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

14 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 $15 at Costco.

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

Plants
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Plants

Spruce up the yard or porch with Costco plants, which are often large and well-established. Large mums have been known to sell for less than $20 each — what a garden center might charge for a container half the size.

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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Gift Cards

Costco sells gift cards for less than their face value — for example, a four-pack of $25 Build-A-Bear e-gift cards for $80, a savings of $20. Gift cards for restaurants, gym memberships, movie tickets, weight loss programs, and more are available. Keep in mind you can use these to get a discount for yourself, not just for gifts.

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 Bissell Pet Hair Eraser vacuum for $200, compared with more than $250 for a similar model on Amazon.

Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer with Bench & 1-Year Fitness App Included
Costco

Exercise Equipment

Shoppers can find big savings on big-ticket workout equipment at Costco. Buying an Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer direct from the manufacturer or via Amazon would cost $1,899. The same piece of equipment is currently on sale at Costco for $1,300 — and that includes a bench, otherwise sold separately for $209, and a one-year video workout subscription. Even at the regular online price, the equipment is $1,600 from 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 $10 from Costco, or 24 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 on sale for $5, or 46 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 $20 from Costco, or 40 cents an ounce. A two-pack of 12-ounce bottles of the same solution costs $13.97 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 $9.42, or more than 9 cents an ounce. Even in a small house or apartment, storing a slightly larger Windex refill shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

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 85 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.

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 $27 from Walmart, or $5.40 per ream.