12 Best Costco Items to Buy When You Have Company Over

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For parties, overnight stays, or the holidays, Costco has you covered.
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are plenty of reasons why you should never cancel your Costco membership, with the ability to save on groceries at the top of the list. But don’t sleep on the selection at Costco, which is pretty darn good for a single store.

Where else can you get a flat screen, a $1.50 hot dog combo, and enough peanut butter to last the school year? That’s why Costco is a good go-to, whether you’re throwing a party or hosting visitors from out of town.

Here are some of the best things to buy at Costco if you're expecting guests soon.

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Home decor

Courtesy of Costco Pumpkin image Throw pillow from Costco

If you’re having people over, naturally, you want your home to look nice. So not only should you deep clean the place, but you should also invest in some home decor.

A faux greenery choice is an option for the indoors, at around the same price as live plants and into the high hundreds for trees. There is also a variety of bedding, wall art, and pillows; prices run the (very reasonable) gamut

Fresh flowers

Courtesy of Costco Sunflower bouquet

If you prefer the real stuff to the faux plants that Costco sells, you’ll find a pretty nice variety of fresh-cut flowers for sale to brighten your interior spaces. Bouquets start in the low $40s, with different colors and themes available. And where else can you get 50 roses for $50?

Custom items like garlands, of course, cost more, but still less than a florist. And if you want something that will last after the party is over, Costco often has potted orchids that will run you around $50 as well.

Disposable cups, cutlery, and plates

Courtesy of Costco Disposable plastic plates from Costco

Who has time for dishes when you have 50 people over for a sports-related Sunday or a dinner party? With all of the snacks and drinks that you’ll be serving, a you'll want to stock up on disposable dishes and utensils.

When it comes to plates, we’re a fan of Chinet’s option with compartments, which will set you back around $26.99 for 165 of them. As for cutlery, the Kirkland value pack is $18.99 for 360 forks, knives, and spoons.

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Paper products

Courtesy of Costco Napkins from Costco

With the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 a distant memory, you can count on Costco for all of your paper towel, napkin, and toilet paper needs. Guests can go through a lot of these items, so it’s a smart idea to stock up.

The 30-pack of Kirkland toilet paper, one of Costco’s most popular products, costs $23.99. Napkins are even cheaper at $13.99 for over 1,000 of them.

Appetizers

Courtesy of Costco Vegetable spring rolls from Costco

It can be tough to prepare all of the appetizers people like to snack on while watching the game or preparing Thanksgiving dinner. 

To that end, one smart way to save money at Costco is to buy premade frozen appetizers that you can just throw in the oven.

A 2.5-pound bag of mozzarella sticks is sure to please, though the price varies based on location. And if you want a healthy option, stop by the deli and grab some stuffed grape leaves (price varies).

Shrimp

Courtesy of Costco Cooked shrimp

Speaking of healthy options, you may want to offer overnight guests an alternative to salty, processed foods. Fortunately, Costco has a wide variety of shrimp options, including its cocktail platter (price varies), which is always a crowd-pleaser.

Frozen shrimp are offered in many ways, depending on your needs. You can get a bag of raw peeled and deveined shrimp, cooked for use in a salad or hors d’oeuvres, or panko breaded.

Charcuterie board

Courtesy of Costco Charcuterie and cheese board from Costco

If you’re feeling a bit fancy and you want to impress your guests, you really can’t go wrong with Costco’s Boarderie Arte Fully-Arranged Charcuterie & Cheese Board. This spread has something for everyone, from carnivores to vegans.

For $230, the artisanal spread includes six trays of cheeses, 10 servings of crackers, serving items, and a variety of jams, olives, nuts, meats, garnishes, and more.

Pizza

Courtesy of Costco Costco food court pizza

For the main meal at birthday parties or a fast dinner that all your guests will like, pizza is always a good option. Of course there’s plenty of the frozen stuff at Costco, but we’re a bigger fan of the pies they make at the food court.

Prices may vary based on your location, but word on the street is that you can get a pie for just under $10. That’s an easy and cheap way to feed a crowd.

Alcohol

Courtesy of Costco Blended Scotch Whisky Kirkland Signature Costco

If you’re throwing a big party then you probably need to provide adult beverages. This has the potential to break the bank, as alcohol isn’t cheap. Fortunately, Costco sells plenty of beer, wine, and liquor.

For example, the big handle of Kirkland vodka will set you back $20, and whiskey $18. The prices are better than liquor store prices, and good enough to fool folks into thinking it’s top-shelf stuff. There are lots of quality wines and beers, too.

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Desserts

vahekatrjyan/Adobe Pumpkin pie

Sweet tooths, rejoice: The variety of desserts you can get at Costco is vast, so there will be no need to bake a pie for your next get-together if you don’t want to. From the famous tuxedo cake to cheesecakes, chocolate mousses, and pumpkin pies, dessert will be a snap.

The price of each dessert from the bakery varies, but you’re not going to have to spend more than you feel comfortable with. 

Bottled water

Courtesy of Costco Many cases of bottled water from Costco

You may not need the entire 48-case pallet that delivers you nearly 2,000 bottles of Kirkland brand water for about $440 — that’s a mere $0.23 per bottle — but it’s not a bad idea to have bottled water on hand when your family is home for the holidays.

The price for one or two (instead of 48) cases varies at each location, but there’s a reason you always see them piled in people’s carts: They’re cheap.

Toiletries

Courtesy of Costco Two large hand soap containers from Costco

When you have a lot of folks over, it’s only natural that they’ll use the restroom. That means it’s time to stock up on hand soap. Fortunately, a two-pack of 80 ounces from Costco for just $11 should keep your refill game on point for a while.

As for shower supplies, we like Neutrogena’s Rain Bath shower gel, which costs $24.99 for a 40-ounce container.

Bottom line

Fortunately, Costco can help you prepare for celebrations with affordable products, especially when you use the best credit cards for Costco shoppers

At the end of the day, however, people are just happy to be together again. Some of the old hosting pressures are off; you don’t have to be perfect. Still, being able to entertain in high style on a budget is an extra reason to party.

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Author Details

Cat Lafuente Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.

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