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Wednesday, February 11

Costco Favorites!

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It is about time for a Costco post!  I know there are those of you out there about as obsessed with Costco as I am Trader Joe’s.  Take my aunt, for instance.  She and her husband go to Costco whenever and wherever they can, even on vacation.  They wish Costco sold t-shirts to commemorate their vists.  “Aloha from Costco Oahu!”…or how about…”I’ve been to the First Costco”  You get the idea.  She loves Costco.  And I know she’s not the only one!

What do you always buy at Costco?  What are your favorite items, food or otherwise?  What are the best values?  Any insider tips?  Bring it on!

My one and only tip…buy your electronics at Costco.  Good prices, good return policy.

I have a Costco membership and I’m ready to make better use of it.  Can’t wait to get your suggestions!

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97 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tyler Nielson

    I only shop at stores with concrete floors!

  2. Milk, strawberries, diapers, wipes!! and tissues, and pizza, and rotisserie chicken… seriously, I’m there too often. It is 1 mile away, I can see it from my back yard!!

  3. Costco formula has SAVED us. Like $25 a week.

    I also get:

    wipes
    frozen chicken tenders (oh so convenient)
    body wash
    lunch meat
    chocolate covered pomegranate ice cream pops (THE BEST!! I’ve only seen them in AZ, though)
    butter

  4. I buy soy milk for my daughter who is lactose intolerant, I got lucky and this is cheap and has no lactate in it some soy milks still have lactate in them. Gold fish are a good deal if your buying snacks for a class snack. Jalapeno & Artichoke dip. Wheat crackers to go with it. Chocolate covered pretzels! Granola bars. Muffins! Cakes! I buy one for every birthday and we have 5 kids plus I buy one for mine too. Pot Stickers. Milk. Razor for my husbands hair. Three tier basket for my plants. My husband buys his glasses there. Plus the pizza and salad and berry sundae hot dog from the food court are great! oh ya I bought my DS there and it came with a game and um some other stuff for cheaper than Walmart sold it. Gee did I leave anything out lol I like lots of stuff there I used to go once a week just to buy the choco pretz. YUM!

  5. 5
    JaiCi

    We have the AmEx from CostCo and buy our gas, diapers, wipes, and formula there. Just from those 4 things, we get enough of a rebate from there to pay for our CostCo membership every year!!
    TOTALLY worth it :)

  6. Nearly everything electronic is cheaper and way better return policy (90 day vs. 30 day everywhere else). Here are some of my favorite buys:
    1) granite countertops – no one came close in price plus had costco guarantee
    2) commercial grade treadmill – saved hundreds.
    3) Eye-Fi wireless digital camera memory card. The coolest most functional thing I have bought under $100 in a long time.
    4) tires – great price and call you back for a safety check and free lifetime rotation.
    5) car battery
    6) Kirkland brand pinpoint oxford men’s dress shirts – $17.99 – my husband swears they stand up better than the $75 ones at Brooks Brothers.
    7) in fact, I always buy kirkland brand over name brand. Jim Cramer (Mad Money) calls it a ‘premier’ not generic brand.
    8) oh yeah food…pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies – wonderful, enormous, and cheap. A friend was a bakery manager a few years ago and he swore that they used top of line ingredients.
    9) cheapest place in my town to buy organic beef, milk & eggs. (kirkland brand again)

    I have also participated in Costco/American Express Rebate program. I am in the original program started about 6 years ago. Our costco AMX is the only card we use for EVERYTHING including all bills we can. Get additional 2% (above Costco rebate) on our Costco purchases and 2% on everything else. I would put our mortgage payment on it if I could. Get an awesome cash rebate (just came). Average $800-1000 a year. Just walk into costco and cash it (don’t have to spend a dime), no questions asked. Plus the card has amazing customer service.

    Sorry, my love for Costco got me a little carried away…happy shopping.

  7. 7
    FoxyJ

    I discovered that buying feminine hygiene products there is a great deal, and the I don’t have to run to the store very often. I’m also very loyal to their baby wipes; their diapers didn’t fit my first kid very well, but I like their diapers for my second. We get a good deal on the Morningstar Farms “burgers” and “breakfast sausage” (meat substitutes–we’re vegetarian) and I love how cereal is so much cheaper there. I pretty much buy food and a few toiletries. We have a small-ish family and many other things just aren’t worth it for us.

  8. 8
    Debbie

    My favorite thing by far is their fresh mozzerella. It’s totally dangerous, though – I could eat it all in a few days!

    I think the most economical thing to get there is eyeglasses. An exam was $50 and my new frames PLUS lenses was just over $100. Amazing!

  9. I always buy the basics: milk, eggs, bread, & cheese. But do you buy your magazines at a discount from Costco? How about your gum? Vitamins? Passport photos? Eyeglasses? Sheets? Uggs? Running shoes? Jeans for your husband? Shade shirts? Winter Coat?

    Wait? Was it a rhetorical question or did you want my grocery list?

