8 Ways to Squeeze the Most From Your Costco Membership

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

Costco is filled with ways to save, but it is easy to overlook some of the less obvious perks. Here are eight great ones.

Stop any four shoppers on the street, and there is a good chance one of them is heading to Costco. Fully 81 million Americans – one-quarter of the population – belong to the warehouse store, according to the company.

Costco is filled with ways to save, but it is easy to overlook some of the less obvious perks.

So, if you are thinking about joining Costco – or if you already are a member who simply needs a refresher about some of the less conspicuous bargains to be found there – here are eight great ways to get the most from your Costco membership.

1. Get discounted movie passes and gift cards

Deals at Costco aren’t limited to buying in bulk. Take their gift card aisle — it offers a swarm of savings on everything from movie tickets and restaurant meals to theme park admission.

In fact, I recently paid $79.99 for four $25 Build-A-Bear Workshop gift cards. For those of you without young children, this roughly amounts to one extra bear (or other stuffed pal) or a complete ensemble from hat to shoes.

2. Feed your family dinner on the cheap

The Costco food court is a great place to grab an inexpensive bite to eat. Where else can you get a ballpark-worthy hotdog and refillable soda for a mere $1.50?

My family of four likes to head there on Friday nights to enjoy a large pizza — it’s only $10! Perhaps best of all, you don’t even have to be a Costco member to take advantage of their cheap eats.

Don’t want to dish out any dough for dinner? Stock up on free food samples instead. The company actually encourages its vendors to offer up as many samples as customers can handle.

3. Book a vacation through the travel agency

Saving on a vacation makes the trip even sweeter. Costco members can rack up such savings when they book their getaway through Costco Travel. Go to CostcoTravel.com to find deep discounts on flights, hotels, rental cars and even cruises.

Costco Executive Members are eligible for even greater savings. Special extras might include a room upgrade, a shipboard credit, a spa credit or other value-packed benefit,” according to the Costco site.

4. Fill your prescriptions

A recent Consumer Reports survey found that Costco had the lowest-priced drugs of any retailer or pharmacy surveyed. Just how cheap are they? According to Consumer Reports: “At Costco … the retail prices were lower for certain drugs than many insurance co-pays.”

Check out the cost of your medications at the Costco Drug Directory, which “contains pricing details for prescription drugs, plus general information for a wide range of medications.” There’s even a convenient home delivery option.

5. Get free health care screenings

Costco offers free health care screenings to make sure your family remains in tip-top condition. Available screenings include:

  • Osteoporosis. Uses ultrasound technology to assess a member’s risk for the condition.
  • Heart health. Assesses risk for heart disease and includes a lipid-stick profile test and blood pressure check.
  • Lung health. Uses a spirometer to identify member risk for COPD.
  • Diabetes. Screens members through an A1C test.

You can find a schedule of upcoming screenings at the Costco website.

6. Buy lower-priced gas

Being a Costco member also pays at the pump. Many locations have gas stations in their parking lots that offer competitive member prices. Some people buy a Costco membership for the gas savings alone, which can more than offset the membership cost.

7. Purchase new tires

My family buys all of our tires at Costco, and we absolutely love that they throw in free balancing and rotation. Plus, instead of drinking stale coffee while waiting in a stuffy room for our cars to be serviced, we can grab a cheap bite to eat and cross several items off our shopping list.

And the price of Costco tires can be a bargain. According to GOBankingRates:

Sometimes Costco discounts name-brand tires by $70 to $80, which is enough savings to cover the cost of a membership and then some.

8. Tell nonmember friends they can buy booze at Costco

OK, so this one won’t help your own wallet – but it will help your friends and family and maybe boost your Costco karma. Some states require the warehouse giant to pass on alcohol discounts to nonmembers too.

Costco even offers its own label and hosts events, such as wine tastings, at many locations. Cheers to that!

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 8 Smarter Ways to Use Your $1,000 Savings on Gas This Year

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,818 more deals!