December 2, 2018

Money Mondays: How I Save More Money at Costco

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve gone several years without a Costco membership, but restarted my membership.  It is actually worth it, even if I live in a small space.  I am not affiliated with Costco and I have no financial interest in the company.  Just wanted to share a few tips I learned:

Membership cost

I scoured my employee benefit site and found out my employer offers an employee discount for a new membership so I took advantage.  It only applies to a new membership but not for renewals.

Other families I know split the cost of their membership with a sibling or parent, and just go shopping together.

Prescription eye wear

After comparing prices for eyeglasses and contact lenses, I found out that Costco has the best prices in my area.  You don’t have to go to the optometrist affiliated with them – you can still go to your favorite eye doctor, get a copy of your prescription and just bring it to the counter.  They accept most vision insurance, but you do have to pay your portion as soon as you order your glasses.  They often have specials on multiple glasses so I also got a pair of prescription sunglasses.  It took only a couple of weeks to get the glasses I ordered.

Gas

Now that gas prices have increased, I try to buy gas at Costco.  It’s a bit out of the way, but if I am shopping anyway, I make an extra stop at their gas station.   If you like paying cash for gas, you should know you’ll have to make an exception as they don’t accept cash at the pump, just debit or credit.

Checks

I still pay with checks for certain things.  When I ran out of checks, I ordered them from Costco online.  They have a lot of designs but I just get the plain safety checks.  At $16.48 for 492 checks, I don’t have to buy checks for a couple of years.

Buy fresh things you can use up

It’s tempting to buy the large produce bags like salads and fruit, but I can never use them up fast enough before they go bad.  I do buy eggs and milk and meats.  I just repackage and freeze meats in smaller packages.

Discount prices

  • If the price ends in $0.97 or 0.79, then it is marked down.
  • If you see an item you like, buy it right away as it may not be there next time you visit.
  • Try generic.  The Kirkland brand is excellent.  Even my primary care doctor highly recommends  Kirkland pain relievers, allergy medicines and vitamins.

Quick bites

The concession stand has very inexpensive meals available.  Though I prefer to eat at home, I like the pizza slices for a quick lunch.  Two people can eat for under $5.  Probably not the healthiest choice if you are watching your diet, but for an occasional meal, it is not bad at all.

Of course I have to mention the samples.  If you go close to meal times, Costco always has several sample stands.  If you make the rounds, you can stave off hunger.  I used to be embarrassed about getting samples until I realized I actually end up purchasing the ones I really like.  And they do encourage sampling because it increases the likelihood of purchasing the items.

Returns

Most of the items I buy have worked out well but occasionally have to return something.  Costco accepts most returns as long as you have a receipt.  I’ve gone back to return frozen fish that was did not taste very good and my cousin returned a mushy watermelon and they accepted it.

What is your favorite way to save at Costco?  Please share in the comments!

 

 

© Apartment Prepper 2018

 

 



4 Comments on Money Mondays: How I Save More Money at Costco

  1. the grocery chain I shop at has a gas discount card and I use it the max. Several time I have purchased 20 gallons of gas for .18 cents (the state does not allow it for free). I always look for sales to stock up on long term items. I have enough dish shop and laundry detergent for several years. Got it all on sale and with the gas discount too. I try to buy meat in bulk and break it down in to smaller freezer packs too. My Food Save vacuum packer work great for this. I do buy fresh fruit and dehydrate it as well.

    • Hi Ben, You get a lot out of deals from that grocery chain-that super low gas price is awesome. After buying several pounds of beef and chicken and having to repackage them I realized I can really use one of those vacuum packers. Thanks for the comment!

      • I have purchased 2 of them at Goodwill. The most I ever paid was $8.00 with a roll of bag material in the machine. check that the vacuum motor works and the only other problem can be the two seals rings and theses can be turned over or replaced. AS a side note with the Food Saver bags the food in them can be reheated in boiling water. and the bags washed and sterilized and reused. They can be very useful in packing important papers and items away as well. I use them for go-bag items to be sure that they will be clean and dry if I need them.

        • Ben, I have a Goodwill nearby, I am going to start perusing for a Food Saver. I felt they were expensive if bought new, but used is good! Thanks for the idea.

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