17 “Secret” Costco Hacks & Membership Perks You Need to Know About

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If you have a Costco membership, then you already know all about the joys of shopping for steals while sampling the goods. What you might not be aware of, however, are the secret tips to navigating your favorite shopping destination, and the extra “hidden” ways you can use that membership to earn even more. Here are some of the best Costco tips and hacks to save you money.

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You Can Get Curbside Pick Up

Due to COVID, Costco is now offering curbside pick up on selected items for members. Most of it is electronics and jewelry, but it's still a nice perk. 

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Get Immunizations

Cross two errands off your list when you make an appt. at the Costco pharmacy for annual immunizations. You can get a flu vaccine for the whole family and other important milestone immunizations. The pharmacy accepts all major insurances. 

Know Your Price Codes

Did you know there are all sorts of little tips and tricks when it comes to figuring out those price codes? Yup, there's a system. Think asterisk = seasonal and 97 cents means a markdown, etc. There are more, according to Wallet Hacks

Instacart

Shop without a Membership

Want the perks of shopping at Costco without the cost of a membership? There's an easy way to make it happen. If you don't mind using Instacart, simply fire up the app and place your Costco order, no membership needed. Of course with a $5.99 delivery free it still isn't completely free, but you're also gaining the convenience of shopping from home—although you won't get to nibble on all those samples.

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Save on Gift Cards

It’s nearly impossible to get gift cards on sale since you are essentially just trading in cash for a card of the same value. At Costco, however, you can purchase a pack of gift cards to various retailers at a discounted rate.

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Ditch the Coupon Book

Forgot your coupon book? No worries. Nowadays, according to Wallet Hacks, there are no barcodes and the savings are automatically applied to your bill. The book is just your monthly list of deals and savings.

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Skip the Food Court Line

After navigating your way through Costco and the enormous checkout line with kids in tow, the last thing you want to do is wait in another line to grab lunch, especially if your tots are hangry. Luckily there's a ridiculously simple way to skip the food court line. While you're checking out, place your order and pay, then all you have to do is show your receipt and grab your food at the pick-up area.

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Spend Less on Prescriptions

Costco’s Prescription program offers members deep discounts on their prescription medications without insurance coverage.

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See a Double Feature

A trip to the movies for a family can get pretty pricey, but at Costco, you can purchase a 10-pack of movie tickets for a discounted price and they never expire. With the money you’ll save, that overpriced popcorn and drinks won’t be quite so bad.

The Krazy Coupon Lady via YouTube

The Best Time to Shop

Love Costco's prices, but not the crowds? Beat the lines and packed aisles by shopping on the best day and time. According to Business Insider bypass the weekends and shop on weekdays if possible. It's also best to avoid evenings, so load up your tots and hit Costco early or mid-morning.

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You'll Never Overspend

While we can't guarantee you won't buy one too many bottles of Kirkland wine, you definitely won't get charged for more than what you take home thanks to the one thing Costco employees always do before you leave the store. As it turns out checking that receipt and drawing that smiley face has nothing to do with making sure you're not stealing. Instead, Costco does this to ensure that you haven't been double charged for any items.

Another way Costco makes sure you won't overspend is with its 30-day price adjustment policy. According to Eat This, Not That!, if an item goes on sale within 30 days of when you purchased it, Costco will pay you the difference, no receipt needed.

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Save Money on Your Next Car

No one likes car shopping, but when you use your Costco membership, you might actually have some fun. The Costco Auto Program works with thousands of pre-owned car dealerships to negotiate low prices for you, so you don’t have to sweat the haggling.

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Make Sure You're Scoring a Deal

Want to make sure you're getting the best deal possible? According to Eat This, Not That! you'll know a Costco item has been discounted if the price ends in $0.97. If the price tag also has an asterisk, then it won't be restocked. 

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Family Vacation on a Budget

Want to see the world? Costco can help you do it for less. With Costco Travel your membership can get you deals on theme park tickets, airplane tickets, car rentals, hotels and cruises. We're talking up to 30% off hotels both in the U.S. and abroad as well as package deals on family-friendly vacations like Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Package with Walt Disney World tickets. 

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Get Checks for Less

Even in the age of digital payments, there are still those few moments when a check is required, and Costco will print you a pack of checks for less than your bank charges.

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Get Tech Help for Free

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out why your WiFi is out or Netflix isn’t loading. Costco offers free technical support for any televisions, computers, tablets, appliances and more purchased in-store and online. No warranties or extra fees are required.

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Shop Costco Next

Costco Next is an online way to shop from Costco's most trusted suppliers and you'll get to choose from a wide range of exclusive items that are often low in stock. Costco Next allows you to purchase directly from the suppliers site, while still enjoying your Costco membership values.

—Taylor Clifton & Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: iStock 

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