A First-Timer’s Guide to Costco: Must-Buys and Tries on Your First Visit

Let your membership practically pay for itself when you take advantage of these exclusive Costco deals.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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If you’re considering getting a Costco membership for the first time, let us explain why that yearly fee is well worth the cost. This superstore has a ton of items that cost you less when you buy in bulk, and it saves you multiple trips back and forth from the store.

Plus, there are plenty of exclusive savings that are great for any household, whether that’s on name-brand products or value-sized deals. Your membership can easily pay for itself if you shop for the following bargains and more.

Editor’s note: Prices are subject to change and may vary by location.

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Starbucks Coffee K-Cups

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz starbucks coffee k cups

Price: $32.99

This bulk-size buy at Costco can save you serious cash. A cup of Starbucks coffee would usually cost at least $3, but with this deal, you can make one at home for just $0.50 each.

You get four varieties of classic Starbucks flavors and blonde, medium, and dark roasts in this variety pack. Put these K-Cups in your Keurig for a fresh brew that saves you a trip to the drive-thru.

Kirkland Signature Wagyu Ground Beef Patties

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz wagyu ground beef patties

Price: $25.49

At Costco, you can enjoy high-quality products for less under the Kirkland brand, like these Wagyu patties.

You get five pounds worth of ground beef patties, ready to pop on the grill, in these convenient purchases. Plus, each pound comes to around $5 each for a steal you can’t find elsewhere.

Kirkland Signature Salted Sweet Cream Butter

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz salted sweet cream butter

Price: $13.99

Enjoy rich, creamy butter in any dish or recipe with this four-pound pack of sweet cream butter.

Buying individual sticks at other stores, like Target, would cost you around $3.99 per pound. But at Costco, each pound only costs $3.50. Plus, this high-quality butter elevates any baked good, and this bulk size is perfect for making large batches.

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Kirkland Signature Pate Wet Cat Food

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz pate wet cat food

Price: $34.99

You can buy all of your pet food at Costco for considerably lower prices than pet stores. This variety pack of wet cat food includes 45 easy-open trays in three flavors for under $35. That’s just $0.22 per ounce.

And you can always count on quality; this grain-free cat food is made with real ingredients for a meal your pet is sure to love.

Kleenex Ultra-Soft 12-Pack Tissue Boxes

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz ultra soft tissue boxes

Price: $18.89

You get over a thousand plush tissues in this value pack, each at only just $0.02.

Costco has the Kleenex brand to combat sniffles, sneezes, and more with an ultra-soft touch for your comfort. This bargain gives you 12 cube boxes you can set anywhere, and these tissues are hypoallergenic.

Coca-Cola Mini Variety Pack

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz coca-cola mini variety pack

Price: $16.49

This variety pack of sodas has your favorite flavors in a smaller, more convenient size.

Each pack includes 10 cans of Sprite, Cherry Coke, and Fanta Orange for under $17. This is especially handy for parties, and each can cost about $0.50.

Kirkland Signature Organic Mixed Vegetables

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic mixed vegetables

Price: $8.99

Add more veggies to your diet with Costco’s selection of frozen vegetable mixes.

These mixed veggies come cut and ready to heat in a variety of ways, including as a side dish or in homemade chicken pot pie. This five-pound bag has carrots, green beans, corn, and peas for under $10.

Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz charmin ultra soft toilet paper

Price: $33.49

Get 30 rolls of your favorite brand of toilet paper in this Costco deal.

With each roll, you get 213 two-ply sheets for your comfort, and it’s all under $35, which beats other store prices. Each sheet is wider than typical toilet paper, so this is one purchase worth the trip to Costco.

Kirkland Signature Purified Water Bottles

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz purified water bottles

Price: $8.99

Having enough water on hand is key for any household, so stock up and save at Costco.

This value pack has 80 bottles of purified water, which equals five gallons for under $10. In comparison, you can only get 32 bottles of water at Target for $7.19, so this is a much better deal.

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Pure Vanilla Extract

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz pure vanilla extract

Price: $11.99

Costco shoppers love this vanilla extract, and the price is just right for anyone looking to save.

This bulk-sized bottle is handy for baking or adding some sweet vanilla taste to any homemade dish or drink.

Plus, you’re getting 16 FL ounces for under $12, which should last you a long time and is much more affordable than buying a smaller size at your local grocery store.

Kirkland Signature Supima Cotton Boxer Briefs

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz supima cotton boxer briefs

Price: $16.99

Costco has name-brand-quality clothing for less, like this four-pack of boxer briefs.

This hot item has a super-soft cotton and comfort fit that rivals other boxer briefs from your favorite retailers. At four for $17, each pair costs just $4.25.

Pam Cooking Spray 2-Pack

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz pam cooking spray

Price: $7.49

Make cooking even easier (and more affordable) with these value-sized bottles of Pam cooking spray.

Each 12-ounce bottle offers over a thousand sprays to keep your food from sticking to pans, grills, and more. Plus, one eight-ounce bottle from Walmart would costs $3.97, so this is much more cost-effective.

Garofalo Organic Tri-Color Pasta, 3-Pack

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic tri-color pasta

Price: $10.69

Having handy meals and staples in your pantry is a must for any household.

This pack of tri-color pasta can save you time and money during those busy nights. These easy-to-make pasta varieties give you over a pound in these six bags, which rounds out to $1.60 each.

K Bell Ladies’ No-Show Socks

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz ladies’ no-show socks

Price: $19.99

Costco’s multi-packs make it easy to stock up your fridge, closet, garage, and more.

These no-show socks easily add to your sock drawer with some comfortable and affordable options. You get 20 black, white, or multicolored socks in a pack, making each pair just $1.00 for an unbeatable bargain.

Kirkland Signature Hard Anodized Cookware 12-Piece Set

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz hard anodized cookware

Price: $129.99

While this may seem like a pricier find, this cookware set comes with 12 non-stick pots and pans that can upgrade your kitchen for around $12 per piece.

This item is also a customer favorite, which is another great thing about a Costco membership. Since so many shoppers have tried their products, you can follow up online on reviews.

The comments about the durability of this item mean you’re saving more in the long run.

Bush’s Organic Black Beans

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz bush’s organic black beans

Price: $8.99

Stocking up on your canned goods is a budget-savvy choice at Costco.

These organic black beans are versatile for any recipe, and they add a nice dose of protein and fiber. Since you get eight 15-ounce cans per pack, you’re only spending $0.75 an ounce.

Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech Scented Kitchen Bags

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz scented kitchen bags

Price: $19.99

Costco has a ton of items comparable to name brands, like these Flextech trash bags.

Each value-sized box has 200 13-gallon bags to fit all of your trash, recycling, mess, and more. And at this price, each sturdy bag is only $0.10, meaning you get your money’s worth out of this bargain.

Bottom line

Igor Kardasov/Adobe woman buying saucepan in supermarket

A Costco membership is an amazing deal for households of any size. This superstore's wide selection of home goods, clothing, groceries, and more can truly reduce your grocery bill.

You can even stop by Costco's cafe to grab an inexpensive (but tasty) bite or utilize their pharmacy for even more savings.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards


Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee


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Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

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Author Details

Ariel Taranski

Ariel Taranski is a writer for FinanceBuzz. She has worked as a content marketer for CPAs and financial advisors, and she enjoys being frugal and money-savvy in her day-to-day life. Ariel has also worked with clients such as The Knot, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Alpha Prime, and many more in her time as a freelance writer.