Will There Be Fewer Costco Coupons?

I wrote a post in December of last year about how Costco’s December coupons were awful.  They were so bad that we didn’t even make a Costco trip that month.  This is very unusual for the holidays.  One of my readers (Loughneylaurie) made a comment that perked my attention, as it suggested that they are going to be offering less coupons in the future.  I haven’t found any real evidence or discussion on the Internet as of yet.  But, with looking at recent coupon book release dates, I wonder if there will be fewer Costco coupons moving forward.

Latest Trend Shows Possibility of Fewer Costco Coupons

Looking up the history of Costco coupon books is fairly easy.  Many sites scan the books and post the images on line.  So it was fairly easy to find the dates of the most recent coupon books from Costco.

I narrowed my search to the last 15 books.  I’m not sure why, it just seemed like a good stopping point.

Each of the Costco coupon books traditionally associates with a calendar month, even if there’s a couple of days that bleed over into a different month.  For example, a book that runs from January 28th through February 21st would be the ‘February coupon book’.

Here’s some high level results.

  • Length – 11 of the 15 books ran for 25 days.  The other four ran for between 26 – 29 days.  This seems to have stayed fairly consistent.
  • 2016 Break – There’s usually a gap between coupon books.  A majority of the time, the break has been 3 days, and in 2016, there was four times when it was not.  The break (in days) for those times was: 0,9,10,10.
  • 2017 Break – So far there have been two breaks in the 2017 coupons, and both of those are higher than any of the times in 2016.  The first break was 11 days, and the next break was 16 days.

The fact that the last two are the highest two tells me that they could be scaling back the number of coupon books.  If they offer them for the same length of time, say around 25 days, but increase the gap, they could offer 2-4 less books per year.  This does not make me happy.

What If There Are Fewer Costco Coupon Books?

We’ve been less and less satisfied with Costco over the past year or so.  They’ve replaced many items with organic

Image from morguefile courtesy of frenchbyte

versions, at much higher price points.  While this month’s coupons are pretty good, it seems they’ve been experimenting with offerings.  Taking away savings would not make us happy.  I’ve also heard that they’re considering raising their membership rates from $55 to $60.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on what they do. We have a Sam’s Club that is just as close as Costco.  We glanced through a recent book and it was really quite good.  They also offer some pretty good sign-up deals for the first year of membership, as low as $25.  Many times you can even save on renewals as well.

We’ve floated around the idea of running two memberships at the same time.  We’d probably keep the Costco membership until at least next January, so that we could use and redeem our rewards associated with our Costco Visa cash back card.  That would give us a good time to compare the two, and determine which offers the products we need at the price we want.

The comparison hasn’t started yet, but Costco seems to be pushing us closer and closer to the line where they could very well lose our business.

Readers, what do you think about Costco?  Are we the only ones that count on Costco coupons to provide some additional savings on top of buying in bulk?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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11 thoughts on “Will There Be Fewer Costco Coupons?

  1. Things operate differently here. Perhaps it’s Costco Canada and not just our local stores. We receive coupons every time we enter the store. Usually, the items offered at a discount aren’t the ones we need anyway, so I rarely actually use the coupons. I like Costco for convenience, bulk, quality, and price. Having said that, I think it’s great that you have your eyes open for possibly better options. Your detailed analysis (as evidenced by your research about the coupon books!) could result in real savings.
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  2. It might be silly, but I have a Costco membership because I love their $4.99 rotisserie chickens and buying our staples like toilet paper in bulk. It would be a little sad if the coupon deals died off, but as long as they continue being cheaper overall on the stuff we buy there (versus Amazon or wherever else I can find it closer), they’ll have our business. The minute that changes…nope. 🙂

    • Chicken and toilet paper are two pretty common purchases as well! I think I saw on the special a few years back that they did on Costco that they’re the number one seller of toilet paper in the world. I guess it makes sense!

  3. We don’t use the coupons at Costco usually. 95% of the coupons are for things we wouldn’t buy at all or for which we prefer the generic version or something along those lines. The coupons are a total nice-to-have.

    We save enough on staples (toilet paper, baby wipes, frozen chicken, almonds, string cheese, toiletry items, and a few other things ) to cover the cost of the membership each year, which is how we find the value in the membership.

    • One of the things that we have is that there are 3-4 Costco stores all the same distance from us, roughly 8 miles, so there’s no ‘quick trips’. There’s also the convenience factor involved when there’s 20-30 minutes in travel time alone. In other words, the savings have to be more than just recouping the cost of the membership, it has to be that plus the time we spend on each trip.

  4. I’ve never understood why Costco has coupons anyway. Their prices are usually low enough, and even when they did offer coupons, you don’t need to have the coupon in your hand to use it. The discount is given automatically at checkout.

    For me, as long as their prices remain low on the many items I buy, then I’ll keep returning without the expectation of coupons.

  5. Hmmmm… That’s an interesting development.

    Like Aaron, I never pay much attention to Costco’s coupons anyway. They usually give you the sale price without your having to wave a piece of paper around. Plus I don’t shop at Costco so much to save money as to save time, by way of buying lifetime supplies of paper goods, meats, and a few other products. And they have the lowest prices on gasoline and propane in town.

    Must say, tho’, that I’ve been shopping a lot less lately. You save a surprising amount of money just by NOT going into the place, it being Impulse Buy Heaven. If they raise their membership fee, they may lose this member…
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