If You’re Not Buying These 10 Things At Costco, You’re Throwing Away Money

Costo Reports 15 Fall In Quarterly Profits
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Costco has long held the nickname of “The $100 Store” because it can be so easy to get caught up in all of the bulk bargains and walk out a hundred bucks lighter. But, if you planned to spend this amount and went home with items that will truly save you cash over time, then you just beat the system!

There are some amazing steals to be had at this members-only warehouse club. When you know what to look for, you can load up on deals that will stretch your budget for months to come. If you’re never sure what to buy and what to skip at this big-box store, let these 10 great deals be your starting point for saving big at Costco.

1. Sheet Cakes

Whether you are planning a birthday party or need a treat for an office celebration, you cannot go wrong with a Costco bakery cake. Not only can you grab a filled, decorated half-sheet cake (that’s 48 slices!) for about $18 (comparable to the price of a quarter-sheet at the neighborhood grocery store), but these bakery confections are delectable as well.

Flickr | Samdogs

2. Vanilla Extract

You can find cheap bottles of imitation vanilla extract everywhere, but once you use the real stuff—pricey as it may be—there’s no going back. Costco’s signature brand is about one-third of the price per ounce of Walmart’s cheapest option. You do have to buy a 16-ounce bottle, but pure vanilla almost never goes bad, so even if you don’t bake a bunch, it’s a super buy.

Flickr | Bill HR

3. Spices And Seasonings

Whether you are a from-scratch kind of cook or you prefer seasoning mixes in pre-measured packets, you can pocket some serious savings on flavorful additions, such as McCormick Taco Seasoning, which costs less than a penny an ounce. According to the Ohio State University Extension, spices stored in airtight containers in cool, dry places are good for up to two years, giving you time to use up those bulk-size containers.

Flickr | WordRidden

4. Bacon

What’s breakfast—or a cheeseburger, or a salad for that matter—without some delicious, crispy bacon? Not only is the Kirkland brand seriously less expensive than most name brand strips of tastiness (about $11 for four, one-pound packs), but it has even earned an excellent rating from Consumer Reports.

Flickr | smith_cl9

5. Eyeglasses

Sure, you can stock your pantry with great buys from Costco, but don’t overlook their other departments. You can acquire a new pair of prescription glasses at Costco for hundreds less than you would pay at an optometrist’s office. The prices at Costco are even less than what you’d typically find online, plus you get the added benefit of having them fitted.

Flickr | marcusrg

6. Construction Paper

If you have kids, you know that there always seems to be a need for various colors of construction paper. Along with loads of other praiseworthy deals on school supplies, you can snag a massive pack of assorted construction paper for about a penny a sheet.

Flickr | Sarabbit

7. Allergy Meds

Taking over-the-counter allergy medicine such as Zyrtec can mean the difference between a productive day and phoning it in, but those little pills can be pricey. Not only does Costco offer deep discounts on name-brand medicines, but you can also grab great buys on the retailer’s Kirkland Signature versions. There’s no difference between the antihistamine used in the Costco brand versus the name-brand allergy pills.

Flickr | JeepersMedia

8. Gift Cards

When you’re shopping for the perfect present, you can’t go wrong with gift cards and Costco has them at discounted prices (that means free money!). You can save cash on gift cards at restaurants, movie theaters and even travel destinations. Give them away or keep them for yourself and find gift card hacks to make them go even further.

Flickr | 401(K) 2013

9. Batteries

Who doesn’t constantly need two or three fresh double-As? You can stash some serious cash when you buy Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand of batteries. If you are a brand-name battery snob, listen up. In a recent interview, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek shared that Duracell makes Kirkland Signature batteries.

Flickr | Razor512

 10. Snack Bar Fare

All that shopping can make you build up quite an appetite, so before you head out those big warehouse doors, be sure to stop at the food court. The whole family can indulge in some filling fare without spending a huge wad of cash. Whether you dive in to a chicken bake, down a ginormous slice of pizza or devour a super-sized hot dog (only $1.50, including a drink!) you will leave satisfied.

Flickr | rapidtravelchai

RELATED: Costco And Sam’s Club Go Head To Head—And The Winner Is…

There are certainly loads of other items you can save big on at Costco, but these winners top our list. What is your favorite way to save at the membership warehouse giant?

About the Author

Tricia Goss

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator. More.

More to explore