Are Costco's bargain-priced products and services really all that?
Maybe so, maybe no.
We've gotten to the bottom of the warehouse store's cheapest offerings and broken down whether or not they're worth putting on your Costco list and picking up the next time you're there.
There are a ton of different kinds of olive oil on the market, and one of the most popular olive oils around is sold by Costco under its Kirkland label.
Not only is Kirkland Signature extra virgin olive oil priced fairly low, but it also gets rave reviews for its taste.
In fact, there is actual scientific evidence corroborating Kirkland Signature's oil quality.
A 2010 report released by the University of California-Davis, found that Kirkland oil was the only one of 19 extra virgin olive oils tested that met taste standards set by the International Olive Council and United States Department of Agriculture.
What's more, Kirkland organic extra virgin olive oil even got a shout-out from celebrity chef Samin Nosrat, who declared it to be her favorite olive oil for everyday use.
Have a party to organize?
Wondering how you're going to feed a few dozen cake-loving kids without breaking the bank?
Costco has you covered.
Yes, their cakes are basic, and yes, they only come in two flavors.
None of your trendy elderflower-lemon, champagne-strawberry, or passionfruit-guava flavor combos at Costco - here you get chocolate or vanilla, straight up.
But, what these cakes lack in flavor variety, they make up in size, weighing in at a whopping 9.5 pounds.
Costco is sure to note that the industry standard is only 6 pounds, so it really is a monster cake that you can always buy plain and dress up any way you'd like.
Two pounds of that is filling, vanilla cheesecake for the vanilla cake, and chocolate truffle mousse for the chocolate.
Needless to say, when it comes to cost, Costco blows competitors out of the water.
One average half sheet cake from Costco is about the same price as a quarter sheet cake from Walmart.
You might not think of making a special trip to Costco just to check out their cheese selection, but maybe you should, especially if you stay away from the more unusual types when you're at a more traditional grocery store.
Cheese can be expensive, after all, but Costco has you covered, with everything from sampler packs to some seriously delicious parmesan crisps.
Should you wish to branch out and explore different types of cheese?
You can do that, too.
They carry a wide variety, and it won't break the bank.
Even if you're forced to buy in bulk to get a deal, most cheese is easy to freeze.
And there's good news for cheese-loving brides.
Costco also sells a bargain-priced 24-pound wedding cake made entirely of cheese, too.
At $440, it is a pretty great deal for a whole wedding cake.
Go ahead, be different!
One thing Costco is justifiably famous for is its $4.99 rotisserie chicken.
Ummm... not such a big deal, you say?
You may have seen rotisserie chickens for sale for $5 and under elsewhere, but at Costco, you're getting at least 3 pounds of chicken, while those other retailers' birds tend to come in at 2 pounds or less.
Costco CFO Richard Galanti was interviewed by The Seattle Times in 2015, and he admitted that the chicken sales have been driving a lot of foot traffic.
87 million chickens were sold in 2017, and what's the likelihood that any of those chicken shoppers walked out without buying anything else?
Three words for you: treat yo self.
When it comes to name brands, Costco does typically beat the prices at your local discount booze mart.
Where the real bargains are to be found, though, is with Costco's Kirkland Signature-branded wines and spirits and, as it turns out, these may be pretty darn good.
Tastings, the website of the Beverage Testing Institute, has rated 17 different Kirkland Signature wines and five different spirits as Gold Medal Exceptional at 90 plus points.
What's more, Vice interviewed a number of bartenders who all claimed a secret or not-so-secret passion for Costco-branded booze, one even advising the readers to, quote, "... take off your pants and pour yourself a tall glass of the stuff."
Umm... okay, but please close the curtains before you do the pants thing, okay?
We don't need to see those Costco undies on display.
Actual, real-deal maple syrup tends to cost quite a lot, and it's Costco to the rescue.
When Consumer Reports tested eight different brands of dark maple syrup, they chose Kirkland Signature organic maple syrup to be among their top picks, despite the fact that it was significantly lower-priced than the other brands.
But how does this syrup taste, you might ask?
Consumer Reports describes it like this... clean and complex with caramelized, slight vanilla woody flavors, roasted/toasted notes and a hint of molasses.
So, there you go.
It's good stuff, and just what your pancakes, waffles, and ice cream call for.
Load up, enjoy, and don't worry about the price tag!
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