How To Get The Most Out Of Your Costco Membership
I signed up for a Costco membership way back when I was single and in my 20s. I think at the time, I only used it to buy discount wine, maybe some clothes and food for parties. I probably didn’t get enough value out of my Costco membership at the time, but I was young and single and money wasn’t a concern.
Out of habit, I kept renewing my membership every year so when I got married, I just added my husband to my Costco account. We bought a few more food items, but really, we didn’t eat at home much due to business travel and lived in a small apartment with very little storage space. While we didn’t use Costco much for food, we definitely got value out of our membership with two major purchases.
Costco isn’t just for food. You can save thousands of dollars on big ticket purchases through Costco. If you haven’t checked out all of the benefits of membership, you need to keep reading.
How to Save with Costco
We only go to Costco every few months. Truth be told, the Costco near us is terrible. The parking lot is too small and it is insanely crowded no matter when you shop. That being said, we have never once considered cancelling our membership because of the savings we get on non-traditional items. If you’re not aware of these membership perks, start taking advantage of them now! A regular membership is only $55. You will save way more than that if you take advantage of these deals.
- Costco Travel: We booked our honeymoon to Aruba through Costco Travel. We stayed at a small, non-chain adult-only resort and had an amazing trip. Costco offers a ton of travel packages to places you want to visit, as well as car rentals and cruises. Best of all? They have discounted amusement park tickets. We went to LegoLand (the park, water park and aquarium) for three days for $80 each. If you are planning a trip, check the Costco website as part of your price checking routine.
- Gift Cards: Have you checked out the gift cards at Costco? You can usually purchase them for less than the actual value. For example, I bought a gift card for a local restaurant for $75, but the actual card value was $100. When we have extra money, we buy a few for local restaurants we enjoy since we know we’ll eventually eat there. That way, we can still go out to eat when we are on a tight budget. I also always check the gift cards for teacher gifts.
- Cars: Yes, I said cars. Costco has an auto program where you can work with one of their dealers and get the car you want at a significant savings. We have bought three cars through the Costco program – a Lexus and two Toyotas. We saved around $5,000 on each car and never had to negotiate or deal with annoying sales people.
- Baby Products: Have you tried the Costco brand baby wipes? We have been using them for eight years. They are alcohol free and have never irritated my kids’ skin – and they both have sensitive skin. A giant box of wipes is only $19.99 – you seriously can’t beat that! They also carry formula and diapers, but they’ve never carried the brands we’ve used. If they have your brands, you’ll save a lot getting them at Costco.
- Furniture and Tires: I haven’t actually bought these items, but I know people who have and they were very happy with the purchase.
Best Costco Food Items
We don’t just use our Costco membership for big ticket items. We do buy food items and, quite frankly, if our local store wasn’t so crazy, we’d shop there much more frequently. I recently read an article that Costco is one of the top sellers of organic foods. They sell so much that they are actually working directly with organic farmers. We eat mostly organic foods so having Costco as a shopping option is a big benefit.
Here are our favorite Coscto food items:
- Organic ground beef: Costco carries organic ground beef for much cheaper than what we’d spend at Sprouts or Trader Joes. I usually pick up a three pack when I go to Costco.
- Bread: Costco carries bread at a 2 for 1 price, so if they carry your favorite brand, stock up. Bread can get expensive! My son loves Hawaiian bread so I buy two packages (that are already larger than what you get at the grocery store) and freeze one.
- Organic produce: Now, this is tough if you have a small family, but if your family eats a lot of a certain food, check Costco to see if they carry it. I don’t buy a lot of produce from Costco since my kids are young, but occasionally, I find something we can use. I buy organic blueberries when they are in season since my kids love them and if we can’t eat them all, I can use them for baking.
- Vitamins: Vitamins have a long shelf life. If you take a daily vitamin supplement, don’t skip the vitamin section at Coscto. They carry large sizes of the brands you probably already use. I get my Vitamin D and Multivitamins from Costco and they last for ages.
- Wine: I don’t drink as much wine as I used to because of my medication, however, I always stock up when I go to Costco. They carry brands that I like at a few dollars savings.
- Cleaning products: I admit, I am all about cleaning shortcuts. We use Swiffer to clean our floors, not a mop and bucket. Costco carries Swiffer floor cleaner, as well as the dishwasher soap I normally use. If we had more storage, I’d buy much more, but I don’t have anywhere to store the large products.
- Odds and ends: My husband hates shopping with me, particularly at Costco. No matter where I shop, I usually go aisle by aisle to see if there’s anything I’m interested in buying. So, not surprising, I end up getting lots of random things at Costco. Most recently, I got 800 thread count Queen sheets for $39.99. I also got Sketchers slip on walking shoes for $19.99. I have found great deals on pajamas for the kids, Stride-Rite socks for the boys and socks and underwear for my husband.
If you don’t shop Costco because you’re a small family or don’t have lots of storage, give it a try. We don’t have storage, so I don’t buy paper products or anything that comes in really large packages, but I still get a lot of value from my Costco membership.
Note – this is not an affiliate or sponsored post. I just want to share how we save at Costco.