25 Surprisingly Good Products From Costco, Walmart, and Target

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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? Cheapism.com examined expert and consumer feedback on a range of household essentials, from detergent and lightbulbs to sheets and jeans, to see if the same holds true outside the grocery aisles at Costco, Walmart, and Target. We found 25 great buys that won't do you -- or your wallet -- wrong.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

GREAT VALUE PAPER TOWELS

Price: $8.50 | Buy them from Walmart
Paper towels are not created equal, but that doesn't mean you have to overspend on a name brand. Consumer product 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

GREAT VALUE LIGHTBULBS

Price: $4 | Buy them from Walmart
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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

GREAT VALUE ALUMINUM FOIL

Price: $5.50 | Buy it from Walmart
Walmart shoppers deem Great Value aluminum foil as good as name brands, such as pricier Reynolds Wrap. The less-expensive foil wraps up leftovers just as adeptly, although it's springier, say testers at The Sweethome.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE TRI-PLY COOKWARE

Price: $140 | Buy it from Costco
High-quality store-brand cookware might seem too good to be true, but Costco's tri-ply stainless steel cookware, available in a 13-piece set, outclassed cookware more than double the price in expert testing by multiple outlets. Although testers praise the set's durability and even cooking, some say they wish there were more sizes available.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

WHITE CLOUD ULTRA TOILET PAPER

Price: $6 | Buy it from Walmart
Can't stand single- or even double-ply toilet paper? This is a triple-ply option that outperformed pricier brands in testing by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute with its superior absorbency and better dissolving abilities. Enthusiastic Walmart shoppers are also pleased, saying it's thick, soft, and strong.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE BATTERIES

Price: $40 | Buy them from Costco
Experts give these AA batteries top marks for longevity and value. They emerged the best supermarket option after several rounds of low-drain testing by BitBox, a U.K. electronics design and manufacturing company.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE MEN'S CREWNECK T-SHIRTS

Price: $19 for a 6-pack | Buy them from Costco
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 to $4 a shirt. Some buyers say the shirts are a little too long; others like the length because they don't come untucked.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

UP & UP DIAPERS

Price: $22 | Buy them from Target
Parents who want to save a few bucks on one of baby's biggest expenses should check out Target's Up & Up brand. These diapers aced Good Housekeeping Institute tests for absorbing liquid quickly and locking it away. They were also a finalist in BabyCenter's annual Moms' Picks awards, earning praise for value and comfort.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

THRESHOLD WAFFLE WEAVE SHOWER CURTAIN

Price: $30 | Buy it from Target
Crisp and white, this shower curtain impressed testers at The Sweethome 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE ULTRA CLEAN DETERGENT

Price: $25 | Buy it from Costco
Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean laundry detergent provides a "rockstar clean for a garage band price," The Sweethome testers say. It can remove tough chocolate and grass stains even more effectively than Tide. Experts report that it also did well removing body oil.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

MAINSTAYS HUGE PILLOW

Price: $4 | Buy it from Walmart
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 stomach sleepers, experts say. Some note that, despite the name, these pillows really aren't "huge" -- they fit standard pillowcases just fine.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

UP & UP ULTRA SOFT TISSUES

Price: $8 | Buy them from Target
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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

THRESHOLD PERFORMANCE SHEET SET

Price: Starting at $30 | Buy it from Target
You can spend big on sheets, but Target's Threshold Performance 400-thread-count sheet set proves it's not necessary. Testers at The Sweethome declare these sateen sheets nearly as good as $200 competitors, and they ace tests of softness, wrinkle resistance, and durability.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

THRESHOLD FLANNEL SHEET SET

Price: Starting at $20 | Buy it from Target
Target cements its domination of budget-friendly bed linens with its beloved Threshold flannel sheets, a cozier choice for cooler weather. Although the sheets shrink a good deal, experts at The Sweethome say they're the softest, warmest inexpensive flannels out there and don't shed too much.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

FADED GLORY JEANS

Price: $10 to $15 | Buy them for men and women from Walmart
Walmart may not spring to mind when it comes to quality clothing, but hundreds of reviewers laud the store's Faded Glory jeans. Although they're far cheaper than other brands, many reviewers say the denim feels just as substantial and the fit is just as good.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

PARENT'S CHOICE BABY WIPES

Price: $13.50 | Buy them from Walmart
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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

FIELDCREST LUXURY BATH TOWELS

Price: $8 | Buy them from Target
Target's Fieldcrest Luxury towels are just as soft and absorbent as pricier options, The Sweethome reports. While not overly fluffy, they hold up well in the dryer and come in more than a dozen colors.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE SHAMPOO

Price: $21
Consumer reviewers give Costco's Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

EQUATE ULTRA PROTECTION SUNSCREEN

Price: $7.50 | Buy it from Walmart
Testers say it's hard to beat Equate sunscreen for the money, and it's one of Cheapism.com'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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

UP & UP KIDS' SUNSCREEN STICKS

Price: $7 for a twin-pack | Buy it from Target
If you prefer a sunscreen stick for quick protection, particularly on wiggly kids, Target's Up & Up sunscreen stick gets 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

GREAT VALUE DISHWASHING DETERGENT

Price: $4 | Buy it from Walmart
Good Housekeeping sings the praises of Great Value dishwashing detergent, calling it "one of the best store-brand cleaning products we've ever tested." It eliminated hard-water spots handily and cut through baked-on food residue in casserole pans.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Walmart.com

MAINSTAYS FORMAT PICTURE FRAMES

Price: $9 | Buy them from Walmart
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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Target.com

THRESHOLD FRETWORK RUG

Price: Starting at $30 | Buy it from Target
Hundreds of reviewers say Target's line of Threshold fretwork rugs offers good design and quality at a low price. They come in five sizes and seven colors, making it easy 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE LEGGINGS

Price: $12 | Buy them from Costco
Few products inspire devotion like Costco's Kirkland leggings, which enthusiastic buyers consider soft and substantial enough to wear during cooler weather. Reviewers say they aren't shiny like athletic leggings and, more important, they aren't see-through like some other budget-friendly leggings.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Costco.com

KIRKLAND SIGNATURE CLEAR CUTLERY

Price: $15 | Buy them from Costco
This is the disposable flatware to keep on hand for your next big bash, according to The Sweethome. 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.