The Best Things You Aren’t Buying at Costco, According to Our Readers

(Image credit: Mike Mozart)cc by 2.0

While Costco stocks less items than the average supermarket (just 4,000 compared to 40,000), the warehouse store still carries a lot of products. Because it’s basically impossible to be intimately familiar with everything they sell, we ran a crowd-sourcing mission: We asked you guys on Facebook for the best Costco items that most people don’t know about. You know, beyond the store’s iconic rotisserie chickens and giant teddy bears.

Here are the most brilliant nominations.

1. Frozen, parbaked baguettes

If there’s one piece of advice we give again and again when it comes to supermarkets it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the employees for things. This tip is further proof.

“Each store receives their baguettes parbaked and frozen. They finish baking them in store before they put them out. I always go to the bakery and ask for frozen parbaked baguettes. They bag them, price them per normal, and even give me the baking instructions. Whenever I want fresh baguette, I pop one in the oven and viola! Fresh hot baguette in 15 minutes.”

(Image credit: Anna Goldfarb)

We’ve written about these Aussie Bites before. They’re moist and full of nuts, grains, seeds, and dried fruits — and they actually taste good.

“AUSSIE BITES!! Best healthy fast DELICIOUS snack!! And their Suja cold pressed green juice. But not very tasty together … ”

(Image credit: Costco)

Why are we talking about shampoo on a food site? For two reasons: You can buy it at Costco, which to us is basically a grocery store, and people who are gluten-free really love this stuff.

“The Kirkland shampoo. It’s sulfate-, gluten-. and paraben-free, and in every way is the same shampoo/conditioner as the Pureology line. Save yourselves major $ because it’s only $9 for a HUGE bottle.

And for those of you asking why shampoo needs to be gluten-free, some people are so intolerant the gluten will inflame their scalps. I have severe psoriasis and this shampoo/conditioner set keeps my scalp balanced. It also works wonders on my mixed child’s hair.”

(Image credit: Costco)

4. Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna, $15 for eight (7-ounce) cans

If you ask us, canned tuna can be as versatile as a chicken breast — especially good tuna.

“Their solid white albacore. Just add lemon pepper and mayo. I use McCormick’s mayo with lime (made in Mexico) but not sold at Costco.”

5. All the cakes

People love a Costco cake. (And the pumpkin pie, but we’ll get to that closer to Thanksgiving.)

“Omg they sell this seven-layer double chocolate cake that’s to die for!”

“Birthday cakes with cheesecake filling for $17!!!”

6. Pizza to go

The next time you’re hosting people for Sunday afternoon football or just don’t know what to make for dinner, consider treating Costco’s cafe like your local pizza joint. If you just need a little snack, people also love their hot dogs — but you probably knew that already.

“I love their pizza. You can call it in from inside the store or just order it outside. Love getting them for parties.”

(Image credit: Costco)

7. Towels

Our sister site, Apartment Therapy, once sang the praises over the Jennifer Adams towel set ($70 for a six-piece set) and readers totally agreed. They no longer seem to be available online, but maybe your local store still has them? If not, consider other brands while you’re in the store.

“Their bath towels are amazing!”

8. Alcohol

Throwing a party or just looking to stock your home bar? Check Costco for good inexpensive wine, quality vodka, and super-smooth tequila. The best part? Depending on your state’s laws, you might not have to be a member in order to buy the booze.

“You do not have to be a member to buy alcohol or pick up prescriptions or to see the optician. They may or may not take your credit card if you are not a member so call that location ahead of your visit to find out what payment they will accept from a non-member.”

9. Poke

You know poke has gone mainstream if it’s popping up in Costco. Does your store have a poke option?

“Our Costco carries yummy poke for a very good price! Not sure if that’s a regional thing or not (we’re in Oregon). Located next to the rotisserie chickens.”

10. Anything online

A lot of people get turned off by the membership fee at Costco, but many people don’t realize that you can shop online without being a member.

“Costco Online is the best. You don’t have to be a member to buy online but they do add a tiny surcharge for non-members. But the shipping is free.”

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