Jun 20, 2023

Costco Canada Shopping: 20+ Pro Tips and Hacks

When you shop at your local Costco, you want your shopping trip to be efficient and fast. You also want to save a good amount of money. Take a look at our pro tips that will help you make your shopping at Costco so much better.

Being a Costco member gives you a number of perks and privileges. Here we talk prices in bulk, cheaper gas, Kirkland brand, and many more. How else can you save at Costco in Canada? We have collected several tips that come from our personal experiences, our friends’ experiences, but also from several online communities like this one on Reddit

We will start with the tips meant to drive more savings. Then we will talk about tricks to make your shopping experience at Costco more efficient.

How to save more at Costco

Use costco.ca to research

Use the Costco site to do your research. If you want to avoid crowds at the store, check out Costco.ca. The Costco site may not be the cheaper version of your store. Some prices are way up compared to your local store. Still, you can get some interesting deals if you time your purchase well. 

Also, browse the Costco magazine that you receive by post. The magazine has a good amount of deals from Costco.ca. Pay attention to the promo dates for the items available on Costco.ca.

The bottom line is that Costco.ca is an excellent place for researching products. Read the reviews and compare the prices.

Compare in the stores’ mobile apps

This tip will be handy if you are a master of your smartphone. Download the Costco Canada app to your phone. Then download some more apps from the completing stores: Walmart Canada, Home Depot Canada, Canadian Tire

When you plan to buy something large like an appliance or tool, compare the prices within these apps to see which of the stores has the best price. Also, pay attention to the inventory at your local store.

Use Costco coupons

Browse the magazine and coupon mailers before your trip to Costco. Clip the coupons and promos that you will use. Plan to take these clippings with you and refer to them at the store.

Inspect your pantry

To avoid any waste, take a look at your pantry before your shopping trip. Make sure you don’t buy things you don’t actually need yet.

Don’t go shopping on a hungry stomach

This may sound strange, but science has proved that hungry buyers make more impulsive purchases. So eat something before going shopping so that you’re not tempted to buy more.

Shop during weekday mornings

Shopping at Costco during the weekend may be an adventure. The best times to go to Costco and avoid the crowds would be on weekday mornings. We actually figured out the best time to shop at Costco. Find the best time slot during the week to be at Costco.

The only caveat to morning shopping at Costco is that you may miss the free sample booths. The free stuff is usually given away in the afternoon or on busy days (which are Saturday and Sunday)

Compare prices per unit or weight

Even though Costco has the best prices overall, not everything is always cheaper than elsewhere. Check out the other supermarkets’ flyers, and calculate the price per pound, gram, or unit. 

Use sites like Reebee.com or Salewhale.ca to access multiple flyers at once.

Read the Costco prices

Learn how to spot deals by understanding how Costco pricing tags work. Take a look at this short guide and understand the meaning of the Costco prices.

Choose the right Costco membership

Spend some time calculating your purchases at Costco each month. Then figure out which membership card is the best option for your particular situation. 

Check out the Costco return policy to get a refund on your membership if this is needed.

Make your shopping faster and efficient

If you want your shopping experience to turn into a smooth sailing trip, see what you can do immediately. We’ve collected some rare tips that you can try at your local Costco today.

  • Go shopping on rainy days as there are fewer people at Costco.
  • Park near the cart station and not the store entrance. The point is to have less to walk after you’re done loading your car.
  • Never reverse park your car at the parking lot. It will be difficult to put your buys into your car’s trunk after. We see a lot of people still reverse parking and then having a miserable time loading the stuff in their cars.
  • Have your card in your hand and show it at the door without stopping.
  • If you're going to look at an item, move your cart out of the way so as not to block the aisle.
  • Control your children to move faster in the store. But ideally shop without your little ones if you want a quick in and out.
  • If you don’t want an item, don’t leave it anywhere. Return it where you got it or hand it to a Costco employee.
  • Leave heavy and bulky items at the bottom of your shopping cart. Turn the items with the barcode facing out for easy hand scanning at the cashier.
  • Leave your cart outside the walk-in diary and fresh produce freezer room. Hop in, grab what’s needed, and be out. (Don’t leave your purse or personal belongings unattended!). 
  • Use reusable Ikea bags. They fit perfectly in the cart and are easy to load and carry.
  • Refuel your car at 6-7am at the Costco gas station. The line doesn’t virtually exist at this hour.

Bonus hacks:

  • Visit your Costco store immediately at the opening time the day after Christmas. You will find tons of discounted gifts and gift baskets and merch.
  • If you don't want to become a Costco member, pay a current member to buy you a Costco cash card. With this cash card, you can go to Costco without being a member.
  • For large quantities and bulk items, talk with your friends and split these purchases with them.

If you are interested in more Costco related information, take a look at these guides and articles: