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6 Hidden Ways To Save on Holiday Shopping at Costco

LPETTET / iStock.com
LPETTET / iStock.com

Doing your holiday shopping at Costco this year? The warehouse club makes it easy to save on everything from bulk grocery purchases to office products and personal care items.

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During the holiday season, however, savvy shoppers may want to learn more ways they can save at Costco that go beyond opting for Kirkland Signature brands and downloading the Costco app. Follow these tips to discover hidden ways you can save on all of your Costco holiday shopping.

Shop Holiday Items Early

Most retailers have early bird holiday shoppers, but shopping for holiday items early at Costco often stresses a bit of immediacy. Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, said this is because Costco has a different schedule for holiday items compared to other retailers.

“When items sell out at Costco, they very often won’t be restocked, especially when it comes to decorative products,” said Ramhold. “If you see something you want like an 8-foot tall nutcracker that plays music, you should buy it sooner rather than later.”

Holiday foods, Ramhold said, tend to be a little easier to shop for several weeks. Costco shoppers don’t need to worry about these selling out as fast as they might with holiday décor.

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Plan Your Shopping Around the Sales

Each month, Costco has sales that cut the price on a wide range of items. For holiday shopping, it requires some advanced planning for overall savings.

Ramhold uses the example of Costco’s Black Friday advertisement which is now available online. Costco shoppers are recommended to start looking through it to see what kinds of items they want to shop for. Ramhold said this is especially helpful for products that may be currently available. Shoppers can see if they’re going on sale soon and hold off on purchasing until then.

Split Up Items for Multiple Gifts

While Costco isn’t always traditionally the first store we think of when it comes to shopping for holiday gifts, Ramhold said it can be an effective way to take care of multiple people on your list.

For example, shoppers unsure of what to get someone or who need a general item good for a gift swap might be able to find a four-pack of fancy candles for a reasonable price. These can be broken down to serve as four individual gifts instead of one overall present. In this candle example, Ramhold said these prices are usually $25 to $30 for the whole set. By breaking them down, it essentially means spending $7 to $8 on each candle.

Ramhold said Costco also has a lot of options that help shoppers save on hostess gifts. A pack of four boxes of Kirkland Signature Luxury Belgian Chocolate, for example, goes for around $70.

This may seem like a lot, but Ramhold said it works out to about $18 per box, and each box includes 46 pieces of chocolate in an assortment of flavors made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa.

“It’s a luxury item which won’t cost a fortune that you can feel good about buying, and it provides you with four hostess gifts for any parties you’ll be attending this season.”

Buy Alcohol in Bulk for Parties

As we talk about breaking down bulk items, what about hidden ways to save on bulk holiday essentials? Shoppers who need libations for large gatherings are recommended to shop for it at Costco.

“If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy hard alcohol, the prices on those are some of the cheapest you’ll find, especially if you opt for the Kirkland Signature brand,” said Ramhold. Hard liquor purchases are ideal for shoppers planning to set up a bar or creating a signature cocktail for their holiday party.

Wine prices also can’t be beat at Costco.

“Stocking up on wine at Costco is perfect if you’re planning a mulled wine for the season, as you’ll pay far less per bottle than if you were to shop at a state package store or a regular grocery store,” said Ramhold. “If you need wine as a hostess gift, you can pick up a bottle or two for less than shopping elsewhere.”

Take Advantage of Price Adjustments

If you buy something at Costco and find shortly thereafter the price drops, it’s possible you may be able to get a price adjustment.

Ramhold said you’ll need to visit a local warehouse for this and talk to the customer service counter. If you’re able to get a price adjustment, this ensures you get the best possible price and don’t end up overspending just because you needed it sooner.

Split Costs With Family and Friends

This is an often-quoted tip from Ramhold that not only works in saving extra money when shopping at Costco, but is a festive way to spread holiday cheer with family members and friends on a budget.

Split the purchase of a massive Costco cheesecake with family members and friends. You’ll worry less about storing and paying for half of the cheesecake and be able to spread merry and bright feelings all throughout the holiday season.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 6 Hidden Ways To Save on Holiday Shopping at Costco