Costco opened for business in 1976 under the Price Club name. Since resuming the Costco name in 1997 this membership warehouse club has grown worldwide but has managed to keep the same guiding principle: Bring their members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. If you are not sure if a Costco membership is for you, you can take ease in the fact that your membership fee will be refunded in full at any time if you are dissatisfied. Likewise, your satisfaction is guaranteed on every product Costco sells with a full refund. And your merchandise selection seems endless. Members can choose from a surprising variety of options including apparel, bakery, bed & bath, deli, electronics, furniture, health & beauty, home décor, meat, office supplies, wine, beer & spirit and much more!
Costco Wholesale is a membership only warehouse store that offers a wide variety of merchandise, including grocery, household, apparel, furniture, seasonal, electronics, car care, and much more. It was founded in 1976 and opened its first warehouse store in Seattle, Washington in 1983.
Costco has grown to be the second largest retailer in the United States, the largest membership only warehouse chain in the U.S., and the seventh largest retailer in the world. Costco sells products in large bulk or warehouse sizes and usually does not offer multiple brands of one product. Many products are sold under their Kirkland house brand.
How to Save at Costco
Costco can be an overwhelming store to shop at, and it’s easy to get mesmerized by the huge products, the ever changing seasonal section, and the bulk-sized packaging. With giant carts and huge packages filling them, you’d think everything is a hot deal at Costco, right? Not always.
If you’re a savvy couponer (or want to be!), it’s worth it to do the math and figure out whether the bulk size versions of your favorite products are cheaper than the regular sizes you buy at you local supermarket or big box store.
In my experience, most household goods, like detergent, toilet paper, and toothpaste can be found much cheaper when you use coupons during a sale at a grocery store or big box store like Target or Walmart, so don’t be fooled! To find out whether a deal is good or not, compare prices and know your stock-up prices.
There are some good buys at Costco though, here are a few of my favorites:
- Bakery Goods – Costco makes chocolate or vanilla sheet cakes that can be decorated for almost any occasion, and they are a great buy – and really tasty! They also sell loaves of fresh baked bread in 2 packs, in flavors like Garlic and Rosemary & Olive Oil, which are also a great price.
- Tires & Gas – Gas at Costco is typically about 15¢ per gallon cheaper than at other gas stations, making it almost worth the membership just for the gas! Buying new tires for you car is also a good buy at Costco- plus they offer free tire rotation, free tire inflation checks and free flat repairs for the life of the tires you purchase at Costco.
- Pharmacy & Optical – Both are good buys. If you have a Costco membership already, definitely check these out.
- Apparel – You can find some nice deals on clothing for the whole family at Costco, including swimsuits, school uniforms, winter jackets, and girls dresses and more, but be quick – most of the apparel is very seasonal and is not restocked, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. They also have great socks and under garments, many brand names for less!
- Grocery – There are some good grocery deals at Costco – bananas, organic eggs, Kirkland coffee by Starbucks, fresh strawberries, hummus, Kirkland frozen pizza ($9.99 for a 4 pack!) and maple syrup are just a few of my favorites. You can find any type of meat you like including grass fed, organic or even wild-caught fish at lower prices than many grocery stores.
How Do You Know if a Costco Price is a Great Price?
The best way to know if you’re getting a great deal at Costco is to know the best prices for the items you buy and use Costco coupons. Think about the regular price of the items you buy most often, and the best price you’ve been able to find on those items. Then, take your list to Costco and pull out you calculator. You’ll need to break the prices down to the price per ounce or pound, etc. in order to really compare. It’s also very helpful to understand the price codes at Costco. Once you’ve done that, you can make your decisions on what to buy and what to skip.
Sometimes, if the prices are close, you may still choose to buy at Costco for convenience. For instance, my family eats a lot of Chobani yogurt, which is $11.49 for a 12 pack. I can sometimes find Chobani on sale, but not always, so I might choose the convenience of getting the big pack over looking for a better deal.
On the other hand, I can almost always find toothpaste and deodorant for free or really cheap, so I never buy these items at Costco.
Contact Information for Costco
By Phone – 1-800-955-2292
Costco Corporate Mailing Address
PO Box 34331
Seattle, WA 98124