    ;)

  10. 10
    Barbara - Costco Queen

    Don’t let bulk items scare you away! If your needs are minimal or space limited, get a Costco Buddy! Your mother, brother, neighbor, friend… figure out the items you both utilize, buy and divide! You can take it a step further since 2 cards are offered per membership – split the membership fee. In the end, you’ll both conquer! :)

  11. 11
    Mindy

    Lots of my favs have already been listed. Aside from the staples (milk, butter, eggs, bread, rotisserie chicken, fruits & veggies) I also love their uncooked flour tortillas. They make the most delicious burritos, but you can also cook them like thin-crust pizzas on the stove top or cook them with some spray butter and cinnamon/sugar – yum!

    They don’t carry that many varieties, but you can get a great deal on spices. Think of all the cinnamon you will need to pile on your tortillas. Right now they have whole vanilla beans.

    They also have great seasonal stuff. I bought my Christmas garlands there. I bought a tent, sleeping bags, cooler, and other camping stuff. Every year I pick up Laura Ashley dresses for my girls (just got new dresses today!). I’ve bought plants there that have done really well. They even carry Monrovia brand which is top of the line.

    They have the best deal on tires and they will rotate and fix flats for free if you buy their tires. I got an amazing discount on plantation shutters through them too. I could go on forever.

    I heart Costco.

  12. oooh, this is a good one! I don’t get to frequent there often b/c it’s ~40 min away, but I do make it a point to go there for:

    1. Nugo nutrition bars. They’re really good and only 3.5 g fat, and i’ve only found them there.
    2 baby wipes. the best
    3. Columbus salami company sliced turkey
    4. Horizon eggs
    5. Odwalla tangerine juice- cheaper than tj’s and it’s good
    6. wine selection: I’m biased to the Highway 12 cab blend:)

    love the other suggestions. have amx currently and need to look at connecting it w/costco rebates. thanks:)

  13. 13
    Liz

    1. Books — cookbooks, paperbacks, fun hardbacks
    2. Big bag of spinach — needs to be washed, but you can wilt as much as you want, the bag
    is endless!
    3. Cherries/blueberries/raspberries — check the price; sometimes it’s a better deal that
    other times.
    4. Frozen pizza and lasagna — for when you just can’t pull it together to make dinner.

  14. 14
    Alicia

    Costco is my favorite store! I love to just walk the isles and look at everything. I think I buy a little of everything there… when the other stuff runs out. I buy electronics (computer stuff, camera, etc.), Christmas tree, cards, TP, laundry/ dishwasher soap,tortillas, bread, milk, cheese, organic foods, produce, frozen foods, spices, nuts, holiday items, baby wipes, snacks, contact solution and contacts, picture developing, food court food, rice milk, canned items, clothes…. the list could go on and on. I try really hard to limit myself in buying too much and going too often. I also have the AM EX card and LOVE the rebate.

  15. 15
    Lindsey

    CHEESE. And other great stuff I can’t get anywhere (because there isn’t a Trader Joe’s here…)

  16. 16
    soybeanlover

    Love it all, and as a wife of a Costco employee….THANK YOU!!

    Oh and Costco guarantees the cheapest price on their electronics, so if you find the same item for less somewhere else let them know.

    I really covet the cookbooks from there though

  17. 17
    Tammy Blais

    I LOVE COSTCO! It makes me happy, just like walking into Home Depot makes my husband happy.
    You can’t beat the cost of pure vanilla at Costco. I bought my camera there. I buy the rotisserie chicken, frozen chicken breasts, pot stickers, trash bags, cat food, vitamins and Tylenol or any kind of meds. Have you tried their vanilla ice cream?? Wow…very vanillary and taste sooo good! I will get magazines there at a discount and the children clothing is a bargain. The Laura Ashley dresses are gorgeous and are usually between 15.99 and 18.99!
    I get my Pam spray and cleaning items there. They last forever. Oh, HUMMIS! YUM. You can’t beat the price.
    Costco…I’m SOLD!

  18. 18
    Sarah Thompson

    Living in Germany I would have to say the thing I miss most…COSTCO!! Buying bulk is the way to go! I can’t tell you how much I miss that store! Someone, please tell Costco hello for me and give it a hug!

  19. 19
    Auntie Barb

    The better question is “what don’t I buy at Costco?” I have bought it all. Electronics, computers, office supplies, sm appliances, tools, light bulbs, furniture, seasonal items, FOOD (you can eat really healthy from Costco) bedding and other linens(I have bought great sheets there) feminine products, paper products, flowers, toiletries etc. The one thing I don’t like is they bring in many “new” products manufacturers would like you to get hooked on and phase out tried and trues. There are things I have to buy elsewhere, like my toothpaste, soap and laundry soap…all things I once was able to get at Costco.

  20. 20
    Barbara - Costco Queen

    I’m back with a few more thoughts& tips to share. At least once a month, do an aisle by aisle walk through. That Dyson upright vacuum is at least $150 less in Costco, and with the extra goodies attached, totally worth the price! I actually bought a Keurig singe serve cofffee maker for $120 at Target (it came with 18 bonus k-cups), just to return it 2 days later because Costco had the more elite version with with 4 times as many k-cups for just $15 more. It has to be at least an $80 savings in the long run, if not more. That crock pot price may be similar to the one n Walmarts aisle, but you won’t get the cute lil’ mini crock with the walmart unit!

