One Super-Smart Way to Save Money at Costco, According to a Store Employee

updated Apr 20, 2021
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Credit: Trong Nguyen

Costco isn’t the kind of store you casually swing by on a whim to pick up an ingredient or two. Rather, a trip to Costco is a whole production that involves planning, budgeting, spatial skills, and timing (which might be the most important of all). According to a Costco employee, carefully timing your shopping trip can actually save you some serious coin.

Each month, Costco releases a “Member-Only Savings Book” filled with exclusive deals on popular products — available between a certain time window. Shoppers can access the deals online, but the physical pamphlet is available in warehouse stores and mailed to members, typically mid-month. The smartest thing that members can do, though, is to keep track of when this coupon book (generally) launches.

“If you shop before the coupon book comes out, you either will miss out on the savings or have to [return to Costco and] go to the podium to get a price adjustment,” says a Costco employee in Hazlet, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, the release date of the Member-Only Savings Book varies from month to month. Multiple store employees that I spoke with shed some light on a little pattern, though: There is usually a week in between when one savings window ends and the other begins.

This month’s member-only savings deals began on April 14 and are valid through May 9. If you’re pattern hunting, this means the May Member-Only Savings Book will likely come out on or around May 16. The point? Don’t shop on the 16th unless that book has come out! Just bide your time if you can!

If you inadvertently did your monthly Costco haul only to learn that nearly everything you purchased went on major sale thanks to the Member-Only Savings Book, Costco customer service has your back: Management will honor a price adjustment, provided you have the original receipt, and as long as the purchase was made within 30 days.

And for those wondering just how much money you can save via Member-Only Savings, check out all of this month’s offers here.

What’s your trick to saving money at Costco? Let us know in the comments below.