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.





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.



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!



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.



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




  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. it’s NOT cheaper, BUT Kirkland brand of albacore tuna fish is the highest quality tuna I have ever seen.

  3. 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!

    • there’s a point in the roasting where the oils is released and comes to the surface.
      right before that point is better, but poorer quality coffees (mass produced) either have little flavor and need to get a caramel one from roastering or they have bad flavors that need to get roasted out. Starbucks over roasts to make all their coffee taste the same.
      i wish CostCo would carry light roasted floral coffees the kind you can get at WF, but they probably can get enough quantity to do so.
      for that reason, i believe, i’ve never found any GOOD coffee at Costco — with Dunkin’ Donuts being the least worst as their roast is lighter but unfortunately their beans aren’t very flavorful.

  4. Question- Does the Costco pharmacy still participate with insurance plans?

    The Kirkland beer isnt bad either!!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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].

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. I love Costco. Been a member for years and have never been disappointed. Love the pot pies that they make. Just wish they would bring the margarita pizza back.

  10. Kirkland Bacon Bits are hands down the best! They are soft and come in a huge bag. You get so much more for your money vs the grocery stores itty bitty bags.

  11. Kirkland Mayonnaise is not even close to Best Foods/Hellmans.

    Try them side-by-side. You’ll notice the Kirkland mayo has much more “bitterness” to it. So, it’s great if you mix it with something.

    But if using it in an aioli, or as a singular condiment, Best Foods is far better….

  12. https://www.costco.com/Jose%e2%80%99s-100%25-Organic-Mayan-Coffee-2.5-lb%2c-2-pack.product.100123756.html Love this coffee, it’s only $8.76 or something like that in the store per bag. It’s not too oily, and does not clog up my grinder at all. Their facial wipes/make up remover wipes are great too. Nice and big, and very thick and soft. And the scent is great too. https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature-Micellar-Daily-Facial-Cleansing-Towelettes—180-count.product.100414916.html Recently started using the liquid laundry detergent in the orange bottle, and absolutely love it. Wondering why it took me so long to try it. And my dog loves their Kirkland brand beef and sweet potato dry dog food, and it’s grain free as well.

  13. Please also give credit to all Costco’s great employees who are friendly kind and caring people who always help you with a smile, it make shopping at Costco a much nicer experience for everyone.

  14. You can get a 60 count pack of AA Rayovac batteries at Lowes for $20, and I have found this to be a far more superior deal than the Costco batteries.

  15. Costco’s organic soy-milk is the best tasting, and at a buck a quart, about 1/2 price of other brands that I don’t like as well.
    Their organic peanut butter is also a great deal, compared to other organic real peanut butters. Sure you can get hydrogenated peanut flavored corn syrup for less, but why?
    Those two lb. bricks of not great cheddar cheese are a bargain for shredding and using in cooking. I would not serve it with crackers or in a sandwich.
    Been feeding my cats Kirkland dry cat food for decades. They have all thrived on it. The ingredients are as good as the supposedly premium brands, but at a significant discount.
    Dry dog food also beats the name brands. Read the labels and do your research.
    FOOD COURT! Nuff said.

  16. Kirkland’s performance is fantastic; my husband and I even prefer it to Bumble Bee’s. The olive oil is amazing, and the wines are a great value for the money. Five out of the six things listed here are available to us already, so that’s a win for the drugstore [though we do prefer the thick-sliced bacon].

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