    Seasoned meats? I buy the seasoned pork loin and slice it into 1/3’s before freezing. Perfect serving size for my family. And flavor-wise, I prepared a whole loin for an impromptu evening of guests who later thought I was a culinary goddess.

    Not a goddess. Just a costco queen. :)

  21. 21
    Kristen

    1. Their Kirkland Pure Vanilla Extract–it’s fabulous and super cheap.
    2. Fiber One Bars
    3. Goldfish–the kids can never have too many goldfish
    4. Their canned white chicken is really good in chicken salad
    5. There are a lot of great pastas and cheeses and stuff.

    The one rule I have is that we don’t buy anything without trying it first. We’ve made that mistake before, buying something that we thought for sure we would like, only to find out we hated it and now have a jumbo bag enough to feed an army leftover.

  22. Jane — I have never been more excited about one of your posts! I am a Costco addict. We feel good about shopping at Costco, too, because it supports our local economy. I remember making a trip to the first Seattle Costco warehouse when I was a little girl in the early 1980s. We lived on the other side of Puget Sound and had to take a ferry trip so my mom could buy a KitchenAid mixer.

    I go about every two weeks; on my staple list: Campari tomatoes on the vine (the best store-bought tomatoes ever — I am a total tomato snob since I found these), baby spinach, cucumbers, three-packs of 1% organic milk, pre-sliced organic apples (for lunches), Special K with red berries, yogurt, pre-sliced Tillamook medium cheddar cheese, five-packs of Haas avocados, La Tortilla Factory tortillas (we usually eat these instead of bread and make wraps for lunches), and Pasta Prima spinach and mozzarella ravioli. Every-other or every-third trip I pick up some fruit, but we don’t go through it fast enough to buy it more often than that. They also have great workout clothes. We have purchased a lot of furniture at the special Costco Home store, too, but I think that outside of Seattle, the only other Home store is in Arizona. And I know most people won’t find this very romantic, but I told my now-husband that if he was going to buy me an engagement ring, it was the only way to go (he listened). It was very romantic to me. :-)

  23. One more thing I forgot! We bought our 2007 Honda Pilot through the Costco Auto program. We paid only $200 over invoice and couldn’t believe how easy their pre-negotation made the whole process. My husband and I HIGHLY recommend it. I think it’s Costco’s best kept secret — although I dont’ think they intend it to be …

    http://www.costcoauto.com

  24. 24
    Anne

    Someone mentioned this, but I’m going to reiterate. If you drink Soy Milk, GO TO COSTCO! It’s a third the price as buying it in the grocery store. It comes in 3 1/2 gallons. Can’t drink it that fast? Freeze it!

  25. 25
    stephanie

    Costco has an AMAZING return policy. We bought a $400 grill last summer, which took a tumble out of the back of our truck onto the interstate on the way home. Besides being the scariest thing in the world – getting it back into the truck in the middle of traffic – it was also heartbreaking to think we had just thrown away $400. Long story short – Costco took back the grill and gave us a new one!

    Beware of the electronics and appliances at Costco though. Some brands are cheap {we looked there before buying our flat screen and were very disappointed} and you can usually match or beat their prices by simply going to Best Buy.

    You can’t beat their prices for diapers, wipes and formula though! I’ve also priced olive oil, butter, eggs and milk. As long as you have the freezer space, it’s the way to go. And just about all of their Kirkland brand stuff is great.

  26. 26
    Katie

    I heart COSTCO too. I go there twice or three times a month to purchase, um, just about everything.
    Milk
    Cheese
    Eggs
    Frozen veggies
    Ice Cream (their plain vanilla is sooo good!)
    Yogurt
    Cereal
    Bread (Milton’s multigrain is a guilty pleasure)
    Meats when they’re good prices
    Books, books, books!
    Snacks for kids’ lunches (FiberOne bars, goldfish crackers)
    Some produce, when I know we’ll go thru it quickly
    Vitamins, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors
    Canned fruits
    Bulk flour and sugar
    Gas
    Tires
    Camera
    My husband bought me a ring there once
    Yes, Clothes!

    And Jane, you turned me on to a couple of go-to staple meals from Costco – the Orange Chicken and the 3-cheese ravioli for the Real Simple Lasagne. So thanks!

    Someone else already said it, but really. What DON’T I buy there? I think I need to look into the AMEX rewards card!

    Love COSTCO!

  27. Oh, Costco..

    -Rotisserie chicken is a favorite go-to meal
    -Fruit (strawberries, grapes, pineapple, watermelon– its all good)
    – CHEESE– fresh mozzarella, brie, cheddar, colby jack, gorgonzola, feta.. you name it.
    -I just bought a membership to 24 hour fitness for $300 for 2 years (this makes it just over $12 a month with childcare included!)
    -gas
    -Salsa
    -Nutella
    -Marie calendars cornbread mix
    -Toll house chocolate chips
    -Much more.. but we’ll leave it at those favorites.

