Best Things to Buy at Costco

We don't have a Costco membership (the nearest Costco is 35+ minutes away and so we don't make the trip regularly enough to justify the cost).

But Tim's grandpa does. He calls us up and says, "Let's go to Costco." We pick him up and drive together in our silver Camry. We talk about politics and the weather and his childhood in the Great Depression.

When we get there, he pushes our 3-year-old in the cart and I carry my 1-year-old in the ERGO. We always try to get there exactly when it opens to avoid the crowds.

Then, we shop.

We like to get fruit. Especially the big cartons of blueberries. This time they didn't have any so we bought pears and nectarines instead:

Best Things to Buy at Costco 1

Lately, we always leave the store with a big tub of peanut-butter filled pretzels:

Best Things to Buy at Costco 2

These dried mangos are the best (but I just looked at the sugar content and oh-my-no-wonder-they-taste-so-good):

Best Things to Buy at Costco 3

And, although we prefer to make meals from scratch, we always buy some frozen meals for those nights when we just need to be able to stick something in the oven lickety split:

Best Things to Buy at Costco 4

After we shop, we order a whole pizza (for $9.95) and eat it under the red umbrellas. Our 3-year-old swings her legs and talks to Grandpa, while Tim serves up piping hot pizza on paper plates. Our 1-year-old wiggles on my lap and I feed her little bits of pizza. Life is good.

Best Things to Buy at Costco 5

YOUR TURN: Do you shop at Costco? What are your favorite things to buy there?

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40 comments on “Best Things to Buy at Costco”

  1. Costco is about 40 mins away from us, but we go once a month.. Its only my boyfriend and I that live in our house but have a baby due soon and always have tons of people over..
    My boyfriend and all his friends drink lots of pop so buying pop there is a much better deal especially for the price of it in other stores.. I love to buy all sorts of meat there and re package it and freeze it, saves alot of money.. Top ramen there is a way bbetter deal than any where else.. Costco pizza is so yummy.. we recently got a big freezer so we could start getting more frozen food and easy to make meals, we are often on the go alot too since he is a crab fisherman.
    we also get the T.p. and paper towels since they come in bulk and go through so much of it.. I also buy a case of rockstar and red bull there with all the guys drinking energy drinks, it saves us money in the long run.. Im sure we will start buying diapers and wipes there, ive always heard good things about them and the prices.. monthly we spend about 200 dollars just depends whats on our list.. NEVER GO WITHOUT A LIST!! lol.. thats what saves us!!

  2. I love those dried mangos and I just saw those peanut butter pretzels. I just started going back to Costco. I did the coupon/sales matching thing at the regular grocery store and I just cant get the same deals as at Costco. For a house full of boys, you cant beat it! Great post!

  3. We always buy the huge bags of cheese there. We go through a lot of cheese when we cook (we often do pizzas at home) and the price for their big bags can't be beat!

    I also LOVE dried mango!

  4. love their roast chicken, LaBrea bread, proscuitto and big container of spring mix - and the Kirkland laundry detergent

  5. We have recently been considering cancelling our membership (at least until we have a garage frige/freezer) but recently have been using a box of Kirkland diapers I got from a friend- and love them! It may be enough to reevaluate. We do love buying meat there, some of the produce is good and I have found some good freezer and snack foods there- last time I got the Cashew clusters- Yeeeum! Cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds- salty, sweet, crunchy. Oh yeah- we buy enormous olive oil and vinegar there, too.
    Still not sure if we will "share" w/ my parents or keep our own. Those shopping trips do take discipline...

  6. We love Costco! I would love to go everyday but I spend way too much money!! We get the skinless boneless chicken breast (yummier than the reg store), milk, bread, batteries, baby wipes (for on the go), reg trash bags, dishwasher tabs, quaker granola bars, parmesan cheese (in a big plastic can), ranch dressing, and canned fruits and veggies! I love their BIG pizza's for under $10. It feeds us for 2days :)

  7. we love Costco and got there every week. Even though we have a small family, we do most of our grocery shopping there. We get milk (organic for the girls and skim for us), all of our cheeses, apples, fruit snacks, z-bars, bread, tilapia, salmon, chicken, chicken and rice bowls, rhodes sweet rolls and the list really goes on an on. I LOVE the mango salsa. The produce is fantastic. Plus we've been sold on so many samples.

  8. P.S. The nectarines were horrible! Mushy and cardboard-y.

    The pears, on the other hand, were sweet & delicious.

    I can't wait until the blueberries are in-season again...

  9. Apparently a few people like Costco. :)

    I love lots of stuff there, but one big saver for us is simply Parmesan cheese. It's so much cheaper there!

  10. Costco, hmm, we buy: toilet paper, organic milk, organic/free range eggs, organic flax oatmeal, vanilla, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent(earth friendly), quinoa, nutella, cliff bars, whole free range organic chickens, organic grass fed beef, wine, oj, underwear and recently some really great BPA free waterbottles. We also have a gas station at ours that we always save 5-10 cents a gallon at. We big puffy heart Costco :)

  11. Yes! Love costco. We regularly get the nets of avocados, and 4 packs of artichokes. The pineapple lately has been great. I also like the pre-sliced Jarlsberg cheese for sandwiches, and if you're having a party this summer, consider doing Falafels (costco has everything for it! taziki and hummus, pre-made falafel balls, tomatoes, lettuce, pita, etc). We also buy our staples there: TP, dishwashing pellets, etc. LOVE costco.

  12. We have a Costco membership and I am not sure what we would do with out it. Staple Costco Items for us are: T.P., paper towels, Tide, Bounce, Downy, Kirkland brand household wipes, the glass cleaner IS.The.Best, we LOVED the baby wipes(we our kids used them)b/c they were hypo-allergenic and super inexpensive. I could go on and on,but I will add that we too LOVE the dried mangoes and we ALWAYS eat their pizza too....soooo good and super cheap!

    **I will call you the next time we go to Costco to see if you want to join us**

  13. I'm like you, we "borrow" my parents' membership when visiting them (an hour away) and like to stock up on their spinach nuggets (like chicken nuggets but spinach, which my son likes) as well as Gardenburgers. You never know what you'll find there, but I just love wandering the aisles. Plus the samples they give out are a nice treat!

  14. We don't belong to Costco, but we do the same thing at Sam's Club. We love to go there and browse, and usually end up picking up toiletries, tomato sauce, and frozen fruit and veggies. And the free samples aren't so bad either! ;) Then we top it off with hot dogs for lunch or dinner. Sometimes it's the little things that make life so good!

  15. Costco lover but we too don't live near one so when we travel to Utah we stock up on costco diapers & wipes & lots of organic food & the fruit! Man I miss the fresh produce!!!

  16. I Love Costco! We always buy the Krusteaz pancake mix. But I do agree with a few of the others that before you know it... you've spent $100!! Sometimes I'll find something awesome and go back for more and its gone. :( They don't seem to be too terribly consistant with brands other than their own. My favorite thing from the bakery is the box of croissants. yum. And theyare only 3 minutes from my home, so we use them for our primary gas fillup location.

  17. Often: wipes, diapers, Tillamock cheese + 1 new cheese, grated cheese, craisins, frozen chicken, rotisserie chicken, edemame 12-pack (frozen), Goldfish crackers

    Occasional: veggie sushi rolls, nutella, dried mangos, dried blueberries, big double bag of tortilla chips, fresh salsa

    Used to get before they mysteriously stopped stocking: orange chicken, taquitos (they changed the brand), some other things I've forgotten

    Total price per shopping trip is usually about $100 - $120!

  18. Since we don't have our membership anymore I don't remember what things I always got there...except for wipes! We love the Costco baby wipes and sometimes con someone who has a membership into picking up a box for us. :)

  19. I'm trying to think of things that no one else has mentioned yet, and the biggee for me is the pumpkin pie they sell around Thanksgiving. It is as good as my favorite recipe and the price is amazing!

    We regularly buy coffee beans, baby wipes, dog food, writable DVDs, and books there. We usually buy tires for our cars there too.

    We always take our coupon book with us. Did you know that if you forget your coupons you can get a fresh set at the member services counter?

  20. We go to Costco about once a month. I get mozzarella cheese for my weekly homemade pizza, lots of goodies for the boys' school lunches, frozen chicken breast and salmon, as well as paper goods and fruit. My boys love to go with me and do all the's just a lot of fun, and the churros and berry smoothies at the end make it that much better!

  21. We just got home from Costco, which I usually still call Price Club! We buy diapers and wipes there (I like the Kirkland brand and love it when I can find a Costco coupon for $5 off!)

    We like their apples and bread and snack foods and we LOVE their pizza!

    I also think their book selection is great and my husband even bought my ENGAGEMENT RING there four years ago!

  22. We love their fruit-especially the berries. They have great prices and huge containers of blueberries in the summer. My husband loves their mangoes also. We try to limit our visits b/c we always spend WAY too much, so we try to limit ourselves to what is on our list only or else! Other staples include toilet paper and laundry detergent.

  23. I don't go to Costco, but we have a BJs membership. Olive oil, frozen veggies, cheese, flour, rice, butter...a lot of the staples that store well in the pantry or freezer are what I tend to pick up. And I love being there when they have the free samples! =)

  24. Yeah, Costco is about 40 mins for us..but when my husband is in town he will make the stop to shop. They started carrying Rice Dream rice milk and that is the best bargain in town!

  25. I've been debating a Costco membership recently. It seems that even if we just buy milk there it would cover the cost. Although our Aldi's just started carrying hormone free milk so that might not be the case anymore. When I worked at a children's home in Mexico we received donations from Costco and Sams. There were always yummy things from Costco like my favorite kind of Mexican cheese, actually that became a bit much when we had cheese for just about every meal for about a week.

  26. We do Sam's instead because it was always closer (although now that we've moved it is about the same distance). The berry prices are usually fabulous so we pick up whatever they have. And I can get a big bag of fresh broccoli florets - ready for steaming, eating raw w/dip, or putting in salads - for a ridiculously cheap price. We also pick up goldfish crackers, chicken breast to throw in the freezer, and paper towels.

  27. OH MY GOODNESS - WE LOVE COSTCO!! I can't even begin to narrow down the "best" things to buy there. Let it be known that I detest shopping, so if I need it, and Costco has it for a good deal, I'm there. We spend around $4,500 annually there, but really don't shop anywhere else if possible. BTW - their return policy is fabulous too! We buy everything there including electronics (itouch, camera, computers, batteries, electronic backup batteries, etc.), home stuff (big clock, phones, decor, new kitchen glasses, cooking stuff, rug doctor), appliances (microwave, toaster oven), tools, copy/printer paper, light bulbs (they have energy efficient ones on massive steals right now), flashlights, furniture, toys (they always have something at Christmas time with a little something extra included - like the Thomas Train Set my younger one got this year or the ball popper several years ago with 5 extra balls and an extra bee toy), tools, clothing, fresh fruits and veggies (our favs - avacados are amazing there, big bag of spinach is great, and strawberries when in season), pickles, cheeses, cheesecake on special occasions, fish, almost all meats (their Kirkland lunch meats are wonderful, love the frozen salmon and turkey burgers, shrimp, chicken, turkey bacon, etc.), all cleaning supplies, laundry stuff (can't live w/o my oxi-clean), TP, almost all dairy (except sour cream and cottage cheese as the FF Kroeger brand is preferred here), eggs, frozen fruits and veggies, nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios), condiments, cooking oils, oats, rice, snack foods (we always have those PB pretzels in the pantry too), baby wipes (and previously diapers - loved kirkland diapers better than any other), all showering and bathroom supplies (even got our sonic toothbrushes there), vitamins, medicines... Yeah, pretty much everything! We are careful about watching prices though. Not ALL things are cheaper there. Coupons do help though. Oh, and my absolute must have from there - Clorox or Kirkland wipes! Use them all over the house EVERY day and have never found them in those big tubs for a better deal! This is not an all inclusive list, but some of the things we have bought there including some regular stuff. However, surprisingly, we seldom spend more than $150 per visit. We refer to it as the hundred dollar store. One thing I never buy there is cereal as it is always cheaper when on sale at the grocery stores. We also enjoy our "dinner out" there. I love their churros! MMMMMM!

