13 Secret Saving Hacks at Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale

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Shoppers inside a warehouse club
Image Credit: Dreamstime

When you’re shopping at your favorite warehouse club, did you know there are a lot of little-known ways you can save so much more off the already low prices?

No matter whether you’re talking about Costco hacks or little secret ways to save extra money at Sam’s Club or BJ’s Wholesale, you’ll want to check out our tips!

Costco Hacks, Sam’s Club Saving Secrets and BJ’s Bargain-Hunting Tips

As you’re out and about looking for the best deals, Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club should definitely be on your list of places to shop.

Here are some under-the-radar ways to save at each of them…

Costco

Costco Wholesale entrance via Dreamstime
Costco Wholesale entrance via Dreamstime

1. Look for the 97s

Seen anything that ends in 97 cents at Costco? That means it’s being sold below the store’s cost.

Costco already has some of the lowest markups in retail — no more than 14% to 15% depending on brand. But this Costco hack can super-charge your savings at the warehouse club!

You’ll find most of the 97s in the seasonal section — the back third of the middle of the store.

By the way, this is probably the most important yet least known Costco hack out there!

2. Look for the Asterisks

Price tags with an asterisk mean an item will not be reordered. If you see the asterisk and there are a lot of the items in stock, wait until the price gets marked down to a 97 and then buy.

3. You Don’t Need to Be a Member to Use the Pharmacy

There’s a law in many states requiring Costco pharmacies to fill prescriptions for non-members. That’s great news because the savings on prescriptions can be immense.

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Never gotten your medication filled at this warehouse club? You’ll want to read our 7 Things to Know About Costco Pharmacy Before You Fill a Prescription article for sure!

4. Grab the Kirkland Signature batteries

Kirkland Signature is Costco’s own brand of goods. But here’s a little secret…the Kirkland Signature batteries are made by Duracell!

That’s what Costco CEO Craig Jelinek once told Clark Howard during a walk-through tour of the warehouse club.

5. Skip the Cart

Want a hack to really save money at Costco? Don’t get a shopping cart. Just fill up your arms instead!

When money expert Clark Howard wants to limit impulse purchases at Costco, he’ll skip the monster-sized cart and only buy what he can carry in his two arms.

6. If You Don’t Like It, Bring It Back

Costco has a generous return policy that extends to almost everything they sell, even the cost of the membership itself. Here are 6 Things to Know About Costco’s Return Policy.

7. Don’t Overlook the Food Court!

It’s the home of the $1.50 hot dog and refillable fountain drink. That’s the same price it’s been since 1983!

Curious about what’s on the food court menu, what the nutritional value of the food is and what the hours are? We’ve got a complete rundown here.

Sam’s Club

Sam's Club logo on storefront via Dreamstime
Sam’s Club logo on storefront via Dreamstime

8. Look for Anything That Ends in a Penny

When you see a price like $19.91 or $4.41 at Sam’s Club, you know it’s a markdown.

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Need another clue? Anything marked with a “C” for clearance is a real deal, too.

9. Keep Your Eye Open for Daily Deal Site Specials

From time to time, Sam’s Club will run membership specials through LivingSocial or Groupon. (New members only.)

You can keep up to date with the latest membership offer at ClarkDeals.com, our sister site.

10. Sam’s Club Is Like the King of Tires!

This tidbit is not widely known, but the king of all warehouse club tire deals may be the one from Sam’s Club.

In addition to free tire rotation and free repair of flats, Sam’s Club has a benefit that is unique as far as we know on Team Clark: Emergency roadside tire service.

Sam’s Club members have 24-hour toll-free access for emergency tire change service. You’ll receive the number to call with your tire installation paperwork. Apparently, they will send a truck to come deal with your flat on the side of the road!

BJ’s Wholesale

BJ's Wholesale logo on storefront via Dreamstime
BJ’s Wholesale logo on storefront via Dreamstime

11. Look for Anything That Ends in .90 or .00

Those price points indicate a manager’s special discount, according to fan site MyBJsWholesale.com.

12. You Can Use Manufacturer’s Coupons From the Newspaper

Costco and Sam’s Club generally won’t accept coupons you clip from your Sunday circular. But BJ’s does!

13. Military Personnel Can Get Over 25% Off Membership

As a “thank you” to the brave men and women who serve our nation, BJ’s offers them more than 25% off the price of a membership. Plus, you’ll also get a $10 coupon. Full details here.

Final Thought

Whether you’re talking about Costco hacks, Sam’s Club savings secrets or BJ’s bargain-hunting tips, there are lots of ways to save even more when you’re shopping at your favorite warehouse club.

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