If you have a Costco membership, it makes sense to maximize your shopping trip while you’re there, especially when running a seasonal errand. After all, this warehouse shopping club has aisles and aisles of holiday-worthy produce — from gift wrap to prime rib. Plus, you’ll often find a better price per pound or per unit on items, compared to prices offered by traditional retailers or grocery stores, which can help you stick to your vacation budget.
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To find the best ways to check off all the items on your holiday shopping list at Costco, GOBankingRates asked Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews, for her expert advice. Here’s what she shared to help you do your vacation shopping on a discount.
Buy your main dish for less
“The holiday season is big for things like turkey, but some families may prefer to have something like prime rib roast for the big holiday dinner,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews. “Costco is well known for its great prices on meat, especially considering the volume you receive and the number of people you can feed. Don’t get me wrong – it might not be cheap to buy something like a prime rib roast at Costco, but the price will likely be much better than if you were to shop at a standard grocery store. And if you opt for something else like chicken or fish, you’ll save even more because they’re more “standard” options and not necessarily “luxury” meats.
Buy holiday desserts
“Costco is known for their huge, ready-to-eat desserts that weigh several pounds, so they’re enough to feed a crowd,” Ramhold said. “Go for apple, pecan or pumpkin pie, but also look for other desserts, including cheesecake or pumpkin cheesecake, which has a loyal following.
“If it feels too much like a shortcut and you feel bad about not cooking these items yourself, you can dress them up with things like homemade maple whipped cream or caramel sauce. It might seem like paying around $10 for an apple pie won’t save you much, but these huge pies serve around 16 people, and you’ll save on raw ingredients and the time it takes to bake these items from scratch. . ”
Buy multipacks and break them down
“You’ll often find things like 3 and 4 candle packs at Costco, with each candle measuring around 12 oz and having a burn time of 36 to 44 hours,” Ramhold said. “You can give the whole pack to one recipient, but the advantage of these packs is that they can be split up to serve as multiple gifts, bringing the price down to around $7.50 to $12 per gift and eliminating purchases from three to four. people at once.
“It’s not just candles either. Often at this time of year, Costco also offers Starbucks gift boxes, usually at least two per pack. These will usually include things like mugs, hot chocolate mix packets, marshmallows, peppermint sticks and maybe a snack, and they’ll be cellophane wrapped. All you have to do is add a bow or put each one in a gift bag.
Get outfits for the whole family
“Costco regularly runs ‘buy more, save more’ promotions on apparel, with a few exceptions (usually things like socks and underwear as well as Costco Next lines),” Ramhold said. “As long as they’re eligible for the promotion, you can expect $25 off when you buy five items or $60 off when you buy 10 items. And since Costco already tends to have reasonable prices on apparel , you just accumulate savings by taking advantage of it.You can find holiday outfits for children and create a new look for the adults in your family without spending a fortune.
Save on gift cards
“If you’re planning on buying restaurant gift cards for someone for the holidays, shopping at Costco will ensure your dollar goes further,” Ramhold said. “Often you can buy gift cards worth $100 for a variety of different restaurants and save $20 to $30 on face value, which means paying $70 to $80 to get $100 of Some restaurants may also have higher amounts, for example, you may be able to find four Texas de Brazil gift cards worth $50 each ($200 total) for just $150.
“It’s not just the restaurants either. You can also find gift cards for gaming services and save $5-10 on the face value of those. There are also gift cards for retail stores, movie tickets, streaming services, lifestyle, spa, and travel. You can even find things like a gift card for a one-year Instacart Express subscription for less.
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Get Host or Hostess Gifts
“A lot of things are going back to normal this year, and that means you might be inundated with party invites,” Ramhold said. “It’s always polite to show up with a hostess gift, but it can get expensive depending on how many parties you’ll be attending.
“If you shop online, you can find very nice candy gift packs in multipacks, such as French truffle 4-packs, Belgian chocolate boxes, European cookie boxes, Kirkland hazelnut chocolate boxes (better than Ferrero in my opinion!), and more. These packs look great on their own, but they’re also easy to wrap and make great hostess gifts. And of course, a pack of 4 is equal to four gifts from $8 to $17 each, depending on the item you purchase.
Get Holiday Activity Kits
“If you like to build things like gingerbread houses, many Costco stores have complete kits for decorating gingerbread houses,” Ramhold said. “But what sets them apart is that the houses are already built, all that remains is to decorate. Even better, these kits are reasonably priced (usually around $17) and come with everything you need, which means you’ll save money on buying items separately and save time on cooking. gingerbread of the perfect consistency for building. .”
Stock up on sustainable holiday decorations
“You can find tons of holiday decorations at Costco, including shatterproof or shatterproof ornaments that are actually pretty rather than cheap,” Ramhold said. “It might be a bit more expensive initially – a pack of 12 shatterproof ornaments was around $43 when I looked – but investing in these ornaments once will mean decorations that last, and you won’t have to buy any more. new year after year.You can also find storage solutions for your holiday decor, which means you can store it with better protection and, again, avoid having to buy new ones next year .
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Get enough packing supplies for the whole season
“Wrapping paper is one of those items that isn’t worth skimping on,” Ramhold said. “If it tears too easily, you have to start over, which means wasting time and using more paper than necessary. Luckily, you can get six rolls of reversible wrapping paper at Costco for around $29 — that’s six different designs and it comes to less than $5 per roll. Each roll also has 60 square feet per roll, so you’ll have plenty for the holiday season and maybe even beyond.
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