Costco has more than 111 million members who shop at the company’s warehouse stores in the United States and abroad, and a countless number of them are lured by the savings offered by the store’s private-label brand, Kirkland Signature.
The Kirkland products reach across the store’s aisles: home and kitchen, clothing, grocery, health and beauty, pet food and supplies, household and cleaning, and diapers and baby supplies. Costco also has a wide selection of Kirkland organic goods.
But is the quality as good as that of rival name brands? Yes, says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com, who shared with GOBankingRates the 10 Kirkland items that are her go-to for both price and quality.
Kirkland Signature Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheeses
Ramhold’s suggestions start with shredded cheese, which she said she keeps on hand to make quick and easy quesadillas.
“You get essentially 5 pounds of shredded cheese for about $18.25, which works out to $3.65 per pound. At other stores, you’re probably paying that much for name-brand pouches that measure 8 to 12 ounces. Plus, this cheese is super melty, which makes the perfect quesadilla, but also is great for adding to mac and cheese, broccoli — honestly whatever you want to add cheese to for a gooey snack or meal.”
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Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Free & Clear Liquid Detergent
Ramhold recommends this detergent, which comes in a mammoth 194-ounce container for about $18.50.
“It’s unscented, which is great for anyone with skin or fragrance sensitivities,” she said. “The price works out to about 9 cents per fluid ounce, which you may be able to find elsewhere on name brands, especially if there’s a sale. But you won’t be able to buy the same amount in one container, which means you have to buy more overall or replace your supply sooner than you’d like.”
Kirkland Signature Fresh Mozzarella
“Get 36 ounces of this incredibly fresh and delicious cheese for $9.39, which is about 26 cents per ounce,” Ramhold said. “Elsewhere, you can expect to pay $4.39 for 8 ounces, which is about 55 cents per ounce. I can personally vouch for the Kirkland Signature fresh mozzarella being delicious with caprese salads as well as tossed into pasta dishes at the very end for a fresh, creamy flavor.”
Kirkland Signature Vanilla Ice Cream
After that pasta dinner comes the ice cream.
“It’s amazing on the Costco bakery apple pie as well as delicious on its own or turned into milkshakes — basically whatever you want to use vanilla ice cream for,” Ramhold said. “Kirkland Signature’s brand is a delicious pick.”
Kirkland Signature Chicken Tortilla Soup
“It comes in two 32-ounce containers for around $11.58 and is one of the best out-of-the-box –so to speak — soups I’ve had,” Ramhold said. “Ordinarily store-bought soups like that, whether refrigerated or in a can, need to be doctored up some, with adding salt, pepper or other spices. But Kirkland Signature is pretty much perfect right out of the fridge. We just heat some in a pot and then have it with a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Ramhold said the Costco soup, at about 18 cents per ounce, is about half the price of other ready-made soups, and “that’s on the low end.”
Kirkland Signature Wildflower Honey
“I can get 5 pounds of this honey for $18.57, which is about $3.71 per pound,” Ramhold said. “Other stores are charging at least $5 per pound and, in many cases, far more; I saw an 8-ounce jar of wildflower honey for $12 at a local store.”
Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Preserves
Ramhold also is a fan of the preserves for sweetening a meal.
“Get a 42-ounce jar for about $9.83 and try not to put it on everything jam-appropriate,” she challenged. “It tastes amazingly fresh, and I’ve used it in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baking projects, toast and oatmeal with zero complaints.”
Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter
Here’s the peanut butter to go with that jelly.
“You’ll get two 28-ounce jars of creamy peanut butter that’s perfect if you’re looking for natural peanut butter as it’s made with dry-roasted organic peanuts and sea salt, and that’s it,” she said. “It works out to about 20 cents per ounce at Costco, while elsewhere you can expect to pay 30 cents per ounce for a similar product. You do have to stir the Costco peanut butter, but I recommend storing the jar upside down to cut down on separation once you stir it initially, as that’ll make it easier every time you open the jar.”
Kirkland Signature Organic Maple Syrup
“This is the only syrup I’ll eat on pancakes and waffles now, and you can get a liter of it for about $14.20,” Ramhold said. “It’s also amazing used to sweeten whipped cream for fall desserts like pumpkin cobblers and apple pies, and it works out to about 42 cents per ounce, whereas elsewhere you may spend around 80 cents per ounce.”
Kirkland Signature Aller-Tec
For allergy sufferers, the Kirkland offering is a go-to product, Ramhold said.
“This is the Costco store-brand of Zyrtec, and it’s one of the most affordable allergy meds I’ve ever seen,” Ramhold said. “A bottle of 365 tablets — that’s a full year’s supply — is around $16, but Costco also puts this item on sale for around $13 during seasonal shifts when allergy symptoms are likely to increase. That’s about 4 cents per pill either way; and, for an entire year’s supply, that’s hard to beat. I can personally vouch that it works just as well as Zyrtec for me but is a fraction of the cost.”
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