I'll be the first to admit that I am a proud Costco member. I LOVE Costco! So, when Kiplinger.com posted an article about the secrets to shopping at Costco, I definitely wanted to share. Some of these things you might already know, but if you're like me, you were a little shocked at the others. We've outlined them below. Happy shopping, y'all!

  • You don't actually have to be a member to shop there. Each member can bring up to two guests per visit, but with 84 million members, that's alot of guests, sha! Guests can also use a Costco Cash Card to make purchases, but yes, they have to be bought by an actual member.
  • Membership fees just went up. Starting June 1, fees went up between $5 and $10 for every level of membership. Bummer.
  • You can pay less for funeral expenses if you are a member. According to the Federal Trade Commission, caskets are the single most expensive item purchased for a funeral. And at Costco, you can get one for a huge discount.
  • Their return policy is one of the best. Believe it or not, except for big ticket items, there is no time limit on returns or exchanges for merchandise purchased at Costco. But you can't return caskets, sorry.
  • You can return your membership. Yes, you can cancel your membership at any time and get a refund.
  • 1 in 5 products are house brand. About 20% of the items at Costco are their own  Kirkland Signature Private Label brand. You can even get a 72 lb wheel of house brand cheese if you want it!
  • Their signature brands are just as good as nationally known labels. The house brand values at Costco are many, and some are every bit as good as the higher priced national products.
  • They sell more organic food than Whole Foods. Costco sold $4 billion in organic foods last year. Whole Foods sold $3.6 billion.
  • You can buy a car there too. Over 450,000 vehicles were sold last year through the auto program.
  • You can save at the gas pump. Costco sells their own brand of gasoline at stores that offer the service, and it's almost always cheaper than the national average.
  • They don't accept manufacturers coupons. Ever.
  • They only accept one major credit card. If you don't have a VISA credit or debit card, you better bring cash.
  • You can have your groceries delivered. Through a new service called Instacart, you can place an order online, and have it delivered right to your door. Instacart is only available in 19 states right now, though.
  • Buying in bulk is not always going to save you money. If you don't use everything you've bought, then it's not a good deal.

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