10 Best Things to Buy at Costco (on Any Budget!)

This guide to the best things to buy at Costco is NOT sponsored and was written based on our honest experience as a mom and dad who strive to spend less money and share the tips that are working for us!

Costco is an amazing place to shop for families of all different sizes and budgets.

things should buy costco

But as a family of four, we’ve found that certain products just aren’t worth it while others are always a must-buy at the warehouse!

Keep reading to learn:

  • does buying in bulk save money
  • best things to buy at Costco to save money
  • how to spend less at Costco
  • best products to buy at Costco online

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used throughout this post. You can read our full disclosure here.

10 Best Things to Buy at Costco (on Any Budget!)

Let’s start with a common question people have about shopping at Costco and other warehouse stores.

Does buying in bulk save money?

It depends on so many things!

Three things you need to consider are:

  • you should always compare prices, even when you’re buying in bulk – if it’s on sale elsewhere, you might be able to save a couple of dollars doubling up on smaller quantities
  • the size of your family and/or the event you are purchasing for – buying three loaves of bread is too much for a couple with a baby (unless you have a lot of freezer space) but it does make sense for a family of four or more
  • if you’re buying perishable items, do you have enough freezer space to store them if you don’t finish them all in time?

Things You Should Always Buy at Costco

Here are 10 things you should choose Costco for next time you need them:

1. Toilet Paper and Paper Towels

Costco’s paper towel and toilet paper products are of higher quality and tend to be less expensive than their competitors – especially the Kirkland brand.

Be sure to download the Flipp app to price compare with other weekly sales at local grocery stores while you shop.

2. Cleaning Supplies

Costco carries a fantastic selection of cleaning products including a variety of laundry detergents, dish soap for machines and handwashing, and various household cleaners (all-purpose, toilet, etc.).

If you haven’t started making your cleaning products, this is the place to stock up on them – especially during sales!

Cleaning supplies have a long shelf life and won’t take up too much room in your home so they’re worth stocking up on.

3. Non-Perishable Pantry Items

Certain canned foods, rice, pasta, flour, and other non-perishable staples are a great price at Costco so you’ll want to price compare before stocking up on select brands.

In our experience, we found that Stagg chili is half price when you buy it in bulk at Costco – at the time of writing this, it costs $2.97 a can at Walmart but buying a 6-pack at Costco brings the price down to $2.17.

Waiting for the usual $9.99 markdown brings each can down to $1.67 though – that’s half price!

4. Organics

Organic products are usually significantly cheaper at Costco!

For instance, organic milk costs $10.29 for 4L at our local Safeway and $9.68 at Walmart while Costco sells it for $9.29.

A bag of six organic peppers costs $10.99 at Costco versus $13.41 at Walmart.

Non-perishable organic foods have an even bigger price difference – we’ve noticed a big difference on things like jam, honey, and oats where you’re buying a much bigger quantity than other stores offer.

Bonus Tip: Creating a little price book for reference can help you save a ton of money on perishable foods as can replanting food scraps.

We’ve regrown peppers, garlic, pineapple, cantaloupe, and lettuce purchased from Costco!

cheap fruit to grow

More ways to save at Costco:

5. Gift Cards

Buying gift cards at Costco will save you a ton of money in the long run!

For example, a Nintendo e-gift card costs $89.99 in-store at Costco and will give you $100 to spend online.

That’s a savings of $10 just for buying your gift card at Costco!

Restaurants and hotels usually cost about $79.99 for $100 worth of gift cards and will save you $20.

costco gift cards save

6. Batteries

We always shop sales and stock up on products will long-term shelf storage life.

Batteries are a great thing to have on hand for day-to-day use and emergencies.

You can save a lot of money by choosing the Kirkland brand and in our experience, they’re just as good as the more reputable battery brands!

7. Vitamins and Health Products

This is another one of those instances where buying in bulk will save you a ton of money.

