costco http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/227/all en-US 8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_warehouse_store_18578927.jpg" alt="Man learning sneaky ways warehouse clubs get you to spend more" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a loyal wholesale club shopper, or someone trying to decide if the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">membership fee is worth the savings</a>, it's important to understand how Costco and Sam's Club trick you into spending your money. From the floor plan of the warehouse, to how they stock their shelves, everything is done for a reason. And that reason is to separate you from as much of your hard-earned money as possible. Here are the tricks to be aware of so you can become a savvier warehouse club shopper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card?utm_source=wisbread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campagin=article">What You Need to Know About the New Costco Credit Card</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Shiny Objects Are Stacked Up Front</h2> <p>Have you ever wondered why warehouse clubs put their 4K 65&quot; TVs right near the entrance, and you almost have to step over them to get in and do your shopping? This is where you'll also find all the coolest new gadgets and electronics that are designed to suck you (and your money) in like a <em>Star Wars</em> tractor beam. It's hard to not stop and daydream a little bit. But unless one of these bright and shiny objects is on your shopping list, keep on trucking.</p> <p>Warehouse clubs are also famous for stocking really cheap seasonal items near the front of the store, forcing you to walk by them. During the summer, you'll find bargains on camping chairs and shorts. During the winter, you'll find deals on coats, sleds, and warm clothing. Known as &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale">Open the Wallet</a>&quot; pricing, it's done to get you excited about the idea of saving money. Money that you can, in theory, use to buy more stuff at full price before you check out.</p> <h2>2. Bland Décor Tricks Your Brain</h2> <p>Have you ever taken a second and looked around at the décor at warehouse clubs? The gray concrete floors, the metal shelving, the pallets stacked to the ceiling. While some of it's for inventory reasons, it's mainly done to make it appear like very little money was spent on sprucing up the warehouse and all the money saved is being passed along to you, the shopper. It's clearly a Jedi mind trick designed to separate you from your money and make you think you must always be getting a great deal. Don't be fooled.</p> <h2>3. The Center Aisle Is a Trap</h2> <p>The center aisles at Costco, especially toward the front of the warehouse, are full of items that you had no idea existed but clearly cannot live without. If you're like most, and easily tempted to wander those aisles and throw a couple &quot;must haves&quot; in your cart, I have a tip. When you walk into Costco, keep your shopping cart in the outside aisle around the exterior of the store and shop from there. The best way to not be tempted by items you don't need is to stay out of the center of the store whenever possible.</p> <h2>4. Free Samples Can Play Mind Games</h2> <p>Costco doesn't offer free samples out of the kindness of their hearts. The do it because it helps pad their bottom line. Offering a sample creates a sense of reciprocity in which some shoppers feel obligated to buy something. Often it might not even be the product being sampled, but something similar. For example, maybe the orange juice you sampled is not your favorite, but you decide to pick up some apple juice instead.</p> <p>Also, there is an <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-psychology-behind-costcos-free-samples/380969/">interesting psychological effect</a> that takes place when you indulge in a free sample with a bunch of people standing around you. It's as if you don't want to look like a cheap freeloader in front of everyone, so you'll throw a box of the cookies in your cart. The obvious solution to these psychological tricks is to quickly walk past the sample stations and stay focused on why you walked into the warehouse to begin with.</p> <h2>5. Large Quantities Don't Always Signify a Deal</h2> <p>Whenever you're shopping, and see a large pile of a particular item, most brains will automatically associate it with a deal. After all, just think of the quantity discount Costco or Sam's must have received by ordering such a huge amount of product. Surely that saving is being passed along to us shoppers. Right? Wrong.</p> <h2>6. Buying in Bulk Isn't Always a Deal</h2> <p>There are clearly some items that will save you money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">buying in bulk</a>. But don't assume that just because you can buy in bulk from a warehouse club, it makes it a screaming deal. The take-away here is to always do the math and figure out the per unit price to determine if it's a good buy.</p> <h2>7. Expect Highly Targeted Marketing</h2> <p>Sam's Club is famous for looking closely at your order history and sending out targeted marketing campaigns via email and snail mail to get you back in the warehouse. By being aware that they're coming after you directly, you can better decide if the incentive or coupon they're offering really does give you the best value. Bottom line, it's not a coincidence that you just ran out of diapers and within a couple days you get a Sam's Club email with a coupon for diapers inside.</p> <h2>8. Beware the &quot;Fear&quot; of Missing Out</h2> <p>Perhaps the greatest psychological trick that warehouse clubs use is planting the seed in shoppers minds that once an item is gone, you'll never see it again. While this may be the case on seasonal items, it shouldn't be the deciding factor when deciding on a purchase. Do you actually need the item? Or will you end up storing it in the hopes that you might someday use it? If it's the latter, walk by the item like you have blinders on and your budget will thank you.</p> <p><em>How do you stay focused and not overspend when shopping at warehouse clubs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals">Walmart vs. Sam&#039;s Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Bulk buying costco deals sam's club Secrets sneaky warehouse stores wholesale clubs Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Kyle James 1752236 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Need to Know About the New Costco Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_61286502_SMALL.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re a frequent Costco shopper or not, you&rsquo;ve likely heard by now of the new <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=220&amp;pid=128&amp;uv=name">Costco Anywhere Visa&reg; Card by Citi</a> from our partner Citi. For years, Costco only accepted American Express credit cards, including their American Express Costco TrueEarnings card. This new partnership has some cardholders worried that they might lose their valuable benefits and rewards. Well, rest assured, Costco credit cardholders (and those who are considering becoming one). The new card comes with even more rewards. Here&rsquo;s what you need to know about the new Costco credit card and how you can change your rewards strategy to get even more for your money.</p> <h2>More Rewards for Gas, Restaurants, and Travel</h2> <p>The new Costco Anywhere card awards 4% back on gas purchases at Costco and other gas stations, up to $7,000 per year, 3% back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% back on purchases at Costco and online at Costco.com, and 1% back on all other purchases. For old Costco cardholders, you&rsquo;ll notice that the new card provides quite a boost in the rewards you earn from your purchases. With the old card, you earned 3% on the first $4,000 of gasoline at Costco and other U.S. gas stations, 2% at U.S. restaurants and certain travel, and 1% for all other purchases. In fact, the new Costco card awards more for your gas purchases, restaurant, and travel purchases than most other general rewards credit cards, not to mention the extra rewards for your Costco purchases, too.</p> <p>So, for Costco shoppers, the new card awards more for gas, dining, travel, and Costco purchases than any other card.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=220&amp;pid=128&amp;uv=end1"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa&reg; Card by Citi today!</strong></a></p> <p>See also:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards for Gas Purchases</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards for Dining at Restaurants</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards for Travel Purchases</a></li> </ul> <h2>Hassle-Free Transitioning for Previous Costco Cardholders</h2> <p>If you were already a Costco TrueEarnings cardholder, you don&rsquo;t have to worry about a complicated transition process, and you won&rsquo;t lose any of the rewards you have already accumulated. Most importantly, you won&rsquo;t need to reapply for the new card, and there won&rsquo;t be an extra inquiry on your credit report for the new card. By now, you may have already received your new card, but you can use the old Costco card until June 19, 2016. Then, your information and rewards will be transferred, and you can begin shopping with and earning more rewards with your new card. If you have a balance on your old card, you can continue to make your monthly payments until it is paid off.</p> <h2>Get the Most Out of Your Costco Membership</h2> <p>There aren&rsquo;t any additional fees for the new card, which might come as a surprise considering that the rewards are so much higher. However, you do still need to maintain your Costco membership, with different levels starting as low as $55 per year. Like before, you can consider the membership fee the annual fee, except you get all the benefits of Costco membership in addition to the card benefits you get as a cardholder. Among credit cards that award higher rates of rewards for everyday purchases, the $55 membership is competitive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>To boost your Costco rewards even more, you might want to consider getting the Executive Gold Star Costco membership, which comes with 2% rewards on Costco purchases. If you spend at least $2800 per year at Costco, your rewards will pay for the extra cost for Executive membership. Together, the Executive membership and the new Citi Costco credit card will get you a whopping 4% cash back on Costco purchases.</p> <h2>Not Just a Grocery Store Card</h2> <p>Although it might seem to be, the Costco card isn&rsquo;t just a grocery rewards card. You also get one of the highest rates available for gas, restaurants and travel. There are very few rewards cards that cover as many different types of purchases entirely in the bonus categories. If your spending varies and covers many of these categories, you won&rsquo;t have any problem racking up the rewards with this card just through your regular everyday spending, even if you don&rsquo;t frequently shop at Costco stores. Note that you will need to redeem your rewards at a Costco store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>Transition Includes all Visa Credit Cards</h2> <p>The transition to the new Costco card means that all Visa credit cards will be accepted, too. That means you have more options on rewards credit cards to use at Costco. So even if you aren&rsquo;t sold on the Costco card, you can use any Visa credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>All Costco Members Should Consider the Costco Card</h2> <p>If you are already a Costco credit cardholder, Citi and American Express have made it extremely easy to transition over to the new and more rewarding Costco card. If you benefited from the previous version, you will likely be pleasantly surprised with the new card&rsquo;s rewards program. If you aren&rsquo;t already a cardholder, there&rsquo;s really no reason not to get 2% cash back on your Costco purchases.</p> <p>And if you aren&rsquo;t already a Costco shopper, the new card provides a solid argument for paying for the membership simply because you can&rsquo;t earn as much as 4% back on gas and 3% back for dining and travel purchases with any other credit card, even with a $55 membership fee. If you just use your card for dining out, traveling, and the occasional Costco trip (to redeem your rewards), it won&rsquo;t take much to rack up more rewards than your current go-to rewards card.