All of the Best Things to Buy, According to Customers
- Insider has had 18 Costco shoppers share the items they frequently buy from the popular chain.
- Certain staple ingredients — like vanilla extract, rice, and coffee — are worth buying bulk.
- You can find especially good deals on name-brand classics, like Dave’s Killer Bread.
People across the country have signed up for a Costco membership to take advantage of the wholesale chain’s discounts and bulk buys.
But from nutritionists to chefs to athletes, everyone has a unique shopping list.
Insider has had 18 dedicated shoppers share what they snag on their Costco runs — here’s what they said:
Abigail Abesamis Demarest has shopped at Costco for over 10 years and likes to buy certain ingredients in bulk
She uses these frozen-berry blends in her smoothies
Using frozen berries instead of ice makes smoothies cold and refreshing without watering them down.
This 4-pound bag of fruit costs $9.99 and comes with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Demarest will often pair it with almond butter, almond milk, chia seeds, and cacao powder for a morning drink.
Buying salmon in bulk can be cheaper in the long run
Costco sells huge slabs of Atlantic salmon for $9.99 a pound.
Demarest will often pair baked fillets with brown rice and veggies, like spinach or broccoli.
This large piece can be divided into several servings, and you can freeze leftover fillets to make them last longer.
These prepackaged Starbucks frappuccinos are an easy, on-the-go coffee option
These Starbucks frappuccinos are tasty, and buying them in bulk makes each bottle come out to just $1.27.
Demarest will often wait to snag these until there’s a manufacturer’s coupon to make them even cheaper.
Read Abigail Abesamis Demarest’s full Costco shopping list: I’ve shopped at Costco for over 10 years. Here are the 15 products I always buy in bulk.
Solo shopper Alicia Diaz lives in New York with 2 roommates but finds ways to make her Costco membership worth it
This 5-pack of Crest 3D White toothpaste can last Diaz and her roommates months
This package of Crest 3D White toothpaste costs $10 for five tubes.
Although one person can finish a normal tube of toothpaste — which can cost upward of $3 — in just a couple of months, this bulk pack comes out to $2 a tube and can last for six to eight months, even when sharing.
Diaz said that since she shares a bathroom, it’s more cost-effective to buy this toiletry in bulk.
These Kirkland Signature leggings are one of Diaz’s favorite buys
These comfy leggings come in several colors and cost $17.
Diaz bought these leggings on a whim and was blown away, picking up three more the next time.
As a Lululemon fan, she said this cheaper Costco alternative is comparable to the name brand.
These individually portioned packets of Yakisoba make for an easy dinner
Frozen and portioned meals are great Costco buys for solo shoppers since they have a much longer shelf life.
Each box of Yakisoba costs $12.90 and contains six packets of noodles mixed with sauce and an array of stir-fry vegetables.
Diaz will often finish cooking the noodles in a pan with chicken.
Read Alicia Diaz’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a solo shopper at Costco. Here are the 15 things I always buy that make my membership worth it.
Lisa Tanner feeds her family of 12 by buying items in bulk at the wholesale chain
These packages of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn kernels make for a cheap and delicious snack
This 8-pound jug of kernels costs $11.49 and will last Tanner about a month.
She’ll usually prepare two large batches multiple times a week as a ready snack for her 10 kids, popping the kernels with oil in a pan over medium heat.
You can eat as is or add your choice of toppings, like butter and salt.
Rice is a versatile and inexpensive side dish
Tanner snags this Thai Hom Mali jasmine rice and often prepares it in the Instant Pot to serve alongside meals like hamburger bowls, fried rice, and casserole.
This 25-pound bag costs $21.99.
Kirkland’s sliced ham is a great deal and can work in a number of meals
Although ham works great in sandwiches, Tanner will also add this ingredient to dishes like fried rice, quesadillas, scrambled eggs, and baked potatoes.
Each two-pack of uncured, extra-lean ham costs $9.79.
Read Lisa Tanner’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a mom of 10 who’s shopped at Costco for almost 20 years. Here are 20 things I always buy in bulk.
Tara Zeller drives 4 hours and spends $500 Canadian — or about $413 US — on each trip
This FoodSaver has saved Zeller hundreds of dollars and makes her big hauls worth it
An appliance that vacuum seals food in plastic, the FoodSaver costs $149.99 at Costco.
Zeller uses it to make sure her frozen food lasts longer and doesn’t get freezer burn, in turn saving her up to hundreds of dollars since she can preserve her bulk buys.
Simply portion the food into your ideal serving, then seal and store it in the freezer for easy future meals.
These packs of souvlaki make for an easy dinner protein
Available in chicken or pork, these Greek-style souvlaki skewers cost $16.99 and $14.49, respectively.
Zeller will often grill some of the skewers and pair them with a side salad for dinner, then freeze the rest to whip up at a later date.
