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:
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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