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=220&amp;pid=128&amp;uv=end2"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa&reg; Card by Citi today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">The New Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Is Good News for Costco Shoppers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Retire Your Credit Card Debt With Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews">Citi Credit Card Offers: Applications &amp; Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-card-18-month-bt-offer-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-building-your-credit-history-with-the-citi-secured-mastercard">Start Building Your Credit History with the Citi Secured MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Citi costco credit card reviews Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:18:30 +0000 Christina Majaski 1732226 at http://www.wisebread.com The New Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Is Good News for Costco Shoppers http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_81378971_LARGE.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The breakup between Costco and American Express took the Costco world by surprise. The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=219&amp;pid=128&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Costco Anywhere Visa&reg; Card by Citi</a> from our partner Citi will be taking the place of the Costco Amex, and there are many reasons why Costco members should rejoice. Not only does this card come with better cash back benefits, but Costco is making the transition for current cardholders extremely simple and straightforward.</p> <h2>The Switch is Automatic</h2> <p>If you thought that switching to the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card was going to be an inconvenience, then you will be thrilled to know that the switch will be automatic. You will receive your new Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi between the end of May to early June. You can officially start using the card June 20, 2016. Best of all, the card transfer is being made without your credit report being touched.</p> <p>Your current American Express card will be canceled automatically by Costco starting June 20th. There is no need to do anything except cut up your card.</p> <h2>Better Benefits</h2> <p>The new Costco Anywhere Visa Card also comes with better benefits. Cardholders will earn the following cash back:</p> <ul> <li>4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide for the first $7,000 per year. All gas purchases over that amount will earn 1% cash back.</li> <li>3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide</li> <li>2% cash back on all other Costco and Costco.com purchases</li> <li>1% cash back on all other purchases</li> </ul> <p>With these high cash back percentages, it has become one of the highest <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=review">cash back credit cards</a> on the market. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases"> Best Credit Cards For Everyday Purchases</a><strong>)</strong></p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to even be a major Costco shopper to see the awesome cash back benefits. Families who spend $250 per month on gas, $150 in eating out per month, and $250 per month on Costco groceries will earn $234 in cash back at the end of the year. Basically if you use your Costco Anywhere Visa Card for your regular monthly spending, you will essentially earn a free Costco shopping trip. Your cash back reward coupon must be redeemed at Costco, but you can redeem the coupon for cash and spend your cash back elsewhere.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>No annual fee with paid Costco membership</li> <li>Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR for 7 months; after that, 15.49% variable</li> <li>Balance Transfer APR: 15.49% variable</li> <li>$5 or 3% Balance Transfer Fee (whichever is greater)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=219&amp;pid=128&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img width="154" height="50" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Old Rewards Transfer Over</h2> <p>Costco members can continue to use their Amex card until June 20, 2016 without fear that they will lose their cash back rewards. Any rewards not previously distributed to you will automatically be transferred to Citi card and will be included in your February 2017 cash back rewards coupon.</p> <h2>Travel and Purchase Benefits Still Intact</h2> <p>The new card comes with worldwide car rental insurance and worldwide travel accident insurance. It also comes with damage and theft protection, which will cover repairs and refunds for items purchased with your Costco Anywhere Card.</p> <p>If you are already a Costco member, then the Costco Anywhere Visa is a good deal. The card does not come with an annual fee, but you will have to maintain a Costco membership at $55 per year (or $110 for the Executive Gold membership).</p> <h2>Earn More Back on Costco Groceries</h2> <p>Most credit cards that offer grocery rewards don&rsquo;t include warehouse clubs as part of their &ldquo;supermarket&rdquo; listing. The only way to get rewards on your Costco purchases is to use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=review">flat rate rewards card</a> (must be Visa), have an Executive Gold membership (2% cash back), or with this new card. In fact, if you use the new Costco Anywhere Visa card <em>and</em> have an Executive Gold membership, you&rsquo;d essentially earn 4% cash back on your Costco trips.</p> <p>If you spend $250 per month on groceries at Costco, you will earn a $60 cash back reward from Citi and one from Costco at the end of the year, for a total of $120 cash back. This easily covers the $110 Executive Gold membership fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=review">Best Credit Cards that Offer Rewards on Groceries</a>)</p> <p>Alternatively, a card like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unlimited-cash-back-the-quicksilver-cash-rewards-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=review">Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card</a> will get you unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fee.</p> <h2>Is the Costco Anywhere Visa Card Worth It?</h2> <p>If you are already a Costco member and do a decent amount of shopping there, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card is definitely worth it. Besides getting cash back on Costco purchases, it offers one of the highest cash back opportunities for gas, restaurant, and travel. So it&rsquo;s not just a card for Costco purchases. This can be your go-to credit card for all your purchases.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=219&amp;pid=128&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa&reg; Card by Citi today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card">6 Things You Need to Know About the New Costco Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Retire Your Credit Card Debt With Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews">Citi Credit Card Offers: Applications &amp; Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-card-18-month-bt-offer-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-building-your-credit-history-with-the-citi-secured-mastercard">Start Building Your Credit History with the Citi Secured MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Citi costco credit card reviews Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:04:28 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1732225 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Shop at Costco Without a Membership http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-shop-at-costco-without-a-membership <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-shop-at-costco-without-a-membership" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_costco_000039481274.jpg" alt="Learning how to shop at Costco without a membership" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found helpful articles on ways to shop at Costco without a membership, a step-by-step guide to turn your ideas into money, and ways to save money on a road trip.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/shop-costco-without-membership/">10 Clever Ways to Shop at Costco without a Membership</a> &mdash; You can use a Costco Cash Card to shop in person or online even if you're not a member. These cards can be found on eBay and on other sites that sell discounted gift cards, or you can ask a friend who has a membership to buy one for you. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/7-steps-make-millions-with-your-bright-idea/">7 Steps to Turn Your Ideas and Inventions Into Money</a> &mdash; Your great idea may lead you to riches &mdash; if you take these steps. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2016/04/14/6-tips-for-saving-money-on-a-road-trip/">6 Tips for Saving Money on a Road Trip</a> &mdash; You can save some money on tolls by getting off the main highway. The trip along the scenic route may take longer but it'll be more memorable. [Shopper Strategy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Read-Books-Quickly-40912115#photo-40912115">4 Hacks to Help You Read Every Book on Your Reading Challenge This Year</a> &mdash; Keep a digital copy of the book on your phone so you can get some reading in when you have some spare time, wherever you are. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2016/0412/Is-antibiotic-use-for-livestock-losing-its-cache">Is antibiotic use for livestock losing its cache?</a> &mdash; According to the CDC, antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million Americans each year. At least 23,000 die from those infections. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.vanessaalvarado.com/2016/04/6-simple-changes-for-improved-health.html">6 Simple Changes For Improved Health and Energy This Spring - for the Lazy Entrepreneur</a> &mdash; Pack your lunch in a bento box. These containers are small and portable, and they're great for portion control. [Vanessa Alvarado]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/personal-finances-moves-every-adult-needs-to-make/67449">If You Do Anything Right in Personal Finance, At Least Do These Three Things</a> &mdash; If you don't have an emergency fund, set aside $1,000 for it right now. Don't touch it except to add money to the fund whenever you're paid. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-establishing-a-more-joyful-daily-routine-can-save-you-money-and-make-life-better/">How Establishing a More Joyful Daily Routine Can Save You Money and Make Life Better</a> &mdash; Work small habits into your daily routine that will gently lift your mood every day. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/12-kitchen-items-you-need/">12 Kitchen Items you Need</a> &mdash; A well-functioning kitchen would have a set of stackable mixing bowls, a strainer, a good set of kitchen scissors, and few other kitchen must-haves. [Bargain Briana]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-awesome-and-age-appropriate-books-for-preteens">4 Awesome and Age-Appropriate Books for Preteens</a> &mdash; Some of the popular books aimed at preteens can be quite racy or violent, and you might not be comfortable with your kids reading that kind of material. Try these alternatives that will captivate your young reader and will teach them valuable lessons. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-shop-at-costco-without-a-membership">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips costco Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1691403 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Expert Ways to Save Time and Money at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_grocery_store_000057104224.jpg" alt="Man using expert ways to save time and money at Costco" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a longtime Costco member, new to the club, or simply considering a membership, there are ways to make your money go further in the warehouse. Here are eight such tips that will help you walk out of your next Costco shopping trip with more of your hard-earned money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership?ref=seealso">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your Membership</a>)</p> <h2>1. Know Which Kirkland Products Are a Must-Buy</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that the Costco Kirkland brand provides an excellent value on many items. But did you know that some Kirkland products are actually made by a name-brand manufacturer and simply repackaged, providing the best bang for your buck? Here are a few to be aware of.