Never Buy These 15 Items Anywhere But at Costco

Discover why Costco is the only destination for these 15 must-have items.

hot dog with mustard and ketchup
Updated June 6, 2024
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Costco has plenty of options for bulk purchases or affordable food court treats.

But there are some things that you should always try to add to your Costco shopping list before you get them anywhere else.

Here are some of those purchases you need to make at Costco before you go anywhere else to help you get the most out of your membership.

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Kirkland Signature items

Pascal Huot/Adobe kirkland signature sticker

Like other retailers, Costco has a store brand that covers a variety of products and could be just as good as the more expensive name-brand versions.

The retailer’s Kirkland Signature items are a great way to keep more cash in your wallet. Try out the store-brand version of food, household cleaners, clothes, and more.

Toilet paper

Diana Vyshniakova/Adobe toilet roll on pink background

Check out the cost-per-unit when buying in bulk as a better comparison to the cost of items in a typical grocery store. You may find that the per-unit cost is cheaper in bulk.

One example is toilet paper at Costco, so stock up and don’t worry about running out as quickly as you do with a regular pack of paper.

Alcohol

Refrina/Adobe kirkland signature hard seltzer mango can

Costco is stocked with wine, beer, and other liquor, which can save you money compared to a liquor store. The Kirkland Signature brand wine and alcohol are cheaper and just as good as name brands.

There are also some states where you can buy alcohol at Costco without a membership, so you may be able to take advantage of alcohol deals without a membership card.

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Travel

Viewvie/Adobe asian couple with luggage at airport

You may be surprised to find out that your Costco card covers more than what’s in the store. Look over the Costco Travel website for extra deals on your next vacation.

The retailer gives members discounts on hotel rooms and car rentals, and booking through Costco can earn you extra perks when you arrive on your next vacation.

Clothes

Mirko Vitali/Adobe multi ethnic couple at flea market

Clothes can get expensive, especially if you’re buying for your family, but you can pick up affordable wardrobe staples like pants and shirts at Costco.

Although Costco doesn’t have fitting rooms, the store’s generous return policy covers any items that don’t fit and need to be returned.

Seasonal items

Vinicius/Adobe easter decorations outside blue rustic door

You may love decorating your home for major holidays, but it can be hard if you’re on a budget.

So check out Costco for all your seasonal items before you go anywhere else.

The stores have a wide selection of holiday decorations at affordable prices, from smaller indoor decorations to larger outdoor decorations that will make your house glow.

Party supplies

famveldman/Adobe unicorn theme kids birthday party

The summer means pool parties and barbecues, so make sure you’re prepared with everything you need from Costco.

Check out the shelves at Costco for things like paper plates, cups, and plastic cutlery for all the food you serve to guests.

Meat

Adriana/Adobe costco kirkland signature organic ground beef

Meat is another item you may need to stock up for a big party or family dinner, and Costco has some affordable options.

You can grab some ground beef or ground turkey for burgers and homemade meatballs. For bigger gatherings, you can also pick up select choices like salmon filets and beef tenderloin.

Pre-made meals

JackF/Adobe woman choosing ready meal at supermarket

It can be tough to come up with good dinner options after a long day at work while driving the kids to after-school activities.

Pre-made meals can be expensive at some stores, but Costco has some cheap options that are sure to make everyone happy.

For Taco Tuesday at home, grab a chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes, or a taco kit with all the toppings.

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Rotisserie chicken

Andriy Blokhin/Adobe rotisserie chicken at costco store

You may be able to find a rotisserie chicken in your local grocery store, but there’s nothing quite like the original at Costco.

The rotisserie chickens are an affordable dinner option, or you can pick the meat off the bones of the chicken and use it for delicious recipes at home, like chicken soup or chicken salad.

Eggs

Milan/Adobe brown chicken eggs on wooden table

Eggs are a great staple to have in your fridge. Prices for a dozen eggs are lower than a year ago, but your local grocery store still probably can’t compete with Costco’s deals.

Check out Costco’s offer for two dozen eggs and compare it to how much you’d pay at your local grocery store for the same number of eggs.

Frozen berries

qwartm/Adobe hand full of frozen raspberries

Smoothies are a good option to try if you want something healthy to drink or if you’re trying to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. But smoothies can also be expensive.

So grab some frozen berries from Costco instead. When you compare the cost per unit, the berries may be cheaper than those at your local store.

Salmon

Jacek Chabraszewski/Adobe plate of salmon steak with vegetables

Fish can be a healthy addition to your diet but can also be expensive if you store it in your freezer too long and don’t eat it often enough.

Kirkland Signature individually wrapped salmon filets are easy to grab out of the freezer for dinner and work well if you live by yourself.

Pet food

Pixel-Shot/Adobe woman feeding dog at home

Costco isn’t just for you. It’s also for your favorite furry friends.

Grab some pet food from the retailer to get good deals for your dogs and cats while saving some extra cash.

Hot dog and a drink

agungai/Adobe hot dog on yellow background

Before you leave Costco, remember to stop by the food court if you want to get a good deal on a meal.

The store’s famous hot-dog-and-a-drink deal for only $1.50 and that price isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Bottom line

Andy/Adobe hand holding costco membership card outdoors

Costco has aisles of great options to help you save money and keep more money in the bank.

It’s also a good idea to check your wallet for the best credit cards for Costco shoppers so you can save even more on your bulk purchases. 

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

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

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.