  28. 28
    Julia

    I also can’t get enough Costco–just spend two hours there yesterday! Giant bags of pita chips and tubs of hummus are always on the list, but I’ve found deals on everything from edamame to kids’ books to razor blades. And I second the above poster who said clothes–yesterday they had a Very Famous Brand of jeans that sells for about $200 at department stores for $89! Too bad they were already sold out of my size…

  29. Katie, I LOVE the Real Simple lasagna. If you like spinach, the Pasta Prima spinach and mozzarella ravioli (I can only find it at Costco) is great to make it with, too!

  30. 30
    Sue Nelson

    My sister, Barbara (Jane’s Auntie Barb) bought a VITAMIX for me and dropped it on my door and told me to pay her back when I could…the best thing I have EVER purchased there…the gateway to better health.

    Yes, I am the aunt who doesn’t want the family to eat sugar, white flour, and processed foods. Costco is the way to go if you want to purchase foods that are minimally processed, healthy, and tasty!

    *Prairie Grain Whole Wheat Bread
    *vegees and fruits
    *Pacific Brand Organic Chicken Broth…the best and cheap!
    *Pacific Organic Tomato Basil Soup, as good as it gets!
    *Whole turkey breast that I slice for sandwiches, only $4 a pound and no additives, in the deli coolers
    * 25 pound buckets of winter white wheat – My children beg me to never buy bread again as it makes THE best bread in the world…better than Great Harvest. I will have to send the recipe to Jane for all of you to try.

    Go to Costco and get healthy!

  31. 31
    Erica

    Your readers are more passionate about Costco than chocolate. :) Seriously, Costco should pay you for all this promotion! But I totally agree, Costco is the best.

    My husband, though, is convinced that shopping at Costco raises your standard of living because you buy nicer (and often pre-prepped) things and can’t get out of there without spending 200 bucks (at least). So we try to be careful about only buying what we would already use, as opposed to splurges that suddenly become regulars on the grocery list…

    That being said, I could spend hours in Costco. You can’t go wrong with a rotisserie chicken, avocados, and ciabatta roll sandwhiches for dinner after getting home. And their formula really is a third cheaper than anywhere else.

    Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone!

  32. 32
    Heidi

    Vitamin water and veggie platters!!!!! Clothes!!! Dove soap in bulk!!! Chicken strips for salads or anything else for that matter.
    No one said the flat pretzel chips!!!! We love those and everything everyone else said!!!
    I am addicted to Costco!!!! Have a ball!!

  33. 33
    Shauna W.

    So, I have thought for years that one of my ideal dates would be a night out at Costco. Maybe that’s one reason why I am still single? I could seriously spend all night in there just looking around and watching all of you crazy Costco addicts!

  34. 34
    Jessica

    Love, love, love Costco!

    Some favorites I haven’t seen mentioned:
    Frozen Salmon & Tilapia
    Chocolate Milk
    Frozen berries and fruit mixes
    Arichoke hearts
    Sundried tomatoes. . .
    Sushi
    Really, anything I can buy at Costco instead of the grocery store I do.

    Also, we save a LOT of money by insuring our home and our cars through them.

  35. 35
    Kim M

    Along with the staples (milk, cheese, eggs, produce), I love the Porkyland Tortillas (when we live in the west where they actually have them–in NC, there are no Porkyland tortillas and as much as I love TJ’s, their tortillas are a sad second.) Also, yeast–it only costs a little more than the small jar at the grocery store and it is a HUGE bag–lasts me for a year even with making bread pretty much every week.

    And kids’ pjs–twice a year, I stock up on the carter’s footies or summer 3-piece set–they are so much cheaper than anywhere else. I’m so sad that my oldest is now too big for them.

  36. 36
    Kiasa

    This is hilarious! I live in Manhattan without a car and in a small space, but still visit Costco once every couple months and spend way too much money. So, I find everyone’s suggestions very useful!

    I always make room for:

    pasta
    toilet paper
    contact lens solution
    baby wipes
    Nina canned tomatoes (I make a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it. These are some of THE BEST canned tomatoes, especially for the price!)

    And, Kim M, have you tried the TJ’s handmade whole wheat tortillas? Those are my all-time favorite!

  37. 37
    Jane Maynard

    wowsah!!!!!!!!!!! I knew there’d be an enthusiastic response to this post. LOVE IT. THANKS EVERYONE. I think in your efforts to help me save money you’re going to put me in the poor house…too many great things to get!

    Seriously, thank you for all the suggestions. And I’m learning a lot…like insuring house/car through Costco? Had no idea…Keep the tips and product suggestions coming! :)

  38. 38
    Nancy

    dried tomato hummus and pita chips.
    Frozen blueberries for pancakes and mixed berries for smoothies

  39. 39
    Nancy

    my cute red glasses – I get so many compliments

  40. We are CostCo cult members! ha ha. But seriously, they rock.
    Stuff we buy all the time:
    1. Diapers (they are best around! and cheapest!)
    2. Wipes
    3. Laundry soap
    4. ORGANIC FOOD (including peanut butter)
    5. Fruit (my kids ask to go there just for the berries!)
    6. Beer (my DH)
    7. Bulk cereal/ oatmeal
    8. Frozen orange juice
    9. ziplock bags and trash bags
    10. socks and randomly some clothes (PJ’s for kids)

    Fun stuff we’ve bought there:
    1. Diamond ring =) (appraises at twice the cost!)
    2. iPod
    3. digital camera
    4. computer
    5. $3,000 discount on a new car just for being a member

  41. ooooohhhhhh, I forgot. THEY HAVE GREAT SOUR DOUGH BREAD! Very little ingredients – no HFCS!