</p> <h3>Kirkland Beers</h3> <p>On the West coast, these bottles of beer come from a brewery in San Jose, CA named Hopfen and Malz Brewing Company, also known as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/kirkland-signature--costco-wholesale-corporation/20906/">Gordon Biersch</a>. East coast stores get their beer from Matt Brewing and Central states stores get there from Minhas, depending on the variety. By purchasing them with the Kirkland label, you'll easily spend a third less compared to similar craft beers.</p> <h3>Kirkland Tuna Fish</h3> <p>Apparently their canned tuna is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brandculture.com/the-one-brand-breaks-all-rules-costco-kirkland-signature/">made by Bumble Bee</a>, making it a great value.</p> <h3>Kirkland Bourbon</h3> <p>The Kirkland variety is cheaper and&nbsp;<a href="http://insiderlouisville.com/business/retail-business/costcos-private-label-bourbon-wait-say-costco/">made by Buffalo Trace</a> specifically for the Costco warehouse.</p> <h3>Kirkland Batteries</h3> <p>Rumor has it that these batteries are actually manufactured by Duracell. Whether that's true or not I can't verify, but the fact of the matter is they often&nbsp;<a href="http://www.clarkhoward.com/kirkland-signature-battery-rules-new-aa-tally">out-perform the name-brands</a> and are significantly cheaper.</p> <h2>2. Start at the Back the Warehouse</h2> <p>While this tip may take a little getting used to, on your next trip to Costco, try putting on your &quot;blinders&quot; and head straight to the back of the warehouse. Costco always puts their best bargains at the back of the store, along with the outside walls. They do this knowing you'll have to walk by a bunch of irresistibly cool (and full-priced) items to get there. Avoid the temptations by working your way up to the checkout aisles last. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco?ref=seealso">Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>3. Shop Without a Membership</h2> <p>If you know someone who already has a Costco membership, ask them to pick up a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.costco.com/Costco-Cash-Card.product.10024438.html">Costco Cash Card</a>&nbsp;for you. While you do need to be a member to buy and reload these cards, you can use them to&nbsp;shop to your heart's content without a membership. Cards can be purchased in any amount from $25 up to $1,000, can be reloaded at any Costco location, and never expire. You can also conveniently use the cash card on Costco.com. This is a great option for college students as it allows them to easily limit their spending, or those who simply want to test out the warehouse before becoming a paying member. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams?ref=seealso">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>4. Get 2% Cash Back</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa Card</a> has replaced the Costco Amex, and with it comes better cash back benefits for Costco members. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, but it doesn't stop there. You also get 4% back on eligible gas worldwide (for the first $7,000 per year), 3% back on restaurant and travel purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases.</p> <h2>5. Always Refill Your Inkjet Cartridges at Costco</h2> <p>New inkjet cartridges can be really expensive, even at Costco. Instead of buying brand new ink, take advantage of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.costcoinkjetrefill.com/">Costco's refill service</a> and save a lot of money. You simply bring in your empty cartridges and Costco will refill them starting at only $7.49, which in many cases equals savings in the 70% range. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snag Big Christmas Toy Deals</h2> <p>Starting in November, Costco consistently sells toys for 30%&ndash;50% less than Amazon. For example, last year both retailers sold the popular Singing Olaf (<em>Frozen</em>) plush toy at Christmas. While Costco sold it for $14.99, Amazon sold it for twice that amount at $29.99. Also, Costco sold popular Lego sets for $13.99 while Amazon sold them for over $20. While the toy selection at Costco is definitely smaller than other stores, the products they do stock are sold at a major discount.</p> <h2>7. Avoid Aisle Endcaps</h2> <p>When shopping at Costco, the products on the aisle endcaps usually aren't a great deal. Typically these items have the largest profit margins, are full-priced, and are being pushed heavily via free samples. Try not to be tempted by the tasty samples and eye-catching displays. Instead, walk past these endcaps quickly and head for the real deals.</p> <h2>8. Don't Forget Their Price Protection Policy</h2> <p>While most Costco shoppers are already aware of their&nbsp;<a href="https://customerservice.costco.com/system/templates/selfservice/costco_en_us/#!portal/200500000001002/article/200500000040287/Costco-Return-Policy">lenient return policy</a>, many have no idea that they also offer a 30-day price protection policy. If the price of any item drops within 30 days of you purchasing it, simply bring in your receipt and they'll happily refund you the difference. If you lost your receipt, don't fret &mdash; just head to the customer service desk and explain the situation. In most cases, they'll be able to verify your order on their computer system and refund your money accordingly. This policy is especially useful when buying seasonal items, which are eventually reduced in price at the end of the season to make room for new inventory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p><em>What unique ways do you save money on your trips to Costco?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">10 Things You Probably Didn&#039;t Know You Could Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping club costco discounts membership saving money warehouse store wholesale Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Kyle James 1654794 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Best and Worst Deals at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-and-worst-deals-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-best-and-worst-deals-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_costco_000021736128.jpg" alt="Woman finding best and worst deals at costco" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the best and the worst of Costco, a guide to tipping, and how to have wrinkle-free clothes without ironing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/the-best-and-worst-deals-at-costco.htm">The Best and Worst Deals at Costco</a> &mdash; Costco's rotisserie chicken is affordable, versatile, and tasty to boot! [Million Dollar Journey]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.mint.com/how-to/a-how-to-guide-to-modern-tipping-090115/">A How-To Guide to Modern Tipping</a> &mdash; Always check the tipping policy at salons and spas; gratuity may already be included in your bill. If it isn't, tip 15-20% of your total. [MintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Remove-Wrinkles-Without-Iron-31999801">Never Iron Again! 6 Ways to Have Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without Ironing</a> &mdash; Need to spot-iron? Dampen the wrinkled areas with water and gently blow-dry on low heat. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/lifestyle/10-hilarious-things-people-done-free-stuff/60342">10 Hilarious Things People Have Done For Free Stuff</a> &mdash; One woman licked the grill of a car that was covered in chocolate to win the car. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marksdailyapple.com/13-ways-to-move-more-throughout-the-day-even-while-at-work/">13 Ways to Move More Throughout the Day (Even While at Work)</a> &mdash; Create a dynamic workstation where you can kneel, lie down, stand up, sit down, and walk around. [Mark's Daily Apple]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/4-tips-to-kick-a-bad-spending-habit/">4 Tips to Kick a Bad Spending Habit</a> &mdash; Pick up a hobby. When you're doing something you love, you'll spend less time on the Internet and in front of the TV, where advertisers try to hook you in. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/10-tricks-online-marketers-and-other-scammers-use-to-extract-your-money">10 Tricks Online Marketers (and Other Scammers) Use to Extract Your Money</a> &mdash; The 30-day money-back guarantee isn't much of a guarantee, especially since it's unlikely you'll know within that timeframe whether you want to get a refund. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/2015/09/02/5-questions-to-ask-when-you-get-stuck-on-your-goals/">5 Questions to Ask When You Get Stuck On Your Goals</a> &mdash; When one plan doesn't work, you'll need to scrap it for another. Are you willing to let go of old expectations and try something different? [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/09/changing-social-media-message.html">Changing the Social Media Message</a> &mdash; If you feel that social media, the Internet, and other media outlets are constantly getting you down, filter out negativity as much as you can. Hide Facebook friends as necessary and avoid tabloid websites. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/a-parents-guide-to-audiobooks-for-kids">A Parent's Guide to Audiobooks for Kids</a> &mdash; LibriVox is a free, ad-free site with tons of stories read by volunteers. There is an expansive children's section, among others! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-and-worst-deals-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips costco Fri, 04 Sep 2015 19:00:32 +0000 Amy Lu 1547765 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_buying_wine_000014683623.jpg" alt="Woman buying items that will cover her Costco membership" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is Costco really worth the $55 annual fee? If you're on the fence about joining the warehouse club, this is undoubtedly a question you've asked yourself many times. While Costco can contain spending traps for undisciplined shoppers, the store also provides many unique ways to save money. Money that can easily cover, and greatly exceed, the $55 annual membership. (It's even easier to save when you use the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa</a>, which gives you 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases.) Here are a few items that provide enough savings to justify the annual fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">10 Things You Probably Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>1. Wine</h2> <p>If you regularly buy wine from your local liquor or grocery store, you're probably overspending. According to Andrew Cullen, founder and editor of&nbsp;<a href="http://costcowineblog.com/">CostcoWineBlog.com</a>, your local Costco sells an excellent selection of wines at very affordable prices.</p> <p>&quot;I'd say wines at Costco, from my experience in the Atlanta area, are generally priced 10%&ndash;20% below other liquor stores,&quot; says Cullen. &quot;Compared to grocery stores, that difference would be even higher.&quot; If you're buying at least five bottles of wine per month, that savings alone will typically pay for your annual membership.</p> <p>Cullen adds that the &quot;handpicked nature of the selection&quot; at Costco is another factor that gives them an edge when it comes to buying wine. &quot;Regardless of the varietal or region or price range, wines from Costco typically offer a strong quality to price ratio, almost like they have to pass a screening before they are presented in the stores. That's not to say I haven't encountered a few duds here and there, but all in all, the quality of the selection is pretty good.&quot; But like anything in the warehouse, if you pass on a particular wine selection, be aware that it may be gone the next day, never to return.</p> <h2>2. Car Tires</h2> <p>If you're in need of a new set of tires for your car, the $55 membership fee can easily be recouped with a single purchase of four passenger tires. I recently priced a set of four tires for our minivan and Costco was $85 cheaper than my local tire shop and $120 less than what the dealer was asking. Savings was really noticeable when I factored in installation fees which were a reasonable $15 per tire at Costco, compared to $45 at the dealership.