For instance, Calm Magnesium costs $35.99 for 226g at Safeway.

At Costco, you’re getting 567g for $42.99 unless you picked it up at the recent $33.99 sale price – that’s twice as much for the same price!

We recommend always reading the ingredients and choosing high-quality products that don’t have a lot of fillers and preservatives.

8. Beverages

Hosting a party or family get-together?

You’ll save shopping at Costco!

From sparkling and bottled water to milk, juices, and sports drinks, Costco carries it all.

Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand is also available for things like kids’ juice boxes and sparkling water – we’ve tried both and they’re excellent.

Pro Money-Saving Tip: If your kids are like ours and love juice but you don’t love the sugar content, consider buying larger 1L flats of juice to mix with water in separate containers.

We love our Yeti water bottles for the kids because they’re leakproof and keep drinks cold.

I fill them halfway with water and top them up with juice to make drinks last longer and honestly, we find juice way too sweet otherwise!

This is a healthier option that will save you a lot of money in the long term.

A 12-pack of organic 1L apple juice lasts us over two months this way while juice boxes cost about 50% more and are gone in under 3 weeks.

9. Electronics and Small Appliances

Like other departments, Costco’s electronics are competitively priced and often feature exclusive bonuses.

For example, you might get a Keurig for the same price as another retailer but you’ll get a more premium model with a bigger water tank and a sampler of K-cups.

The same goes for things like SD cards, Apple computers, Cricut craft machines, printers, and so much more.

And like our next point, you can’t beat Costco’s return policy!

10. Major Appliances

You cannot get any better than Costco’s return policy on major appliances!

We still regret getting our Kitchenaid appliances from Best Buy instead of Costco.

Instead of trusting our research, we took the Best Buy employee’s word for it that NO major retailers accept returns on major appliances.

NOT true!

Here it is right from Costco.com:

Costco will accept returns within 90 days from the date you receive the following Major Appliances:

  • Refrigerators (more than 10 cubic feet)
  • Water Heaters
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Freezers
  • Ranges
  • Cooktops
  • Over-the-Range Microwaves

In addition, we extend the manufacturer’s warranty on Major Appliances to two years and our Costco Technical & Warranty Services provides free warranty assistance on these items*

Ninety days is an extremely generous window for a return on anything and in addition to this, you get a two-year warranty that you can extend up to 5 years.

Our dishwasher, stove, and fridge all had issues before the 5 year mark!

More ways to save money at Costco

Here are a few ways we save more with each Costco trip.

Shop Monday and Fridays

Here in the Lower Mainland, Costco sales change over on Mondays and Fridays.

There’s a date at the top of the online flyer that’ll show you when sales end and checking back early the following Monday morning will reveal what’s new for the week.

Fridays are when the in-store weekend sales happen – these aren’t advertised in the flyer but local Costco Facebook groups often create a carousel-style post each Friday.

If you don’t have time to walk the store yourself that day, find an active Facebook group you can refer to.

Shop Clearance

You’ll see a little asterisk at the top right-hand corner of the item tag if a product is going to be marked down at Costco.

When you see a price ending in .97, that means it’s on clearance.

At this price, most products tend to sell pretty quickly but you can sometimes wait it out if you notice lots of stock.

More tips to save your dollars:

Final Thoughts: Best Things to Buy at Costco

Shopping at Costco is a great way to save money and stock up on great products.

But like anywhere else, you’ll want to know your prices before shopping.

We love the Flipp app for local weekly flyers and suggest joining a few Costco Facebook groups that share weekly in-store deals for your area!

Our top 10 picks for things to always buy at Costco are:

  1. Toilet paper and paper towels
  2. Cleaning supplies
  3. Non-perishable pantry Items
  4. Organics
  5. Gift cards
  6. Batteries
  7. Vitamins and health products
  8. Beverages
  9. Electronics and small appliances
  10. Major appliances

What are your favorite things to pick up at Costco? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy stocking up, friend!


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