6 Costco Products That Are Better Than Name-Brand

Posted in Deals

You’re either a Costco person or you’re not. If you’re a Costco person, then you know the joy you feel when you walk into the warehouse and sense the massive deals you’re about to get. You marvel at the value of Costco products — all under the Kirkland Signature label — and eagerly stock up on gallons of olive oil and six-packs of USDA Prime ribeye. If you’re not a Costco person, there’s a good chance you don’t feel joy at all. Perhaps you should get that checked out?

The fine folks at Consumer Reports have released a list of ways to spot the best deals at Costco and part of that list shines a light on the Costco products that match up well against their name-brand competition. The next time you head to the Big Box, consider grabbing these Kirkland Signature products instead of their more expensive counterparts.

 

COSTCO PRODUCTS WORTH BUYING

 

Bacon

Do you have a bacon brand that you prefer? I generally go with the bacon at Trader Joe’s, but the Kirkland Signature bacon scored so highly on the Consumer Reports testing that I may be changing my bacon buying soon. CR also notes that it’s roughly $1.50 less per pound than most well-known brands, so you’re saving money AND getting better bacon. Score one for Costco.

 

Batteries

If you always need to have fresh batteries in your TV remote for fear of not being able to change the channel when CSI: Spokane comes on, fear no more. Costco’s AA alkalines are tops according to Consumer Reports: “They were judged excellent overall in our tests and cost just 27 cents per battery.” For a little more than a quarter, you’ll never have to worry that your, ahem, *back massager* will run out of batteries again. If you’re hooked on Duracell, Costco carries those, too, and they’re just a little more than the Kirkland brand.

 

Organic Chicken Stock

The best cooks among us make their own chicken stock, but for those of us who do other important things (like writing lists of Costco products you should buy), there’s pre-made stock. Fans of organics will be happy to know that the Kirkland Signature brand is half the price of its competitors and packs all of the same flavor. It’s $12 for a six-pack of 32oz. cartons, meaning you’re getting your stock on for about six cents an ounce. You’re saving massive bucks on these clucks!

 

Detergent

Tight with Tide? Cool with Cascade? Not anymore. Kirkland Signature versions of both laundry and dishwasher detergent are cheaper than their name-brand competitors. Here’s what Consumer Reports says:

Some Kirkland detergents kept pace in our tests with name-brand detergents that cost two and three times as much. If you use liquid detergent, try the Kirkland Signature Free & Clear, 11 cents per load. It was tough on grass, blood, and ring-around-the-collar in our tests (though not quite as effective overall as the top-rated Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release, 25 cents per load.) The Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Pacs, 15 cents per load, also vanquished all three stains, and it closely rivaled the Tide Pods.

For your dishwasher, the Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs, 9 cents per load, were very good at cleaning items with caked-on and baked-on macaroni and cheese. Compare the Kirkland pacs with our top-rated Cascade Complete ActionPacs, which cost 29 cents per load.

 

Mayonnaise

Kirkland is just as good as Hellmann’s/Best Foods in CR testing and at 60% of the cost, it’s a no-brainer to switch your mayo to the Costco varierty. Sing it with me: “Bring out the Costco and bring out the… other stuff you bought because you saved a ton of money on your mayo purchase.”

 

Prescription Medicine

I’m not entirely sure if Costco labels their prescription medicine as Kirkland Signature or not, but I do know that Costco prescriptions are incredibly cheap. I also know that the Costco Pharmacy is available to EVERYONE, whether you’re a Costco member or not. This site has a price comparison chart between Costco, Walmart, and Target and the Costco drugs are all significantly cheaper. Next time I’m picking up my party pack of deodorants, I’ll have to grab some discount Flonase, too.

What else do you buy at Costco that’s better than the name-brand alternative? I want to hear about your favorite Kirkland Signature products in the comments.

 

Don’t forget to check out Fly&Dine’s Greatest Hits!

 

Original Consumer Reports story here.

Featured Photo:Attribution Some rights reserved by JeepersMedia

Comments

  1. I go to Costco at least twice a week and many times just to check if they have anything new on their shelves. I am totally addicted. BTW, you should watch a documentary from CNBC about Costco. They basically do the shopping for you. They pick the best products available and bring them at the best prices. You don’t need to be comparing brands and labels. They did that for you.

  2. i wish Costco would sell whole bean coffee that isn’t shiny beans. I’ve been told that if the beans are shiny it means they are burnt. But whatever the reason, beans that are oily and shiny clog up my super automatic espresso maker. Fortunately, BJs brand, Berkley and Jenson, are not oily or shiny and are a bargain at only $5.60 per lb. and they produce great coffee!

  3. I love Kirkland baby wipes! Cheaper and not scented or slippery. I love their easy open/close lids too. We also buy most of our meats there! I love their pre portioned entres too.

  4. My husband and I love Kirkland’s turn – superior to Bumble Bee. We also love their olive oil and some of the wines are at a fantastic price per value. We already get 5 of the 6 items mentioned here, which goes for the pharmacy [however, we prefer the thick sliced bacon].

  5. I’ve been a Costco fan for decades, I agree with the raves about the products listed. That said, one must still shop Costco with EXTREME care. Excellent “Kirkland” quality or not, it is cost effective to buy three times the quantity needed for a year? If the volume is necessary, the price is usually excellent, but they do sneak in a few ringers. Perhaps my favorite Costco line is their meat and most seafood; few retail outlets sell USDA Choice beef anymore, while Costco always does. At time and with a very few items, even USDA Prime is available. They do not generally do custom cuts, but over time the time and effort to develop a relationship with the store’s meat manager CAN pay dividends. Perhaps best of all is that generic sense of trust that I feel with Costco. They stand behind everything sold, knowing full well that a very few customers will take advantage of them and abuse the NQA return policy. Thankfully for all, the genuine abusers are few and far between. I too have returned a few items, perhaps one every 3-4 years. I’ve never had a quibble about anything. I think it a crying shame that Costco and AMEX were not able to extend their co-branded credit card agreement beyond March, 2016. (I do not know the details, but given the serious bucks at stake, I must conclude that Costco pushed AMEX for more concessions than the card company could swallow. That is only a guess.)

  6. Brief Addendum: That Costco’s pharmacy services are available to all, not just members is a legal requirement. If they could, Costco would certainly exclude non-members. Even if paid at the pharmacy counter, non-members may not purchase OTC medications and similar.

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