</p> <p>Other side benefits of buying your tires from Costco includes lifetime balancing and rotations, free flat repairs, and a 60-month <a href="http://tires2.costco.com/RoadHazardWarranty.aspx">road hazard warranty</a>.</p> <h2>3. Lunch or Dinner</h2> <p>Another easy and tasty way to recoup your $55 is at the very affordable Costco food court. Easily their most famous offering is the hot dog and soda meal, which is really hard to beat. For only $1.50, you get a big hot dog and a 20 oz. soda with free refills. It only gets tastier with an excellent condiment bar which features a fresh onion slicer so you can load up your dog. I have a hard time passing up this meal whenever I visit the warehouse close to the lunch hour as it's a very affordable way to grab a quick bite.</p> <p>The savings aspect is probably greatest when talking about their pizza. For only $10, you get an extra large pizza that can easily feed a family of four or five, depending on how big the appetites are. But if you have kids, and are hosting a birthday party, soccer party, or the like, you can really save by ordering pizza from Costco. You'll be able to feed a lot of people a quality meal, and with the lean prices, you'll come out ahead when comparing the price to most local pizzerias.</p> <p>Insider tip: When checking out from Costco, be sure to place your food court order directly from your cashier. That way you'll only have to pay once and can save time by simply picking up your food from the pick-up window and completely bypass the food court line.</p> <h2>4. Movie Tickets</h2> <p>If you go to the movies at least once a month, you should be <a href="http://www.costco.com/movie-tickets.html">buying your movie tickets</a> directly from Costco. Popular theaters that regularly sell discount tickets at Costco include Cinemark, Regal, AMC, and Cinelux. For example, right now you can buy a 10-pack of tickets for AMC Theaters for $84.99. Before you ask, these tickets have NO expiration date and can be used seven days a week. With tickets hovering around $11&ndash;$13 nationally, you just saved about 30% off your next movie. For a family with kids who love seeing a flick in the theater, buying your movie tickets at Costco is a total no-brainer and can single-handedly pay for your annual Costco membership.</p> <h2>5. Gift Cards</h2> <p>Once you take notice of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.costco.com/restaurant-gift-cards.html">gift card deals</a> at Costco, you'll never buy one anywhere else. They sell gift cards for restaurants, theme parks, local attractions, and golf outings. Savings on average is 20%&ndash;30% off the face value of the card. For example, right now they have four $25 Smashburger gift cards for $79.99 and five $10 Jamba Juice gift cards for $34.99. If you buy discounted gift cards at Costco for places you know you'll be buying from anyways, or are looking for cheap gift ideas for teachers and coaches, you can save significant money.</p> <h2>6. Prescription Drugs (Especially Generics)</h2> <p>If you're buying prescription drugs on a monthly basis, you can easily recoup your membership fee by purchasing from Costco. According to a study by Consumer Reports, shoppers can easily save more than $55 per year by buying their generic drugs from the Costco pharmacy. The reason Costco can charge less has to do with their huge inventory and ability to buy in bulk from suppliers and pass the savings along to you. Also, while drugstores like CVS and Walgreens depend heavily on drug sales, Costco can afford to give a discount on prescription drugs and stay profitable.</p> <p>By understanding the products at Costco that are a great value, you can easily justify the $55 annual membership fee. Just be sure you don't blow the money you save on the bright and shiny objects Costco stocks in the front section of the warehouse. Stuff you had no idea existed, but clearly can't live without&hellip;stuff that also happens to pad their profits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p><strong>UPDATE</strong>: As several commenters have noted, Costco does, in fact, sell alcohol and prescription medications to non-members. Note that Costco offers an additional, members-only prescription drug benefit called the <a href="http://www.costco.com/pharmacy/member-prescription-program.html">Costco Member Prescription Program</a>. It is aimed at Costco members who do not have prescription drug insurance, or whose insurance does not cover some of their medications. Thank you to the commenters and email correspondents who notified us of our error. -- The Editors</p> <p><em>What other Costco items will help you save enough money to cover the annual membership?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco">8 Expert Ways to Save Time and Money at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping costco membership fees warehouse stores wholesale Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:00:32 +0000 Kyle James 1523946 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!) http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-5132550-small_1.jpg" alt="window shopping" title="window shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like most Hawaii residents, I love Costco.</p> <p>With the price of a gallon of local milk as high as $9 and that of a gallon of gas already above $4, Costco is the patron saint of tight-budget students and sales-chasing moms in Hawaii. But the love for the big box retailer doesn't end in Hawaii: Costco has over 460 locations in 43 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.</p> <p>Since you don't need a gallon of mayonnaise or 3-pound bag of tortilla chips that often, you may decide that the $55 membership fee is a bit steep. Here is how to get around dropping five Hamiltons and a Lincoln and still enjoy Costco's low prices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use the Pharmacy and Immunization Services</h2> <p>Costco's gatekeepers cannot hold you up if you are there to purchase items to which access is protected by Federal law. This means that you can still use the pharmacy and immunization services at any Costco warehouse.</p> <p>You can fill new prescriptions, refill existing prescriptions, or transfer prescriptions at the Costco Pharmacy. Even better, you don't even have to leave your home to use <a href="http://www2.costco.com/Pharmacy/Prescription.aspx?cat=678">Costco Pharmacy services</a>. You can order online and have your meds delivered for free via standard USPS within 6 to 14 days. This is quite convenient and lets you maximize your day to the fullest.</p> <p>If you do not have access to free immunizations, Costco often offers the lowest prices for flu ($14.99) and pneumonia shots ($69.78). Costco also offers Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Meningitis, Shingles, Tetanus/Whooping Cough, and Twinrix immunizations. Call the warehouse in advance to check <a href="http://www2.costco.com/Service/FeaturePage.aspx?ProductNo=11642176">availability and pricing</a>.</p> <h2>2. Access Hearing and Optical Services</h2> <p>Another two services protected by Federal law are hearing and optical services. By letting the gatekeepers know that you want to use the optical or hearing services, you can get into the warehouse. However, make sure that the warehouse offers these services. The easiest way to check for this is by checking the &quot;Hearing Aids&quot; and &quot;Optical Department&quot; boxes when <a href="http://www.costco.com/WarehouseLocatorView?langId=-1&amp;storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701">searching for warehouses</a> at Costco's site.</p> <p>Most Costco Optical locations offer an independent doctor of optometry on site. Call the warehouse in advance to schedule an appointment.</p> <p>Costco often provides special hearing aid events to demonstrate the latest technologies. Check the <a href="http://www.costco.com/hearing-aid-events.html">schedule for upcoming demonstrations</a> at select Costco Hearing Aid Centers around the country. Some of these events offer free samples. Let the Costco employee at the door know that you are planning to attend the event, and they will let you in.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you <em>do need a membership</em> to buy glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aid equipment. Or you can also use the $10 cash card trick shown below.</p> <h2>3. Window Shopping at Costco</h2> <p>If you really need to see a low price to believe it, you may want to scope out prices before making a final decision on membership. Unlike Sam's Club, Costco doesn't offer one-day passes. This doesn't mean that you cannot go in to browse around items, however.</p> <p>When meeting the membership card checker at the entrance, tell the rep that you would like to go to membership services and ask more info about membership. Head to the service desk, get the application and tell them that you would like to browse around the store before making up your mind. That's it; now you're free to go around and get the latest scoop on prices so that you can compare them to those of other stores.</p> <h2>4. Buy With a Costco Cash Card</h2> <p>Let's say that after comparing all prices, you found that the flat-screen TV of your dreams is indeed cheaper at Costco by several hundred dollars. Now what?</p> <p>The way to buy anything on Costco without a membership is with the Costco Cash Card. According to <a href="http://www.costco.com/Costco-Cash-Card.product.10024438.html">Costco's site</a>, &quot;non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and online at Costco.com or on Costco.ca.&quot;</p> <p>The tricky part is that you must be a Costco member to purchase or reload cash cards. One way to get around that is to ask a friend or family member with a Costco membership to buy you a $10 prepaid cash card. Some stores may only have $25 cash cards available. Another is to buy a <a href="http://www.giftcardgranny.com/store/costco/?">Costco Gift Card online</a>. You can use the cash card to get into Costco and pay for part of your purchase. You can then pay the remaining balance with cash, debit card, or American Express credit card.</p> <p>Also, cash cards are accepted at Costco gas stations.</p> <h2>5. Shop Online</h2> <p>If you don't know any Costco members, then you still have a chance to access Costco prices. You can look for your item at <a href="http://www.costco.com/">Costco.com</a> and, if available, buy it.</p> <p>The advantage of buying online is that you can use non-American Express credit cards, which are not accepted at Costco warehouses. The disadvantage is that you are dinged with a 5% surcharge, which means that your purchase needs to be <em>less than $1,100</em> for it to make sense not paying the $55 membership fee.</p> <h2>6. Buy Booze</h2> <p>The availability of liquor in your local state depends on both company policy and state legislation. But in several states, such as California, for-profit membership stores cannot exclude the general public from purchasing alcoholic beverages.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/18pqdd/lpt_having_a_party_you_dont_need_a_costco/c8gy54c">Costco employee confirms</a> that you can buy alcohol without membership when state law and company policy allow it, however, the employee also notes that most employees don't know this rule and may call a manager to confirm. Just be patient, and if the state law is on your side, you can protect your right to buy cheaper booze. Your cashier will use a &quot;99,&quot; a generic membership number that requires supervisor override, and you can pay using cash or accepted debit card or American Express credit card.</p> <h2>7. Dine the Outside Food Court</h2> <p>$1.99 for pizza slices and $1.50 for hot dog and soda combo are as good as it gets. At several Costcos around the country, including all the ones in the Hawaiian Islands, the food court is outside. This means that you can buy all items on their menu without a membership. Remember to bring change because food courts take only cash.</p> <p><em>Do you know other ways to take advantage of Costco without a membership? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains club stores costco Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:17 +0000 Damian Davila 1141161 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Maximize Savings at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-maximize-savings-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-maximize-savings-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-78815813.