11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

Couple shopping at Costco
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The weekly runs to Costco bring to mind crowded parking lots and parents and kids loading up their carts in aisles full of bulk-sized items and standing in long lines.

But the big-box retailer is also a great place for anyone looking for great deals, including retirees. That group isn’t necessarily looking to fill up a pantry or closet with food, but they’re still looking for discounts as they manage budgets during the post-working years.

Take a tour through the aisles with us as we look at some of the many items retirees should be getting at lower prices at Costco — if they don’t mind the long lines.

1. Prescriptions

Costco pharmacy
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You don’t have to join Costco to take advantage of its generally low drug prices, as we detail in “7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership.” But joining brings additional perks for retirees looking to save on prescription drugs.

For example, Costco members who don’t have health insurance, or who have insurance that doesn’t cover certain drugs, can take advantage of the Costco Member Prescription Program. The retailer describes it as “a prescription drug discount card program that provides eligible Costco members and their eligible dependents with the ability to obtain lower prices on all medications.”

Retirees with Medicare as health insurance also can browse Costco-preferred pharmacy plans right on Costco’s website.

2. Eyeglasses

Older woman in eyeglasses
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Whatever your optical style — eyeglasses, contact lenses or sunglasses — you can find it for less at Costco. The retailer has an optical department, where you also can get an exam and help choosing what’s best for you.

Costco says it also accepts most insurance vision plans, and you don’t even have to be a Costco member to see an optometrist there.

3. Vitamins and supplements

Costco deals
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Always talk to your doctor before trying any new vitamin or supplement. But after that, look to Costco.

The wholesale club offers an extensive selection of vitamins, multivitamins, dietary supplements and herbal supplements. Whatever you might need, Costco is bound to have it at a decent price, if not the best price — especially if you take advantage of sales.

Costco regularly offers additional discounts that it calls “Member-Only Savings” or “Warehouse Savings” but that are essentially sales, as we detail in “11 Ways to Save Even More Money at Costco.”

Money Talks News managing editor Karla Bowsher, who never shops at Costco without first checking the sales, says these discounts always include numerous price cuts on supplements. For example, Costco’s current sales, which are available through Feb. 28, include price cuts on more than a dozen vitamins and supplements.

4. Hearing aid batteries

Otolaryngologist putting hearing aid in woman's ear
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The cost of hearing aid batteries can quickly add up, but you can get a 48-pack of hearing aid batteries from Costco’s house brand, Kirkland Signature, at warehouse locations that have hearing aid centers.

These locations also offer free hearing aid cleanings and check-ups, among other services, as we note in “How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Hearing Aids.”

5. Mobility aids

Son pushing his father in a wheelchair
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For seniors who need help staying on the move, Costco offers good deals on wheelchairs and walkers.

The retailer even sells medical alert systems. For more on these devices, check out Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s advice in “What’s the Best Medical Alert System?

6. Gift cards

Discounted gift cards on display at a Costco
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Heading out to eat? Need gift cards for the grandkids? Be sure to check Costco first. It’s one of few places where you can buy gift cards for less than their face value — often 25% off, or more.

Restaurant gift cards are most common at Costco, but you can also find digital gift cards for gaming, for example.

7. Golf balls

Golf course
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Playing two rounds of golf per week — 36 holes in total — and briskly walking the course rather than riding in a golf cart counts toward the American Heart Association’s recommendations for weekly exercise to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Before you hit the green, grab yourself a few dozen golf balls at Costco for a reasonable price.

8. Mattresses

Couple jumping on bed, holding hands
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Finding the right mattress is critical to battling insomnia and soothing aching bodies, and Costco lets you choose from a wide variety of brands, types and sizes — as well as bedding.

If you’re confused about which way to go, Costco has a handy buying guide.

9. Car rentals

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While you may not plan to travel anytime soon due to the coronavirus pandemic, keep this in mind for your next trip: It’s not well-known that you can utilize Costco for renting cars, but doing so could save you.

Costco Travel offers a Low Price Finder search tool that lets you compare the rates of big companies, from Enterprise to Budget, to find your best price — one-stop shopping.

10. Cruises

Senior couple taking a selfie on deck of a ship.
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Again, while the pandemic has left many cruise ships docked and vacant for now, it pays to know that you can buy your next cruise vacation through Costco, whenever that might be.

You can book cruises to a variety of places and with a variety of cruise lines. The Costco Travel website lets you explore options, by destination, cruise line and duration.

11. Caskets and urns

Funeral
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They aren’t exactly enjoyable items to shop for, but a variety of caskets go for less than $1,000 at Costco. If you’re looking for urns, there are a few of those available as well — all for $120 or less.

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