3 Ways to Save Money at Costco While Food Prices Are Up

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Food prices have increased a lot over the past year.
  • You can save money at Costco by taking advantage of sales, choosing the right membership, and sampling items before committing to a bulk purchase.

You might manage to lower your costs in a very big way.

Inflation has been making it increasingly difficult for consumers to cover their expenses. In fact, a lot of people have had to raid their savings accounts over the past year and change just to keep up with basic bills.

But while living costs have risen across the board, the cost of food has absolutely soared. Grocery prices were up 11.3% from a year prior as of January, according to the Consumer Price Index. And it may be a while before food costs drop to more modest levels.

If you shop at Costco, you may be aware that the warehouse club giant has not been immune to price increases. And perhaps you're spending more on groceries at Costco now than you were a year ago. But if you make these moves, you might manage to eke out more savings.

1. Check out the sales

Although Costco prides itself on its generally competitive prices, each month, it offers further discounts on a select list of items. If you're a Costco member, you should get a coupon book in the mail that will tell you which items are being offered at a discount that month (and to be clear, you don't need to clip any coupons -- you'll get the sale price automatically at the store). And if not, you can look at Costco's monthly specials online.

Now to be clear, it's not a great idea to purchase items simply because they're on sale. But if you use olive oil regularly and are running low, and you see that Costco has it marked down in March from its usual price, then it could be a good time to stock up.

2. Upgrade to an executive membership

A basic Costco membership costs $60 a year, while an executive membership costs $120. You might think you're saving yourself money by sticking to a basic membership. But actually, upgrading could result in more savings.

The reason? With a Costco executive membership, you'll snag 2% cash back on your grocery purchases (and all Costco purchases, for that matter). And if you do enough shopping at Costco, you may find that you come out way ahead financially by virtue of upgrading.

3. Sample new items so you don't buy things you end up throwing away

Costco frequently introduces new products into its lineup. But it's a good idea to wait for those items to be available in free sample form before buying them.

When you're talking about something you've never tried before, you run the risk of not actually enjoying it once you bring a bulk package of it home. And that's a good way to throw your money away rather than save it.

Higher grocery costs could be with us for quite some time. You may end up spending more to feed your family these days than you did a year or two ago. But you can still eke out extra savings at Costco by shopping strategically, choosing the right membership, and sampling new items before buying them to make sure they really should come home with you.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow