A shopping trip to Costco isn’t exactly a dash-in-and-out type of experience. Spending an hour or two in the store is a given, and that’s time you probably don’t have around the holidays. But one of the great things about the megastore is that tucked among the pallets of snack food and cases of olive oil are items and services that can save you loads of time while you’re out doing your regular Costco run. Here are some to keep in mind:
Need a quick hostess gift? Costco’s selection of bouquets is impressive to say the least. The store routinely sells big bunches of Rainforest Alliance-certified roses, as well as mixed-flower arrangements complete with a vase, starting at $14.99. You can buy the blooms a couple of days before you plan to give them; just make sure to wrap exposed stems in a damp paper towel and stash them in your fridge to keep them looking fresh.
Save yourself a trip to the eye doctor by scheduling an appointment at Costco’s Vision Center for your next regular shopping trip. Consumer Reports named the bulk-buying mecca the best place in the country to buy eyeglasses thanks to its rock-bottom pricing, lens quality, and customer service. You can typically find Costco’s optical department close to the store’s entrance, so start there. Get your eyes checked, then if you have any wait time, use it to knock items off your shopping list.
Before you head home, fill ‘er up at a Costco gas station. Not every location has one, but those that do offer serious discounts (think 20 cents less per gallon than other stations). The megastore truly is a one-stop shop!
Costco’s sheet cakes and pies are baked in-house, fresh, and they taste it. Snag one as a last-minute dessert for a holiday party, or as a gift for a neighbor. The cakes also freeze well, so you can grab an extra one or two for upcoming events.
If you’re someone who still prints photos, skip the drugstore and get your prints at Costco. The store also does photo greeting cards and gifts, including enlargements, calendars, photo books, and even prints on canvas. Many can be made day-of, which means you can place your order when you get to the store and pick it up after you check out.
Why make a run to a liquor store when you can stock up on all the wine and booze you’ll need for the season? Costco’s liquor stores are legendary for their selection (which includes award-winning wines) and fair pricing. And you don’t even need a membership card to shop there.