain items are almost always sold out. Also these are great days because the new coupon booklets come out on Mondays so you miss many people trying to use their booklets that day.
  • For all of the extreme couponers who love to stockpile, look out for prices that end in 7. Almost everyone is used to seeing a price end with a 9, but when Costco has a price ending in a 7 it means that the price has been marked down by the corporate office. So be sure to take advantage of this price reduction and stock up.
  • Members have permission to bring up to 2 guests with them at a time, but only the Costco member can make a purchase.  Even if you aren’t a member, you can still make purchases at Costco’s pharmacy and food court.
  • Costco doesn’t have fitting rooms to try on their clothing, but if something doesn’t fit you can return the merchandise for a full refund. Costco will give a full refund on any items that you are not satisfied with except for electronics, which can be returned within 90 days.

Costco is just a great place to shop.  It’s worth paying the membership fee for all the money you will save over the course of one year.  While they don’t accept manufacturer coupons, smart shoppers know how to stock up and get great deals at these warehouse clubs.

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