Costco can be a great place to shop if you want to keep your credit card bills to a minimum. The warehouse club charges you to become a member, but then you get to benefit from low prices on a wide variety of items ranging from big-screen TVs to supersized boxes of cereal.
But your opportunities to save don’t just start and end with the reduced prices on household goods that Costco offers. You can keep even more money in your checking account by taking advantage of these three surprising ways to score extra Costco savings.
1. Take full advantage of Costco price protection
If you buy something at Costco and the price goes down within 30 days of your purchase, you typically can get Costco to credit you back for the difference. There are a few restrictions to be aware of, including the fact that Costco won’t price match Costco warehouse prices for online purchases and the price protection guarantee is only for non-resale members.
Requesting a price adjustment is simple — you can do it online if you bought the item at Costco.com by signing into your account and clicking the “Request a Price Adjustment” button on the relevant page. If you bought the item in store, you’ll need to go to the Returns counter at the warehouse club where you purchased the item.
You can manually keep track of items you buy to take advantage of price protections, which is pretty easy if you visit the store regularly or check out Costco’s coupon books. You’ll want to focus on large purchases in particular, as you can get the biggest bang for your buck by getting a price adjustment on higher-cost items.
There are also apps and browser extensions you can use that will alert you when you may be able to take advantage of a price drop. Just check out the iOS App Store or Google Play store and search for “Costco price tracker” to find one that has a user interface you’re comfortable with. Beware, some of the apps are kind of buggy, so I don’t really recommend this approach — and you should read reviews of apps carefully when trying out this method of price tracking.
2. Stock up on discounted gift cards
Costco provides you with a great opportunity to save at other stores you may frequent, as well. The warehouse club sells discounted gift cards. And you can sometimes score big savings when you buy them.
For example, Costco is currently selling $100 worth of Domino’s Pizza gift cards for $79.99. If you buy them, you could score $20 worth of free pizza — which sounds like a delicious bargain.
Discounted gift cards are also available for Nutrisystem, the Nintendo e-Shop, and more. These make great holiday and birthday gifts. Or you can treat yourself to one if a discounted card is available at a store you shop at regularly. So, while you may be focused on all the flashier products Costco has on offer, don’t miss the simple gift card rack if you want to maximize your savings.
3. Get your drugs at Costco (even if you aren’t a member)
Costco even extends opportunities to save to non-members who need prescription medications for themselves and their pets. Anyone can get their prescriptions filled at Costco’s pharmacy even if they don’t have a Costco membership. Those smart consumers who take advantage of this opportunity can score great deals, including three-month supplies of generic medication for under $15.
While you may not think of buying your medications at the same place as you’re stocking up on a giant tub of cheeseballs, the reality is that you can sometimes save as much as 40% by getting your meds at Costco. That’s a nice boost to your personal finances.
Costco also used to offer free health screenings, although those were suspended due to COVID-19, but watch your store to see if they come back. This can be another great way to reduce your spending while still taking good care of your physical needs.
Now you know three great ways to save at Costco that you may not have thought of. Give them a try and see how much extra money you can keep.
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