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The Best and Worst Things To Buy Generic at Costco

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YvanDube / iStock.com

If you’re a Costco fan, you know the warehouse is packed with all kinds of enticing goodies and household staples at often amazing prices — and that also applies to items under the retailer’s generic brand, Kirkland Signature.

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Costco’s generic brand offers plenty of wonderful products that shoppers claim rival some of the top name brands on the market. And if you check the labels the next time you’re at Costco, you’ll find that many of the Kirkland products you love are actually made by your favorite name brands.

However, while there are some fantastic generic items at Costco you shouldn’t pass up, there are also some that you should skip. Straight from a consumer analyst, here are the generic items you should put in your cart and the ones you should bypass during your next Costco haul.

©Costco

Best: Kirkland Signature Golf Balls

“At sporting goods stores, name-brand golf balls can cost around $50 for a dozen balls. However, at Costco, you can get two dozen golf balls for $35,” said Julie Ramhold with DealNews.com.

“That means you can pay $1.45 or so per golf ball at Costco compared to $4.17 at other stores. Costco’s golf balls are highly rated too — more than 2,000 reviews give them a solid 4.7-star rating.”

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Best: Kirkland Signature Shearling Boots

“These are reminiscent of Ugg boots but are a fraction of the cost,” Ramhold said. “You can expect to pay around $15 for these, and for different styles to be available depending on the season.”

She added, “While they might not be exactly the same, they’re so affordable it’s worth trying them out to see if they will satisfy your needs for cozy boots. And if they won’t, it’ll be good for trying out shearling-lined shoes to see if they’re too hot to wear in your local climate.”

©Costco

Best: Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup

“Authentic maple syrup can get really pricey and to be fair, at Costco it’ll set you back around $14 or so for 33.8 ounces,” said Ramhold. “But it’s a far better price per ounce than what you’ll pay in other grocery stores, and it’s Grade A and organic, so it ticks a lot of boxes for much less.”

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Best: Kirkland Signature Chocolate Chunk Cookies

“If you’ve had the cookies from the Costco bakery, you know how good they are; but what’s even better is that you can buy the frozen cookie dough in ready-to-bake form from the retailer,” Ramhold said.

“You can get 120 cookies for around $25, which equates to 21 cents per cookie and you can order them online. As long as you have the room to store the cookie dough, this is a great item to keep on hand for when you want freshly baked cookies.”

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Best: Kirkland Signature Butter

“If you’d rather do your baking from scratch, don’t skip the Kirkland Signature butter,” Ramhold advised.

“You can get salted or unsalted sweet cream butter in four 1-pound packages for around $17. It might not be the cheapest butter, but it’s high quality, Kosher, Grade AA, and produced without artificial growth hormones. Generally one of these 4-packs will get me through an entire holiday baking season, which means I don’t have to worry about making another trip to buy more ingredients in the holiday chaos.”

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Worst: Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Ground Coffee

“I’m a huge believer in grinding coffee fresh, but honestly, even if you prefer your coffee already ground, Costco has much better varieties than the bag of medium roast,” said Ramhold.

“It’s $15 for 40 ounces and while it’s fine for what it is, Costco has many other varieties of coffee to choose from that taste far better in my opinion.”

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Worst: Kirkland Signature Canola Oil

“The price for the oil is great, but unless you have plans for it, skip this one,” Ramhold said. “You’ll pay roughly $16 for six quarts overall, so if you aren’t going to use it fast enough, there’s a good chance it’ll go off before you can use it and then you’ll have to toss out the rest.”

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Worst: Kirkland Signature Fine Ground Black Pepper

“This is one of those products that can be handy to have around, but the truth is it’s already ground so it can lose its potency over time, which means you have to use more in an effort to try to get the same level of flavor,” Ramhold said.

“Instead, opt for the whole black peppercorns at Costco, and grind them as you need to use them to get the freshest flavor.”

Worst: Kirkland Signature Seasonings

“As for other seasonings, those are probably things you shouldn’t buy in bulk quantities either,” said Ramhold. “Like the pepper, if you aren’t planning to use it up quickly or in huge amounts, there’s a chance it’ll lose its potency over time and you’ll end up with stale spices that don’t give you the flavor you’re looking for.”

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