This shopper also picks up this large jug of Kirkland’s maple syrup
Costco sells large bottles of pure, organic maple syrup for just $8.99.
The breakfast staple works great on top of pancakes, waffles, and French toast, plus it’ll last for a while.
Read Tara Zeller’s full Costco shopping list: I drive 4 hours and spend $500 for every Costco trip. Here are 16 things I always stock up on.
Majed Kassis runs the popular @CostcoBuys Instagram account, which has over 460,000 followers
Costco sells premade street-taco kits that are easy to assemble
These ready-made kits cost $4.99 a pound and come with taco essentials — 12 flour tortillas, chicken, cheese, lime slices, salsa, and cilantro-lime crema.
Each pack can feed about three to four people.
They’re a hit among Kassis’ family and ideal for when you don’t want to cook.
These cinnamon pull-a-parts make for a delicious dessert or breakfast
Found in Costco’s bakery section, these cinnamon treats are a delicious buy.
Each pack of 12 costs $6.99 and comes topped with tasty cream-cheese icing.
Kassis pops them in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm them up and make them melty.
Just Bare’s breaded chicken-breast chunks are a hit among kids and adults alike
Kassis compared these boneless chicken bites to Chick-fil-A’s nuggets.
She said they turn out wonderfully crispy in the air fryer and work well as protein on a salad.
Each 4-pound bag costs $13.99.
Read Majed Kassis’ full Costco shopping list: I run a Costco fan account with over 390,000 followers. Here are 12 of my favorite recent purchases.
Nutritionist Candace Nelson buys certain foods in bulk to whip up simple, wholesome dishes
Mandarins are an easy snack and chock-full of vitamin C
Nelson will place a handful of mandarins in the fruit bowl each morning to set out as a snack.
The easy-peel fruit is a great source of vitamin C and can last for several weeks in the fridge.
Kirkland’s mixed-nut butter doesn’t contain any added sugar or salt
This wholesome mixed-nut butter combines almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds to make a delicious spread that you can add to snacks or meals.
Nuts are a great, wholesome source of fats — a food group that should ideally make up 30% of your daily calories.
Particularly, omega-3 fatty acids found in many nuts and seeds are good for heart health.
Snag a 2-pack of Dave’s Killer Bread at Costco
With both 5 grams of fiber and protein per serving, Dave’s Killer Bread is great for sandwiches and toast.
Nelson will often toast the bread and top it with nut butter and sliced bananas.
Read Candace Nelson’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a nutritionist who shops at Costco for 2. Here are 15 things I always buy in bulk.
Salma Hamze shops at Costco for just her and her mom
This shopper buys this bulk tub of Folgers’ classic roast to make drip coffee
This 51-ounce tub of ground coffee costs $9.99 and lasts a while.
Hamze uses it to make drip coffee, though it can also be brewed with a machine or French press.
Costco sells large bags of these white-cheddar Hippeas
A bulk-sized bag of Hippeas — organic chickpea puffs — costs just $6.99.
Hamze buys two bags at a time and enjoys this snack as a replacement for potato chips.
Taylor Farms’ salad kits make lunch or dinner easy
These premade salad kits come with everything you need for a tasty serving of veggies, including dressing and toppings.
The Mediterranean salad kit costs $5.99 and is Hamze’s favorite.
Read Salma Hamze’s full Costco shopping list: I shop at Costco for my family of 2. Here are 10 things I always stock up on.
Dana Engelbert drives 3 hours — 140 miles roundtrip — to buy these items in bulk
Kirkland’s organic apple-sauce pouches are a great snack for kids
Engelbert buys these apple-sauce pouches as a wholesome snack for her kids.
Coming in a large box of 24 pouches, they are organic, gluten-free, and added-sugar-free.
Costco sells packs of hand-pulled rotisserie chicken breast
The wholesale chain’s rotisserie chicken is a beloved staple, but Engelbert often picks up this pack of hand-pulled breast instead.
It’s a versatile meat option that you can add to salads, enchiladas, and more.
Combat seasonal stuffiness with these bulk packs of allergy pills and nasal sprays
You can snag bulk packs of allergy pills and nasal spray from name brands — like Zyrtec and Flonase — at Costco.
Just make sure to check the expiration date and use them in time.
Read Dana Engelbert’s full Costco shopping list: I drive 3 hours to shop at Costco. Here are 21 things that make the 140-mile trip worth it.
Gemma Acheampong’s a Ghanaian track-and-field Olympian and semi-professional athlete who shops at Costco
This athlete opts for Kirkland’s frozen salmon
Each 3-pound bag of Atlantic salmon contains individually wrapped pieces of fish and costs $26.
Acheampong said she used to buy fresh salmon, but realized she would end up freezing most of it and started buying these packs instead.
