11 Delicious Foods That are Better (and Cheaper) at Costco

Better quality and cheaper prices make these 11 foods great values at Costco.

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Updated June 6, 2024
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Members love Costco because it offers great value. The retailer’s food items—from the food court to prepared foods, baked goods, and packaged foods—are always among the best deals.

Discover nearly a dozen delicious foods that taste terrific and help you save money while shopping at Costco.

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Mini carrot cakes

Courtesy of Costco Costco mini carrot cakes

Costco carrot cake has been a party classic for decades for two reasons: it’s delicious and it’s cheap.

When Costco introduced mini carrot cakes, people rejoiced. Longtime fans claim that the icing-to-cake ratio is better with the mini cakes.

They’re certainly easier to portion and store than a full cake, and everyone seems to love them, even people who don’t like carrots. And you can get a half-dozen for around $10.

Classic cheesecake

Courtesy of Costco Costco strawberry cheesecake

As cheesecakes go, the Costco cheesecake is a delicious compromise between dense and light. Not too ethereal but not stodgy, it's offered plain and with seasonal toppings. It consistently wins taste tests against specialty cheesecakes that cost twice as much. Costco’s version costs around $21.

Sheet cake

Courtesy of Costco Costco sheet cake

Having an event requiring a sheet cake? Go to Costco. You will get a sheet cake that is consistent and delicious, with frosting that’s better than you’d expect, as it doesn’t have that too-sweet, mealy taste of many retail sheet cake frostings.

And you will love the bargain price. half sheet of around $21. It’s a great cake to celebrate birthdays, retirements, new houses, babies, or anything that calls for cake.

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Rotisserie chicken

Fang zheng/Adobe Packaged rotisserie chicken

Costco rotisserie chicken is both legendary and infamous. It’s legendary because it’s so cheap — only $5 — and bigger than rotisserie chickens at other food retailers. It is also bizarrely delicious.

However, the rotisserie chicken also is infamous because the reason it’s so delicious is that it’s injected with a saline solution that makes it extremely high in sodium. If you don’t have to watch your sodium, though, this is the rotisserie chicken to buy.

Get even more value out of it by making stock with the bones.

Basil pesto

Courtesy of Costco Basil pesto jars

This really big container of delicious imported pesto — 22 ounces — goes for under $11, which is not much money. And it’s packaged in a jar, so unlike plastic tubs with wider openings, it’s easy to store in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

Organic maple syrup

Kristina Blokhin/Adobe Costco Kirkland Signature Organic Maple Syrup bottle

A quart of maple syrup for under $15 is astounding, and at 33.8 fluid ounces, Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup fits the bill. The fact that it’s organic makes this Costco brand syrup an even better value.

Pancakes can be a midweek breakfast with this much delicious syrup for such little money.

Vanilla extract

Courtesy of Costco Vanilla extract

The pure vanilla extract at Costco is high quality at a low price. It comes in a twist-off cap bottle and stores easily in your pantry. It's also kosher-friendly. 

A perennial favorite of professional and home bakers alike, at around $14 for 16 fluid ounces, it’s a strong value.

Chocolate chip cookie

Costco/Instagram Costco warm cookie from costco's social media

Many people swear by the Costco food court used to swear by the twisted churro, giving it the kind of stature usually reserved for churros at the state fair. For just $1, you got a treat that is perfect for when you want a little sweet crunchy something to get you through a shopping trip, but it was sadly discontinued in January 2024. 

Enter a new delicious contender: the warm chocolate chip cookie. Replacing the beloved churro, this cookie is all ooey-gooey decadence for just around $3. It may not fully replace the churro, but it is delicious!

Parmigiano Reggiano wheel cheese

Rostislav Glinsky/Adobe cheese wheels

Kirkland Signature Whole Wheel Parmigiano Reggiano is a wedge parmesan that is so good it easily makes the list of the best Costco finds. And at around $12 per pound, it’s cheaper than inferior-quality parmesan.

If you usually use the powdered shake cheese in the plastic tube, it’s worth trying this wedge parmesan and grating it yourself just to taste the difference. Save the rind in the freezer and toss it into the broth for extra flavor the next time you make soup.

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Courtesy of Costco Pizza slices

This pizza is so legendary that even people who have never been to Costco respect its reputation. Plain cheese or pepperoni, sold by the slice or the whole pie at prices out of the 1990s (about $2 a slice and $10 per pie), this pizza is crispy, gooey, umami perfection.

Organic extra virgin olive oil

Courtesy of Costco Organic extra virgin olive oil

Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is so good it will turn you into a person who buys 2 liters of extra virgin olive oil at a time.

Fruity but not obtrusive, this is excellent everyday olive oil at the amazing price of around $22 for 2 liters. The price alone maximizes your Costco membership perks.

Bottom line

dennizn/Adobe costco receipt

There are many hacks you can use to save money shopping for products that are cheaper and have higher-quality at Costco compared to other food retailers.

Costco means value, and the foods on this list arrive at the perfect intersection of quality and price. If you’re not already buying these items, they’re worth putting on the list for your next trip.

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Elizabeth Rollins

Elizabeth Rollins has degrees in literature and business, and she's combined these loves into a career in writing about personal finance. Her special areas of interest are debt, value, budgeting, education, and retirement.