  42. Toilet Paper
    Gas
    Cranberry Juice
    Lunch Meat
    Pita Chips
    and it’s the only place that I’ve found 100% juice Capri Suns on a consistent basis

  43. 43
    Dennis

    Rack of lamb, Naked Juice, giant mushrooms, salmon, lobster tail, shrimp, and the monster block of Tillamook cheddar. Costco rules!

  44. 44
    Maria

    I love Costco!! Enjoy your card. I always buy the spring mix, fresh spinach, mango peach salsa, pita chips, gum, mushrooms, seafood, ok, that is good for now!

  45. 45
    Christine

    Don’t forget that most Costco’s carry some local products that you can’t get at other Costco’s. I could spend hours in the Hawaii Costco’s when we go to visit family. Cheapest price for chocolate covered mac nuts, and speciality snacks

    li hing mui covered dried mango
    Hurricane popcorn (popcorn with seaweed and arare crackers)
    Sam Choy salad dressing
    fresh poke (a hawaiian fish cerviche)
    aloha shirts
    hawaiian themed books for the kids and cookbooks by local chefs (Sam Choy, etc)

  46. 46
    Allison

    Buying at Costco builds up your food storage quickly and for a better price. Costco also seems to have better quality product across the board. The clothes are great and offer really good deals, especially the baby clothes.
    The closest Costco for me is 45 minutes away, there is a group of us ladies that take turns driving and we make the drive once or twice a month just to shop at Costco.
    Nothing compares!

  47. 47
    xoxo, C

    Blueberries, Dates, Nuts, Chocolate Chips, and Pasta

  48. 48
    Peg

    Sun dried tomato hummus and dried mangoes. YUM! I think I’ll make a trip…

  49. 49
    Page

    My friends make fun of me because I won’t buy gas anywhere else. I even pinpoint the locations of Costco on road trips so I will know where to stop for gas! It is an addiction. But the things I like best at Costco – I go at least once a week:

    *Chicken Salad – really tasty and the kids love it
    *Strawberries
    *Salmon – again, great price and the kids will eat it
    *Pita Chips – can’t beat the bulk price
    *Grape Tomatoes – half the price of a grocery store
    *Olive Oil
    *Chocolate Cake – I am floored no one else mentioned this. Our family traditionally bought the 7 layer pecan cake from Neiman’s every year until Costco opened. Theirs is bigger, better and a quarter (at least) of the price. For the last party we gave, we dipped strawberries in chocolate and piled them high on the cake – it was a huge hit!
    *Sheet Cakes – taste better than the grocery and usually save anywhere from $10-15!
    I am a Costco Cult member, I admit it and am proud!

  50. Some of the items I like which people have already mentioned, like:
    avocados
    Pasta Prima spinach and mozzarella ravioli
    Baby wipes
    Breakfast bars

    Here are something no one has mentioned before:
    smoked Salmon
    Friut leathers (Great natural snack for kids, it comes in a box with 6 different favors, my favorite is apple!)
    Blue Cheese ($8 for 1.5 lbs, it costs around $4 for 2oz. at other stores, there is a great recipe on the side of the container, everyone who likes blue cheese should try it)

  51. 51
    Lisa Lee

    Costco is perfect for stocking team sports dinners…we’ve served 90 football players with the chicken alfredo, caesar salad and ghiradelli brownies. Add garlic bread, sports drinks and bottled water, and you can feed a team in a snap (with the help of other parents, of course!)

  52. 52
    Elizabeth Firmage Paul

    I love Costco so much I’d rather skip the grocery store and buy 4 cans of whipped cream, so as to make one trip. What would I do without it!!!!? If you buy apples do be prepared to return them, almost always find one rotten… but the return policy is good.

  53. 53
    debbie johnson

    i love it when someone wants my opinion! Here goes, what do I buy at Costco? Nothing, I go to Sams Club, but I suppose the items would be about the same. skinned fileted salmon, deli lunch meat such as smoked turkey, frozen items mostly fish. Omega 3 fish capsules, Metomucil my eye glasses, books movies. canned goods i use all the time, diced tomatoes, chicken broth. Fresh meat that i break down to managable sizes at home using my vacumne seal thingy. If i had money I would buy one of each thing. thanks for asking

  54. 54
    Jane Maynard

    thanks for sharing! ;)

  55. 55
    Kath

    Eye exams, glasses, contacts, books, beef, lamb, peppers, chicken broth, cheese, pesto, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, nuts, Kirkland brand batteries, olive oil, computers, cell phones, Christmas photo cards, photo prints (order online, pick up in an hour!)

  56. 56
    pietra

    I HATE Trader Joe’s. I try to buy only local if I can.We need a Local Larry.