She’ll often bake a fillet with a marinade and serve it with vegetables for an easy meal.
Grapes are quite affordable at Costco
Costco sells 4-pound packages of green and black seedless grapes for about $9 apiece.
Acheampong will often freeze them to enjoy as a crisp, refreshing snack during the summer months.
The grocery chain also sells green tea in bulk
Green tea is naturally caffeinated and rich in antioxidants.
Acheampong may drink between three to four cups of tea every day, so she grabs these bulk packs of 100 bags from Costco.
Each box costs just under $14.
Read Gemma Acheampong’s full Costco shopping list: I’m an Olympian and semi-professional athlete. Here are 16 things I always buy at Costco for myself.
Lizzy Briskin is a trained chef who likes to buy certain staple ingredients in bulk
Pure vanilla extract is a great deal at Costco
Pure vanilla extract can be a pricey ingredient, but Costco shoppers can snag a 16-ounce bottle for just $15.99.
You can use vanilla in a variety of baked goods and breakfasts, from cookies and cakes to French toast and pancakes.
Sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics
Chock-full of natural probiotics to keep your gut healthy, sauerkraut can make a delicious addition to sandwiches or salads.
Plus the ingredient can last for months sealed in the fridge.
Snag a 50-ounce container of sauerkraut for $8.69 — a fraction of what it costs at other grocery stores.
Costco sells large bags of quinoa for a reasonable price
A wholesome staple to keep in your kitchen, quinoa is full of plant-based protein and fiber.
Although the trendy grain can be quite pricey at other stores, you can snag a bag that’s over 4 pounds for just $9.59 at Costco.
Pair the ingredient with protein and veggies for dinner or use it to bulk up a salad.
Read Lizzy Briskin’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a chef who shops at Costco. Here are my 12 favorite things to buy.
Costco shopper Jordan Kuntz lives on the road full-time in a 27-foot RV
Rao’s marinara sauce is a delicious, high-quality option
This shopper thinks Rao’s red sauce is worth the higher price tag, and even celebrity chef Ina Garten has given this jarred option her seal of approval.
You can find a great deal at Costco — two 28-ounce jars sell for just $10.79.
Add this sauce to a variety of pasta dishes or meat entrées.
Canned salmon is a great staple that doesn’t need to be refrigerated
Canned salmon is a convenient source of protein that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so it’s perfect for camping or road trips.
Kuntz drains the ingredient and serves it with mayo, onion, jalapeño, salt, and lemon juice.
A six-pack costs $16.49.
Seeds of Change’s microwavable quinoa-and-brown-rice packs make for an easy side
This microwavable pack of grains is wholesome and ready in just 90 seconds.
Add it as a side with a protein-heavy dinner or use it as the base for a rice bowl.
A pack of six costs $10.79.
Read Jordan Kuntz’s full Costco shopping list: I live on the road full-time in a 27-foot RV. Here are the 15 things I always buy at Costco.
Olivia Yi runs the recipe blog Costco Kitchen for over 35,000 Instagram followers
Pesto is a tasty ingredient that you can add to a variety of plates
Yi wrote that Costco’s pesto — made with Genovese basil and pine nuts — is one of the best store-bought options.
You can sauté veggies and meat in it or add a few spoonfuls to a bowl of pasta.
Plus this ingredient works well both hot and cold.
Kerrygold’s pure Irish butter is a quality staple
Available in both salted and unsalted options, this high-quality butter is worth the higher price tag, according to the shopper.
This rich and creamy butter works well slathered on bread or used in decadent dishes.
You can freeze Parmigiano Reggiano to make it last longer
Kirkland’s Parmigiano Reggiano is aged over 24 months and boasts nutty and salty undertones.
You can add it to pasta dishes or cheese plates then toss the leftover rinds into soup.
To boost the ingredient’s shelf life, Yi cuts the cheese into chunks and freezes what she won’t use right away.
Read Olivia Yi’s full Costco shopping list: I create easy Costco recipes for over 33,000 followers. Here are 15 of my favorite things to buy.
Personal trainer Rachel MacPherson shops for her family of 6 at Costco
POM’s whole-grain tortillas are a versatile carb
Costco sells packs of POM’s tortillas, which come with 15 whole-grain shells.
This wholesome ingredient can serve as the base for a number of meals, like wraps, homemade enchiladas, and quesadillas.
Snag top sirloin steak at a reasonable price
Costco sells high-quality meat for fair prices, like this lean top sirloin.
MacPherson uses it to make steakhouse-style salads and will sometimes enjoy leftovers as a side for scrambled eggs.
Salsa is great to have on hand to add to a variety of dishes
Garden Fresh’s salsa sports a lively flavor profile that works with a number of dishes, like omelets, nachos, and baked potatoes.
MacPherson also recommended pairing it with Kirkland’s tortilla chips.
