The Five Best Costco Home Goods Hacks That Will Save You Money

When Costco first opened in San Diego in 1976, probably no one had any idea how this wholesale retailer would revolutionize the way families shop. Today, countless households and businesses hold annual Costco memberships, getting the best bang for their buck through bulk shopping and unique items. According to NBC News, Costco is a popular choice with all different types of families, including specific nationalities and age brackets. While groceries usually come to mind when people think about Costco, the warehouse sells many other things including plants, clothes, seasonal recreation items, and home goods. 

But how can you make Costco's deals even better, especially when it comes to home goods? While Costco is already very affordable for many of its items, it never hurts to take some extra steps to save a few bucks. From price tag language to shopping online, there are plenty of ways to be even more economical at Costco.

Know the price tag language

Just like traditional retailers, Costco warehouses use a price tag language that is set up for mostly for internal operations, but can save you money on home goods as well if you understand it. According to Tough Nickel, Costco has pricing codes that indicate whether an item is discounted, specially priced, or a final inventory that won't be restocked. 

For starters, this pricing structure includes price tags that end in $0.97, which have been marked down from the original price (which usually ends in $0.99). Also, look for any odd pricing outside of $0.99, such as $0.49, $0.79, and $0.89, which usually means the item is still regularly priced. Additionally, an asterisk located in the upper right corner of the sign or price tag means the item is final stock, so if you want it, you should go ahead and buy it. Lastly, prices ending with $0.88 or $0.00 usually mean it's a manager markdown due to merchandise that is returned but is still in fine condition.

Be on the lookout for summer closeouts

Even though Costco doesn't function completely like traditional retailers, they do participate in seasonal clear outs just like others do. The biggie at Costco comes in the summer time, when they mark down large items including home goods. You will find patio furniture, pool toys, home storage, décor and more marked down at this time of year. 

According to Go Banking Rates, Costco does this to free up space for next season's merchandise. To that end, you might get great deals on items like barbecues, beach chairs, and camping equipment that can be used right away, but you might also find off-season items like left over Christmas products or other holiday decorations as well. If you're looking for a particular home good, you can call your local Costco to see what they have in stock during the summer months. Immediately after Christmas is the other good time to search for marked down deals, as Costco tends to have another big clear out sale around this time of year. 

Learn your Costco's product placements

Warehouse retailers have strategies to get customers in, including where they place particular items. Costco tends to keep their store sectioned by type of merchandise, but home goods tends to be scattered throughout, with groceries mostly located in the same area. Take a stroll through your local Costco to see how they price various locations. Some stores, according to LifeHacker, put their big displays in the middle of the main aisles and the prices are aggressive. Club stores tend to put their best deals in the middle of the store, with more commonly needed items like milk and meat in the back corners so consumers will need to walk through all of the middle stuff in order to reach them.  

With the object of the game being to draw the shopper as deeply into the store as possible, you will often find the best prices dead center. On the other hand, some warehouse retailers put their merchandise clearances in the back or on the sides of the stores. The best thing to do is orient yourself with your own local Costco, learn the patterns, and proceed accordingly. 

Go with goals and have tunnel vision

One of the quickest ways to spend more money than intended at Costco is to go in without a plan. They have so many different types of household items, decorations, and other home goods that you will easily be delighted and pulled in by all of the different offerings if you go in without a solid shopping list, as noted by Psychology Today

Write out ahead of time what home goods you're there to get — décor, shelving, organizational pieces, etc. — and stick to that list. You can view a lot of Costco's inventory online — including a current deals section – so you can plan ahead what you want to purchase. Oh, and keep your blinders on! If you stick to the aisles you know you need to go in, you can get your home goods, groceries, and whatever else without even venturing through and seeing other items not on your list. 

Take advantage of apps and coupons

To get the best deals on home goods at Costco, you need to go beyond simply perusing the aisles. Make sure you receive regular coupon mailers, too. You should automatically receive these at the address your Costco membership is registered under. The coupon books can save you quite a bit off of the in-store price on certain merchandise, including home goods. According to Krazy Coupon Lady, Costco also does not require people to have coupons onsite with them in order to get a coupon deal — the advertised discounts automatically come off at the register. You just need to be aware of them via seeing them in a the booklet in order to know when to get a great deal. 

Downloading the Costco app is also a good way to find good deals at your local Costco location, get coupons, and know about the latest items available at the warehouses closest to you. The more plugged into a business you are, the more you're likely to hear about deals, giveaways, events, and more. Finally, you can save money on home goods at Costco by keeping an eye out for gift cards sold at a discount price (via Costco).