  57. 57
    Ohanna McKenzie

    Costco is amazing! They always ask if I found everything…and my answer is yes and more! Their produce is wonderful except for some reason they never have celery. So, I have to go to Sam’s Club for that. I never walk out under $100 and it is usually $200 or more! But the long saving with having 4 children is well worth it! We especially love tasting days! It is great to be able to taste things before you buy them. There are so many entrees I would never have taken home had they not given me a sample especially with my kids. Much easier to plan fast meals when I know they enjoy it already! And, you don’t need to go to lunch after tasting day! Everyone is full or you pop by and pick up a yummy jumbo hot pizza!

  58. 58
    Emily in San Francisco

    I just joined Costco this morning after much indecision. With just 2 kids and no dog, I wasn’t sure if it would be a real savings or just wasteful. After all, the only time I’d ever gone to Costco with a friend before, I ended up with a Toblerone the size of a fireplace log and 24 heads of garlic that I never used. But this time, I was smart, I comparison shopped, and I only came home with things our small family will use! Sponges, paper towels, apple juice, bar soap and toothpaste, plus enough salad fixings for the next week.

  59. 59
    Amanda

    Active dry yeast is a GREAT deal at Costco, if you do a lot of from-scratch baking. It keeps for a long time in the freezer. I also find the organic, canned tomato products (sauce, diced, paste) a much better deal at Costco than other places.

  60. 60
    Susie

    I can say “amen” to so much of what has been written already, but I have to say that I appreciate how Costco (at least ours in Temecula, CA) is aware of people’s desire for more natural foods. I love that I can now buy organic, hormone-free half and half, chicken and beef, packaged foods that don’t have hydrogenated oil or high-fructose corn syrup and cage-free, organic eggs! Thanks, Costco, for listening to your customers!

  61. 61
    Forever Costco Member

    We are addicted to Costco! Sometimes we find things cheaper elsewhere, but still buy it at Costco because of their awesome return policy and the Costco AmEx rebate.
    Our Costco favorites: fresh organic blueberries (new!), “White Linen” Marinara Sauce, frozen Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Salmon, little bite sized brownies and canvas prints. Oh yes and the Old Town pictures frames are awesome quality. One more thing, next time you’re planning a vacation, check out Costco Travel! We booked our honeymoon through there and it was fabulous!

  62. 62
    Jane Maynard

    since I wrote this post, I use Costco much more frequently. ALWAYS for gasoline for my car. And each week I get the following:
    – Organic Milk
    – Whole Wheat Orowheat bread 2-pack (the loaves are longer than in the regular store, and cheaper!)
    – I was getting organic eggs, but now I get those from my CSA…but I did like them there, good price

    I also love the pulled pork that’s already cooked – in the freezer section – sauceless. it’s delicious!

    I’m sure there’s more…will just comment again when as I think of them!

  63. We get our annual eye exams there and buy our glasses to boot…Last year, two exams, 2 pair bifocals, 1 pair prescription sunglasses – $450!

  64. There are many things I love from Costco but my latest fave is the frozen “fresh” garbanzo beans. Sauteed with garlic and lemon zest….huzzah!

  65. 65
    Chrissy

    okay, here’s my regular list that I use to stock up:
    organic milk (2 pack, gallon)
    organic eggs (2 dozen)
    avocados
    organic berries(if they have)
    mini cucumbers
    organic salad mix
    tillamook jack cheese log
    string cheese
    kefir/drinkable yogurts
    greek yogurt
    shredded mexican cheese
    goat cheese log (when want a special treat)
    unsalted butter
    frozen OJ concentrate
    medium frozen shrimp
    wild alaskan salmon (frozen)
    organic coleman hot dogs
    frozen foster farms chicken breasts
    rotisserie chicken (for specific recipe and for homemade broth)
    triscuits (when in stock)
    honest kids drink pouches
    V8 12 oz cans
    kirkland beer (actually think it’s brewed at Gordon Biersch, so it’s a local, Bay Area thing)
    kirkland whole grain bread (2 loaves)
    whole nuts & fruit combo mix
    recycled toilet paper & paper towels
    organic chocolate milk (single servings)
    just tried this week: pomogranate juice (good buy)
    cakes for bigger parties
    mini baguettes to freeze for future meals
    cinnamon
    organic pasta sauce
    organic diced tomatoes
    annies shells & cheese
    red mills organic steel cut oats
    black beans
    noahs bagels (to freeze)
    agave syrup
    fiber one granola bars (for snack time at Kindergarten class)
    dish soap
    toilet cleaner
    bathroom cleaner
    white vinegar
    batteries
    kids clothes & toys
    underwear
    tires for both cars
    picture developing
    … and probably so much else! since buying a chest freezer I save so much money by shopping at Costco and meal planning. Thanks!

  66. Kids’ clothes! Photo developing, hubby’s socks, books for kiddos, organic beef, bread, cheese, chicken, baby wipes, contact lenses, OJ, gas for car…..

