20 Secrets to Shopping at Costco

Here's how to get the most out of your Costco membership.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A Costco membership opens doors, quite literally, to a vast selection of bulk-size groceries and household goods selling at discounted prices. Buying potato chips and batteries by the case is just the start. The warehouse club also stocks everything from tires and furniture to electronics and jewelry. In fact, with so many items to choose from, smart shopping expert Trae Bodge says it’s critical to bring a list to avoid overspending, particularly on seasonal items the store loves to put right inside the front door.

List or no list, shoppers seem to like the savings and selection. Costco has
132 million members around the world, with a 90.5% renewal rate worldwide (92.8% in the U.S. and Canada). With these numbers, it's no surprise the chain ranks first in customer satisfaction among department and discount stores, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, edging out rivals Sam’s Club, Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club. 

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Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.

With contributions from