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on maximizing your savings at Costco, smart ways to cut your electricity bill, and how to become a millionaire.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/great-ways-to-maximize-savings-at-costco/">9 Great Ways to Maximize Savings at Costco</a> &mdash; To maximize your savings at Costco, split your purchases with others and identify clearance codes. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Use-Less-Electricity-29003772">10 Simple and Smart Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill</a> &mdash; If you want to cut your electricity bill, seal your leaks and wash clothes smartly. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://financialmentor.com/wealth-building/how-to-become-a-millionaire/11360">How To Become A Millionaire - 5 Secrets Revealed</a> &mdash; Taking opportunities and overcoming your excuses can help you become a millionaire. [Financial Mentor]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/brainstorm-budget-categories/">How to Brainstorm the Best Budget Categories</a> &mdash; It is important to come up with category groups when brainstorming your budget categories. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyandyoublog.com/5-mistakes-most-people-make-when-setting-goals/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyandYou-DCCordova+%28Money+%26+You&reg;+Blog+-+DC+Cordova+Excellerated+Business+Schools&reg;%29">5 Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Goals</a> &mdash; When setting goals, most people make the mistake of listening to nay-sayers. [Money and You Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/2014/02/11/3-steps-get-money-love-life/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CreativeMoneyBlog+%28Creative+Money+Blog%29">3 steps to get the most from your money and love life</a> &mdash; If you want to get the most from your money and your love life, get clear on your money mindsets and where they came from. [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/real-estate/buying-a-house-get-a-home-inspection/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CoupleMoney+%28Couple+Money%29">Buying a House? Get a Home Inspection</a> &mdash; Home inspections benefit the seller because they allow the seller to know their home is in sell-able condition. [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/6-strategies-productive-carpooling/">6 Strategies for Productive Carpooling</a> &mdash; To carpool productively, wrangle your receipts or review your documents. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/5-ridiculous-but-effective-ways-to-save-on-your-groceries/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePennyHoarder+%28The+Penny+Hoarder%29">5 Ridiculous (but effective) Ways to Save On Your Groceries</a> &mdash; Would you ever take pictures of your receipts to save on your groceries? [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/15-fun-winter-olympics-facts-to-share-with-your-family">15 Fun Winter Olympics Facts to Share With Your Family</a> &mdash; Did you know the first Winter Olympics took place in France in 1924? [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-maximize-savings-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips costco maximize savings Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:00:21 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1126637 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Buy at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-168814957.jpg" alt="shopping man" title="shopping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first Costco location (then called Price Club) opened in 1976 inside a converted airplane hangar in San Diego, California. The original business model was to serve only businesses, offering bulk products at discounted prices. The company quickly realized it could increase its sales by offering memberships to a select group of non-business owners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">Things You Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <p>The early 1980s saw the boom of the warehouse club industry. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse store opened in Seattle, Washington and in that year, the company became the first ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in under six years. As of November 2013, the company has over six hundred locations across the United States and boasts of over 71.2 million membership cardholders.</p> <p>The amazing part of the Costco story isn't just the rapid growth but the myriad of different products and services the company offers to its members. People think Costco and the first images which spring to mind are garbage can sized pickle jars and packages of enough bathroom tissue to TP the homes of the entire state of Maine. Sure, those products are available, along with window blinds, snow plows, and a chance to shake hands with author Mitch Albom. And now, there's also the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa</a> card, which awards generous cash back on Costco purchases as well as gas, dining, and travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>As these benefits will prove, a Costco membership does have its privileges. Here are some things you might not expect to buy at Costco.</p> <h2>1. Cubicles</h2> <p>While most of the world hates the feeling of semi-confinement in half walls the cubicle could serve a purpose in the typical family home. Suppose mom or dad works from home and needs a designated office space but doesn't have an extra room to devote to a home office? Suppose the kids need a quiet and self-contained area to work on homework or other projects that cuts down on the distractions of television or other family members? Why not consider a <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=cubicle">home cubicle</a>?</p> <h2>2. Funeral Supplies</h2> <p>No one wants to plan a funeral, but sadly, it's a part of life. If you've been lucky enough to avoid funeral planning in your life so far, you've probably got little idea as to how expensive the entire ordeal can be. Between the casket, the flowers, and all the odds an ends, dying costs an incredible amount of money. The time constraints and mental anguish of burying a loved one also cause people to make quick, often costly, decisions just to get the entire ordeal over with. Though it is a bit morbid, planning ahead for a funeral is often the most cost effective plan, and it saves loved ones from the uncomfortable task once you've kicked the bucket. Costco has an entire funeral section. Now you're just going to need to make room in the basement to store your casket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-great-tech-tools-for-planning-your-own-death-0?ref=seealso">Tech Tools for Planning Your Death</a>)</p> <h2>3. Autographed Books</h2> <p>Every Costco location offers a library of new and old books at discounted prices. There are titles to suit almost every bibliophile including hardcover, paperback, and even children's books. Many Costco locations even host author book readings and signings. Review this handy list of <a href="https://www.costco.com/author-signings.html">upcoming author events</a> at various Costco locations across the United States to find out when your favorite author is visiting.</p> <h2>4. Cars</h2> <p>Costco doesn't have cars in their stores (at least none we know about), but they do offer an auto buying program to members. The Costco Auto Program is designed to save people time and hassle when buying a new or pre-owned car. It's pretty simple &mdash; members can submit a request via the <a href="http://www.costcoauto.com/enterzipcode.aspx?gotourl=%2fdefault.aspx">Costco Auto website</a>. Costco will search your specific area and direct you to one of the 3,000 participating dealers closest to your area. Choose your dealer, visit the lot, and choose the car you want. Show the dealer your Costco membership card, and you'll receive the special price. Costco attempts to eliminate the uncomfortable haggling that comes with buying a car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-websites-you-must-visit-when-buying-a-new-car?ref=seealso">Websites You Must Visit When Buying a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>5. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>Your local gym is offering deals on memberships but it feels as though there is always a catch. Sure, the rates are decent, but how does a person really know they're getting a deal? If they purchase a membership using their Costco card, they can be sure. Gym membership deals are available at an assortment of clubs and spas across the US. All a member has to do is purchase a gym membership through the Costco website, print out the certificate, and bring it to the participating gym with proper ID; and you'll be sweating it out on a treadmill in no time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snow Plows</h2> <p>The winter is always an unpredictable beast. One day it's unseasonably warm, and the next a foot of snow is dumped on your doorstep. Some areas of the United States get so much snow over the course of the year, it's much more cost effective (and easier on the back) to attach a snow plow to the truck and dig out the driveway. Anyone interested in a snow plow doesn't have to deal with a special vendor can just head on down to Costco. They even offer <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=snow+plow">plows for sale online</a>. Wouldn't it be ironic if the delivery of your snow plow was delayed because of snow?</p> <h2>7. Small Business Services</h2> <p>Are you looking to run your small business more efficiently? Why not get help from the place where you already buy a ton of your office supplies? Costco offers an <a href="http://www.costco.com/services.html">incredible assortment of services</a> to the small business owner almost as important as packages of bulk toilet paper. The services include merchant credit card processing, water delivery, business document set-up, health and dental plans, payroll services, and even 401(k) plans.</p> <h2>8. Vacation Packages</h2> <p>Sometimes a person needs a vacation just from planning a vacation. Hotel reservations, air travel bookings, and itinerary planning &mdash; vacation planning is best left to someone else. Why not Costco? Not only will they help <a href="http://www.costcotravel.com/?cm_re=Common-_-Top_Nav-_-Travel">plan a vacation</a> and handle everything from air travel and car rental to hotel booking, theme park visits, and cruises; but Costco members receive a discount from participating destinations and resorts. They even have travel experts on call 24/7 to book your vacation at your own convenience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package?ref=seealso">How to Book a Vacation Package</a>)</p> <h2>9. $63,000 Engagement Rings</h2> <p>We knew that Costco carried jewelry, but we had no idea that not only did they offer engagement rings, <a href="http://www.costco.com/2.12-ctw-Round-Brilliant-Cut-Internally-Flawless%2c-D-Color-Diamond-%22Audrey%22-Platinum-Wedding-Set.product.100006730.html">but a $63,000 engagement ring</a>. The ring is actually worth close to $93,000, but Costco members get the insane discount. We're not sure which will raise more eyebrows &mdash; the stunning ring, the actual and retail prices, or the fact it was purchased at discount warehouse store.</p> <h2>10. Emergency Food Kits</h2> <p>If the world has hopefully learned one lesson these past few years, it's that the entire Earth is at the will of Mother Nature. From tsunamis to superstorms to multiple feet of snow, it's important to be prepared in case of any emergency. The Costco website devotes an entire section to <a href="http://www.costco.com/emergency-kits-supplies.html">emergency preparation</a>. This includes not only food and beverage options but first aid kits and powdered beverages. If you're really serious about prepping for the end of civilization (because you just never know), Costco offers deals on an entire <a href="http://www.costco.com/30%2c144-Total-Servings-4-Person-1-Year-Food-Storage.product.11763436.html">year of food rations</a> for four people and <a href="http://www.costco.com/.product.11766218.html?cm_sp=RichRelevance-_-itempageVerticalRight-_-CategorySiloedViewCP&amp;cm_vc=itempageVerticalRight%7CCategorySiloedViewCP">a water storage system</a> because fresh water is key to survival.