costco/walmart/target
Cheapism

34 Surprisingly Good Costco, Walmart, and Target Products

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costco/walmart/target
Cheapism

Store-Brand and Solid

Most savvy shoppers know that certain store-brand foods are just as good as pricier name-brand versions, but what about other products? We've examined expert and consumer feedback on a range of household essentials, from paper towels and plastic wrap to leggings and sheets, to see if the same holds true outside the grocery aisles at Costco, Walmart, and Target. We found 34 great buys that won't do you — or your wallet — wrong.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 12 Reasons Why Shoppers Are Addicted to Costco

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Costco
Ozark Trail Vacuum-Sealed Tumbler
Walmart
Project 62 Round Decorative Brass Wall Mirror
Target

Project 62 Round Decorative Brass Wall Mirror

$60 from Target
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Target has perfected the art of store-brand chic, so it's no surprise that design lovers have gone gaga over a mirror from its Project 62 home-decor line. The on-trend piece has inspired hundreds of happy reviews. As one buyer points out, it's "literally 1/5 the cost of similar mirrors I've found elsewhere."

Related: 14 Secrets for Shopping at Target

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Costco

Kirkland Signature Men's Crewneck T-Shirts

$19 for a 6-pack from Costco
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Costco members declare these T-shirts a great deal for a wardrobe staple. The soft, substantial cotton doesn't disintegrate after many trips through the washer and dryer, despite the cost of only about $3 a shirt. Some buyers say the shirts are a little too long; others like the length because they don't come untucked.

Not a Costco member? Join here.

Made by Design Stainless Steel Cookware, 8-Piece Set
Target

Made by Design Stainless Steel Cookware, 11-Piece Set

$120 from Target
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Believe it or not, this inexpensive cookware from one of Target's newer store-brand labels outperforms an All-Clad set that is five times the price in independent expert testing. In fact, Made by Design's stainless-steel pieces get good reviews across the board from owners, too, who say they're surprisingly sturdy for the price. 

Related: Target Shoppers Love These 50 Highly Rated Items

Great Value Paper Towels
Walmart

Great Value Paper Towels

$15 from Walmart
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Paper towels are not created equal, but that doesn't mean you have to overspend on a name brand. Experts who tested these paper towels gave them above-average marks in all major categories, including absorbency, scrubbing power, and ability to resist tearing when wet.

Related: 14 Hacks and Secrets for Shopping at Walmart

Smartly Summertime Scented Liquid Hand Soap
Target

Smartly Summertime Scented Liquid Hand Soap

$1 from Target
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The bottle says this soap from Target's new Smartly line "smells like summertime," and happy buyers say that's true. They also love the value for the money, noting that you get 10 ounces for the same price as a 7.5-ounce bottle of name-brand Softsoap. "One little bottle lasts me about a month in my busy kitchen," one buyer said.

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Kirkland Signature AA Batteries
Costco

Kirkland Signature AA Batteries

$17 for 48 from Costco
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Of course store-brand batteries are cheaper than other name brands. But are they as good? Happily, expert testing has revealed that Kirkland Signature batteries are just as powerful as Duracell Coppertops (unsurprising, as Duracell actually makes them) so go ahead and save a few bucks.

Prologue Women’s Midi Pencil Skirt
Target

Prologue Women's Midi Pencil Skirt

$23 from Target
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A big-box store may not seem like a destination for workwear staples, but devotees say this pencil skirt from Target's minimalist Prologue fashion line is worth a special trip. They love the high waist and blend of rayon, nylon, and spandex, which they say is comfortable without clinging, flatters and is washable without wrinkling. "Have looked at other pencil skirts from other venues that are much more costly and don't fit nearly as well," one customer said.

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Target

Threshold Fretwork Rug

Starting at $20 from Target
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Over 1,000 reviewers say Target's line of Threshold fretwork rugs offers good design and quality at a low price. They come in different sizes and colors, making it easier to find one that works with your decor. Owners say the nylon fabric is durable for even high-traffic areas such as entryways or living rooms.

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Walmart

Mainstays Huge Pillow

$4 from Walmart
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This almost unbelievably cheap polyester fiberfill pillow gets great reviews from Sleep Like the Dead and Walmart shoppers. Its middle-of-the-road firmness and loft is best suited for back and side sleepers, experts say. Some note that, despite the name, these pillows really aren't "huge" — they fit standard pillowcases just fine.

