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I've shopped at Costco for years. Here are my 6 tricks for getting the best deals.

Emily Thompson   

I've shopped at Costco for years. Here are my 6 tricks for getting the best deals.
  • I love shopping at Costco because of the great deals and prices.
  • I take advantage of my membership by using the Costco app to check for sales.

Costco has been a treasure trove for my frugal habits.

And I'm not alone — nearly half of US consumers shopped at Costco at least one time last year.

Although I save money by shopping regularly at the store, I've also found ways to maximize my savings as a Costco member.

Here are my best tricks for getting the best deals and squeezing the most out of my membership.

Download the Costco app

The Costco app is my ultimate go-to place to view all of the sales and promotions available in the store and online.

Finding deals is as easy as clicking "savings" on the app. On this tab, you can view sales and also see items that just had their prices lowered.

Wait for sales — especially on electronics

As an avid shopper, I know that electronics frequently go on sale at Costco.

Since they're discounted regularly, I always wait until what I want has dropped in price before buying it. It can be risky if an item sells out, but the waiting game is usually worth it.

Recently, I saw Bose headphones for $100 off and a Sonos speaker for $90 off. I even saw a touchscreen Lenovo laptop for $250 cheaper than the lowest price I saw for the model online.

Pay attention to the decimals

When I'm in the store, I check the price tags to see if I'm getting a good deal.

A price ending in .97 is usually a good sign. A Costco employee of 12 years previously told Business Insider that items ending in .97 are clearance items, which means the item has been marked down and the price could be as low as it'll get.

Prices ending in .00 can signify that a product is a manager markdown or an item a store is especially trying to get rid of.

I've also learned that .49 or .79 could mean a product is on special deal from the manufacturer — though this doesn't always mean the price is great.

Never skip the gift-card racks

I'm always on the lookout for incredible gift-card deals at Costco, where I can spend less than what I get back.

I've seen $500 worth of Southwest gift cards for $450, $100 of Peet's Coffee gift cards for $80, and $75 worth of Subway gift cards for $60.

They're great for gifting or using on your own if they're for a business you know you'll be returning to.

Check out the 'While Supplies Last' section online

I love the "While Supplies Last" section on the Costco site as it features discounted items across the board, from seasonal products to toy sets.

A lot of the prices end in .97, which I mentioned above is a sign an item is on clearance. By browsing this section, I've gotten ridiculously cheap lipstick sets and high-quality plush pillows for $10.

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