How To Beat Inflation at Costco and Other Grocery Stores

17 Ways to Save Money on Shoes
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Costco announced in late September that shoppers would be seeing inflated prices due to escalating shipping prices; supply chain issues; higher labor costs; rising demand for transportation and products; shortages in computer chips, oils and chemicals; and higher commodity prices, CNBC reported.

Find Out: How Much Does a Costco Membership Really Save You?
Budget: 20 Ways to Pay Less at Costco

“We can’t hold on to all those [costs],” Richard Galanti, chief financial officer at Costco, said in a conference call with analysts, according to CNBC. “Some of that has to be passed on, and it is being passed on. We’re pragmatic about it.”

Galanti said that inflation is likely to run between 3.5% and 4.5% broadly for Costco. Meanwhile, prices are also going up at grocery stores as food producers contend with shortages, bottlenecks, and issues with transportation, weather and labor, The Washington Post reported.

More: 34 Dollar Store Secrets You Need To Know Before You Shop
Wages: Costco and 17 Other Companies That Raised Their Minimum Wage to $15 (or More)

Even though prices may be rising, there are still ways to save at Costco and your favorite grocery store chains.

Make Your Money Work for You

How To Save Money at Aldi

Head to Aldi on Wednesday to score the biggest discounts on the most coveted items.

Read: 12 Expenses Successful People Don’t Waste Time or Money On
Learn More: The 37 Mistakes We Make When Shopping at Costco, Amazon, Target and Walmart

“Aldi’s weekly ads run from Wednesday to the following Tuesday, so it’s best to check out their ad first thing on Wednesday mornings and make a list,” said Julie Ramhold, senior staff writer at DealNews.com. “It’s good to prepare to grab the regular items while they’re on sale, but the Aldi Finds are the ones you’ll want to really pay attention to. These are limited-time offers and they will sell out quickly, so be sure to shop when you know your local store has stocked the items. The good news is that when a new ad is released, you can check out upcoming Aldi Finds for the next week on the site under their weekly specials tab. This is a good way to plan your trip for the next week so you’ll be prepared to grab items before they have a chance to sell out.”

Make Your Money Work for You

How To Save Money at Costco

Costco has great deals year-round, but every month they have added discounts on certain items.

Tips: 24 Ways To Make Money Off Your Shopping

“Costco sends out mailers with members-only savings at least a couple of weeks before they actually begin, so take the time to peruse it and see what kind of deals you can expect for the upcoming period,” Ramhold said. “Note that these offers don’t always begin on the first of the month — for instance, the current one runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 24. These mailers can also be found online and note when deals are online-only, warehouse-only, or available both in-store and online. Sometimes the deals will be vague and only note that it’ll be something like $10 off, but other times you’ll see the starting price, instant savings and the final price. Also keep an eye on purchase limits, too.”

Another way to save is to split bulk items with family and friends so you can benefit from the bulk discount without letting anything go to waste.

Read: Costco and 7 Other Popular Companies That Don’t Waste Money on Advertising

“If you don’t have room to store the extra, you may feel like you can’t take advantage of the bulk discounts. However, if you can, try to split packages with friends and family. You’ll be able to store a more reasonable amount of an item, and if you split the cost, you’ll save even more money than if you shouldered the purchase alone,” Ramhold said.

If you purchase something at Costco and notice that the price has since dropped, take advantage of the retailer’s price adjustment policy.

Find Out: 45 Stars Who Shop at Costco, Target and Walmart

“If you purchase something online at Costco.com and the price drops within 30 days, you can request a price adjustment,” Ramhold said. “If you purchase something from a warehouse directly, odds are you’ll be able to get a price adjustment then, too, but you have to inquire at the warehouse you purchased the item from.”

Another way to save at Costco is to look for the “7s” and “0s” — a “7” or “.00” in the price tag indicates that the price has been dropped and that you’re getting a good deal.

See: 30 Things You Should Never Buy Without a Coupon

“Unlike most traditional retailers, Costco doesn’t redline or clearance tag their clearance deals,” said Marie Clark, founder of CostContessa. “You can identify markdowns by the cents they end with: .97, .00 and anything that ends in 7 cents are the clearance deals.”

How To Save Money at Kroger

Stack coupons to save at Kroger.

Be Aware: Supermarket Buys That Are a Waste of Money

“The retailer will offer digital coupons that can be used up to five times during one transaction, but you’ll also be able to stack with other digital coupons,” Ramhold said. “When perusing these savings online, do note whether or not there are restrictions beyond the expiration date — for instance, some may be available for pickup and delivery orders only. And if you have manufacturer’s coupons, there’s a chance you can stack those with the digital coupons to save even more.”

How To Save Money at Publix

BOGO deals are one of the best ways to save on groceries at Publix.

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“Publix is known for its buy one get one free deals that it has on a weekly basis on pantry staples, desserts and everything in between,” Ramhold said. “The good thing, too, is that despite it being a buy one get one free promotion, you can buy only one of the items at a discounted price. But if you’re getting two for the price of one, why not go ahead? As long as you have the room to store the extra and the budget for it, it’s a solid way to stock up.”

How To Save Money at Target

Shop with the Target RedCard to save at Target.

Related: 19 Money-Saving Secrets Target Doesn’t Want You To Know

“If you’re shopping for groceries at Target, keep in mind that you can score 5% back on all purchases with the credit or debit RedCard,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com. “So even if you don’t have coupons or sale items on your shopping list, the RedCard’s instant cash back can still make your purchases a little bit easier on the wallet.”

How To Save Money at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s famously doesn’t have sales, so one way to save is to shop using a discounted gift card.

Discover: What To Buy — and Skip — To Save Money at Trader Joe’s

“Sites like Raise offer discount gift cards for popular grocery retailers like Aldi, Kroger, Trader Joe’s and more at a marked down rate,” Gramuglia said. “If there are no gift cards left for your desired grocery store, make sure to set an alert for a restock. That way, you’ll be notified via email when a gift card becomes available.”

How To Save Money at Whole Foods

Take advantage of your Amazon Prime membership to save at Whole Foods

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Read: The Best Grocery Delivery Service for Your Budget

“Since Amazon now owns Whole Foods, they’ve incorporated their Prime membership into the grocery chain’s setup,” said Steffa Mantilla, certified financial education instructor and CEO and founder of Money Tamer. “Prime members get 10% off of groceries, except alcohol. There are also special Prime member savings deals that aren’t offered to other shoppers.”

These are often marked with yellow stickers, so be on the lookout for those, Ramhold said.

Find Out: How To Satisfy Your Pumpkin Spice Cravings for Less

Whole Foods also accepts manufacturer coupons and has weekly discounts on certain items.

“The Prime savings are in addition to the savings you can get using manufacturer coupons or shopping the weekly flier,” Mantilla said.

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Last updated: Oct. 8, 2021

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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