  67. 67
    Jason

    CHEESE AND PORK! I went to Costco today and loaded up on Grana Padano, Point Reyes Blue, Dubliner Irish Cheddar, and Laura Chenel’s Chevre. I also like Citterio’s Prosciutto di Parma, only pork and salt are the ingredients, and their Applewood bacon is a great deal. I roll each piece of bacon and freeze them. When I need a slice or two of bacon I bring it out and slowly heat in a pan until they’re thawed enough to unroll.

  68. 68
    Elizabeth

    My must buys at Costco are baby wipes, milk, bread, Kirkland brand disinfecting wipes, Coach’s Oats oatmeal, Craisins, Quaker granola bars for kids snacks, dried fruit and my kids love those freeze dried apples.

  69. 69
    Allison

    Here are a few of my recent favorite Costco finds:
    -Organic spinach
    -Organic apples
    -truRoots organic products- beans, lentils, rice, quinoa
    -Hannah organic hummus, single serving packs
    -Hadley pitted dates
    -Farro (a hearty Italian grain)
    -Garofalo organic whole wheat spaghetti
    -Organic Sunmaid raisins
    -Organic applesauce
    -Organic soymilk
    -Nature’s Path organic Ancient Grains cereal
    -Ecover automatic dishwasher tablets
    -Kirkland enviromentally friendly liquid dish soap
    -Real maple syrup
    -Veggie Patch falafel chickpea balls (for quick lunches)
    -Marcona almonds- yummy salty/crunchy snack!

  70. 70
    Julie

    A lot of my staples have already been listed. I have to second the recommendation for Campari on the vine tomatoes. Pine nuts, basmati rice, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, feta cheese, salad greens, olive oil, kalamata olives, refrigerated basil pesto, and much, much more!

  71. 71
    Heidi

    Lately blueberries are so yummy from Costco, and the mac and cheese they make. It isn’t worth it to make my own when I can buy theirs.

  72. 72
    Keri

    Their frozen chicken breasts are the best I have ever come across. Also, I love the diapers, Grandma Sycamore’s bread, cheese, but most of all, the salmon!

  73. 73
    Kim

    Some of our staples are yogurt, frozen OJ concentrate, butter, cheese raviolis from the freezer section, and produce–we love the 6-packs of bell peppers, apples, grapefruit, kiwi, lettuce, berries.

    Other favorite items we’ve found–the Porkyland uncooked tortillas (which we can’t get on the east coast, but found in both San Diego and Utah) and organic quinoa (such a great price!).

    Oh, and they are great for gas, baby wipes, toilet paper, dog food, and things like that.

  74. 74
    Anne

    Large bag of fresh spinach, lemons, fruits. Kirkland brand salmon (freezer section), chicken breasts. Kirkland spiral cut ham (the absolute best!). Cheesecake, muffins, bagels, uncooked tortillas. Just love everything!!

  75. 75
    Stacy

    My family to really likes COSTCO. In the past, we have purchased Queen size beds, sheet sets, a Samsung tv, Blue ray player, patio furniture, and area rug to name some of the bigger items. All have been great quality. My only suggestion on COSTCO is, if you see something you really like–BUY IT. Don’t put it off because it will probably be gone if you wait and come back later. Also, I believe their meat dept. can’t be beat for quality.

  76. 76
    Megan

    Uncooked tortillas! You will never want to eat those preservative-packed pre-cooked tortillas again. Also Allertec allergy meds (generic Zyrtec, same ingredients, same strengh)…$15 for 365 pills…can’t beat that!

  77. 77
    rebecca

    I’m pretty sure that no one has mentioned the Parmesan cheese. It’s aged. It comes in big blocks that sell for about $20. I save a TON and it makes all my pasta taste divine! Also, their balsamic vinegar is the BEST!

  78. 78
    Stacy

    Tortilla Encrusted Tilapia – everyone, including our preschooler, loves this. I will travel to the store for this and then pick up the other things while there.
    In-the-shell Edamame
    Kirkland Brand Coffee Beans (darker roasts)
    String Cheese
    Rotisserie Chicken
    Milk – it’s at least $1 cheaper than at the grocery store

  79. 79
    Kate

    Am a bit late to this party, but my absolute favorite Costco find are the un-baked flour tortillas. There is nothing better than a freshly made tortilla & these keep well in the fridge but aren’t loaded with chemicals.

  80. 80
    Aggie

    Need to find these unbaked tortillas!

    I buy my dog food at Costco, Kirkland brand. The ingredients are whole and you can’t beat the price. Kirkland dog bones too.

    Also, frozen lean turkey burgers, whole ingredients there too.

    Breaded Chicken Tenderloins (they are uncooked and frozen, real meat!)

    Red bell peppers, and mini yummy peppers

    Berries

    English cucumbers

    Morningstar Black Bean burgers

    Flat Outs

    Big box of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (its huge! but we use a lot of oatmeal in granola and baking)

    Vanilla (Kirkland brand)

    Pure Maple Syrup

    Quinoa (big ole bag! such a great deal!)

    Aidells chicken sausages

    Sunrise Energy Bars (lots of whole grains, great snack for kids!)

    Pecans

    Pine Nuts

    WINE!

    CHEESE!(seriously, you can get Parmesan Reggiano for so much cheaper here, I split it with a friend and enjoyed it for a very long time)

    Great lists here…I may be planning a trip next week.

