Self Help

Costco Hacks That Will Help You Get the Most Out Of Your Next Shopping Trip

By Sarcasm Society - February 07, 2019

Let’s all take a moment and thank our lucky stars to be living in the day and age we currently reside in. Sure, the world isn’t perfect by a long shot and there’s a lot of work to still be done, but in terms of conveniences, this has to be the best time in history to be alive and we should all be grateful.

Back in the day (“back in the day” meaning hundreds of years ago, not 2006), if you wanted to eat, you had to grow or kill your food yourself. Now, we have Costco. Costco is the Target of buying bulk; it’s heaven. But did you know about these hacks that will make your Costco experience even better?

Shopping Trips


Survival is dependent on being able to eat, and finding your next meal wasn’t always a guarantee throughout history. But now, if you have the funds, you can not only find food, but have a ridiculous selection of it to choose from.

Grocery stores are overflowing with options of sustenance, and it can actually be intimidating to find what you’re looking for. Perhaps none are more large and imposing than that wonderful behemoth of bulk we’ve all grown to know and love.



When it comes to grocery stores that can be intimidating and overwhelming, Costco is in a league all its own. It’s amazing to have a store where you can get so many things, and in bulk to boot!

But even though prices are low and abundance of items are high, how can you be sure you’re making the most of every trip to this membership-only behemoth? Here are some secret tips to help you dominate your next trip to Costco.

Know Your Store


Whether you’re new to Costco or you’ve repped it hard over the years, it’s always great to learn new tricks to get the most out of your visit, which is why we put together this wonderful list of helpful hints.

First up? Know your store. Costco stores are huge beyond comprehension, and if you don’t know the layout or where you need to go, you’ll be meandering the aisles of giant cat food bags for hours.

It's All About The Gift Cards


Who knew that Costco was home to some awesomely priced gift cards?! You might have known that, actually. Snag cheap gift cards for movies and stores, with some locations even offering bridge toll gift cards.

Um, yes. You can now avoid traffic on the cheap, thanks to Costco. And we all know that’s going to save you a lot of headaches later. Thanks, Costco! Always looking out for us. And this is just the beginning!

Decode The Price Tag


This is very valuable and maybe the most complicated of Costco skills. (Side note: Can colleges teach courses on how to navigate Costco? Seriously.) When reading a price tag at Costco, it’s important to understand what you’re looking at.

Always look at the individual prices to see if it’s a better deal to buy in bulk. Also, prices ending in .99 are just the regular price. Any price ending in .97 is an item that’s on sale. If something has an asterisk, that means it won’t be there much longer and you better stock up!

The Food Court Prices Stay The Same


This is perhaps (nay… definitely) the most wonderful thing of all. Costco’s $1.50 hotdog and soda combo is a true delight and hasn’t changed in price. After all that shopping, you deserve a dog!

That’s right, through thick and thin, rise and fall, sickness and in health (sorry, we really love Costco to the point of wanting to marry it), the prices at the food court have remained constant. If only all of our relationships in life were this consistent.

You Actually Can Get In Without A Membership


STOP THE PRESSES. SAY. WHAT?! Yes, it’s true. You can totally get into Costco without a membership. Just ask a friend to pick up a Costco cash card or gift certificate for you so you can check it out.

See if you’re ready to take the membership plunge. But come on, who are we kidding? With all they offer and all these tricks coming to life, how can you possibly resist? You owe it to yourself to live your best life.

The Roadshows Are Awesome


If you happen to see a roadshow at Costco, enjoy and take advantage of it because these babies don’t last forever! If you ever see an awesome display from a company like Lindt or Krispy Kreme, you better enjoy it while it’s there!

Next week, it’ll most likely be gone, as these pop-up “roadshows” only appear for a limited amount of time. They are basically the unicorns of Costco. Catch them if you can and revel in their glory!

You Can Buy Alcohol Without Being A Member


Say what?! It’s true. Not only can you get in without a membership, but you can also get booze in bulk on a budget. Frankly, Costco is too good for this world and none of us deserve it, yet they’re still here for us.

In some locations, you don’t have to be a member to purchase alcohol at Costco, so you can totally rack up those deals! Again, become a member. It’s the least you can do for them, and for yourself.

Memorize Where The Deals Are


This won’t come as new information to the savvy Costco veteran, but the name of the Costco game is deals. Things in the front of the store and on the outer aisles have been placed there strategically. 

Chances are, they aren’t on sale. If you want the really great deals, you’ve got to do a little exploring down the actual aisles. Think of yourself as a thrifty Indiana Jones. You gotta explore this temple to find the true treasures.

Free Samples Forever


If you’ve ever been to a Costco, you know they have great deals on items in bulk. But if we’re being honest, the best part about Costco are all those wonderful free samples they hand out. And here’s something you might not have known about them…

There’s no limit on free samples, which is insanely wonderful. Obviously, you want to be considerate, but you can go back as many times as you want. We’re not worthy of thee, oh great Costco.

Tuesday And Wednesday Mornings Are Ideal


As great as Costco can be, they are always so crowded… if you go at the wrong time. Yes, there is actually a correct time to go to Costco, and it’s Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Forget about a weekend or holiday — it’ll be absolute and complete mayhem. Do yourself a favor and really scout out the most ideal times to go. You’ll be cruising down the aisles and eating free samples like a true queen.

Always Check The Mail Before Heading Into The Store


Before going shopping, always check and see what coupons Costco sent in the mail. They send them quite frequently to all their members, and you don’t want to miss out on awesome deals.

So remember, Costco isn’t just a store, it’s an adventure. While some choose to go on adventures without planning ahead, it’s not the best of ideas. Do some prep work and you can return joyous and triumphant from your cost-saving Costco conquest.

Always Stick To Your Shopping List


Look, Costco is great, but it’s still a business. They want to tempt you to part with your money, and they are very good at it. How can you resist the call of giant TVs, couches and those juicers they’re always showing off?

It’s simple, really. Just make a list before you go. Never stray away from your shopping list! You’ll just end up spending way too much money. It’s important to remain focused, despite how tempting everything can be!

Shop Smart And Save


So what have we learned? So much it’s hard to recap, honestly. The main things to keep in mind are to look for the deals, stick to your list and plan ahead to make the most of your Costco visits.

Oh, and we also learned you can get in and buy booze without a membership and eat all the free samples you want. So keep all these in mind, and you can save even more money at this store that already helped you save so much.