</p> <p><em>What surprising things have you found at your local Costco? Share with us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-illuminati">Chris Illuminati</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-telltale-signs-a-good-deal-is-a-bad-deal">7 Telltale Signs a Good Deal Is a Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco">8 Expert Ways to Save Time and Money at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargain shopping bulk shopping costco discounts Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:24:10 +0000 Chris Illuminati 1119563 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things You Should Buy at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-178630538.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Warehouse stores are some of the best places to get a great deal &mdash; but you have to be smart about it! The number of people in your household, price, quality, and product longevity can all have a bearing on what items you decide to buy in bulk. Still, there are some clear deals when it comes to warehouse shopping. Here are 15 Items that are definitely worth buying at Costco, and will give you the most bang for your buck! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco?ref=seealso">Frugal Rules to Follow When Shopping at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>1.Berries</h2> <p>In regular grocery stories, berries can be pricey. Costco usually has larger cartons for a fraction of the price. For example, get a 12 ounce container of blackberries for around $5.50, when you might get half as much at a regular grocery store for a similar price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables?ref=seealso">Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a>)</p> <h2>2. Almonds</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/costco-153053494-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Costco is definitely the place if you&#39;re looking for lots of raw almonds. Pay just 12 bucks for a 3 pound bag of raw almonds, which is much cheaper than stores who sell much less for a similar price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price?ref=seealso">The Best and Worst Nuts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Olive Oil</h2> <p>If you&#39;re not super picky about your olive oils, Costco carries a line of Kirkland Signature extra virgin olive oil that&#39;s actually pretty good (and actually EVOO, not like some other <a href="http://lifehacker.com/the-most-and-least-fake-extra-virgin-olive-oil-brands-1460894373">brands that are impostors</a>), and runs $15 for a 2 liter bottle. Get your cooking on!</p> <h2>4. Soda (and Beer)</h2> <p>If you&#39;re a soda drinker, Costco is definitely the place to keep you stocked. Major brands sell 32 cans (that&#39;s more than five 6-packs) for $12-$13 which is way less than you&#39;d pay at a grocery store &mdash; or through a vending machine! With beer from Costco, you wind up with a case &mdash; four 6-packs &mdash; for what you&#39;d pay for three 6-packs everywhere else. Who doesn&#39;t want a free 6-pack? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda?ref=seealso">How to Make Soda at Home</a>)</p> <h2>5. Soy and Almond Milk</h2> <p>Though usually they come in packs of three, it&#39;s definitely worth getting soy and almond milk (in any flavor) at Costco. These 3-packs sell for approximately 20% less per container than normal store prices.</p> <h2>6. Frozen Meals</h2> <p>Costco frozen meals usually come in packs of four and they carry a couple different brands. The varieties change, but the price in the four pack is usually at least a dollar cheaper than it would be to buy all four meals at a regular store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-phenomenally-frugal-single-serving-freezer-meals?ref=seealso">15 Frugal, Single-Serving Freezer Meals</a>)</p> <h2>7. Rotisserie Chicken</h2> <p>The rotisserie chicken specials at Costco are out of this world! Depending on the time of year, Costco often runs chicken specials that will give you two chickens for $5, or give you a discount on the poundage. You can freeze the chicken, use the bones for a broth, or cut up pieces for sandwiches, salads and dinners. It&#39;s a steal! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken</a>)</p> <h2>8. Organic Chicken Broth and Boullion</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/costco-167615307-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>A case of one-quart cartons of broth or a package of organic base lasts a long time in the pantry, so stocking up at Costco is definitely a good idea. You can get a 16 ounce jar of chicken boullion base for around $5, and six 32 ounce boxes of Kirkland organic chicken stock for around $14, which is a big savings on regular store prices.</p> <h2>9. Fresh Seafood</h2> <p>Every other weekend, there will be a booth at Costco selling fresh, low-cost seafood. Though seafood is usually fairly expensive, these deals can cut the cost of your seafood purchase considerably. For example, Costco routinely has mussels and clams in the $2 per pound range, which is a great deal! If you&#39;re throwing a dinner party, these seafood specials are a great way to bring some sophistication to your event without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-sustainable-seafood-choices-for-your-table?ref=seealso">Affordable, Sustainable Seafood</a>)</p> <h2>10. Lunch</h2> <p>For $1.50, you can grab a full quarter pound all beef hot dog or Polish sausage and an extra large fountain drink, while loading up on Deli mustard and other toppings for free from the pump dispensers. You can also get a very large slice of pizza for $1.50, or grab a chicken bake, parfait, or salad from $2-$5. Get a big lunch, so you won&#39;t overspend when you&#39;re perusing the aisles!</p> <h2>11. Paper Products</h2> <p>Paper products like toilet paper and paper towels are a great Costco buy! Sure, you&#39;ll have to lug them home with you, but you&#39;ll get a lot more from your money buying these products in bulk.</p> <h2>12. Ink and Toner Cartridges</h2> <p>Provided you aren&#39;t switching printers anytime soon, it&#39;s a really good idea to buy a bundle of printer cartridges for your home printer at Costco. At an office supply store, ink can run you around $12 for just one. At Costco, you can usually get five for around $50. Not bad!</p> <h2>13. Kitchen Appliances</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/costco-78057144-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Luxury and staple kitchen appliances alike can usually bought at a large discount at your local Costco, and this is especially true if there&#39;s a rebate or seasonal deal. For example, the Magic Bullet electric grinder, which usually costs about $60, was on sale for just $30 earlier in 2013. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kitchen-luxuries-that-are-worth-it-and-5-that-arent?ref=seealso">5 Kitchen Luxuries That Are Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>14. Glass Storage Dishes</h2> <p>Get your multi-piece Pyrex storage sets from Costco, and you&#39;ll save a bundle from regular retailers. These sets usually last a long time, and have durable rubber tops for stacking and are around $30.</p> <h2>15. A Gym Membership</h2> <p>If you&#39;re cool paying for a year or two upfront, Costco is by far the best place to get a gym membership. For example, get a two year membership to 24 Hour Fitness for just $25 per month! That&#39;s way less than you&#39;d pay through the gym itself, and far cheaper than most comparable gym memberships.</p> <p><em>Costco is a great place to get a lot of specific deals. What are your favorite Costco deals?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rebecca-leib">Rebecca Leib</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-to-get-deals">5 Surprising Ways to Get Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains costco deals discounts Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:48:58 +0000 Rebecca Leib 3674 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Save Money on Photo Announcement Cards http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5928087597_587c888d5c_z.jpg" alt="baby photo card" title="baby photo card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Photo cards are a great way to announce life events or send out family updates because they include pictures, making the message much more personal. We started using them for holiday cards once we had kids so we could show friends and family how the little ones had grown.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the personalization of the card does cost more than a traditional card. This year, every Christmas card we received in the mail was a photo card, so I thought it was time to share a few ways you can save money on photo cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away">5 Cheap Greeting Cards That Blow Hallmark Away</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop Local &amp; Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>I've found that stores like Sam&rsquo;s Club, Walgreens, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-parents-save-money-at-costco" target="_blank">Costco</a> offer lower prices than online services like <a href="http://www.shutterfly.com/">Shutterfly</a>, <a href="http://www.vistaprint.com">Vistaprint</a>, or <a href="http://www.snapfish.com/">Snapfish</a>.</p> <p>They don't offer the customization options the online providers do, but if you're looking to save money, the local stores are your choice. How big are the savings?</p> <p>Costco will charge you $15 before tax for 50 cards (6 x 7&frac12;). Here are the lowest prices for 50 holiday greeting cards from the some of the online services:</p> <ul> <li>Vistaprint &ndash; $32.45 (5x7) or $23.70 (4x8)</li> <li>Snapfish &ndash; $40 (5x7) or $32.50 (4x8)</li> <li>Shutterfly &ndash; $42.50 (5x7) or $35 (4x8)</li> </ul> <p>If you need more than 50, you can order additional sets of 25 from Costco for $5.50. One downside to Costco is that the minimum order is 50 cards. Places like Shutterfly and Snapfish do give you the option of ordering cards in varying amounts. They offer tiered pricing, so the fewer the cards you order, the higher the price per card.</p> <p>Here's a look at the lowest prices for 20 cards:</p> <ul> <li>Vistaprint &ndash; $12.98 (5x7) or $9.48 (4x8)</li> <li>Snapfish &ndash; $18 (5x7) or $14.60 (4x8)</li> <li>Shutterfly &ndash; $19 (5x7) or $16 (4x8)</li> </ul> <p>Another benefit of buying local is that you don't have to pay shipping costs. The online photo services offer free shipping, but you have to spend a minimum amount to qualify. Right now it&rsquo;s a $65 minimum for Vistaprint and a $30 minimum for Shutterfly and Snapfish.</p> <h2>2. Skip the Upgrades</h2> <p>One of the nice things about the Vistaprint, Shutterfly, and Snapfish websites is that they have search filters that let you narrow down the best card for you based on a variety of features.</p> <p>When you&rsquo;re choosing your card, the fewer features you choose, the more you&rsquo;ll save on your cards. For example, Shutterfly lets you pick between Photo Paper and a more expensive Premium Card Stock. TinyPrints.com gives you the option of upgrading to a Shimmer or DoubleThick Matte finish, both of which are more than the regular Matte or Semi-Glossy finish. Adding more options does make for a fancier card, but it will also cost you more money.</p> <p>We keep all of the cards we get over the holidays on a big ring so we can flip through them later. You can tell which ones are on nicer card stock, but the thing that makes the biggest difference is the picture on the card itself. So choose a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-tips-for-taking-a-phenomenal-family-photo">great picture</a>, and the options and upgrades won&rsquo;t make that much difference.</p> <h2>3. Use Coupons</h2> <p>We saved an additional $5 off our Costco photo card order by using a coupon from the monthly mailer. Many online photo services offer discount codes that you can get if you&rsquo;re on their customer list. You can also find them by just searching the web for &ldquo;photo card coupon code.&rdquo; Some services have a current discounts page, like this <a href="http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/photo-gifts/coupon-codes" target="_blank">Snapfish deals page</a>.</p> <p>Earlier I mentioned saving on shipping costs by ordering a minimum amount. Some places will also offer discount codes on shipping.