14 Smart Things for Singles and Couples to Buy From Costco
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

17 Smart Things for Singles and Couples to Buy From Costco

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14 Smart Things for Singles and Couples to Buy From Costco
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

Big Discounts for Small Households

Shopping at Costco and other warehouse stores often seems best for large families and businesses. A package of a dozen giant muffins calls for many mouths, or at least lots of freezer space. But there are Costco purchases that make sense for single people and couples, even after taking the annual membership fee into consideration. Here are some examples of the savings (prices may vary by location and in-store vs. online). We also have 12 Tips for Shopping at Costco If You Live in a Small Home.

Related: 34 Things Not to Buy at Costco, Sam's, or BJ's

Rice
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Clothes
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Clothes

Costco has a reliable supply of clothing staples and sometimes even carries brand names. Price cuts can be deep enough to cover the membership fee in one shopping trip. Sorel boots and other brands that are normally $140 and up at other retailers can sometimes be found for around $80 at Costco. Matty M leggings, a high-end line sold at stores such as Nordstrom, sell for $17 at Costco.

Related: 15 Things to Splurge on at Costco and Sam's Club

Plants
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There's Liquor Too
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Alcohol

Costco's Kirkland Signature brand vodka, gin, whiskey, and other hard liquors cost $15 to $20 less than name brands. Likewise, don't dismiss brands you don't recognize. Insiders say wines and spirits at Costco are pricey remaindered goods from other producers. A bottle that would cost $50 under another label at a liquor or grocery store might average $12 to $16 at Costco. Costco's low profit margins also keep alcohol prices low, regardless of the brand. (If this is the primary draw for you, check state laws, as some allow alcohol purchases at Costco without a membership.)

Related: The Best House Wines From Costco

Gift Cards
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Electronics
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Electronics

Costco is significantly cheaper than conventional retail stores for some TVs, Blu-ray players, and other electronics. When it's time to buy, compare prices and consider putting down the $60 for a membership, which can pay for itself with one big-ticket purchase.

Small Appliances
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Small Appliances

Even with a limited selection, Costco has some impressive deals on small appliances and home goods, including a Dyson Ball Animal Pro+ vacuum for $240 (a price available to members only) compared with almost $450 for a similar model at Walmart. 

Related: The Top Deals at Costco Right Now

Exercise Equipment
Costco
Beauty and Personal Care Products
Costco

Beauty and Personal Care Products

Lotions, hair care products, soaps, toothpaste, and more can all be found at bargain prices in large quantities at Costco — and don't take up much space, even in large containers. You can buy a pack of five 8.2-ounce tubes of Crest Complete Extra Whitening + Scope toothpaste for $15 from Costco, or 37 cents an ounce. About the best you're going to do at Walgreens for that same toothpaste is a two-pack of 5.4-ounce tubes for $6, or 55 cents an ounce.

Health Products
Costco

Health Products

Health products, including over-the-counter medicines, can be good buys at Costco — but be sure to check the expiration date to calculate whether a supersize quantity will get used in time. The regular price for three 16-ounce bottles of Renu Advanced Formula multipurpose contact lens solution, plus a 2-ounce travel size, is $23 from Costco, or 47 cents an ounce. A two-pack of 12-ounce bottles of the same solution costs $14 at Walmart, or 58 cents an ounce.

Related: The Cheapest Pharmacy: Walmart vs. Walgreens vs. CVS and More

Cleaning Supplies
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Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning wipes, toilet bowl cleaner, dish detergent, laundry detergent, dusting spray, and mop refills can be found in bulk for less at Costco. Given that these items don't expire, you can save a bundle if you have the storage space. Take Windex Original Glass Cleaner: A 32-ounce spray bottle and 176-ounce refill is $13 from Costco, or 6 cents an ounce, while buying the same size trigger bottle from Walmart and a 128-ounce refill costs a combined $23, or more than 14 cents an ounce. Even in a small house or apartment, storing a slightly larger Windex refill shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Related: 32 Must-Have Cleaning and Maintenance Products From Costco

Paper Goods
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Paper Products

Tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, and disposable dinnerware are a bargain at Costco. Try splitting with another single friend or small family if you don't have room to store them all. The cost for 30 rolls of Costco's Kirkland Signature brand bath tissue comes to 67 cents a roll compared with 83 cents for Walmart's Great Value brand premium bath tissue, which comes in a 12-pack. (The Costco toilet paper is also a half-inch wider and has a few more sheets per roll.)

Rental Cars
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Rental Cars

The Costco travel department helps members find rental cars for less than other travel services by scanning the market for money-saving coupons, discounts, and deals. It's not only a budget boost but a time saver, and some rental car companies waive their additional-driver fees for Costco members.

Related: 11 Ways Costco Can Save You Money on Your Car

Office Supplies
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Office Supplies

Printer paper, pens, labels, and notepads eventually run out, and they never go out of style. Buying office supplies in bulk is cheap and all but guarantees they will be available when needed. A case of simple copy paper, for example, costs $38 from Costco, or $3.80 per ream (500 sheets). A box half the size is $29 from Walmart, or $5.80 per ream.

Photo Books
Costco

Photo Books

People don't always remember that Costco has a photo department that will not only turn your digital photos into everything from calendars to Christmas cards, but the prices are lower, too. A 12x12 premium layflat photo book with 30 pages included starts at $40, while Shutterfly charges $50 for the same size with only 20 pages included.

Related: 20 Gifts for People Who Say, 'Don't Get Me Anything'

Buying Glasses
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Glasses and Contact Lenses

If you've grown tired of the upsell to pick up new frames or contact lenses whenever you go to your optometrist, it's time to check out Costco Optical. Not only is an independent Doctor of Optometry located at or near most Costco locations, but Costco Optical was also named the No. 1 place to buy glasses according to a Consumer Reports survey. The chain received high marks on price, after-sale customer service, frame quality, and more, though was deemed to have a limited choice when it came to frames. The good news? If you find a pair you like elsewhere, you can bring them to Costco to have lenses installed, sometimes for as little as $40. Prices for contact lenses are competitive, and Costco posts sales on the website. 

Skip Roses
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Flowers

For romantic singletons (or couples celebrating an anniversary), the floral department at Costco may not seem like the to-go spot for picking up a bouquet, but the savings may make up for the warehouse ambience. For $35, a bouquet of 50 roses (pick from red, yellow, hot pink, orange, multicolored, and more) can be delivered next-day or whenever you prefer along with gift messaging. Other arrangements are available, too. For a bundle of roses the same size, most other florists charge at least $60.

Related: Cheap Flower Delivery: Local Florists vs. ProFlowers vs. 1-800-Flowers vs. FTD