The retailer's food court has some of cheapest meals around, charging only $1.50 for a hot dog and drink, and $1.99 for a slice of pizza. Costco is actually a big deal in the pizza business — the chain is the 14th-largest pizza chain in the country.
Crack the pricing code.
Costco's prices have a secret language that super fans like Len Rapoport have decoded.
If an item ends with $0.99, it’s regularly priced merchandise — not a mega deal. Items ending with $0.97 have been marked down, meaning you’re probably getting more for your money. If you see a price tag ending in $0.88 or an even dollar, those are usually local markdowns by a manager trying to get rid of a product.
While Costco's free samples are fantastic, don't let Costco get in your head with its generous servings. Free samples help spark sales — Costco's frozen pizza experienced a 600% sales boost after being served as a sample — but can also convince customers to make purchases they otherwise would not buy. Write a shopping list and stick to it.
Bring your own bags.
Any Costco pro knows the chain doesn't offer bags. If you don't want to settle for a cardboard box, bring your own baggage.
Check out the books.
Costco typically stocks new book releases as early as specialty bookstores, reports Popsugar.
The chain keeps book prices super low, like everything else it sells, so check out the chain if there's a heavily anticipated best seller hitting the shelves.
Buy in bulk for the holidays.
While most of the year, there’s no need to buy more than 30 king-sized candy bars, Popsugar notes that bulk sweets it can be the key ingredient to holidays like Christmas and Halloween.
According to Consumer Reports, Costco sells the most inexpensive pharmacy prescription drugs, with other pharmacies charging up to 447% more for the same drugs.
Even better, you don’t need to be a member to use the pharmacy.
Skip membership all together with a Costco Cash Card.
If you aren't sure if Costco is worth the price of membership, get someone who is already a member buy you a Costco Cash Card. Then you can visit a Costco and get all the discounts without shelling out for a membership, if you use the card to pay.