Read Rachel MacPherson’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a personal trainer who shops for a family of 6 at Costco. Here are 21 things I always stock up on.
Chelsea Schnyer’s a bartender who shops at the chain for her bar on wheels
Cranberry juice is a popular cocktail ingredient
Schnyer grabs this Ocean Spray cranberry juice from Costco to make cocktails and mocktails, like the Tropical Vodka Cran.
A pack of two 96-ounce bottles costs about $8.
This shopper always picks up limes at Costco
Limes are a common ingredient in many cocktails, from the base of a margarita to the garnish on a Long Island iced tea.
So Schnyer makes sure to grab at least three of these bags each trip.
A bag of 20 medium-sized limes sells for $5.
These infused ice cubes are a fun drink addition
These Herb and Lou’s infused ice cubes are the perfect addition to an old fashioned that won’t water it down.
A box of 12 costs $15.
Read Chelsea Schnyer’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a bartender who shops at Costco. Here are 12 things I always buy for my bar on wheels.
Solo shopper Savannah J. Frierson aims to spend under $50 on each Costco run
These affordable croissants are massive and tasty
Frierson said these croissants may have been the reason she got a Costco membership in the first place.
They’re massive, fluffy, and buttery, making for a great breakfast or sandwich base.
This 12-pack of pastries costs just $5.
Make dinner easy with these stuffed bell peppers
Costco sells stuffed peppers for $4.29 a pound.
Simply pop these in the oven and serve alongside dinner rolls for an easy weeknight meal.
Kirkland’s thick-sliced bacon sells for a fair price and lasts a while
At just $13.59, this pack of bacon is separated into two 1 1/2- pound portions, so you can freeze one while you use the other.
Fry up a few strips to serve alongside eggs or add a few pieces to a tasty BLT.
Read Savannah J. Frierson’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a solo shopper at Costco who tries to stick to a $50 budget. Here are 14 things I love to buy.
Gabriella Sorrento lost 40 pounds with the help of these Costco swaps
Plaintain chips are an easy snack
Sorrento said that instead of cutting out snacks on her
journey, she found ones that work with her lifestyle, like Barnana’s organic plantain chips.
They’re both salty and crunchy.
For a versatile spread, snag Good Foods’ avocado dip
Packed with healthy fats, this avocado dip is great for snacking or adding to a sandwich.
It pairs well with tortilla chips or veggies for dunking.
Siete’s tortilla chips are grain-free and tasty
This grain-free swap for normal tortilla chips is made with just cassava flour, avocado oil, coconut flour, chia seeds, and salt.
You can pair it with salsa or guacamole for an easy and delicious snack.
Read Gabriella Sorrento’s full Costco shopping list: I lost 40 pounds. Here are 12 Costco products that helped me lose the weight and keep it off.
Elizabeth Blasi also lost 40 pounds by following the keto diet
Kirkland’s almond flour is a keto staple
You can grab a 3-pound bag of almond flour for $11.59.
Blasi wrote that the ingredient was one of the reasons she was able to “sustain a strict
for an extended period.”
It’s versatile and can be used as a flour substitute in baking or as breading in savory dishes.
Blasi uses coconut oil in a lot of her cooking
The keto diet is chock-full of healthy fats, so coconut oil is a helpful staple to cook with since it has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
She said she’d use the ingredient to make fat bombs, which both increase your macros and satisfy a sweet tooth.
Canned chicken is versatile and high in protein
Chicken is a versatile source of protein to keep on hand.
Blasi would use it in homemade pizza crust or in “avocado boats.”
Read Elizabeth Blasi’s full Costco shopping list: I lost 40 pounds in a year on the keto diet. Here are my 12 favorite Costco buys that helped me meet my goals.
Alana Al-Hatlani is a baker and her boyfriend is a chef — so they snag several foods from the wholesale chain
Prosciutto is available for a good price at Costco
Al-Hatlani said they often use the salty, cured pork as a replacement for bacon in several meals, like pasta or eggs Benedict.
Although prosciutto can be expensive at other stores, shoppers can snag the meat from the chain in two 6-ounce packs for $11.29.
This shopper likes to snack on Theo’s organic double-chocolate cookie bites
Perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth, these dark-chocolate-covered cookie-dough bites are crunchy and tasty without being overly sugary.
You can snag a 21-ounce bag for $17.40.
Mama Lil’s spicy pickled peppers are a versatile ingredient and offer a kick of flavor
These Hungarian “Goathorn” peppers are soaked in a sweet brine of vinegar, sugar, garlic, maple syrup, fennel seed, and salt.
They’re vinegary but not too salty, making them a great addition to foods like pizza or biscuits.
Read Alana Al-Hatlani’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a professional baker and my boyfriend is a chef. Here are 13 of our favorite things to buy at Costco.