Costco Hacks Canada: Your Ultimate Guide

Costco Hacks Canada: Your Ultimate Guide

Apr 6, 2021

Costco Hacks Canada: Your Ultimate Guide

Looking for the best Costco Hacks in Canada? We’ve all been there – you stop off at Costco for some bulk-discounted bargains, and you end up leaving with maybe too much toilet paper, a four-person steam sauna, and enough ketchup to last you a lifetime. 

However, there’s more to this wholesaler than meets the eye – it’s not just super-slashed prices and ridiculous amounts of household accessories. 

Going to Costco is always an exciting experience – bargain hunting is super fun and you never know what you’re going to find – but how do you make your Costco shop even better value? 

With East Hills Costco just across the parking lot from us, we’re always stopping by to grab a bargain (or 10 😂). 

There are loads of interesting Costco hacks out there and some great Costco tips that can help you save money and today we’re going to tell you about some of our favourites. 

Here’s our list of 15 Costco hacks in Canada and tips that will help you save money and have a better experience at Costco. 

1. Where Are The Best Bargains in Costco?

Product placement knowledge is everything when it comes to being a knowledgeable bargain hunter. 

At Costco, product placement actually matters when it comes to finding the best deals. 

If you stick to the edges and the back of the store and avoid the center you’ll find all the best deals. 

Shelf space on the edges is always in high demand so a lot of companies will keep their prices competitive just to keep their space on the shelf. 

Also, be sure to check out their baked goods/breads, meat and deli sections. You’ll find that they really can’t be beat on everything from chicken to bread at nearly 25%-50% off comparable similar grocery chains. 

Honestly, it’s just crazy. If you have a large family, this is literally the place to shop for your meat, deli and bread. 

2. The Costco Secret Pricing Code

Costco Secret Pricing Code - Costco Hacks

A lot of Costco experts already know Costco prices follow a secret code. 

Any Costco price that ends in .97 is a product that has been marked down nationally and these items don’t last very long. So if you see a price that ends in .97 and it’s something you love we’d recommend stocking up straight away – or you might not be able to get it when you visit again. 

Regularly-priced items always end with the number nine. If you see an item that ends in .88 or .00 then they’ve probably been marked down by a manager. Usually, these items were floor models, returned by a customer, or are seasonal items. 

3. Kirkland / Costco Brand Products Are Better Than The ‘Real’ Thing

One of the best Costco shopping tips that you will ever learn is to swallow your pride and get rid of any attachment to brand names. Costco-brand products are just as good, if not better than the original. 

A lot of Costco’s store-brand products, Kirkland Signature, are nearly identical if not better than their branded counterparts. 

Costco’s Kirkland vodka has long been rumoured to be Grey Goose vodka, just in less fancy packaging (it’s not true, unfortunately, but Kirkland does beat Grey Goose in blind taste tests, a lot).

From olive oil to peanut butter there are loads of store-brand products that have gotten high praise from regular shoppers. 

You should never judge a grocery store product by its label. So swallow your pride and buy some own-brand items. It’ll save you a lot of cash, but you won’t miss out on quality!

4. Listen For The Bell For The Best Costco Rotisserie Chicken!

Listen for the bell for the best Costco rotisserie chicken

Costco’s rotisserie chickens are legen…wait for it…dary, not just because they taste pretty good, but because their prices are so low. 

It can suck going into a Costco to get your dinner, only to be greeted by a selection of chickens that have been sitting there a while. 

Don’t worry – there’s a trick to getting your hands on fresh chicken. 

You might have heard a bell ring while you’re walking around the store and this signal is important when it comes to rotisserie chickens. This bell means that the time has come to put out the fresh chickens. 

So, do your family a favour and head straight to the chicken counter next time you hear the sound of that bell. You won’t regret it.

Literally, nobody beats Costco’s rotisserie chicken. 

5. Ask For The Chub

Ask for the chub of beef - Costco Hacks

Have you ever heard somebody in Costco request a chub of beef?

If not then you’re going to be even more surprised when we let you in on this Costco secret hack. 

Most people are unfamiliar with this meat-packing term, but a chub is a tube of ground beef that’s sealed in plastic. 

Think of it like an over-sized hot dog…but made of ground beef. 

A chub contains the same ground beef as regular ground beef but it doesn’t come in a foam box. This makes it cheaper to buy, but just as delicious. 

The Costco deli can easily package beef as a chub and it’ll be sold at a bigger discount than their regular ground beef. 

6. Don’t Eat Before You Go Shopping at Costco… Enjoy Unlimited Free Samples

Trust us on this. You can go to Costco hungry and come out full WHILE you shop. 

We call it the “Costco Buffet”… Nearly all you can eat samples. The store encourages these people to allow customers to take as many free samples as they desire. 

So if you desire fifteen free samples of the latest cured meats then you can take those samples and be on your merry way. 

Didn’t fill-up on the samples? Well, it’s easy enough on the way out the door, you can easily grab a $1.50 ¼ lb hotdog & pop. Just how can you beat that kind of value?

