The Best Costco Purchases for Stocking Your Pantry

4 minute read

By Jordana Weiss

If you’ve never been to Costco, it’s easy to understand why this massive retailer seems intimidating. Fortunately, you can prepare for your first trip to the retail giant with an online search right now.

This membership-only warehouse club caters to people who love to buy in bulk. If you’re scraping the bottom of your pantry, check out these amazing purchases which will help restock your pantry at the lowest possible price.

Costco 101

For an annual fee. Costco members enjoy unlimited access to amazing deals on home goods, groceries, appliances, and more. While some people visit Costco on a monthly or even weekly basis, others maximize the impact of less frequent visits by taking advantage of their incredible deals on pantry and kitchen staples.


Nuts, like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, are great sources of protein and fiber. Plus, they are a healthy part of any diet. However, they can easily be one of the most expensive items on your grocery list and get even more expensive when they’re packaged in individual snack packs.

If you snack on nuts on a regular basis, pick up a box of Kirkland Signature Variety Snack Nuts. You’ll get 30 individual packages of dry roasted and salted peanuts, almonds, and cashews for only $19.49. These individual snack packs make it easy to pick out a serving size and will keep their contents fresh much longer than a larger bulk bag.

Maple Syrup

If you regularly enjoy pancakes and French toast or want to enjoy a natural sweetener made without additives, maple syrup needs to be a staple in your home. Unfortunately, maple syrup is extremely costly to produce and often costs between $8 and $12 for one 540mL can.

If you don’t want to turn to cheaper alternatives — which is literally just corn syrup flavored with maple extract — stock up on maple syrup on your next trip to Costco. Their Kirkland Signature organic maple syrup costs only $13.49 for a one-liter jug. It’s cheaper than any other maple syrup on the market and comes with a convenient flip-cap for mess-free pouring.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of those products that’s easy to get in fights over. Some cooks insist on using one particular brand of olive oil for everything, while others have loyalty to several brands depending on what they’re using it for. Then there are cooks that don’t care what they use.

If you want your olive oil to taste good but don’t want to pay a fortune for an artisanal product, Costco offers an incredible deal on this useful culinary building block. They sell a two-pack of three-liter bottles — that’s six liters total — of extra virgin olive oil. It has consistently positive reviews, including Chef Samin Nosrat from Netflix’s Salt Fat Acid Heat who uses it on everything.

Herbs and Spices

Did you know that dried herbs and spices can go bad? Once spices are ground, they immediately begin to lose their flavor — especially if they aren’t stored in airtight containers. One great way to revitalize your cooking is to throw out all the dried spices you’ve had for more than 10 months.

Costco is a great place to stock up on herbs and spices. In fact, they regularly sell leading brands for 50 percent of what you’d find at Walmart or your local supermarket. Just make sure you use them within a few months.

If you want to keep your spices for longer, buy whole spices like peppercorns, cardamom pods, and cumin, then grind them yourself in a spice mill or mortar.

Vanilla Extract

If you love to bake and make sweet treats on a regular basis, you should definitely stock up on vanilla extract at Costco.

It’s an essential ingredient in desserts ranging from meringue to banana bread but can be quite costly to buy at the grocery store. Often, bakers turn to cheaper imitation extracts, which are made with artificial vanillin.

If you want to imbue your baking with authentic vanilla flavor, you’ll need real vanilla extract. Since it’s made with an ethanol base, it will last for years.


Depending on your state liquor laws, you may be able to purchase wine, liquor, and beer at your local Costco. In fact, Costco has its own line of alcoholic beverages under their Kirkland Signature label.

Moreover, many of their offerings are quite competitive in blind taste tests. These products are often produced in the same distilleries as leading brands, then sold under the Costco name. In some states, you don’t even have to be a member to buy alcohol at your local Costco.


Whether you use a small amount on toast every morning or whole blocks in your cooking, butter has a place in almost every kitchen.

If you love the taste of rich, salted Irish butter, but don’t want to pay a premium for Kerrygold butter at the supermarket, buy it in bulk at Costco. You can easily store it in the freezer and bring it out to thaw in the fridge as you need it. It’s delicious and has a much richer flavor than most American butter found at the supermarket today.

Canned Tuna

If you’re often on the go and don’t have time to make a healthy meal, canned tuna is a great resource to have stocked in your pantry. You can eat it straight from the can, on crackers, or make a quick tuna salad using mayo and a few chopped veggies.

If you go through a lot of tuna and want to cut down on your grocery bill, Costco carries dolphin-safe, solid white albacore tuna. With that many cans stocked in the pantry, it’s easy to get your recommended two to three servings of omega-3-rich fish per week.

Peanut Butter

If you don’t want to buy peanut butter that’s full of sugar and artificial additives, you’re probably used to paying a premium for organic, natural peanut butter at the grocery store.

Luckily, Costco carries organic natural peanut butter, which is made with dry roasted peanuts and sea salt. If you can’t live without brand leaders like Skippy or Jif, Costco carries those well.

Jordana Weiss