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There are five Costco locations well within driving distance of my house — a factor that may have come into play before signing on the dotted line. When it is as easy to swing by Costco as it is to visit other grocery stores, it’s no surprise that I rely on the warehouse for the bulk of my grocery shopping. You might not have the time (or desire) to spend as much time in Costco as I do, so I’ve done the hard work of finding the best groceries to buy at Costco.
Of the thousands of products that Costco stocks on its shelves, I’ve narrowed my list down to just 25 items. These tried-and-true groceries are taste-tested, editor-approved, and perennially on my personal shopping list. Here are the 25 best groceries to pick up on your next Costco run.
1. Rao’s Marinara Sauce, $11.89 for 2 (28-ounce) jars
The flavor of this pasta sauce is the closest to homemade of any jarred marinara we have tried — that’s why it’s been a favorite of Kitchn editors for years. Rao’s has taken the top spot in Kitchn Essentials and was the winner of our canned and jarred tomato taste test. Despite the accolades, I’ll admit to being a late adopter, thanks to the steep price tag of $9 to $10 for a single jar.
Then several years ago we spotted a pair of familiar jars at Costco (in a slightly larger size, of course). By shopping at Costco I can get two jars for the same price that I’d seen for a single jar at my neighborhood grocer. Needless to say, I haven’t been without the sauce since.
2. Garofalo Organic Pasta Variety Pack $10.79 for 6 (1.1-pound) packages
I buy all of my staple ingredients at Costco — including pasta. The Garofalo Organic Pasta Variety Pack is the best pasta you can buy at the warehouse. There are two bags each of Casarecce, Penne Ziti Rigate, and Gemelli, and each pack contains slightly more pasta than you would get at your local grocer (17.6 ounces versus 16 ounces). The pasta is imported from Italy and made of 100% durum wheat semolina flour, giving it the texture and chew I’m looking for when making eggplant Parm pesto, smoky mozzarella pasta and meatball bake, or Philly cheesesteak pasta skillet.
3. Kirkland Signature 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $17.49 for 2 liters
Chef, author, and Netflix star Samin Nosrat shocked us all when she revealed how much she loves the Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Costco. Not only is this an affordable option for high-quality imported olive oil, but it also tastes great. The flavor is buttery and slightly green, making it a good choice for salad dressings, marinades, and everyday cooking.
4. Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves, $9.99 for 36 ounces
If you look forward to the release of Bonne Maman’s Advent Calendar all year long, this Costco pick is for you. Bonne Maman’s Four Fruits Preserves are made from cherries, red currants, raspberries, and strawberries. Because this is Costco, the ruby-red preserves are packaged with the signature checkered lid in an extra-large jar. That means there are enough preserves for your morning slice of toast, easy appetizers, and fruit-filled cookies.
5. Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, $7.99 for 8 (14.5-ounce) cans
6. Pure Vanilla Extract, $11.99 for 16 ounces
The price and quality of vanilla extracts can vary widely, so it is difficult to know which bottle to buy. Costco’s Pure Vanilla Extract won our taste test for best budget vanilla extract. With a rich caramel and floral aromas, this vanilla extract is an excellent choice for everyday baking. I recommend buying a bottle to have on hand for vanilla wafers, blueberry buckle, or Hawaiian butter mochi.
7. Kirkland Signature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, $9.99 for 4.5 pounds
8. Kirkland Signature Organic Maple Syrup, $12.99 for 1 liter
9. Morning Summit Cereal, $13.49 for 38 ounces
I taste tested every cereal Costco carries, and Morning Summit is the one I want to wake up to. The cereal is the most delightful marriage of hearty flake cereal and satisfying granola with whole almonds, dried cherries and cranberries, pumpkin seeds, granola clusters, and crunchy flakes.
10. Sanders Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, $10.99 for 36 ounces
Believe the Redditors when they say that Costco sells the best caramel candy. These two-bite buttery caramels are covered in dark chocolate with a touch of crunchy sea salt. While they make the perfect holiday gift and Valentine’s treat, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion because Costco carries these caramels all year long.
11. Schwartz Brothers Bakery Everything Bagel Chips, $8.49 for 15 ounces
These bite-sized bagel chips are seasoned with everything bagel seasoning, and will completely replace your standard snacking cracker. Eat them straight from the package, serve with mild creamy cheeses, or use them as a topping for soups and salads.