7. Costco Gas: Fill Up Your Car And Save Serious Money 🤑

Most people don’t realize that some of the best savings at Costco are when filling up your car with Costco gas. 

The price for gas usually falls below the average price for gasoline and if you live near a Costco you can take advantage of this perk regularly, meaning eventually the savings you make on gas alone will pay for your membership cost

Gas Price Savings — The Best Costco Hack

Let’s run a calculation here… the average Albertan drives approximately 15,200 km/year. That works out to nearly a tank a week of gas. Let’s say the average car is a 50 litre tank and the average truck has about 100 litre tank.

Regular Gas Comparison: Costco Compared To Other Gas Stations

As of April 6th, price of gas was 114.9/litre at Costco East Hills, with the surrounding gas stations comparing at 121.2, 120.9 and the lowest comparable we could find at 117.9, that’s still a savings of $0.030-$0.063/litre. Let’s break this down a bit further:

  • On a 50 litre tank of regular gas, that’s a savings of $1.50-$3.15. This is an annual savings of up to nearly $165!
  • On a 100 litre tank of regular gas, that’s a savings of $3.00-$6.30. This equals an annual savings of up to nearly $330 😵 .
Regular gas prices at Costco save you a lot of money

Now that may not sound overly dramatic… Just wait… it doesn’t end there. Check this out:

Premium Gas Comparison: Costco Compared To Other Gas Stations

Drive a sports car or luxury SUV? You’re in for a real treat of a reward from Costco Gasoline. As of April 6th, price of PREMIUM gas was cool 124.9/litre at Costco East Hills. Compare this with the average surrounding gas stations at 140.9 and the highest comparable we could find at 142.9, that’s a WHOPPING difference of $0.160-$0.180/litre! Let’s break this down a bit further:

  • On a 50 litre tank of premium gas, that’s a savings of $8.00-$9.00. This is an annual savings of up to nearly $468.
  • On a 100 litre tank of premium gas, that’s a savings of $16.00-$19.00. This equals an annual savings of up to nearly $988 😵 !
Premium gas prices at Costco save you a lot of money

Did we mention, that’s not even inclusive of their Executive membership benefits or their Mastercard perk of $0.02 rebate/litre? 

If you invest in a Costco membership you can save a good chunk of money by filling your tank up at Costco. Not bad for the $60-$100 you’ll spend on membership. 

The annual savings in this alone are 🤯 🤯 🤯 . 

Which locations have Costco Gasoline stations in Calgary?

Costco – East Hills Shopping Centre
Costco – Heritage Town Centre
Costco – Tsuut’ina / Buffalo Run / Woodbine
Costco – Beacon Hill
Costco – CrossIron Mills
❌ Costco – Sunridge

8. Keep An Eye Out For The Asterisks

Keep an eye out for the asterisks - Costco Hacks

Everybody knows a bargain when they see one, but did you know that Costco hides a little bit of information from average shoppers?

Have you ever noticed a tiny asterisk on the corner of a price tag?

If you have, you’re not the first. Some might see this as a simple printing error but it’s actually so much more. 

This symbol means that the product it’s marking is facing discontinuation. 

So once it’s gone it’s gone, and it more than likely will never be seen again. 

If you see an asterisk on one of your favourite products now is the time to stock up because as soon as it’s sold out Costco won’t be bringing it back any time soon. 

It can be frustrating when your favourite product is discontinued, but look on the bright side – if you get hold of them at the asterisks stage you’ll get them for the lowest possible price. 

9. Look Out For The Markdown Date

Look out for the markdown date - Costco Hacks

Another great Costco price tag tip is to keep an eye out for the markdown date. Sometimes they appear under the last digit of the price. 

You can use the markdown date to decide if you should buy it now or wait to see if the price drops again. 

There isn’t really a set strategy for this as popular items could sell out quickly regardless of the markdown date or the price drop. 

Other items with less demand might be discounted repeatedly before finally selling out. 

No matter how you choose to use this trick you’ll always end up with a great bargain. 

10. Costco Electronics: Free Tech Support & Free 2-Year Extended Warranty

Costco electronics get you free tech support & free 2-year extended warranty

One of the most underrated departments at Costco and we’re not overly sure why? Costco Electronics literally kicks-ass when it comes to pricing, availability and warranty.

Costco might not be your first choice when it comes to buying your new laptop or TV but it really should be. Costco actually has a few perks over the likes of Best Buy or even Apple.

All electronics bought at Costco come with free tech support. 

Every gadget you buy comes with an on-call Costco concierge hotline that is available between 5 am and 10 pm, seven days a week. 

If your new TV or laptop won’t work, you can simply call Costco instead of bringing it into a repair shop. 

What’s one of the best reasons to buy your electronics at Costco? How about a FREE extended warranty! Costco extends the factory warranty on any big electronics purchases by two years. 🤯

They carry most top brands in stock, including: Apple, LG, Samsung, Sony, Canon, Garmin and nearly every top brand of cellphone.