</p> <h2>4. Send Some Cards Electronically</h2> <p>My wife doesn&rsquo;t agree with this tip, but if you&rsquo;re really looking to cut costs, it&rsquo;s definitely an option. If you have lots of people you&rsquo;d like to send photos to but don&rsquo;t want to spend the money to buy and mail all those photo cards, you can send some electronically.</p> <p>After you buy and mail physical cards for 10-20 people, you can share the photos on the card with everyone else via email. From their sites, Costco and Shutterfly both let you enter the email addresses you want to share your pictures with. Unfortunately, Costco requires anyone who gets your email to actually sign up for a photo center account before they can view the photos. Shutterfly doesn&rsquo;t force recipients to join their service to see the photos and they even let you add a message to the back of each photo.</p> <h2>Shopping for Value</h2> <p>When you're buying things like holiday cards or baby announcements, you tend to feel a little more sentimental, and your emotions might try to talk you into <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/10-money-mistakes-to-avoid/" target="_blank">spending extra money</a> because &quot;it's your family and they're worth it.&quot; I agree that they are worth it, but here are a few ways you can send out great family photos that do them justice but don't break the budget. If you can't bring yourself to spend the money on cards even after cutting your costs with these tips you can always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune" target="_blank">make your own cards</a>.</p> <p><em>How have you found ways to save on photo and announcement cards?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-on-photo-announcement-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-buy-nothing-lifestyle-lessons-from-a-frugal-experiment">The Buy-Nothing Lifestyle: Lessons from a Frugal Experiment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">How to Sell Your Kid&#039;s Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-lose-weight-without-counting-calories">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle costco greeting cards holiday cards Thu, 10 Jan 2013 10:48:31 +0000 Ben Edwards 961758 at http://www.wisebread.com Trader Joes vs. Costco: What's a Better Place to Shop? http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5639256351_29f8bfda98_z.jpg" alt="man at costco" title="man at costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How does Trader Joe&rsquo;s stack up against Costco? Both stores are often held up as ultimate destinations for the frugal shopper (frugal shoppers who also care about how employees are treated, as both Trader Joe&rsquo;s and Costco seem to <a href="http://www.workforce.com/article/20050602/NEWS02/306029978">pay their employees well</a>, unlike SOME big-box stores that will go unnamed in this article). Although I don't really enjoy grocery shopping anywhere, I know lots of people who swear by both chains as great shopping experiences. Friends of mine swoon when discussing Trader Joe's frozen desserts, and my mother waxes rhapsodic about Costco's USDA Prime filet mignon, which costs roughly half of what it would in a regular grocery store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>But is Trader Joe's really more convenient than Costco? Or is Costco a better place to shop than Trader Joe's? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Get Cash Back When You Shop at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>Advantage: Trader Joe's</h2> <p>There are definitely some areas in which Trader Joe's beats Costco. Here are a few.</p> <h3>Variety of Flavors</h3> <p>Now, Costco probably has greater overall variety of food stuffs &mdash; like, you won't find 12 pounds of baby back ribs at Trader Joe's, but you sure as heck will at Costco. However, one of the things that makes Trader Joe's so attractive as a shopping destination is the variety of snack foods that they stock. Yes, you can buy almonds, walnuts, and pistachios by the gallon at Costco &mdash; but at Trader Joe's, you can buy wasabi, roasted, and raw almonds; Thai-chili-spiced cashews; pistachios both whole and shelled; Brazil nuts; filberts; walnuts; pumpkin kernels; sunflower seeds; and dozens of varieties of trail mix. Costco may have freeze-dried blueberries and dried apricots, but Trader Joe's has unsulphured dried mango, white peaches, apples, blueberries, apricots, and even freeze-dried pineapple.</p> <p>Costco will always have seventeen-gallon jars of peanut butter, but Trader Joe's will have peanut, almond, walnut, and sesame butter as well.</p> <h3>Scale</h3> <p>No, you won&rsquo;t find Memory Foam mattresses or flat screen televisions at Trader Joe&rsquo;s, but you won&rsquo;t have to walk six miles to get from the front door to the checkout counter, either.</p> <p>In fact, Trader Joe's is sort of impressive in its ability to cram so many products into such small stores. They are masters of product stocking, and the overall size of the <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/26/business/la-fi-trader-joes-20111027">each store is surprisingly small</a> (between 10,000 to 15,000 sq feet per store, as opposed to <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&amp;p=irol-homeprofile">Costco's 143,000 sq foot average</a>).</p> <p>Now, how you feel about the size of a store may depend on how much you enjoy walking around the store. Me, I'd rather be in and out fairly quickly.</p> <h3>Specialty Produce</h3> <p>Most lists of &quot;<a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/healthy_cooking_blog/what_to_buy_and_what_to_skip_at_trader_joe_s">What to Buy (and Not) at Trader Joe's</a>&quot; will immediately call out Trader Joe's produce as a no-go. Fortunately, TJ's seems to have stopped selling individually shrink-wrapped tomatoes on a Styrofoam tray, but it still seems as though you&rsquo;re better served purchasing fresh fruits and veggies elsewhere &mdash; fruit stands or farmer&rsquo;s markets if your goal is freshness, Costco if you simply need massive quantities, and your favorite local grocer&rsquo;s if you simply need more variety than Trader Joe&rsquo;s offers.</p> <p>That said, there are some exceptions in the fresh produce section at Trader Joe&rsquo;s that always take me by surprise.</p> <p>For instance, the only place that I have ever found Meyer lemons is at Trader Joe&rsquo;s. I&rsquo;m sure that they appear at higher-end food marts like Whole Foods every December, but they are prominently displayed at Trader Joe&rsquo;s, and as such, that&rsquo;s where I end up buying them.</p> <p>This weekend, I was surprised to find an entire pound of green figs at Trader Joe&rsquo;s for just $3.99. That&rsquo;s a steal compared to the $5 I paid for a few ounces of them at my local grocer a few days ago.&nbsp;Fresh basil and rosemary plants, although often placed outside near the cut flowers, can be had at a relative steal at Trader Joe&rsquo;s as well.&nbsp;Trader Joe&rsquo;s also seems to have a consistent special on bananas, offering them at roughly $0.19 per banana.</p> <h3>Reasonable Portions</h3> <p>How you feel about buying in bulk depends largely on your method of transportation and how much living space you have to keep stuff. Until recently, I lived in a townhouse in Seattle without much storage space, and every trip to Costco resulted in a nightmare unpacking scenario in which I had to figure out where to keep 600 rolls of toilet paper, two Tuscan cantaloupes, two loaves of bread, six cans of salmon, and a pot roast the size of a Volkswagen bus. Contrast that to a trip to Trader Joe's, where I would traipse home with one tightly packed paper grocery bag of nuts, dried fruit, crackers, frozen humbow, and other snacky things that fit neatly into my kitchen cupboards and freezer, and it was easy to love Trader Joe's.</p> <h3>No Membership Required</h3> <p>Trader Joe's just lets anyone saunter in. You don't have to pay a membership fee, show ID, or submit to a personal search on your way out. WIN.</p> <h3>Limited Overspending</h3> <p>When you buy stuff you didn't intend to buy at Trader Joe's, you might walk away having blown, at max, another $50 on wine and dark chocolate. When you buy things you didn't originally want (or need) at Costco, chances of getting away without spending an additional $300 are slim.</p> <h2>Advantage: Costco</h2> <p>Costco definitely shines as a place to find a huge variety of...everything, really. But here are a couple of areas in which Costco bests Trader Joe's.</p> <h3>Price Per Unit</h3> <p>Now, I am 100% certain that there are some products that are cheaper at Trader Joe's &mdash; I just wasn't able to locate any in my non-scientific survey. This list is by no means exhaustive, but when looking at generic (or at least, the cheapest) brands of food products at both stores, here are my cost per unit calculations.</p> <p><img width="605" height="145" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/Picture%2014.png" alt="Price comparison chart" /></p> <h3>Food Court</h3> <p>They say you should never shop hungry &mdash; well, at Costco, you can arrive hungry and actually sate your ravenous state before you get shopping. Although not exactly the pinnacle of healthy food, Costco hotdog stands offer tasty, filling food at incredibly cheap prices.</p> <h3>Samples</h3> <p>Sure, Trader Joe's offers a couple of coffee samplers in the back, and maybe some snack foods, but Costco has people throughout the store offering samples of everything from seafood to miso soup. Some people adore this &mdash; personally, I&nbsp;feel weird taking samples of food that I have no intention of purchasing, but I know people who can more or less make a free meal out of Costco samples.</p> <h3>Meat and Seafood</h3> <p>Trader Joe's definitely lacks a good butcher's section, and if you are a carnivore, this is where Costco may win you over. No, you probably won't find lots of organic or grass-fed beef at Costco, but you will find large quantities of meat in nearly every cut imaginable. Seafood can also be a real draw for Costco shoppers, although again, you might not find much in the way of sustainably harvested fish &mdash; more likely the fish and prawns are farmed, and Costco salmon almost always has color added.</p> <h3>Giant Portions</h3> <p>Costco was initially founded to serve businesses by providing goods at wholesale prices, and although it extended its membership rules to include households, it hasn&rsquo;t exactly embraced the average urban consumer. Costco&rsquo;s motto might as well be &ldquo;Go big or go home.&rdquo; Because while there are some things that can be purchased in smaller quantities, obviously the majority of Costco goods are sold in bulk &mdash; that&rsquo;s where the savings are supposed to come from.</p> <p>For some shoppers, buying two giant slabs of pork ribs is perfectly reasonable &mdash; for others, Costco shopping is pretty much precluded by a lack of storage space&hellip;or stomach space. Sure, two gallons of milk will work for the family with four kids, but if you&rsquo;re only supplying the calcium needs of a childless couple, then Costco&rsquo;s portions seem a bit excessive (unless you work out a sharing program with another person or household and simply halve the cost and the bounty).</p> <p>If you hate shopping as much as I do, bulk buying can at least stretch your time in between tortuous shopping trips. The trick is being able to actually use everything that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-101">buy in bulk</a> &mdash; not just having the space to store it, but the capacity to consume perishable goods in a normal amount of time. If you have a big freezer and a decent sized pantry, Costco might seem like the ideal shopping experience.</p> <h2>Advantage: Draw</h2> <p>There are simply some advantages to both stores that really depend on where you live, how you travel, and your shopping philosophy.</p> <h3>Location, Location, Location</h3> <p>Trader Joe&rsquo;s makes a point of having locations in both urban centers and suburban strip malls. In cities, they feature tiny, cramped parking lots that take hours to enter and exit. They are, however, usually on a major bus line, making it easy for many urban commuters to stop off and shop on their way home from work.