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
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.