Speaking of Mobility

There are Costco Mobility member exclusive benefits on this as well. Most providers offer Costco exclusive plan rates. Costco also offers additional perks that may change from time to time which include free wireless earbuds/airpods, AppleCare+ for iPhone/iPad, and cheaper costs on the phones themselves.

With all these bonuses it’s a mystery why more people don’t buy their tech at Costco.

11. Take Advantage Of The Low-Cost Costco Pharmacy 

Take advantage of the low-cost Costco Pharmacy

Did you know that Costco also has a pharmacy?

If you didn’t then you haven’t been taking advantage of the cheap generic medicine and optometrist’s office that’s located in every Costco!

Out of all the wholesale stores, Costco offers the cheapest over-the-counter-drugs compared to others. 

You also don’t have to be a Costco member to take advantage of these prices! So whether you’re in need of some medicine or an eye exam just drop in whenever you feel like it. 

12. Share The Love – And The Costco Membership

If you’ve got a friend who’s thinking about getting a membership but doesn’t really want to pay the full price then why not go halfsies?

One of the best things about signing up for a membership with Costco is that you get two membership cards. 

You can give your second membership card to a friend, spouse, partner or family member. 

Plus there’s nothing stopping you from splitting the membership fee and taking full advantage of all the amazing deals inside. 

13. Non-Members Can Still Shop At Costco

If you don’t see yourself shopping at Costco often enough to justify the annual membership fee then don’t worry. All bargains are not lost. 

Depending on where you live you might be able to access some of the store’s sections even as a non-member. 

Some stores will allow you access to their notoriously affordable alcohol section and you can easily gain access to their pharmacy and their food court. 

You can also shop at Costco as a non-member by using Instacart. 

You don’t get the same experience as you do shopping directly in-store but you can still fill your virtual grocery cart with various items and get them delivered straight to your door. 

Delivery isn’t free and some of the prices might be slightly higher for a few items but it’s a great option for you if you don’t shop there often and can’t justify the membership fee. 

14. Grab Some Discounted Gift Cards At Costco

Grab some discounted gift cards

The gift card section is often a section overlooked by shoppers. 

They’re just gift cards, right? Surely they can’t be discounted?!

Gift cards at Costco, just like all the other sections, are also offered at a discounted rate. 

There can be up to 20% off a gift card, making them the perfect gift for the holidays or just a treat for yourself. 

15. Have A Plan For Your Costco Adventure

Like every great expedition you have to start with a plan and this includes expeditions to Costco. 

It can be overwhelming if you don’t know the best way to navigate the aisles of Costco. Many have found themselves just wandering aimlessly through the aisles only realizing too late that their cart is stocked with things they don’t need. 

What’s worse is usually they haven’t even scraped the surface of their shopping list!

The layout of Costco is like a jungle and to find the key items you need you’re going to have to navigate it carefully and try your best to ignore any urges to impulse buy. 

This is not a fluke. 

Store designers purposely do this to lure in unsuspecting shoppers. 

Avoid these psychological games and make a plan so you don’t fall prey to all those good deals and shiny bargains. 

Locations and Hours for Costco in Calgary

Costco – East Hills Shopping CentreCostco – SunridgeCostco – Heritage Town Centre
(Our favourite location but we may be a bit biased 😂)

Address: 75 E Hills Blvd SE, Calgary, AB T2A 6J8

Phone: (587) 470-4490

Hours of Operation: 
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm
Address: 2853 32 St NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 6T7

Phone: (403) 299-1610

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm
Address: 99 Heritage Gate SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2L4

Phone: (403) 313-7647

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm
Costco – Tsuut’ina / Buffalo Run / WoodbineCostco – Beacon HillCostco – CrossIron Mills
Address: 12905 Buffalo Run Blvd Tsuut’ina, AB T3T 0E3

Phone: (587) 441-8180

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm
Address: 11588 Sarcee Trail NW, Calgary, AB T3R 0A1

Phone: (403) 516-3701

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm
Address: 293020 CrossIron Common #300, Rocky View County, AB T4A 0J6

Phone: (403) 516-5050

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 9am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 8:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm

Checking Out…

If you’re doing your weekly shop at the East Hills Costco then you’re going to end up with quite a lot of extras. 

If you find yourself with a lot of empty plastic bottles, milk jugs, and cans then consider gathering them all up and bringing them over to the East Hills Bottle Depot. 

We’re just a bottle’s throw away from the East Hills Costco so next time you’re heading in for a shop, stop by and you can make some money back on your recycling. 

If you want to learn more about what we do and how you can make money from recycling your waste then get in contact with us today. 

P.S… Looking for an East Hills Bottle Depot insider tip? Sign-up to become an East Hills Bottle Depot VIP and earn an extra 10% bonus back on your returns. Click here to sign-up to  become a VIP. Come experience Canada’s best luxury bottle depot today.

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