    Side note - my list is kind of in order starting on the left and making my way around the store to the right. I simply can't handle those backwards Costco stores. I have to walk to the opposite side to start so I go the "right" direction in there. This is actually how I make my shopping list too. I know, I'm odd!

    These "list" response posts are really fun for me!

  28. I buy quite a bit at Costco: Diapers, wipes, paper towels, OTC meds, cheese, bread,cereal, clothes, chicken breasts, fruit, veggies, dog treats, cleaning supplies, electronics, Pam, butter, soap, lotion. I used to buy organic milk there before we started getting home delivery from a local dairy.

  29. Mmmm, Costco! My parents have cards so we don't have one. Plus, in our apartment we had no place to store stuff in bulk! And it seems I always manage to spend way more than I planned there...
    That aside, I always ask my parents to buy us meat there, rolled hamburger and frozen chicken breast strips are sooooo much cheaper there!
    If I go I'm likely to buy those mangoes too... as well as the peanut and M&M snack mix! Cheese, fruits and veggies, TP, and clothes if they have something I like!
    Costco is dangerous to my budget! ;)

  30. I've never been to Costco, but we're going to go in May with my brother and his wife as a cultural experience when we have relatives visiting from Japan. Really! I hear it's quite something so I'm hoping I'm not disappointed!

  31. And I agree about the mangoes from TJ's. SOOOO good. No sugar added.
    (But those ones from the Philippines are pretty amazing, too...)

  32. I just got back from a Costco run. It was PACKED. Who knew that Good Friday was shopping day there?!
    We like to get our produce there. It's usually cheaper, and we go through a lot of fresh fruit, especially. I also think their tortilla chips are great. So much cheaper.
    And I get my cheese and milk there.
    One of our favorite parts is the free sample ladies throughout the store. It makes the trip almost as fun as Trader Joe's -- but they have balloons and nothing is quite as awesome as balloons. :)

  33. Oh do I love thee...

    We buy the same things all of the time. Chicken, cheese, lunch meat, bread (we go through lots of bread in this house so we buy four of the huge Oroweat Whole Wheat Bread/2 HUGE loaves for $5.49 and put them in the freezer) this last 3-4 weeks. We also LOVE the blueberries. Wipes are a common purchase as well.

    Have you ever tried the dried mangoes from Trader Joe's? You will never go back...they are amazing!

  34. I'm sure you can imagine that with six mouths to feed, our trips to Costco are quite frequent! We used to buy a lot of our fruits there, but once I learned about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen, I had to put the kibosh on it. I do so wish they offered more organic fruit and veggie choices at Costco. They do have organic apples, though I prefer to just get mine at Fry's because they're almost as cheap and you can hand pick them instead of have to buy the pre-packaged variety that may be bruised. We have recently started buying organic chicken breast at Costco because it's cheaper than the Whole Foods offerings.

    We do buy our TP, toothpaste, laundry soap, etc. at Costco. They have a good deal on OJ, Acai berry juice and oats too!

  35. We love Costco. I get pictures developed there, we buy lots of cheese and apples. The butter, coffee and cereal and usually really good deals. Oh and cat litter.

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