Plus, how to decode all Costco prices to get the best deals.

When you shop Costco as much as I do, you like to think that you are in the know. You know which days are best for easy shopping and which times of day help you avoid the crowds. You know to check the unit or ounce price when comparing items and not just the total price.

But do you know what the prices actually mean, how to use them to get the best deals, and what the heck that asterisk means when you see it on a price tag?

If you don’t, you are about to!

The secrets hidden in Costco’s price tags

Deciphering the pricing system at Costco can be a great tool for making sure you are always getting the best deals, and that you are making smart decisions. Here is what I have been able to glean from my own shopping.

Any price that ends in .99 is at full price, so that will always be the most expensive option in that category.

If you spot a price that ends in either .49 or .79, then there is a special promotional pricing that is set by the manufacturer and will always be a limited time offer before returning to a .99 number.

If the price ends in .97, it is on clearance, so you will want to snap it up: That is always the lowest possible pricing on most items.

If the price ends in .00 or .88 be sure to check it out closely. It may just mean that stock is low, but sometimes it means the item was a return, so make sure it is undamaged before you buy.

And what does the asterisk mean?

And now we turn to the asterisk—that mysterious detail on a Costco price tag. Here’s the scoop.

Any item with an asterisk on the price tag means either that the item will not be restocked, so they have decided to stop carrying it, or the item was discontinued by the manufacturer, so it will not be made anymore! These are the items to really load up on if you love them, because you might never see them again on the Costco shelves!