Some people look at me like I have twenty heads when I tell them that I shop at Costco over a normal grocery store most of the time.
Don’t you know other places sell milk?
Aren’t there only two people in your family?
How do you eat that much?

Believe me, I’ve heard it all. I just kind of chuckle to myself and let them think they know everything. The reality is that we actually save money and eat healthier by shopping at Costco for the bulk of our household groceries, alcohol and cleaning supplies. 
Let’s get started…
1. Kirkland (Costco’s brand) is super high quality and often comes from the same place as name brands that you recognize. This is especially true for their wine – more on that later! You’re paying for a label (just like at any other place) so choosing the Kirkland brand is a great way to save and still enjoy a quality product.
2. The middle of the store is where the deals are, so unlike shopping the perimeter at other grocers, stick to the high-traffic middle. Lifehacker refers to this as “action alley”, because it is frequented the most. Don’t stray if you’re looking for a deal!
3. Costco’s meat is some of the best I’ve seen (at least here in Hawaii). They have an amazing selection of organic meat (their grass-fed beef is delicious!) and buying it in bulk and freezing it into portioned sizes as opposed to purchasing on an as-needed basis works really well. We typically buy all our meat at once every couple months and never even have to think about going to a grocery store when it comes to meal planning. WIN!
4. We tend to eat pretty much all organic, so knowing where to find a deal is crucial. Milk, eggs, butter, meat, chia seeds and coconut oil are all cheaper than our local organic grocer at Costco.
**We will head to Whole Foods if we are looking for a specific product or a small quantity of a certain perishable. If I could find a way around this, I totally would!
5. Look for products that you love, but others don’t. Often new or seasonal items that have been sitting on shelves for an extended period will be marked down by the manufacturer. You can always tell, because the price will end in $0.97!
6. The produce at Costco is often locally-sourced, so I don’t feel badly about skipping farmer’s markets to support local. If there is fresh produce in our refrigerator, we will eat it, so normally nothing goes bad and we can feel good about our food choices for all meals. 
7. Always go to the customer service desk first! The first thing I do when I walk in the store is do an about-face turn to hit up customer service for coupons. They give them to you if you ask!
8. Prescriptions, Gas and Vacations..Oh my! Our insurance through the military doesn’t cover a couple of the prescriptions we take, so we always have them called into Costco. A consumer report found that Costco is actually one of the cheapest places to get scripts filled. And while you’re saving, look into filling up your gas tank, renting a car or booking a vacation. All are offered through Costco’s membership plan and I can honestly say — WORTH IT!
9. Stock up on cleaning supplies, paper products and office supplies. If you don’t have the space in your current house to buy these products in bulk, split the items and cost with a friend. We often do this and it works out well for two families – getting what we need AND saving!
10. Costco is the number one wine retailer in the United States. Why? Because you cannot beat their prices or quality. First things first, if you don’t already have a Costco membership, some stores will allow you to still purchase alcohol there. Check your state to see if you are among the lucky….and then get yourself a Costco membership! Second, the inventory and selection of quality bottles is what I love most about the wine section of Costco. I have found new favorites and classics for affordable prices. Not the mention, their Kirkland Brand Prosecco is $6.99 and there is NOTHING I don’t love about that. 
11. Always keep your receipts! Costco has a 30 day price-adjustment policy and a 90-day return policy. We’ve gotten money back for multiple items that we purchased previously, only to find out the price dropped right after. 
12. Keep your eyes open at the holidays for gifts and year-round for birthdays! You can stock up on discounted gift cards. We purchased discounted movie tickets that beat out our normal military discount, so you KNOW it’s good ๐Ÿ˜‰
13. If you see an asterisk (*) on a price sticker, it means the item will not be restocked. If it’s something you love, grab a few!
14. And last, but certainly not least, the samples. They are endless and free. Capitalize.
Do you shop at Costco? What is your favorite tip for getting your money’s worth?

*Costco has no idea who I am and I’m not being paid to write this. But if Costco is reading…I LOVE YOU!

RELATED POSTS

  • Yessssss. We're only a little family of 2 but we shop almost exclusively at Costco. We do the same thing with the meats and I honestly cannot understand why anyone wouldn't. I mean, all I do in the morning is pull out either chicken, or beef or sausage and go from there, it's just so easy. And I don't know the last time I bought a cleaning supply somewhere else. We get everything. BUT, we do have things like stuffed in every corner because we don't have an extra closet for toilet paper, paper towel, kleenexes haha. You said you mostly eat organic, but you forgot to mention THE PIZZA! We always get a whole pizza on the way out for $10 which = dinner and lunch the next day!

  • I just got a Costco membership this year and love it! So many good deals and cool products! And the gas… so cheap!

  • Costco totally needs to share this post on their social media sites because it's very convincing to shop there! I'm on my MIL's account, but our nearest Costco is two hours away in KC. So sad. ๐Ÿ™ I'm fixing to head to Alabama for a couple months to have Sadie and I can't wait to hit up the one near my parent's house. I'm a Costco lover right there with ya!

  • I never knew Costco was such a gem of good and healthy food. Note to self!

  • Jen

    I really miss having a Costco or Sam's Club close, our closest is an hour away and it's very depressing!

  • Kait, you are awesome! I didn't know half of these even though my husband and I are total Costco junkies.

  • You are speaking my language. I am obsessed with Costco, the travel is my favorite part!

  • Jen

    The only Kirkland brand item that sucks are their baby wipes. You need so many to wipe a little butt. No bueno

  • I've actually never been into a Costco. But I am obsessed with Target like you are with Costco, ha.

  • You need the costco app! All the coupons are on there no need to go to the customer service desk!

  • Love Costco! Especially the samples – those bakery samples are always so eye-rollingly good!

    xx, Caitlin
    http://www.wandererandwolf.com

  • Thanks for all the great tips! I need to start shopping at Costco too! Not sure how I have gone this long without it!

  • Oh my gosh! These are seriously the best tips ever, I've always wanted to shop at Costco, but never wanted to invest the time to figure out if it was worth it. I haven't exactly been happy with the commissary and their produce. My sister bought some produce from Costco, but they were bad. Mold on some of them, so I'm not sure if there's certain tips for produce. Thanks for sharing, we may just give Costco a try. I have a year membership that hasn't been activated. It was a gift.

  • Oh my gosh! These are seriously the best tips ever, I've always wanted to shop at Costco, but never wanted to invest the time to figure out if it was worth it. I haven't exactly been happy with the commissary and their produce. My sister bought some produce from Costco, but they were bad. Mold on some of them, so I'm not sure if there's certain tips for produce. Thanks for sharing, we may just give Costco a try. I have a year membership that hasn't been activated. It was a gift.

  • Yen

    I love Costco too! I use to buy my meat there, but my friend introduced me to Zaycon ( zayconfresh.com/refer/zf213876 ). Definitely check that out. It's just the 2 of us too, but on certain things, I feel like I save in the long run.

  • #1 is one of my favorite things I learned in college! So true! And oh my! The gas! When we were in Maui, Costco gas was like $.90 cheaper than anywhere else on the island! We always get our gift cards there too!

  • Pingback: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Hawaii - CommuniKait()