15 Essential Costco Items I Buy Every Time I Go

Costco fans are devoted to the store, and these products are a big reason why.
Updated April 3, 2023
Costco Wholesale location

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It can be tough to come by corporations that actually work to be ethical, but Costco has managed to stand out from the crowd.

The retailer actively works to keep prices down — helpful when you’re looking for ways to beat inflation. That’s why we legitimately enjoy making our regular Costco run for household staples.

Here’s what ends up in our cart every time.

Hot dog combo

Courtesy of Costco $1.50 Costco hot dog

Arguably Costco’s most famous offering, the $1.50 all-beef hot dog and soda combo has been $1.50 since its debut back in 1984 — and in all likelihood will always stay that way.

We like to start out by having one at the food court to avoid shopping on an empty stomach. This can help save money as you’ll be less inclined to impulse buy too.

Toilet paper

Courtesy of Costco Bath Tissue 30 Pack Kirkland Signature Costco

Whether you opt for the Kirkland option or another brand, you can’t beat the price of toilet paper at Costco.

We particularly like the 30-pack of Kirkland toilet paper which is a solid deal at under $25. It helps that the quality of the paper isn’t chintzy and won’t fall apart.

Paper towels

Courtesy of Costco Paper Towels Kirkland Signature

If the store-brand toilet paper at Costco is good, it stands to reason that the paper towels are as well.

To that end, you can snag a 12-pack of the stuff for the same price as the toilet paper. That’s a much better bang for your buck than what you’ll find at any regular grocery store.

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Garbage bags

Courtesy of Costco Trash Bags large pack Kirkland Signature

Continuing with the staples everyone needs at home, the Kirkland box of 200 garbage bags always makes it into our cart.

We prefer the scented option — which is pleasant without knocking you over. A box will set you back under $23 and there’s a good extra-large option as well if you need it.


Courtesy of Costco D3 supplement from Kirkland Signature

Given that we take a multivitamin every day, it makes sense to buy this product in bulk. Fortunately, Costco carries a huge variety of supplements, all at reasonable prices.

You can opt for Kirkland products, but the retailer carries supplements made by other trusted brands too.

Cat Litter

Courtesy of Costco Scoop Away cat litter product from Costco

While this item can be a bit tough to wrangle into your cart, the 42-pound bag of Scoop Away cat litter is worth the hassle.

For one, it’s only about $18, but it does a good job of clumping and sealing in odors. It’s also pretty good at not generating too much dust when you pour it into the box.

Dishwasher detergent

Courtesy of Costco Costco cascade dishwasher pods

Doing dishes is certainly not our favorite household task, but they have to get done anyway. This makes us all the more grateful for having a dishwasher.

We also prefer dishwasher pods for the same reason, which is why we buy the box of 90 Cascade Complete pods for around $21 every time we go to Costco.

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24-pack of sparkling water

Courtesy of Costco La Croix

There’s a reason more and more people are ditching regular soda in favor of sparkling water: It gives you the same carbonated pleasure without all of the sugar or additives.

We’re fans of the 24-count variety pack of Lacroix at Costco, which offers lemon, lime, and orange flavors. When we’re feeling fancy we go for the Curate option, which is just about $2 more at $14.99.

Coconut water

Courtesy of Costco Organic coconut water from Kirkland Signature Costco

If you’re ultra-committed to your hydration, you know that sometimes regular water isn’t going to cut it, especially if you're someone who works out frequently.

Since we do daily, it’s always good to have a 12-pack of the Kirkland option nearby. That way you can replenish what you lose in your sweat while out for a run. And at $14 that’s a serious steal, too.

Kirkland vodka

Courtesy of Costco Bottle of Kirkland Vodka from Costco

Sometimes we’re more focused on having a good time or entertaining instead of hydrating. That’s why we always buy the handle of Kirkland vodka when we’re at Costco.

It may be bulk liquor, but it’s good enough to spur rumors that it’s the same as Grey Goose — a high compliment indeed.


Courtesy of Costco Colombian coffee from Kirkland Signature Costco

America’s love affair with coffee is well-documented, and it’s certainly popular with us.

When we’re feeling cheap, we opt for the three-pound can of Kirkland’s ground Colombian coffee for $20.

When we’re feeling bougie, we’ll splurge on the two-pack of two-pound bags of Mayorga Cafe beans and grind them at the front of the store.

Soy milk

Courtesy of Costco Organic soy milk from Kirkland Signature Costco

Okay, Costco calls it a soy “beverage,” but regardless we go through a lot of it at home. We use it in our coffee, cereal, morning smoothie, and when we bake.

Fortunately, Costco sells soy milk in a 12-pack of 32-ounce containers, all for the very reasonable price of $18.99. If that’s not your jam, they have good deals on almond and oat milk too.

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Peanut butter pretzels

Courtesy of Costco Peanut Butter Pretzels from Kirkland Signature Costco

It’s hard to find a snack that manages to be tasty and satisfying while also having a relatively decent nutritional profile. Enter the almighty Kirkland peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets, which come in a 55-ounce container for $12.99.

These crunchy and addictive treats have 130 calories per serving (8 nuggets) with one gram of fiber and four grams of protein.

Frozen salmon

Courtesy of Costco Wild caught Alaska Sockeye Salmon Kirkland Signature

Costco sells a variety of frozen salmon, but we’re specifically fans of the wild-caught sockeye with the skin on. After all, wild is better than farmed, and leaving the skin on is a must — considering it brings that crispy, unctuous element to the plate.

You’ll pay nearly $50 for a three-pound bag, but that’s a pretty good deal for this heart-healthy food.

Cage-free eggs

Courtesy of Costco 2 dozen eggs Kirkland Signature Costco

Last but not least on our list is Costco’s cage-free eggs. We always try to get the organic versions with the brown shells, though that’s just our peckish preference at work.

The cost for two dozen eggs will vary depending on your store, but it’s reasonable for good-quality stuff.

Bottom line

andy/Adobe Costco wholesale warehouse shopping membership card

Costco is known essentially for one thing: Selling a wide variety of high-quality products in bulk for competitive prices. That’s why we return to Costco time and time again for food and household staples.

However, it can also be worth it to stray and try a new product once in a while, especially if you have one of the top Costco credit cards in your wallet.

Given how hard it is for entrepreneurs to get their offerings sold at the big box juggernaut, you know it will at least be worth a shot.

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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.