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Learn these useful Costco tips: how to decode the price tags to save

Did you know that Costco is the seventh most searched retail store, according to Google trends, and has spent the last 112 months in the top 10 most popular searches? Costco is popular for their savings over traditional stores and for the ability to purchase copious amounts of pretty much anything.   
Costco doesn't accept coupons (except their own), but you can still save a little more money on goods from their store. If you're headed out to Costco, check out these handy tips for reading their price tags to make sure you really are getting the best deal. 
Check for prices ending in 97:  Most of the time prices ending with 97 cents have been marked down. "If an item ends in a $.97, that means it's on clearance-- marked down from its original price to sell the remaining stock quicker," Costco Insider told Country Living
Keep your eyes out for odd prices:  If you spot something ending in .49, .79, or .89, this is considered non-standard pricing, according to the Consumerist. This may indicate that the store got a special deal from the manufacturer, which means you are likely getting a great offer on the item. 
Watch for stars: If you spot an item with an asterisk (*) in the corner, this indicates that there are not more of that item in stock. The price may not necessarily be discounted, but it's not likely to get any lower and the product may not be coming back to once the current inventory is gone, according to Costco Insider. 
Understanding the pricing system isn't the only way to maximize your time at this warehouse store. A few other insider tricks include:
Skip printing store coupons. Costco only accepts their own coupons, and you don't even have to print them. Most of the coupons in the books are instant savings and don't require the paper coupon(except for the photo and optometry departments which still require a coupon). You can also use the Costco app for coupons, Country Living says. 
Check out the gift cards: You can safe a bundle on gift cards. Most gift cards have some of the highest discounts that you will find anywhere. You can regularly save up to $30 on a $100 gift card. 
Score Costco prices elsewhere: Not a member of Costco? No problem. head to their website and research their prices. Print off a copy of the price for an item you want and take it to a store that price matches with Costco (Check out this complete list from Good House Keeping.)
Help your friends save money and share these handy tips with them on Facebook. What's your favorite thing to buy at Costco? Tell us in the comments below. 
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