There are plenty of deals to find at Costco®, but shopping smart is the secret to saving the most cash. Read on to figure out how to find the best deals at the members-only wholesale giant, and maximize your membership.

Learn the price codes Costco® uses

Smart shoppers can tell if a product is a good deal by paying attention to the last digits of the price. Whether you rarely shop at Costco® or you’re there every day, it’s helpful to know these tips. If an item’s price ends in 99 cents, it’s the regular wholesale price. If a price ends in 97 cents, it’s the final discount price. This means that the item won’t get any cheaper. If the price sign has an asterisk on the upper-right corner, it means that the item won’t be restocked, so you may want to stock up.

Watch out for rotating monthly sales

If your favorite brand of window cleaner isn’t on sale this month, it may be worth waiting for a few weeks to see if there’s an upcoming price reduction. It’s always good to wait until an item goes on sale since Costco® rotates which brands will be on sale just about every month. 

Prevent impulse buys by learning the layout of your local Costco®

Costco® stores are organized in a way that forces shoppers to walk through as many aisles as possible. So, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, we recommend heading straight to the aisles you want. By doing this, you’ll optimize your next shopping trip and avoid unplanned purchases. 

Be sure to stock up on items after the holiday season

Though many people try to give their credit cards a break after the holidays, you may actually score big discounts on items at Costco® if you shop during the first few weeks of January. Since Costco® gets many returns after the holidays, the returned items are usually discounted by 50% so that they’ll sell quickly. January is also a good time to stock up on seasonal decor due to post-holiday sales.