Lauren Cobello » Budgeting » Frugal Living » Costco Best Buys
If you’ve been trying to budget some of your household and grocery spending, you may have started shopping at warehouse stores like Costco. There is such a variety, from baked goods to engagement rings to tires! So have you ever wondered what are some of the Costco best buys?
Over the past several years I have become a pro learning my way around my local warehouse stores like Costco, discount stores like Walmart, and my favorite grocery stores like Aldi. I have even shared my findings about which is cheaper between Walmart and Aldi. For certain things, I love to spend some time shopping at Costco. If you aren’t familiar with it, Costco is a membership warehouse club that offers a variety of merchandise in bulk at discounted prices.
Aside from low prices, Costco seems to have developed a following based on their general atmosphere, their food court, and their free samples (they are really good!), and their Kirkland-brand products. While I don’t purchase everything I need at this store, I’m sharing some of my Costco best buys here along with some ins and outs about shopping there.
There really isn’t a quick and easy answer to this. Overall, yes. I find Costco offers good quality products. Some are national name brands you would quickly recognize, and obviously, these would be uniformly the same no matter where you buy them.
The Kirkland products, Costco’s in-house brand, varies. A lot of times the generic or store-brand products are believed to be of inferior quality. Surprisingly, sometimes these are made in the same factory alongside the actual name brand products! Consumer Reports places Kirkland’s brand sixth overall nationwide.
While Kirkland’s toilet paper isn’t rated among the highest quality by national testers such as Consumer Reports or The Good Housekeeping Institute, surprisingly, it’s the #1 selling item at Costco. A bulk-pack of 30 rolls costs only $19.99! On average they report selling over a billion rolls of toilet paper a year.
Gasoline was another favorite among Costco shoppers.
Like I mentioned above, Costco is a membership. At the time this article is published, an annual Costco membership is $60 plus tax. There is a Gold Star level which is $120 annually but comes with perks such as 2% cashback on eligible purchases and additional discounts.
There is no trial pass to see if you like Costco before investing in a membership. I suggest you go with a friend who has a membership and ask them to purchase for you. Technically, you could purchase a membership, shop for your items, and then later return your membership (they do have a 100% money-back guarantee stating they will cancel your membership and refund your fee if you are dissatisfied at any time), but to be honest, you can probably only do this once.
Shopping at Costco might be one of those kid-in-a-candy-store type moments. But not everything in a big box is worth buying. You could end up wasting more money if you aren’t careful about what you’re buying. There are some Costco best buys, and some Costco duds.
It will be tempting to stray from your list in a place like Costco, especially once you try some of the samples they have placed around the store. My best advice before any shopping trip is to know your grocery budget and also know your list of what you need.
Other Helpful Resources:
19 Best Foods to Buy at Wholesale Clubs
Top 12 Organic Foods to Buy at Costco
Costco vs Sams vs BJs: Wholesale Club Price Comparison
11 Top Secret Savings Strategies for Costco Shopping