The Ultimate Guide to Costco


Avery Roark, Section Editor

Costco is a one of a kind experience. There’s definitely stereotypes associated with it, but that’s what creates the culture of the corporation! For some families, a trip to Costco can be just as exciting as one to Disney World. And I know, I know, it can be quite overwhelming for newbies, but I’m here to give you a few key tips for success in the store. 


Tip #1: You need a key to the castle

The best way to describe Costco is as a club, an exclusive, members-only club to which only some have the much-desired privilege of belonging. This membership is derived from a card, a small rectangle that you must show the guards of the castle to be granted access to. Holding that card is like having a key to the world. And from there? Piece of cake… well, you’ll actually have to buy a whole cake because that’s how Costco rolls. 


Tip #2: Save yourself and skip the freezer room

For the unenlightened first timers, don’t be alarmed when you walk into the produce room and the temperature drops to ~approximately~ negative 57℉. It’s called the freezer room and I commend you if you can spend more than .8 seconds in there without screaming. The regulars at Costco have the “get-in-get-your-grapes-and-get-out” maneuver nailed down to perfection at speeds faster than Usain Bolt. 


Tip #3: Memorize the Sample Schedule

The reason for which the majority give Costco their precious time is because of their dreamy samples. You’ll find a cart around every corner offering scrumptious samples during the prime time of 1-2pm on Saturdays and Sundays, so I would highly recommend timing your visit to achieve maximum sampling. From pancakes to soup to cheesecake to calamari, they. have. everything. And as far as my experiments can tell (and let me tell you- they’re pretty thorough), there is no limit to the number of samples a customer can have, so go for it. Totally not necessary, but you can even throw in a “Wow these are delicious! I think I’ll buy them!” to make your recurring visits more believable.


Tip #4: Don’t skip the Food Court

After you check out and inevitably realize you only went a few hundred bucks over your budget, the thing that’ll make you feel better is the top rated Costco Food Court. Conveniently placed on your way out, it offers the perfect post-shop snack. Oh and don’t worry when you meet your daily caloric intake in one meal, it is 100% worth it. 


The best items on the menu are the cheese pizza, strawberry sundae, frozen coffee, churros, and the famous loss-leader $1.50 combo of a hot dog plus a drink. The pizza slices are the biggest you’ll ever see and immensely delicious. The pieces of real strawberries on the sundae make for an all-too-good flavor profile, and the frozen coffee is to die for (it’s no Molly’s Coffee, but all things considered- it’s pretty delicious). And you can’t go wrong with the combo, just make note that they only offer Pepsi products if that’s something that’ll affect your decision. 


All in all, Costco is a fantastic cultural experience that you’ll never regret visiting (and before you try to argue, I said YOU won’t regret it, but your wallet might). Costco is the epitome of the American mindset: Go big or go home. Heck! At Costco, you can go big AND go home! But I’m being completely serious. I mean it’s like a walk of shame out of the store if you only bought enough items to carry in your arms. You know that you did Costco right when you’re struggling to push your cart with its own leaning tower of (frozen) Pisa on top as you leave the store with feelings of accomplishment and pride.