</p> <p>Costco, on the other hand, is not a walker&rsquo;s destination. This is largely because it is difficult to leave Costco without at least 200 pounds of goods in your cart, and you can&rsquo;t take a shopping cart on a bus (although you CAN simply walk away with the cart, as a good many urban shoppers are wont to do). No, Costco is a car-oriented shopping destination, replete with gas pumps and sometimes even drive-through car washes.</p> <p>Mind you, even though I commute by car, this doesn&rsquo;t make Costco an EASY place to shop. It&rsquo;s just easier for me to get there than, say, someone who has chosen to embrace a car-free lifestyle.</p> <h3>Wine and Beer</h3> <p>Although this probably varies greatly from state to state, in my state of Washington, both Trader Joe's and Costco carry wine. Now, there's a lot of debate about whether Trader Joe's famous Two-Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wines) is worth the $3 price tag. I'm a fairly discerning wine drinker, but I&nbsp;don't find Charles Shaw to be terribly off-putting. And anyway, you don't generally buy a $3 bottle of wine to impress people &mdash; you buy it for big BBQs or to make sangria.</p> <p>I tried putting both Costco and Trader Joe's through a per-bottle cost comparison, but found it difficult to locate enough overlap in brands to make an accurate comparison, although both stores seem to pride themselves on a wide selection of wine. Costco certainly appeared to have an edge when it came to high-end wines and champagnes, but Trader Joe's had a wider variety of unusual European blends and hard ciders.</p> <h3>Sushi</h3> <p>Both Trader Joe's and Costco have the world's most horrific sushi platters. There is no excuse for this. It's practically a crime.</p> <p><em>Do you prefer shopping at Trader Joe's or Costco? Maybe both? Neither? Tell us why in the comments! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">5 Things Other Grocery Stores Should Steal from Trader Joe&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Bulk buying costco trader joes Wed, 15 Aug 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Andrea Karim 950573 at http://www.wisebread.com The Buy-Nothing Lifestyle: Lessons from a Frugal Experiment http://www.wisebread.com/the-buy-nothing-lifestyle-lessons-from-a-frugal-experiment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-buy-nothing-lifestyle-lessons-from-a-frugal-experiment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009438271Smallcr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Could you be ready for a lower-cost lifestyle? During the start of the year, many people resolve to make positive changes in their lives. They usually take on the goal to lose weight or to reduce their debt. But what about the &quot;no buy&quot; lifestyle? This sounds pretty extreme or somewhat absurd, but there are people who seem up to the challenge.</p> <p>For instance, there's David Hochman, who was able to get through a whole month without spending beyond $100. In fact, his entire family was part of this frugal experiment. Their rules were simple: Other than the bare essentials, like fresh milk and fruit, the Hochman family would do its best not to buy anything.</p> <p>While this sounds like a pretty extreme way of cutting costs, realize that this was just an experiment to determine how feasible it was to live on very little. (Although <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-for-extreme-saving-money-saving-advice-for-an-extreme-economy">extreme saving</a> is somewhat of a sport for some people.) David Hochman's<a href="http://www.rd.com/home-garden/hochman-family-cuts-spending/article99718.html"> <em>Reader's Digest</em> narration</a> of his family's adventures reveals he learned quite a few things, among them:</p> <ol> <li>Their cupboards had a LOT of food that got them through the month. David's most priceless find: a can of black beans.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The free food samples at Costco helped them get by with less.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>They could score some free stuff by answering surveys from sites&nbsp;like MySurvey.com.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A plumbing emergency could actually be solved by a shot of dishwashing liquid poured into boiling water and poured down a drain that was threatening to regurgitate sewage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There are generous people out there who are willing to give useful things away. For instance, someone offered a free 52-inch plasma TV on Craigslist. (Well, the benefactor just didn't want his ex-wife to get the TV during their divorce proceedings, but that's another story.)</li> </ol> <p>Towards the end of their frugal-living adventure, David and his family found it more and more difficult to keep things together. The pressure of sticking to this financial challenge was starting to affect their relationships, leading to frayed nerves. By the end of the month, they were bickering, feeling irritable and stressed out. Clearly, there is a downside to radical savings methods and forcing ourselves to adapt to very stringent, limited budgets.</p> <p>On the other hand, there were also a lot of valuable lessons learned from this experience. Things turned out differently for David once the experiment was over. He had expected his family to return to its previous spending habits, but they didn't. Instead, David's family members stayed close to home and learned how to keep their frugal habits in place. Their experience with extreme frugal living allowed David and his family to realize that they could live on much less and to appreciate the things that they already have. By these measures, this experiment was a success.</p> <p>David recalled a rich person once telling him, &quot;Money is important only if you don't have any.&quot; Indeed, that can be a bit of a paradox: Most of us actually have so much, but it's a pity that we don't always appreciate the things we already have.</p> <p>For more examples of extreme savings challenges, check out this <a href="http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/buzz/Cheap-Chick-Extreme-Savings-Challenge-nov-9-2010">list of one-year challenges</a> that other folks have embarked on. Here's a look at a few of them:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thecompact/">The Compact</a> is a group of people from San Francisco who've made the commitment not to buy anything new for an entire year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.thegreatamericanappareldiet.com/">The Great American Apparel Diet</a> is an ongoing pledge you can make that involves not buying any new clothes for a year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What about promising to skip on dining out and entertainment for a year? Check out this blog called noteatingoutinny.com/.</li> </ul> <p><em>So how about you? Could you possibly learn to live on much less?</em>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-buy-nothing-lifestyle-lessons-from-a-frugal-experiment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dreams-you-wont-achieve-unless-you-live-below-your-means">5 Dreams You Won&#039;t Achieve Unless You Live Below Your Means</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping cost of living costco food pantry living well spending less Thu, 27 Jan 2011 13:00:11 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 469561 at http://www.wisebread.com How Parents Save Money at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/how-parents-save-money-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-parents-save-money-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3720308488_7443c28c11_z.jpg" alt="child at Costco" title="child at Costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of our friends are big Costco&nbsp;shoppers and for years talked about how much money they saved at Costco. They couldn't believe that we weren't members and encouraged us to join. I wasn&rsquo;t convinced it was worth it, but once I discovered a few different Costco membership discounts, I decided to give it a try.</p> <p>One of the first things I did when we became members was ask around and see what kind of purchases saved people the most money. After all, our friends were the ones encouraging us to join, so I figured they should have some pretty good tips. We have two young kids and many of our friends are also parents of little ones, so I got a decent list of how parents <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-membership-16-tips-to-shopping-warehouse-stores">save money at Costco</a>.</p> <p>I took all their suggestions and categorized them into the different areas below:</p> <h2>Household Items</h2> <p>These were probably the most commonly mentioned purchases; parents like to save money on the store brands. Three people said that they could actually buy napkins and paper towels a little cheaper than the Kirkland brand (Costco's store brand) elsewhere, but they got them at Costco for convenience. On top of that, with hordes of little kids running around, you can go through a lot of napkins and paper towels, so it helps to buy these items in bulk:</p> <ul> <li>Kirkland paper towels</li> <li>Kirkland toilet paper</li> <li>Kirkland laundry detergent</li> <li>Kirkland dryer sheets</li> <li>Kirkland dish detergent</li> <li>Kirkland dish soap</li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>We don&rsquo;t&nbsp;buy as much from Costco as the rest of the parents I talked to, but the thing we do buy the most of is food. We have a few food items that we know for sure we&rsquo;ll save money on that we get every time.</p> <p>One of our friends mentioned an interesting thing I hadn&rsquo;t realized.&nbsp; Apparently Costco has started to carry a lot more organic food. She didn&rsquo;t go into detail on what specific organic food she buys there, but I know buying organic can be pretty expensive, so it&rsquo;s nice to have a cheaper option. Here are the types of food parents save money on at Costco:</p> <ul> <li>Olive oil</li> <li>Almonds</li> <li>Ketchup</li> <li>A-1 sauce</li> <li>Steak and ribs</li> <li>Cheese blocks</li> <li>Eggs</li> <li>Chicken</li> <li>Salsa</li> <li>Kirkland waffles</li> <li>Strawberries</li> </ul> <h2>Drinks</h2> <p>Every week we buy three different kinds of milk: whole for our youngest, 2% for our four-year-old, and skim for us. Buying all that milk adds up, but the prices are considerably lower at Costco, so I definitely agree with the following list. We don&rsquo;t drink much bottled water, but the money we save on milk could almost pay for the cost of membership.</p> <p>Here are the types of drinks that our friends buy for themselves and their kids at Costco (hopefully the Coke's not for the kids):</p> <ul> <li>Bottled water</li> <li>Diet Coke</li> <li>Milk</li> </ul> <h2>Baby Stuff</h2> <p>We're friends with one couple who had&nbsp;twins in addition to a two-year-old, so they&rsquo;ve saved a ton of money buying baby supplies at Costco. Of course, not every parent likes the same brand of diapers...I know we could have saved a lot on diapers at Costco with the generic brand, but my wife really liked a different brand they didn&rsquo;t carry.</p> <p>When the babies were eating and sleeping their way through the first few months of their lives, these are the items parents bought from Costco to help save money:</p> <ul> <li>Kirkland diapers</li> <li>Kirkland wipes</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula">Kirkland formula</a></li> </ul> <h2>Toys</h2> <p>Several of our friends always check prices at Costco first when buying toys for their kids. One lady recently found the same <em>Star Wars</em> Lego set for $10 cheaper at Costco than it was at Target. My wife recently bought a kid&rsquo;s book for our daughter for $8 at Costco, compared to the $15 it costs at the big chain bookstores. Saving $10 here and $7 there can add up, especially during the holidays.</p> <h2>Use the Costco Credit Card</h2> <p>We're able to save even more on everything listed above by using the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa</a> card, which offers bonus cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, as well on everyday purchases like gas, dining, and travel. With all the shopping that parents can do at Costco, it only makes sense to use the Costco credit card to pocket more savings.</p> <p><em>So parents, what did I miss? What else do you save money on at Costco?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-parents-save-money-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping costco costco tips parenting Fri, 03 Dec 2010 14:00:08 +0000 Ben Edwards 333090 at http://www.wisebread.com