There’s a lot to love about Costco. The one-stop bulk shop has a generous return policy and hands out plenty of yummy samples at its warehouse stores.
Followers also love Costco’s generic label, Kirkland Signature, but many will point out that you’ve got to know when to choose the Kirkland label over name brands.
The following items from the Kirkland Signature line are top-shelf generic products and come with budget-friendly price tags.
1. Infant formula
All infant formulas must meet federal standards, so you can be sure any powder you feed your baby is safe and healthy.
At 57 cents per ounce online, Kirkland Signature ProCare infant formula is one of the most affordable formulas out there — and was ranked No. 1 by Wirecutter. According to the product review site, Costco’s private-label infant formula contains many of the same extra nutrients as formulas that cost two or three times as much.
2. Liquid laundry detergent
Both Consumer Reports and Wirecutter have rated the Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean liquid laundry detergent as the best budget laundry detergent. It costs 14 cents per load, based on Costco’s regular online price. (The price may be even lower at a warehouse.)
Consumer Reports also named the Free & Clear variation the best detergent for baby clothes — and it costs 12 cents per load online.
According to an interview with Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, Kirkland Signature alkaline batteries are actually made by a big name brand — Duracell. And they cost just 29 cents per AA and AAA battery online.
Kirkland Signature gasoline has been certified to meet the Top Tier performance standards, which means it contains special additives to clean your engine and help it run more efficiently. Costco’s fuel is also typically cheaper than its competitors’ and comes in both premium and regular grades.
5. Toilet paper
Toilet paper emerged as one of the hottest commodities of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re looking to get the most out of your money, Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue is a good bet at about 73 cents per roll, based on the online price for a 30-roll package of 2-ply, 380-sheet rolls. (The price may be even lower at a warehouse.)
6. Maple syrup
You can find a deal on this often-expensive product at Costco. The Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup costs just 43 cents per ounce online.
7. Extra virgin olive oil
8. Trash bags
While Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech trash bags weren’t Reviewed.com’s top pick, they performed well, ranking right below brand-name competitor Glad ForceFlex. Costco’s bags were strong enough to hold up to 35 pounds. Their only drawback the site noted: The Flex-Tech drawstrings don’t cinch up as tightly as those of other brands.
9. Organic peanut butter
The Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter contains just two ingredients (dry-roasted peanuts and sea salt) — no preservatives.
Some users have said you can combat the separation and runniness of natural peanut butters like this one by storing the unopened jar upside down — so the oil settles on the “bottom” — and mixing the peanut butter when you’re ready to use it and turn the jar right-side up.