My wife and I love Costco. It's not just about the samples, but (trust me) that's part of it. From toilet paper to bulk cereal and baked goods we find gems at Costco every time we visit. We get some great use out of our membership, but I recently learned some secret ways we (and you!) can save even more at your Treasure Valley Costco stores:

According to a recent article in USA Today there are some little known tricks and hints to watch for that will give you the biggest bang for you buck...and since you're already shopping at Costco, I'm guessing that's what you're looking for anyway right?

  1. Discounts tips are right there in the price codes - Costco's standard pricing ends in .99, so you can often find some great deals or must-buy items by noticing things that aren't priced that way. Anything ending in .97 has been marked down below its original price and anything with an asterisk that appears in the upper right hand corner of the price is just about to be discontinued at the store and you won't be able to purchase it again, because they don't plan to reorder or carry that product again.
  2. Costco has a great online store - From saunas to wedding rings, carries so many things that aren't necessarily available in the warehouse stores. Also some things that vary by season or region are often available year-round online.
  3. They often offer discounted experiences that you won't get anywhere else - When it comes to gift cards, the dollar amount you see is usually what you get. But not at Costco! Two $50 gift cards to a restaurant may come out to $79.99 - saving you 20% on dinner. They also offer discounts on experiences like helicopter tours in Hawaii and movie tickets.
  4. Different locations have different items in stock - You may not want to head to Costco when you're on a beach vacation, but doing so could save you a bundle. Souvenirs and take-home gifts are often considerably cheaper at Costco than they are at tourist shops. So next time you head to Maui, stop at the Costco by the airport to get some great deals on souvenirs to take home to the will save a lot.
  5. Speaking of vacations, Costco offers great vacation deals - From cruise deals to vacation packages in places like the British Virgin Islands, Europe, and Hawaii, your membership can save you a bundle and even beat out top travel agencies!
  6. You can use your membership for a car rental deal, too - Costco works directly with Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise to bring you competitive deals on car rentals.
  7. Costco can help you save on eye wear - Costco has some stellar customer satisfaction when it comes to their eye glass department. Name-brand frames are often much cheaper than if bought at competitors like Walmart, too.
  8. Upgrade your membership to save even more - The basic "Gold Star" membership costs $55 annually, but if you upgrade to the Executive Level membership for $110, you get an annual kickback of 2% of your purchases (not including gas or travel).


Read more about hidden Costco benefits here