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Costco’s marketing has successfully convinced us all that everything is cheaper inside those warehouse walls. But as smart shoppers, we know we have to be savvier than that and do a few price comparisons. While not everything at the warehouse is a smart buy, there are many, many things that are arguably cheaper at Costco.
I’m going to show you all the best deals at Costco so you can justify that membership fee. Basically, these are the deals that keep me paying for my Costco membership fee year after year.
Best Deals at Costco (To Justify Your Membership Fee):
1. Pure organic maple syrup at Costco is so cheap that I never buy it anywhere else.
Buying pure organic maple syrup is always going to be more expensive than standard syrup, no matter what store you shop. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend an arm and a leg for the organic stuff. Coupons for pure organic maple syrup are few and far between, making deals very rare.
Bottom line? No other competitor comes close to Costco’s prices for organic syrup, so I always buy my pure organic maple syrup there. It’s 44% cheaper than Walmart’s organic maple syrup.
- Costco: Kirkland Pure Organic Maple Syrup, 33.8 ounces, reg. price $14.99, or $0.44 an ounce
- Walmart: Maple Grove Farms Organic Pure Maple Syrup, 8.5 ounces, reg. price $6.82, or $0.80 an ounce
2. Cooked Costco chickens are $1.43 less per pound compared to Walmart’s chicken.
Costco has made an effort to highly publicize their decision to keep chicken prices at $4.99 in order to get you in the door. Costco has kept the price of their rotisserie chickens at $4.99 ever since 2009, even as inflation continues to make grocery prices rise. The company even built a $450 million poultry complex in Nebraska to keep their chicken prices so low.
Not only are you getting a better price for your chicken at Costco compared to Walmart, but the Costco option tastes great, too. And you’ll even pay a little less if you buy them cold ($3.99). Here’s why rotisserie chicken is one of the best things to buy at Costco:
- Costco: Rotisserie Chicken, reg. price $4.99, or $1.66 a pound
- Walmart: Rotisserie Chicken, reg. price: $6.97, or $3.09 a pound
Related: We compared seven grocery store delis to find out who has the best rotisserie chicken.
3. Bake ’til your heart desires with Active Dry Yeast priced 80% cheaper than Walmart.
I know what you’re thinking … who needs 32 ounces of yeast? Well, when it’s 80% cheaper than what you can buy it for at Walmart, I’ll find a way to use it all!
Buying in bulk isn’t always the best option for everyone, but it’s definitely more cost-effective to go with Costco if you need a lot of yeast. But if you only need a small amount and don’t want to buy in bulk, Walmart might be the better option.
- Costco: Red Star Active Dry Yeast, 32 ounces, reg. price $8.99, or $0.28 an ounce
- Walmart: Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast, 4-ounce, reg. price $5.48, or $1.37 an ounce
4. Save 75% on vanilla extract at Costco versus Walmart.
Don’t forget to grab some vanilla extract for all that baking you’re planning to do! And if you want to save some cash, make sure you head to Costco for it. They’ve got pure vanilla extract for almost 75% cheaper compared to Walmart’s price.
- Costco: Pure Vanilla Extract, 16-ounces, reg. price $16.99, or $1.06 an ounce
- Walmart: McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract, 2 ounces, reg. price $8.12, or $4.06 an ounce
5. Bulk spices, like sea salt, are priced less at Costco than at other stores.
Spices are one of the best deals at Costco — I often buy ranch seasoning, steak seasoning, ground pepper, sea salt, and cinnamon at Costco for much cheaper than I can get at other stores.
I do frequently see low-value McCormick coupons (like for $0.50 off) that help bring Walmart’s prices down. But even still, the cost per ounce at Costco is much cheaper.
- Costco: Kirkland Pure Sea Salt, Fine Grain, 30 ounces, reg. price $4.19, or $0.14 an ounce
- Walmart: Morton Sea Salt, Fine, 4.4 ounces, reg. price $1.27, or $0.29 an ounce
- Costco: Hidden Valley Ranch Homestyle Seasoning, reg. price $12.99, or $0.65 an ounce
- Walmart: Hidden Valley Gluten Free Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix, 1 ounce, reg. price $1.88, or $1.88 an ounce
Related: Here are 13 Sam’s Club seasoning finds you shouldn’t pass up.
