11 Ways to Save at Costco When You Are Broke

Costco is a place filled with everything from bulk goods to household essentials and electronics. It’s a popular destination for millions of shoppers across the globe looking to grab the best deals.

However, shopping on a budget can sometimes be challenging, especially at a wholesale store like Costco. If you’re frequently feeling broke but still want to save at Costco and get the maximum value for your money, then you’re in luck!

This post will provide eleven ingenious ways to shop at Costco when you’re on a budget.

(Need a Costco membership deal? Sign up here)

Make a List and Stick to It

This tip is a no-brainer, but it’s the most important. Before you head to Costco, make a list of the items you need and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by all the shiny, new things on the shelves.

Remember why you’re there and what you can afford. Discipline is key. If you find yourself wanting to add more items to your cart, take a break, sip on the free samples, and remind yourself of the list.

Buy in Bulk Only What You Need

Costco’s biggest selling point is that you can buy in bulk, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy everything in bulk. Only buy what you need and will use.

Do you really need six bottles of ketchup or 20 apples? If not, stick to smaller quantities. Remember that buying in bulk only saves you money if you use everything you purchased.

ways to save at costco 2024

Buy discounted gift cards

One of Costco’s easiest ways to save money is to purchase discounted gift cards from third-party sellers. Many resellers like Raise and Gift Card Granny offer discounted Costco gift cards.

This will allow you to spend less money purchasing gift cards and more on groceries.

Instant Savings

Make sure you study your Costco Instant Savings flyer. You will want to use this to get creative with your meals and purchase items with an extra discount.

Look for a discount on staple pantry items such as rice, beans, and soup. These items can be used in any meal and are pretty filling.

Costco Food Court Menu MyWholesaleLife

Shop at the “Food Court”

Did you know you don’t need a membership to buy food at a Costco food court? If you’re looking for a quick bite, you can still head to the food court and indulge in hot dogs and pizza at low prices.

Just be sure to keep in mind that the “Food Court” items may not be the healthiest options.

Skip the Prepared Meals

Although the prepared meals in Costco’s food court may seem like a good deal, they can quickly add up and put a dent in your wallet. Instead, opt for fresh produce and meats.

You can also find great deals on canned and frozen items that are easily cooked at home. Meal prepping is a great way to save money, and Costco offers a lot of ingredients that can be used in bulk.

Kirkland Brand

The Kirkland store brand is known for its quality taste at a great price. You will save even more if you shop the store brand on your items.

Some of our favorite Kirkland brand items include lunch meat, tomato sauce, soup, ketchup and granola bars.


You can use the IBOTTA app at Costco. Try to match instant saving items with items within the app for extra savings. Pick items that can be used in multiple meals and will save you the most money.

This app is my absolute favorite app to save money on groceries. It’s super easy to use.


While Costco is known for marking down home goods, clothing, and electronics, you will occasionally find clearance food items.

Look for the .47 or .97 price tag while walking up and down the cooler, freezer and dry food aisles. If you find something, consider whether it is an item you can use easily in the planned meals.

Split Products with Friends

Split products with friends and family members to reduce your cost. Some bulk items at Costco can be challenging to go through alone, especially if you have a small family.

So why not go in with a bunch of friends or family members to buy these items in bulk? This lets you enjoy the discounts that come with buying in bulk and reduces the burden on you.

Self Control

Remember your self-control and grocery list when you head to Costco. If you’re used to shopping with emotions, you will need to be strong.

Leave your credit card at home and bring cash if you need that extra step. You may need to say no to all the fabulous finds you see on your shopping trip, but it will be well worth seeing how much you save.

Being a member of Costco is crazy fun. They have so many great options that really can save a family a ton of money if they learn to shop smart.

Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t shop smart or save some bucks. During your next Costco trip, use some of the pointers above to get the most from your shopping experience and still have enough money in your wallet when it’s all said and done.

Shopping at Costco can be a real benefit when trying to save cash, but using these tips to get the most value out of each trip is essential.

Do you know any other easy ways to save money while shopping at Costco? Let us know here!


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