Costco is a goldmine for bargains.
But the opportunity to save can be overwhelming, as you face seemingly endless free samples and bulk deals.
There are great bargains at Costco — even Morgan Stanley analysts say the retailer offers some of the best deals in the industry. However, to cash in on the deals, you need to know a few secrets.
Here’s how to make shopping at Costco worth the price of membership.
Make a beeline to the center of the store.
Many membership stores stick the best bargains in “center court,” the pallets in the middle of the store, Paco Underhill, author of “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping,” told Bankrate.
Flashy displays at the front of the store, on the other hand, are going to be more expensive.
Keep an eye out for the “star.”
If there’s an asterisk on a Costco price tag, that means the item can’t restocked and what you see is the last in the store, reports Costco Insider.
So if your favorite seasonal product is marked with a star, it’s time to buy enough to last you till next year.
You might not have space to store 30 rolls of toilet paper, but your friends would probably be more than happy to split the cost of the $19.50 mega-pack, says Time.
Buying in bulk means major savings, so go big — and split the products up before going home.
Visit at the end of the summer.
Another tip from Time is that Costco is a great place to visit for end-of-season sales.
Summer is especially clutch, as Costco does major markdowns of large seasonal items like patio furniture and pool toys to free up room for the next season’s products.
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.