Insider information from a Couponer: Secret money saving tips for shopping at Costco

I always have a mixed reaction when people ask: “Can you save money at Costco”.  My response is always the same – if you know your prices and if you are going in with a friend or family member using their membership card!  Remember Costco does NOT take regular manufacturer coupons, they will ONLY take the coupons they give you at the front door when they greet you.

The steep yearly membership fee is hard to swallow if you are a couponer.  At $55 a year, you have to figure out: would I be buying that much stuff in here to save $55 at the end of the year?

If you know your prices and watch the weekly sales on Costco’s Facebook page for your province and region, you can score some decent deals.  Also as one fan mentioned (thanks Jenifer D), there are just some items you can ONLY get at Costco that your family uses.

Costco does have clearance sales, they just don’t tell you about them in their flyers or advertise them well.  That being said, there is INSIDER SECRETS to reading signs and to recognizing you are getting a great deal at Costco.

The basics to reading sale signs at Costco:

  • Products that are priced with a .99¢ at the end are Costco’s regular prices
  • Products that are priced with a .97¢ at the end are Costco’s clearance items.  They are being discounted for various reasons such as the product didn’t sell well, they have too much stock or they just want to push more product out the door.   If you know your prices, you can figure out if this is a great deal or not.  Ex. 3 cans of WD-40 was on sale for $3.97 last Christmas.  A great deal since typically these massive cans retail at Canadian tire for $3 each or more.
  • If there is a * in the top right hand side of the sign, this means that item is not being re-stocked.
  • Products with prices ending in .49¢, .79¢, .89¢ are Costco’s special prices that they were able to negotiate with the manufacturer to give to their members. This is a special price for Costco members.


As a couponer, I know my prices really really well!  If I see a good deal come across my Costco Facebook page from their weekly flyer, I will grab my husband’s business card and go in.  I think a lot of people would agree that shopping at Costco 1x a month and stocking up on their growing families needs saves time.  But to be honest, I don’t think it saves money if you do 100% of your shopping at Costco.  I cringe when I see people paying $9 for 3 tubes of toothpaste when I got all of mine for free.  Same with people with the 24 pack of Nestea when there is a fabulous promotion going on with buy 1 get 1 free coupons inside the 12 pack box.

Botton line: It is knowing your pricing, and not getting sucked into the membership fees.  Shop with a family member who you haven’t been able to get addicted to couponing yet 😉

Happy Saving!


One thought on “Insider information from a Couponer: Secret money saving tips for shopping at Costco

  1. kare

    Another thing is the Executive Membership where you get money back at the end of the year
    You really have to know how much you are spending to know if it is worth it. But I know lots of ppl that only pay $30 for their next membership when the year is up. Its especially effective if you regularly buy a certain item there like diapers or meat.


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