Learn how to spot clearance items, get fresh pizza when you want it, and more.

Price tags have a special code

Most prices end with .09 (.89, .99, etc.), but a couple of price tags signal you’re getting a particularly good deal.

A price ending in .97 means the item is on clearance, so you’re getting an even better deal than usual.

Meanwhile, a .00 or .88 price tag signals the manager decided to cut the price, sometimes because it’s the last one in stock, doesn’t have a box, or has pieces missing.

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They move items on purpose

Its stores constantly move their stock around, so you won’t necessarily find the peanut butter in the same spot it was last time.

The company plays it as a “treasure hunt,” but it also knows the more time you spend scanning the shelves, the more likely you are to notice (and buy) other items.

Listen for the bell

If you hear a bell ringing at the Costco deli, it means a new batch of freshly cooked rotisserie chicken has been put out.

Costco rotisserie chickens are a great value and sell out quickly.

If you miss out, simply wait for a little while for the next bell.

You can get your non-member friends in

It’s no big secret that you can bring two guests with you to shop, but you can set up your friends who refuse to buy a membership with their own access cards.

Only members can buy and refill a Costco Cash Card, but whoever you give it to has access to the store to spend the store credit whether they have an annual membership or not. 

Keep an eye out for the markdown date

Keep an eye out for a date that sometimes appears under the final digit of the price.

That date represents the most decent mark-down.

Use this date to determine if you should buy now, or wait to see if the price drops again.

There’s no correct strategy, as popular items usually sell out shortly after a price drop, while items less in demand will have to be discounted repeatedly before selling.

No matter when you choose to buy, knowing this trick will make you glad you have that Costco membership.

Skip the soda

Costco soda isn’t a bad deal, but chances are that your local supermarket’s or discount store’s sales on soda are an even better deal.

Many supermarkets use soda as a loss leader, selling it below cost in order to draw customers in the door.

The best deals are often around summer holidays like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day.

Buy in bulk on those sales, and you’ll come out far ahead in the long run.

Once you get all that soda home, consider storing it in a spare fridge. 

Get the beef by the chub

One interesting tip is to request a chub of beef.

Although most people are unfamiliar with this meat-packing term, a “chub” is a tube of ground beef, sealed in plastic.

Looking a bit like an oversized hot dog, chubs contain the same ground beef, but in packaging, that’s less expensive than the traditional foam box with a clear plastic topper.

The Costco deli can package your beef at your request and the chub is usually sold at a discount.

The price tags warn you if Costco isn’t restocking

An asterisk in the upper right corner of a price tag signals its location isn’t reordering the item.

It might come back at a later time, like if it’s seasonal, but stock up now if it’s one of your favorites

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