10 'Unwritten Rules' of Costco That Every Shopper Should Know

Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Retailer


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Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Retailer
Costco exterior
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Plan Your Trips Strategically (During the Weekly Football Game)

Want to avoid the crowds? Frequent Costco during the weekly football game when the warehouse is a "ghost town." If you're shopping during the offseason, then going an hour or two before closing on a weekday is also a good bet, Redditors say.

Related: I Shopped at Costco for the First Time and This Is What I Learned

Kirkland Pumpkin Pie

Don't Wait to Buy Limited Products

Go ahead and indulge your impulse-buying habits at Costco, Redditors say, especially when it comes to seasonal or limited-stock items. "If you see an item that looks appealing and isn’t normally stocked, buy it the first time you see it," one top comment reads. "Waiting for the next trip typically results in regret as you may never see it in stock again."

Related: Sam's Club vs Costco: Who Has the Best Bakery?

Costco Secret Code

Know How to Read Prices

Pay attention to Costco's prices. Price tags ending in .97 indicate that an item is on sale, while prices that end in .49, .79, or .89 mean that Costco received a special deal from the manufacturer. And be sure to buy up products that are on their way out, which employees note with an asterisk on the price sign.

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Costco shopper waiting at checkout
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Never Shop On Weekends

Unless you like crowds, long lines, and mobbed parking lots, you're better off avoiding weekends at Costco. The exception, Redditors say, is if you live somewhere where folks go to church on Sunday.

Samples @ Costco
Panegyrics of Granovetter / Flickr

Don't Shop on an Empty Stomach

Steer clear of Costco if your stomach is grumbling, or, at the very least, fill up with a $1.50 hot dog before you start shopping. Studies have shown that hungry shoppers spend more money, even on non-food products.

Costco shopper and fresh produce section
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Vegetables and Produce Don't Last

While it's hardly a universal opinion, one top-rated comment warned shoppers that veggies and produce from Costco go bad quickly. Their advice? Either store them properly or shop for fresh goods elsewhere.

Kirkland Signature French Vodka

Kirkland Brand Products Are High-Quality

Costco devotees know that the warehouse store's in-house Kirkland brand is (almost) always synonymous with quality. Superfans regularly praise Kirkland French vodka, coffee, and batteries.

People with shopping carts fill

Have Your Membership Ready at the Door

To avoid traffic jams and to make employees' lives easier, be sure to have your Costco card out when you enter, checkout, and leave. "Don't arrive to the door and start digging through your purse, or fumbling with your wallet holding up everyone else," one commenter writes.

Costco Gas Station
Costco shoppers with masks
Robert Nickelsberg / Getty

Make a List ... And Stick to It

While some Redditors recommend adopting a "life's too short" mindset while shopping at Costco, others prefer a more organized, frugal approach. "My rule is to make a list and stick to it. If I see something I like, I add it to the list for next time," a Costco veteran shares. Another Redditor-approved money-saving strategy is to purchase only what you can carry without a cart.