6. Costco sells Nutella so cheap, I can save one jar just for myself.
Nutella is 27% cheaper at Costco compared to the next lowest retailer price we could find. And if your family eats Nutella like mine does … having a 2-pack is worth it.
We do occasionally see Nutella coupons that can drop competitors’ prices even lower. And since we can’t use manufacturer coupons at Costco, sometimes we beat the Costco price by using our coupon at another retailer like Walmart.
- Costco: Nutella Hazelnut Spread, 2-Pack, 33.5 ounces each, reg. price $16.99, or $0.25 an ounce
- Walmart: Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, 26.5 ounces, reg. price $7.62, or $0.29 an ounce
7. Score almond butter that’s cheaper and tastes better than name brands.
I’m picky about almond butter, but since I’m also picky about getting a good deal, I’ve searched all over for a brand that’s both reasonably priced and tastes good.
Since almond butter coupons are rare, I usually end up paying the regular price. But Costco has the best taste and best price, hands down. Plus, you can save 25% when you grab it at Costco instead of Walmart.
- Costco: Kirkland Signature Organic Creamy Almond Butter, 27 ounces, reg. price $7.99, or $0.30 an ounce
- Walmart: Sam’s Choice Honey Almond Butter, 12 ounces, reg. price $4.98, or $0.41 an ounce
8. Get organic walnuts for less than you’d pay for non-organic on Amazon.
Costco’s organic walnuts are cheaper than Amazon’s non-organic options. Plan to save 50% when you buy your walnuts at Costco. Plus, you’re getting organic!
- Costco: Kirkland Organic Raw Walnuts, 3 pounds, reg. price $8.99, or $0.19 an ounce
- Amazon: I’m a Nut Raw Walnut Halves, 2.75 pounds, reg. price $17.95, or $0.41 per ounce
9. Costco has a lower price than Walmart for Excedrin migraine caplets.
If you’re someone who gets headaches often, you won’t get one when you see the price of Excedrin at Costco.
- Costco: Excedrin Migraine for Migraine Relief, 300 Caplets, reg. price $21.99, or $0.07 per caplet
- Walmart: Excedrin Migraine Medicine Caplets for Migraine Headache Relief, 100 Count, reg. price $11.88, or $0.12 per caplet
10. Get a Costco half-sheet cake for $25, while other supermarkets sell a smaller one for over $20.
Not gonna lie to you … I keep my Costco membership mainly for the Costco Bakery. Tell me where else you can get half a sheet cake filled with delicious mousse for $24.99. You can’t! My local grocery store sells a quarter sheet cake for more than that if you were to choose a similar filling to the Costco one. And half-sheet cakes at Walmart start at $34.98.
TIP: Prior to 2020, you could just walk into a Costco and grab a half-sheet cake right off the shelf. But now, you’ll need to place your order with the Costco Bakery at least 24 hours in advance.
11. Buy restaurant and gaming gift cards for 20% less than face value.
I’m a huge advocate for buying discounted gift cards whenever possible. It’s probably the most overlooked money-saving strategy out there.
And Costco is one of my favorite places to snatch up future savings with discounted gift cards. Especially gift cards I can use for restaurants and gaming purchases.
Expect to see $100 gift cards for just $79.99 (or lower) at Costco, that’s automatically a minimum of 20% savings. And many times there are additional discounts for members during the holidays.
Check out these sweet deals:
- Domino’s Four Restaurant $25 E-Gift Cards just $79.99 (20% savings)
- IHOP Four Restaurant $25 E-Gift Cards just $79.99 (20% savings)
- Red Lobster Four Restaurant $25 E-Gift Cards just $79.99 (20% savings)
- Xbox $100 Gift Card Digital Download just $89.99 (10% savings)
- Sony PlayStation Four $25 Gift Cards Digital Download just $89.99 (10% savings)
- & more here…
12. The $1.50 hot dog combo at the Costco food court will make you forget how much you just spent.
The hot dog combo is for sure one of the best things to buy at Costco when we’re talking about bang for your buck. Costco hasn’t raised the price of their all-beef hot dog and fountain drink combo in 30 years. And when you see how big the hot dog is, you’ll see how much value you’re getting!
Related: We can teach you our very best Costco food court tips and tricks.