Tranquility Weighted Throw Blanket
Target

Tranquility Weighted Throw Blanket

$49 from Target
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Weighted blankets have exploded in popularity lately, with devotees saying they help combat anxiety and insomnia. Target has seized on the opportunity to make its own weighted blanket, and at a much friendlier price than other brands. It passes a test by Reviewed.com with flying colors, and owners rave that it provides a comfortable amount of pressure without being too heavy.

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Target

Threshold Performance Sheet Set

Starting at $30 from Target
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You can spend big on sheets, but Target's Threshold Performance 400-thread-count sheet set proves it's not necessary. Testers at The Wirecutter declare these sateen sheets nearly as good as much pricier competitors, and they ace tests of softness, wrinkle resistance, and durability.

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Walmart

Mainstays Format Picture Frames

$8 to $14 from Walmart
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Buyers say Walmart's store-brand frames are the cheapest way to buy frames in bulk for kids' rooms, special events, or large projects such as gallery walls. Although they aren't weighty or expensive-looking, the frames get particular praise for a front-loading design and thin edge, which lets artwork shine.

Related: 11 Cheap Ways to Print and Display Your Photos

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Target

Threshold Waffle Weave Shower Curtain

$25 from Target
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Crisp and white, this shower curtain impressed testers at The Wirecutter with its substantial, durable fabric and metal grommets, which make it easier to hang. Most owners give it high ratings, but a few warn that it might shrink after washing.

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen
Walmart

Equate Sunscreen

$8 from Walmart
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Expert product testers say it's hard to beat Equate sunscreen for the money, and it's one of Cheapism's top picks. It offers effective protection against UVA and UVB rays, and most buyers say it doesn't require constant reapplication, although some complain about a strong scent.

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Target

Up & Up Kids' Sunscreen Sticks

$8 for a twin pack from Target
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If you prefer a sunscreen stick for quick protection, particularly on wiggly kids, Target's Up & Up sunscreen sticks get great marks in consumer product testing for UVA and UVB protection. The SPF 55 sticks are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free for sensitive skin and finicky noses.

Kirkland Signature Golf Balls, 24 Count
Costco
Project 62 Acacia Serving Tray
Target

Project 62 Acacia Serving Tray

$21 from Target
Buy It

This simple round serving tray earns nearly perfect reviews from buyers who use it for everything from plating fruit and cheese to corralling kitchen knickknacks or remote controls and other ottoman clutter. "I was afraid that being made of wood it would be heavy, but it isn't," one buyer said, calling it "Perfect in every way."

Great Value Dishwashing Detergent
Walmart

Great Value Dishwashing Detergent

$4 from Walmart
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Good Housekeeping sings the praises of Great Value dishwashing detergent, saying it's the best-performing powder out there, even at its budget-friendly price. It eliminated hard-water spots handily and cut through baked-on food residue in casserole pans.

Up & Up Ultra Soft Tissues
Target

Up & Up Ultra Soft Tissues

$5 from Target
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Testers at the Good Housekeeping Institute like the thickness and softness of these Up & Up tissues. They're recommended for "strong blowers" because they resist tearing when wet, although testers say they can tear too easily when dry.

Kirkland Signature Aller-Tec Tablets, 365 ct.
Costco

Kirkland Signature Aller-Tec Tablets

$14 from Costco (365 ct.)
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The only thing worse than seasonal sniffles is paying out the nose (pun intended) for them to subside. That's why buyers are so enthusiastic about Costco's allergy tablets, which many say are indistinguishable from Zyrtec. As Consumer Reports notes, there's no reason to overpay for the same active ingredient. 

Related: 23 Health Products and Services That Cost Less at Costco

Great Value Light Bulbs
Walmart

Great Value Light Bulbs

$5 from Walmart (in store only)

Walmart's Great Value 10-watt LED bulbs (equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent) impress CNET editors, who say these are some of the brightest and most affordable bulbs they've tested. They do note that these bulbs are not the best choice for buyers who use dimmers, as they didn't get dim enough and flickered on the lowest settings.

