The weekly runs to Costco bring to mind crowded parking lots and parents and kids loading up their carts in aisles full of bulk-sized items and standing in long lines.
But the big-box retailer is also a great place for anyone looking for great deals, including retirees. That group isn’t necessarily looking to fill up a pantry or closet with food, but they’re still looking for discounts as they manage budgets during the post-working years.
Take a tour through the aisles with us as we look at some of the many items retirees should be getting at lower prices at Costco — if they don’t mind the long lines.
You don’t have to join Costco to take advantage of its generally low drug prices, as we detail in “7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership.” But joining brings additional perks for retirees looking to save on prescription drugs.
For example, Costco members who don’t have health insurance, or who have insurance that doesn’t cover certain drugs, can take advantage of the Costco Member Prescription Program. The retailer describes it as “a prescription drug discount card program that provides eligible Costco members and their eligible dependents with the ability to obtain lower prices on all medications.”
Retirees with Medicare as health insurance also can browse Costco-preferred pharmacy plans right on Costco’s website.
Whatever your optical style — eyeglasses, contact lenses or sunglasses — you can find it for less at Costco. The retailer has an optical department, where you also can get an exam and help choosing what’s best for you.
Costco says it also accepts most insurance vision plans, and you don’t even have to be a Costco member to see an optometrist there.
3. Vitamins and supplements
Always talk to your doctor before trying any new vitamin or supplement. But after that, look to Costco.
The wholesale club offers an extensive selection of vitamins, multivitamins, dietary supplements and herbal supplements. Whatever you might need, Costco is bound to have it at a decent price, if not the best price — especially if you take advantage of sales.
Costco regularly offers additional discounts that it calls “Member-Only Savings” or “Warehouse Savings” but that are essentially sales, as we detail in “11 Ways to Save Even More Money at Costco.”
Money Talks News managing editor Karla Bowsher, who never shops at Costco without first checking the sales, says these discounts always include numerous price cuts on supplements. For example, Costco’s current sales, which are available through Oct. 25, include price cuts on more than two dozen vitamins and supplements.
4. Hearing aid batteries
The cost of hearing aid batteries can quickly add up, but you can get a 48-pack of Kirkland Signature hearing aid batteries for less than $10. That will help keep the world loud and clear for you at a decent price.
Plus, some Costco locations have hearing aid centers — which offer free hearing aid cleanings and check-ups, among other services — as we note in “How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Hearing Aids.”
5. Mobility aids
For seniors who need help staying on the move, Costco offers good deals on wheelchairs and walkers.
The retailer even sells medical alert systems. For more on these devices, check out Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s advice in “What’s the Best Medical Alert System?”
6. Gift cards
Heading out to eat? Need gift cards for the grandkids? Be sure to check Costco first. It’s one of few places where you can buy gift cards for less than their face value — often 25% off, or more.
7. Golf balls
Playing two rounds of golf per week — 36 holes in total — and briskly walking the course rather than riding in a golf cart counts toward the American Heart Association’s recommendations for weekly exercise to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Before you hit the green, grab yourself a few dozen golf balls at Costco for a reasonable price.
Finding the right mattress is critical to battling insomnia and soothing aching bodies, and Costco lets you choose from a wide variety of brands, types and sizes — as well as bedding.
If you’re confused about which way to go, Costco has a handy buying guide.
9. Car rentals
While you may not plan to travel anytime soon due to the coronavirus pandemic, keep this in mind for your next trip: It’s not well-known that you can utilize Costco for renting cars, but doing so could save you.
Costco Travel offers a Low Price Finder search tool that lets you compare the rates of big companies, from Enterprise to Budget, to find your best price — one-stop shopping.
Again, while the pandemic has left many cruise ships docked and vacant for now, it pays to know that you can buy your next cruise vacation through Costco, whenever that might be.
You can book cruises to a variety of places and with a variety of cruise lines. The Costco Travel website lets you explore options, by destination, cruise line and duration.
One example of the possible savings: an eight-night Southern Caribbean cruise that cost as little as $709 per person as of the time this article was written.
11. Caskets and urns
They aren’t exactly enjoyable items to shop for, but a variety of caskets go for less than $1,000 at Costco. If you’re looking for urns, there are a few of those available as well — all for $120 or less.
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