With Sam's Club closing stores all over the country, many rival Costco stores are seeing a surge in memberships so far in 2018.
If you're deciding whether Costco is worth it (whether or not your Sam's club has closed), you might want to know about some products that shoppers and Consumer Reports magazine are raving about.
Many of us are on the fence about warehouse clubs, especially if you are single or a couple without kids who don't need 24-packs of paper towels and huge bags of frozen foods.
But Joanie Demer, blogger for The Krazy Coupon Lady, says it's still worth joining Costco for some high-quality items.
At the top of her list of great Costco deals are a number of Kirkland products, Costco's highly-rated store brand:
- Kirkland pure maple syrup. No one else comes close on price, she says.
- Kirkland cooking spray. She says you can buy a year's supply for $5.
- Applesauce packets for only $0.32 a pouch.
- Pure vanilla extract, which she says is half the price of grocery stores.
- Cheese, with the lowest cheese prices around, as long as you can buy larger packages.
- Organic spinach, at 60 percent less than other stores.
- Rotisserie chicken for $5, that's larger than in many supermarkets.
- Scoop Away cat litter, 20 percent less than competitors.
Finally, bacon. The Krazy Coupon Lady did not include it on her list, but Consumer Reports magazine has rated Kirkland bacon No. 1 for taste and quality, better even than most national brands.
One reason not to join
Of course, Costco and Sam's Club still have one downside: large sizes, or bulk as it is called. Many people don't have three growing children, and don't need the extra-large sizes.
One option is to make a special closet for non-perishable Costco items. (Don't try that with meat or vegetables, of course.) Or, buy a large freezer for certain bulk items you want to save for later.
Other shoppers solve the bulk problem by sharing a membership. Only one person can be a member, but you can buy purchases for two people, then split the bill.
Another deciding factor with a Costco or Sam's membership is how close the store is to you.
If you have to drive an hour to go there, you probably won't visit more than a couple of times a year, and it may be a case of don't waste your money.
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