7 Costco Shopping Secrets I Didn’t Know About

A few months ago I finally got a Costco membership and it’s been awesome. The day I signed up my sister was with me and I was so excited I was like “let’s post a picture of my card!” She was like “Why…” Clearly I was the only excited one.

Since then, I have my regular items that I always pick up at Costco, like their kale salad mix, eggs, apple slices, contact solution, and other household items. But there is still a lot more to Costco that I did not know about! I’m going to list a few and maybe this will help out my fellow Costco shoppers ;) Oh and if you want more information, I also linked to the appropriate Costco pages.

Costco Shopping Tips & Secrets

Costco refills ink cartridges. What?? Not that I use a printer a lot but printer ink can be pricey. This is a great deal.

Costco sells cheaper movie ticketsA 4-pack is $33.99, which comes out to about $8.50 per ticket. At the movie theater, tickets can range from $9 to over $11 depending on the movie and theater. How come I can’t find any $5 matinee specials anymore??

A asterisk means the item won’t be restocked. I encountered this when buying St. Tropez bronzing gel (which works really well by the way). Here’s more info on pricing/price codes at Costco.

Costco offers discounted vacation packages & car rentalsLiterally just found out about this website as I was writing this post, so I’ll be looking up deals for me and Dan’s Myrtle Beach trip this summer ;)

Coscto has a great refund policyThey have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their membership and will refund you your membership fee no questions ask. Also, they have a great return policy on items you buy. My mom bought a huge back of Starbucks coffee but hated the tasted. She was able to exchange it no problem, despite that the bag was already opened. I’m all about good customer services.

Buy Kirkland. In researching for writing this, multiple sources claim that Kirkland is the best brand to buy from Costco. The products are sometimes higher quality than other name brands! Here’s a list of Kirkland brands items to opt for as opposed to other brands (and in turn saves you money). Some items include over-the-counter drugs, laundry detergent, olive oil and tuna. Oh an alcohol. Supposedly, Jim Beam makes the Kirkland whiskey and Grey Goose makes the Kirkland vodka…hmm…

Costco has a price match guaranteeIf you bought an item and then next week it is on sale, Costco will credit you the difference as long as it is within 30 days of purchase. 

I’m sure there is a lot I’m missing, but please share in the comments if you know of any other little hidden perks! As I was writing this, I saw Laura of Mommy Run Fast posted about what she buys in bulk at Costco. I’ll definitely have to check some of these items out. 

I have found that many items are cheaper than buying at a normal grocery store (like salad bags and the apple slices I get), though I have also read that household items like toilet paper and paper towels are either the same price or more expensive than buying at somewhere like Target. I always have my calculator handy to calculate the unit price and see if I actually am saving money.

Do you have a Costco membership? What are your favorite items to buy? Please share any tips or secrets as well!


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  1. Wow who knew – I have yet to get a costco membership – it’s like 40 miles from my house – but I’ve thought about it!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chimichurri SauceMy Profile

  2. My husband shops there…got our rental car for our vacation from Costco! I need to check it out.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…CourageMy Profile

  3. Larisa (0to26point2) says:

    Awesome, our Costco opens in a month and I am SOOOOO excited.

  4. I had NO idea about most of this stuff! Super cool. I love Costco, but don’t have a need to shop there yet living in a small NYC apartment with just my BF. But one day, when I move out to the burbs, I’m gunna remember these haha
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…The Pick Up WorkoutMy Profile

  5. Of all of the things I miss about California–CostCo ranks way up there. I love the hot dogs the most!
    Margo recently posted…New Conference & Festival News! @TipsOfTheScale Conference and @Wanderlustfest Summer 2015 DatesMy Profile

  6. I love Costco’s return policy, they will literally take ANYTHING back. Kind of blows my mind.
    I’ll have to try more Kirkland products.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Why I #KeepItTight & Pro Compression GiveawayMy Profile

  7. What? They refill ink cartridges? Those babies are expensive-with 2 kids in HS we go through a lot of ink. Good to know
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Simply Ancient Grains-Cookbook ReviewMy Profile

  8. I freaking love Costco and am in there almost weekly. Love their Kirkland brand and we took a spectacular trip to Hawaii using their travel service.
    Marcia recently posted…Masters Swim 101My Profile

  9. LOVE Costco and SO wish they (or an equivalent) existed in France. We have something like it but just for professionals who own restaurants and food-related business. But we do have awesome farmers markets and other things so I guess it all evens out. I always hit up Costco when I’m home, though. Great prices on razor cartridges so I always stock up.
    Diane recently posted…Morning drinking in SaumurMy Profile

  10. Costco is calling my name! We now have more space and we can finally do a little bulk shopping, but I love that they have other great deals like travel and alcohol! :D
    Kate @KateMovingForward recently posted…Weight Watchers Week 12My Profile

  11. The Costco return policy is freaking amazing!
    I bought a Blendtec that died and they took it back after 18 months with NO PROBLEM! I also bought hard sided suitcases that cracked and I was able to return them AFTER USING THEM!
    I’ll buy expensive items through Costco because I know so long as I have my membership, I can return it if it breaks. But you won’t see me returning bananas………
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Appetite vs. HungerMy Profile

  12. Costco rocks! I am headed there today as a matter of fact! Check out their vacation deals!!! We went on a Disney vacation and stayed at the 5 start Waldolf for the same price as staying a a midlevel Disney hotel. You can get all kinds of stuff there, like windows, siding, your cell phone, outdoor furniture and plants! Also, you should get the executive membership and use the American Express card as you get cash back on top of the cash back from the membership.

    • Wow about the disney vacation! I already have an AMEX so don’t want to open a new one but wish I had known about it earlier :)

  13. I wish I had a costco card. But there’s no costco near me anyway so I probs wouldn’t use it very often haha
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…Enjoy Exercising with Five Simple ChangesMy Profile

  14. This. Is. Awesome! I had NO idea about these 7 CostCo shopping secrets! Thank you!
    Rachel recently posted…Amazing Women EverywhereMy Profile

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