As a regular Costco customer since the early 90’s it would frighten me to learn how much money I’ve spent there. Some days you just stop in for the $1.50 hot dog & soda and come out with $600 of stuff you didn’t know you “needed”.
If at all possible avoid going to Costco on the weekend!!! It is mayhem. Huge lines, crowded aisles, crazed people who lose all sense of kindness and humanity to get a free sample of something.
Here are some of my favorite items and best deals.
- Kirkland Almond Butter
- Muffins (Blueberry and Coffee Cake)
- Some of the bakery bread loafs and rolls are very good. Best if you will consume within a day or two.
- Kirkland Ground Coffee – $9 for a 3 pound can and it’s great. Perfect balance for an everyday pot. I go through at least one a month. I have tried most of the coffee offered at Costco and this is my favorite and luckily also the best value. Now if I could just find a good use for my collection of coffee cans.
- Meats – all are pretty good and better than the grocery store.
- Organic Ground beef – $20 for 3 packs, easy to freeze without having to get dirty.
- Rib Eye (if you are not cooking them all at once buy some freezer butcher paper)
- Ribs (available with a prepared rub already on them, which is decent, or get them unprepared and make your own.)
- Chicken – my go to is the organic boneless chicken breasts, but regularly got the regular boneless chicken breasts.
- The Fish is very fresh. If you are there during one of the fish market days when they have the fish stand set up, that’s usually your best bet. Check the dates of any prepackage fish for the freshest. I regularly get the Haddock. Sometimes tuna steaks.
- Produce: Some things are great deals, but others offer an unrealistic amount for a family to consume. I have found that most things in the walk-in refrigerator are good buys. Lettuce, berries, veggies. The produce out in the main aisles I generally pass on.
- Ling Ling Pot Stickers
The clothes can be hit or miss. I have bought many items and most were great buys. The turnover is pretty quick so if you see something you like, buy it. Try it on in the store if you can. I have found the sizing to be all over the place.
Some of the kids clothes have been my best scores. I’ve picked up a few cold weather jackets for $20 or less and they have been great and received a ton of compliments.
Keep your eye out for discounted items that on some sort of rebate. These can often be some of the best deals. I recently stocked up on some LED light bulbs that were on a deep discount and also a Duracell LED flashlight that was a amazing deal at $12. I went back to buy more.
Costco’s return policy and warranty on electronics are reason enough to buy from them. TV’s, Laptops, Computers, Cameras.
Costco extends the manufacturer’s warranty on Televisions, Tuner-Free Displays, Projectors, Computers* and Major Appliances† to 2 years from the date of purchase.
Costco is usually my go to place for tires. They carry quality tires, the pricing is fair and includes free rotations, but the biggest selling point for me is the convenience. Nobody likes to sit and wait around a tire shop for hours. At Costco you can plan it so you drop your car off, go shopping for an hour or two, and then when you’re done your car has a fresh set of tires. Same with any rotations or services needed.
We bought our Yardline backyard playset from Costco. They offered installation for not much more, which was well worth it. Overall we’ve been happy with it and it’s gotten a lot of use, but there were several missing parts after installation and they had to come back twice. One of them being a main piece of the structure ( a drawbridge), also missing most climbing wall pieces and climbing rope. Even after that there are still a couple missing items/accessories that I never got. Some of the wood was cracked & split, more than I’d expect. Some may have been from the installers over tightening, and some just looks like natural cracking & splitting of the wood. Maybe it wasn’t the best selection of redwood on this set, but I’m also thinking this might have been someone elses returned set or something, given the mess it was in when installed.
- Kirkland Laundry Detergent (looks like the big Tide container). This stuff is good and when on a sale a very good deal. I alternate between this and the actual Tide version depending on the Sale. If Tide isn’t too much more per load I will get that, but when the savings are big I’m happy to get the Kirkland version.
- Bed Sheets and Blankets – Decent quality and priced right. If you live in New England and don’t have Fleece sheets, go get some. I’m not talking Flannel, Fleece. We have regular cotton sheets, flannel, and fleece sheets from Costco as well as some blankets. No complaints.
- Life Comfort Sherpa Throw Blanket – $15/each and well worth it. I bought a few and we love them. The perfect throw for chilly winters.
Skip the Wine
We drink a strong amount of wine. I have found pricing is better elsewhere. It’s not bad, but not great. It’s probably less than your local small wine shop or grocery store, but if you have a Total Wines or NH State Liquor store near you, that is usually better.
OTHER SERVICES – Hard Pass
Costco promotes a bunch of partner services for home, business, and life, such as car buying, insurance, payment processing, etc. My experience has been that they are zero value and a waste of time. The car buying was a joke and even the participating dealers agreed. You can get a better deal with little negotiation effort.
The exception here is the travel. Rental cars can be a good deal and I have booked a few times with Costco. Not always the best, but worth looking at. The vacation packages are worth a look too. We did it once and it was a good deal.