Kirkland Signature Deluxe Oversize Mesh Shopper Tote, 3 ct.
Costco

Kirkland Signature Deluxe Oversize Mesh Shopper

$20 for three from Costco
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Move over, Ikea Frakta: There's a new signature tote in town. Buyers love this generously sized, machine-washable zippered tote for groceries and other bulky items. A gusseted bottom helps it better handle heavy loads, and a foam-padded handle is gentle on hands and shoulders.

Parent's Choice Baby Wipes
Walmart

Parent's Choice Baby Wipes

$13 from Walmart (800 ct.)
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Hundreds of Walmart shoppers say these wipes are a great value for cash-strapped parents, calling them a gentle choice for sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic and alcohol-free, these quilted wipes also have aloe and vitamin E.

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Costco

Kirkland Signature Clear Cutlery

$13 from Costco
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This is the disposable flatware to keep on hand for your next big bash, according to The Wirecutter. Why? The utensils are easier to hold and much stronger than most of the competition. The cutlery comes in individually wrapped 20-piece packages, so you don't have to dive into the whole box for every occasion.

Kirkland Signature Shampoo
Costco

Kirkland Signature Shampoo

$12 from Costco
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Tough critics at Makeup Alley give Costco's sulfate- and paraben-free Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo high marks, saying it leaves hair soft and manageable with minimal buildup. Some appreciate the extra value Costco's version offers compared with pricier competitors, as you'll get a hefty 34-ounce bottle for the money.

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers
Costco

Kirkland Signature Diapers

Starting at $30 from Costco
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Buyers are passionate about Kirkland diapers, with many saying they beat not only other store brands, but name brands like Huggies and Pampers. Good Housekeeping agrees that they're a top pick, saying they absorb and trap moisture quickly and effectively.

Great Value Strong Flex Trash Bags, 90 ct.
Walmart

Great Value Strong Flex Trash Bags

$10 from Walmart (90 ct.)
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Who knew that a Walmart trash bag could hold its own against the big boys? Reviewed.com finds that these bags are thick, flexible and almost as sturdy as pricier Glad and Hefty bags. They're available in a range of scents for extra odor control (or unscented, if you prefer) and happy buyers say they're definitely good quality for the price.

Women's Mad Love Keava Footbed Sandal
Target

Women's Mad Love Keava Footbed Sandals

$23 from Target
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Target has always been a go-to for "cheap chic" fashion, and its Mad Love Keava Footbed Sandals have all that casual Birkenstock style for a fourth of the price. Like their more expensive inspiration, they have a flexible EVA sole, and owners say they're much comfier than their price would suggest.

Equate Deep Moisturizing Body Wash, 2 ct.
Walmart

Equate Deep Moisturizing Body Wash

$6 from Walmart ( 2 ct.)
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Walmart has some surprisingly good dupes of popular beauty and personal care products, and one of the best is this moisturizing lotion, which reviewers say is creamy, long-lasting, and just as good as name brands like Dove for a much lower price.

Kirkland Signature 680 Thread Count Sheet Set, Queen
Costco

Kirkland Signature 680-Thread-Count Sheet Set

Starting at $60 from Costco
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You might not expect to find high-end sheets in the same store where you buy your toilet paper in bulk, but buyers say Costco's sheets are the real deal. Made from 100% pima cotton, they have more than a high thread count going for them, including wrinkle-resistant technology and specially fitted corners. "They are bright white and beautifully luxurious, but feel light as a feather on and sleep cool," one buyer says in a review.

Related: I Shopped at Costco for the First Time and This Is What I Learned

Made By Design Plastic Mixing Bowl Set
Target

Made by Design Plastic Mixing Bowl Set

$8 from Target
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Has Target made the perfect inexpensive mixing bowls? That's what reviewers say about this nesting set. Each bowl is marked with measurement lines and outfitted with small handles and spouts for easy pouring. Owners especially love the non-skid bottoms that grip countertops.

Kirkland Signature Men's Boxer Briefs, 4 ct.
Costco

Kirkland Signature Men's Boxer Briefs

$14 for four from Costco
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It takes a lot to get a guy enthusiastic about his underwear, which makes the over 4,000 positive reviews of these tagless Kirkland boxer briefs all the more impressive. "My wife bought me a few pairs of $32 boxer briefs which I liked a lot," one buyer says. "Then I tried the Costco version (for one-tenth price) and I really can't tell the difference. These are really great."