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6 of the Best Costco Shopping Tips From Reddit Users

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It happened again: I disappeared down a Reddit rabbit hole and lost a few hours of my life. Today, I was searching for some helpful hints and tricks to save money and get the best shopping experience at many people’s favorite warehouse club store, Costco.

The Costco subreddit, r/Costco, is chock full of people sharing weird food court finds from around the world, shaming fellow customers for bad behavior (seriously, why do people just leave items they’ve decided not to buy in random places around the store!?), and lamenting how much money they’ve spent on ridiculous purchases. But among these posts, there is wisdom to be found. Here’s a few gems from r/Costco to help you stick to your budget and enjoy your next visit to Costco.

1. When it comes to chicken, think big

It stands to reason that if an item you’re buying is priced per piece, rather than by count or weight, you might want to buy the biggest one you can find, to really get your money’s worth. Costco’s famous rotisserie chickens are one of the best deals in the store, as they are priced at just $4.99 (in contrast to my local grocery store, which sells them for $8.99…ouch).

In a thread from a few years ago, Reddit user Rex805 noted that the rotisserie chickens “are not created equally,” and advised shoppers to grab the biggest chickens available. Even if you aren’t hosting dinner for enough people to eat that chicken in one go, rotisserie chicken freezes beautifully (how do you think I get my money’s worth out of the expensive ones at my grocery store?). And there are so many ways to use up that chicken in full.

2. A good way to shop Costco without a membership

There is no Costco in my area; the closest location to me is 60 miles away. That said, my family had a Costco membership when I was a kid, and I have fond memories of strolling the aisles. If I should ever feel like recreating that experience as an adult, I’d be allowed to shop at Costco as a non-member under one condition.

As user wcutiew pointed out, a current member can purchase a Costco Shop Card for a non-member, thereby allowing them to reap some savings on bulk buys. Now I just need to find out who amongst my friends is a Costco member…

3. A nice perk for your tires

If you’ve ever hopped in your car and found your tire pressure light on, you know that finding a place to air up your tires can be a real pain. Thankfully, Costco sells and services tires, and as pointed out by user hawksfan0223, members can take advantage of a free nitrogen pump to re-air their tires. Many gas stations charge for this service, forcing you to dig around your car for quarters.

Other Costco members in the thread noted that the air pump may be turned off when the store is closed, so keep this in mind if you have the urge to fill your tires when your Costco isn’t open for business.

4. Don’t shop hungry

It’s the kiss of death to your checking account balance: grocery shopping while hungry. Take this chance and you might end up coming home with a lot more food than you originally intended. But if you shop at Costco, there’s a way around this. User butteredxtoast noted that since Costco has a food court (and a famous $1.50 hot dog and soda combo), you could kill two metaphorical birds with one stone. Make Costco your meal plan, then do your shopping on a full stomach.

5. Consider adding an appliance

If you really want to take saving money at Costco to its highest level, you must have the appropriate places to store your purchases. User schoolsout4evah recommended that a new member (and new parent) invest in a chest freezer to keep those bulk frozen foods at peak freshness.

6. Another way buying in bulk can help you save

Costco is a good place to buy alcoholic beverages, so if you partake and are looking for a deal, see if your local Costco sells booze (not all do, since liquor laws vary from state to state). While you’re at it, also check to see if you can take advantage of a bulk discount. User Beren_ _ noted that they received 10% off when they bought six bottles of wine. This is another tip that may or may not work for you, however; some users in the thread noted that their Costco stores don’t honor this discount. You have nothing to lose by asking, though — and much to save!

It’s no surprise to me that Costco is so popular, both on Reddit and in real life. If these tips are new to you, try them out and see how much better your Costco trips can be!

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