  81. 81
    Linda

    In planning my Costco list for tomorrow’s trip, I decided to google “Costco shopping list”, and found this site. Reading all of the replies helped me put my shopping list together! LOL Some of the things we always buy:

    Canned Tuna
    Canned Chicken
    Grated cheese
    Butter
    Eggs
    Milk
    Spring mix
    Tomatoes
    Frozen Lasagne
    Frozen Ravioli and
    Frozen pizzas (and usually a ready-made one for dinner on shopping night)
    Toilet Paper
    Paper towels
    Tissue
    Water bottles
    Soda

    Costco merchandise is so much cheaper and of better quality! We love it!

  82. 82
    Linda

    OH! And the chocolate covered raisins and almonds are a great treat. I even gave them as gifts last Christmas and people loved them!

  83. 83
    Jeanne

    such a lot of inspiration – but take water bottles off of your list please…fill your own bottles at the tap and save the world.

  84. 84
    Miranda

    @Jeanne: To be fair, she said “water bottles” not “bottles of water” so she may have been referring to reusable bottles that she likes. I know me personally, I like the Conico water bottles, and I get them at Costco. Probably not, but benefit of the doubt is nice, and either way, it’s her choice.

    I also googled “Costco shopping list” because I’ve been sick for the last week and my brain was just NOT coming up with my shopping list. This was great! Thanks everyone!

  85. 85
    Heather from Seattle

    Some correction here….

    Costco is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, United States and was founded in Kirkland, Washington with its first warehouse in nearby Seattle.

    • Jane Maynard

      thanks, I fixed the post! :)

    • Jane Maynard

      AND…I discovered the confusion. the Costco that I used to live near in San Diego that everyone told me was the first Costco was in fact the first Price Club – they merged with Costco in 1993. Glad I figured that out.

      AND…I just learned something else! That Costco in San Diego was opened in 1976 and was an airplane hangar…formerly owned by Howard Hughes. How ’bout that? :)

  86. 86
    Amanda

    I didn’t see the frozen Tirimisu listed. It’s only around 10 dollars and makes a great easy dessert for company! I also love the dried blueberries they carry.

  87. 87
    Ash

    And of course you can’t forget those movie tickets!

  88. I became a Costco cult member this past December. My boss bought it for me for Christmas because I always make him buy me stuff there when he goes for his personal shopping. Now I don’t have to!
    I see lots of things I love in the previous posts, but I noticed one thing was missing…
    I’m a huge animal advocate and noticed that the Kirkland brand of dish detergent, laundry soap and body wash is animal cruelty-free. This is incredibly important to me. It’s hard to find household cleaners that are cruelty-free that are also price friendly. Thank you Coscto for helping to make the world a better place!

  89. 89
    Becky

    Crusty French bread, Italian Ices, various stuffed pastas, good place to get mens socks (or my socks!) paper towels, toilet paper, etc

  90. 90
    Kristin

    We even bought our car insurance through Costco!

  91. 91
    Christy G

    I’m a mom of 4 kids with 3 in diapers and two dogs. If you have a large family these are a must:

    Kirkland wipes-better prices than walmart and target
    I don’t do there diapers, targets are a better price and quality for us
    Large bag of broccoli, strawberries, bagels, milk, string cheese, chobani yogurt tubes, rotisserie chicken, water, Kirkland dog food, paper plates, toilet paper, laundry detergent, salmon, ribs, bread, Chinese chicken salad mix, granola bars and last but not least SOCKS!

  92. 92
    Shanna

    Aside from staples, here are the things I go out of my way to get:

    #1 Cheese: All sorts… many unique varieties and fab prices!
    #2 Wine: Chardonnay (Kirkland brand Sonoma County) & Malbec (Kirkland brand)… the best 2 buck chuck around!
    #3 Meat & Seafood: Morton’s Marinated Tri-Tip, Crab (for crab cakes; Salmon (even their frozen farmed salmon is great); Talapia (fish tacos); organic hamburger; scallops
    #4 Uncooked tortillas… A-MAZ-ING
    #5 Platters of sandwiches and fruit for business meetings (awesome)
    #6 Fresh Produce… you have to buy lots, but it’s always very fresh and lasts well.

  93. 93
    Angelina

    My favorite go to at Costco – Spinach Ravioli with Kirkland Pesto sauce. The raviolis are organic made and cook in five minutes. I top them with pesto and fresh diced tomatoes. My four kids are all food snobs, the youngest is a vegetarian so this is a pleaser for everyone and simple to make on those late and busy weeknights we all have!

  94. 94
    Philip Vivolo

    Being a lover of Cannoli’s, I thought I
    would try Costco’s version of this
    Scicilian specialty. Let’s get straight to the
    point. The Cannoli at Costco is Terrible.
    Not to say it isn’t equal to most of the
    Creams I’ve tried, actually they all seem to
    taste the same. Hint, if you see Chocolate
    Chips, it’s probably that same ultra sweet,
    toothpaste texture, wanna be Cannoli. On
    a scale of 1-10, I rate this cannoli a dismal
    4.

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