12. King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, $6.69 for 32 rolls
13. Mini Cakes, $9.99 for 6 cakes
14. Rosemary Parmesan Bread, $7.99 for 2 (1-pound) loaves
15. Cheesecake, $16.99 for 4.5 pounds
This is the cheesecake that fooled a group of our taste testers into thinking it was homemade. Costco’s bakery makes the most luxuriously creamy cheesecake with a sour cream topping, all baked in a perfectly crisp graham cracker crust. While it does weigh in at a whopping four and a half pounds, it’s perfect for parties and also freezes well.
16. Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend, $14.99 for 4 pounds
Costco’s frozen fruit section is filled with variety, and the best bag of the bunch is the three-berry blend. This mixture of frozen blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries never lasts long in my freezer (despite its hefty size) because I reach for it all day long. The trio of sweet fruits is perfect for smoothies and sangria, trifles and tarts, and more.
17. Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks, $17.99 for 4 pounds
18. Kirkland Signature Italian-Style Beef Meatballs, $19.99 for 6 pounds
If you’re looking for a match to the meatballs your grandma used to make, try Kirkland Signature’s frozen Italian-style meatballs. These well-seasoned have a texture close to homemade, and are one of the best dinner shortcuts money can buy. Use them in quick meatball subs, serve over spaghetti, and or bake on a sheet pan with gnocchi and giardiniera.
19. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter, $14.49 for 2 pounds
Every other butter pales in comparison to Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (literally). This butter has a golden hue and rich, buttery flavor. I can’t imagine serving a basket of biscuits without a stick on the table. Costco carries both the unsalted and salted versions of this butter, and because the price at Costco is much lower than at my neighborhood grocery store ($0.67 per ounce at my local store, versus just $0.45 at Costco), I make sure to pick up a package whenever I’m shopping.
20. Kirkland Signature Organic Large Brown Eggs, $6.89 for 24 eggs
The price of eggs has been headline news this year. While that may have meant fewer frittatas in 2023 for some, I’ve been able to keep on cracking, thanks to Costco. Every week or two my family of four stocks up on organic, cage-free large eggs at Costco (although the warehouse also stocks conventional options as well).
True to Costco’s M.O., it sells these eggs in cartons of two-dozen eggs, so while the $7.89 price tag may seem high at first glance, these eggs are $3.95 per dozen. And it’s not just at my local warehouse; we recently compared the price of eggs at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s and Costco came out as the most affordable option.
21. Daisy Sour Cream, $5.29 for 3 pounds
22. Kirkland Signature Sharp Cheddar Cheese, $6.39 for 2 pounds
Buying a two-pound block of cheddar cheese from Costco saves money and delivers even more delicious dinners. Use the shredding blade of your food processor to shred a portion of the block so you can make grilled cheese, quesadillas, and casseroles at a moment’s notice. Save the rest of the cheddar for slicing and snacking.
23. Kirkland Signature Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, $5.99 per pound (5 to 6 pounds per package)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the backbone of so many weeknight meals. So while fresh chicken might not be stored in my pantry, I still consider it a staple ingredient ideal for buying in bulk. Costco’s chicken breasts are sold in pre-portioned saddle-packs that make it easy to freeze and thaw smaller portions without the messy work of weighing and packaging each individual breast.
Costco also sells a variety of budget-friendly chicken options: its famous rotisserie chicken and organic or conventional chicken thighs, chicken wings, and whole chickens. There’s an option for everyone.
24. Dawn Platinum Dish Soap, $11.99 for 90-ounces
We tested dozens of brands of dish soap and Dawn came out on top. Costco sells Dawn Platinum dish soap, which is even better than the original for cleaning greasy dishes and cookware with stubbornly stuck-on food. Plus, Dawn’s uses go beyond the sink. You can use the long-lasting suds to clean grill grates, make your tires shine, and even keep pests out of the garden.
25. Kirkland Signature Fragrance Free Baby Wipes, $19.99 for 900 wipes
As the mom of two kids, I know that there are no better baby wipes than Kirkland Signature. These hypoallergenic and fragrance-free wipes are soft and gentle on the skin, yet strong enough that they won’t tear. While my little ones are way past the baby stage, I still stock up on these wipes for everyday use. Keep a pack of wipes in the car to clean sticky fingers and in the bathroom as an easy make-up remover. They’re also great for dusting houseplants and cleaning baseboards.
Did your Costco staples make the list? Sound off in the comments below.