Everything You Need to Know About Costco for 2019

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

In case you haven’t noticed by now, we love Costco. Like, a lot. We write about it on a weekly basis — and that’s because you guys love it too. Whether you weren’t paying attention or you just want a refresher, here are the 10 most important things you need to know about Costco for 2019.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

1. That famous rotisserie chicken will still be $4.99.

Costco’s rotisserie chicken has been less than $5 since 2009. (That’s at least a dollar less than most other stores.) And it always will be. In fact, the company spends a lot of money to keep it that way. Why? Because it gets people in the door. The rotisserie chicken is what’s called a loss leader. The store technically loses money on it, but the hit is worth it because people come in to buy the bird —and load up on other stuff while they’re there.

Execs have been going through great lengths to keep things that way, too. In September 2019, the company will open a giant facility in Fremont, Nebraska, that will house its entire rotisserie chicken operations.

More on Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken

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2. You’re probably doing Costco’s food court all wrong.

Turns out, there are six mistakes people make when they’re in line at the Costco food court. And if you’re not hacking the menu, you’re also ordering incorrectly, too.

More on Costco’s Food Court

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3. You should give Kirkland Signature wine a chance.

You may gravitate toward a name-brand you’ve seen at your local wine shop, but Kirkland Signature wine is just as nice. Rumor is that the store’s in-house wines are made in the same vineyards as the most popular name brands out there (and sometimes, if you flip the wine over, the spot will be listed), so definitely give these a try.

More on Costco’s Wine and Alcohol

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4. You can eat healthfully at Costco.

Hoping to eat better in the new year? Costco really can help you with that (read: It’s not all five-pound bags of potato chips). One of our contributors, Heather McClees, is a nutritionist and she swears by Costco for all sorts of healthy grocery items. She shops the freezer section, the lunch box snacks, and a bunch of budget-friendly items — and always ends up with healthful finds.

More on Costco’s Healthy Groceries

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5. There are two sections you’re not paying attention to, but should.

We talk a lot about the produce, meat, freezer section, and pantry items at Costco, but there are two others that really deserve the spotlight: the cookbook section and the gift cards. The books are often cheaper at Costco than on Amazon and the gift cards are always discounted by at least a few bucks.

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6. You can have as many free samples as you want!

Earlier this year, we learned that there’s really no limit to the number of free samples you can take. One Redditor (a “sample guy at Costco”) said this: “There is one lady who comes in every single day and fills her purse full of samples. She usually snatches the whole tray, nobody can stop her!”

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7. Your Costco membership could replace your Netflix subscription.

Back in October, we heard that Costco was looking to offer an on-demand streaming service. The hope was to strike a deal with an existing service to give folks with a Gold Star Executive Membership access to watch TV shows and/or movies instantly without having to buy or download anything on the spot. As far as we can tell, conversations have fallen flat, but that’s not to say that they couldn’t start up again in 2019.

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8. You can request a special ground beef situation.

If your family goes through a decent amount of ground beef (meatloaf! Tacos! Burgers!), there’s a meat department hack you need to employ in 2019. Instead of buying ground beef from the refrigerated section, ask someone in the meat department for what’s outlined below.

According to Reddit user Fixall: “For extra lean (and cheap) ground beef, ask the meat department for a 10-pound chub. We sell our regular ground beef (88/12 percent) for $3.49 a pound. The way we make it is, we take our fat trimmings from cutting steaks and mix it with the chubs to bring up the fat content and increase our profits. The 10-pound chubs are probably sitting around 5 to 8 percent fat and only cost $2.99 a pound! You’ll have to ask for these specifically as we don’t normally put them out for sale.”

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9. If you’re not a member yet, it’s really worth joining.

We get ZERO dollars for telling people to sign up. So you can trust us when we say the membership is worth it! Sure, you have to pay a fee up front, but you’ll make that money back (and more!) in no time.

More on Costco Memberships