The Best Things You Can Buy at Costco, According to Superfans

The Best Things You Can Buy at Costco, According to Superfans

David and Susan Schwartz believe Costco is their “happy place.”
Maria Nouwen/Business Insider, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

  • David and Susan Schwartz have visited more than 200 Costco stores around the world.
  • They love Costco so much that they recently wrote a book about the store.
  • They never leave Costco without grabbing a soda from the food court, and they’re big fans of pesto.

If you could call anyone a Costco expert, it would be David and Susan Schwartz.

The New York City-based couple has spent the past seven years trying to visit as many Costco locations as possible to gather information for their first joint book, “Costco Fun: A Treasure Hunt from A to Z.”

When they’re not traveling, David and Susan aim to visit their local Costco in Manhattan — which they call their “happy place” — at least once a week.

“We go to Trader Joe’s to buy some household items, but we go to Costco to buy everything else,” Susan said.

Business Insider recently toured Costco with the couple, and they shared the best things currently on sale at the store. take a look.

David and Susan said they used to make pesto at home, but then they tried this “amazing” option from Costco.

Costco Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto retails for $9.49.
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Before they started buying pesto from Costco, Susan and David vowed to make their own pesto sauce at home using fresh ingredients from food markets.

But when they picked up a jar of Costco’s basil pesto made with ingredients imported from Italy, everything changed.

“I gave up,” Susan said. “This is better.”

Along with its “incredible” flavour, the couple said it also “lasts forever”, making it a staple in their pantry.

According to the couple, Costco’s tuxedo cakes are a must-have for any large gathering or party.

Costco’s official cupcakes cost $16.99.
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Costco’s tuxedo-style cakes, which are long and rectangular, are the perfect solution for feeding a whole group of people, David and Susan said.

They tried most of the cake flavors, which include tiramisu and chocolate mousse, and even bought them for the book launch party they held before the release of “The Joy of Costco.”

The cupcakes are also perfect for the holiday season, David and Susan said. “$17 for that cake. Happy birthday,” Susan said.

Costco’s multi-purpose caramelized onion dip is “absolutely transformative,” David and Susan said.

Susan Schwartz carries the $8.89 caramelized onion sauce from Costco.
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David and Susan said they recently came across an $8.89 tub of caramelized onions and decided it was one of their favorite foods sold at Costco.

“It’s quite a transformative process,” David said. The thick sauce can be used as a dip for chips or added to the top of a burger, according to the couple.

“And if you eat the whole thing, it’s only 2,300 calories,” Susan said. “So it wouldn’t be a diet disaster.” “This will change your life.”

David and Susan said they find a way to eat Costco bacon every day.

The bacon retails for $10.99.
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“We eat that every morning for breakfast,” David said.

“Not the whole bag,” Susan added. But the couple said they found a way to incorporate real bacon bits into different meals throughout the day.

“It’s so great in salads, put it in eggs and scramble it. This is a Kirkland signature product, and it’s one of my favorite items,” Susan said.

They love sampling products from local businesses, like Rao’s homemade marinara sauce.

Two cans of Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce retail for $10.59.
Maria Nouwen/Business Insider

One myth that David and Susan are trying to debunk among Costco newcomers is that the wholesaler only sells products made by larger companies.

Throughout the aisles, you’ll find products created by small businesses and restaurants that Costco has chosen to sell around the world, they said.

One of their favorites is Rao’s marinara sauce, created by a small Italian restaurant in New York City that Susan said is “very exclusive.”

“It’s hard to get a table unless you’ve been going there for 30 years and then they started selling it commercially,” she said.

They buy all their Pam products from Costco because it’s basically “half price.”

A package of two bottles of PAM costs $6 at Costco.
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Pam, a cooking spray that uses canola oil as its main ingredient, is sold at Costco in packs of two for $6, making the price per can equal $3.

“We buy all our PAM products here because it’s like half the price,” David said.

“This might be like $8.00 for a smaller package at the supermarket,” Susan said.

For newcomers, David and Susan always recommend Costco’s famous $1.50 hot dog and refillable soda deal.

Costco’s soda and hot dog deal costs $1.50.
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David and Susan said they don’t usually eat in the dining hall anymore because of how many times they’ve eaten there before.

“Sometimes we do, but we’ve been to over 250 warehouses, so we like to try different things. In other parts of the world, we’ll order everything,” Susan said.

However, they believe Costco’s famous $1.50 hot dog and refillable soda kit is a must-have for regular members, especially those visiting with their families.

“It’s $1.50 of joy,” David said. “$20 is enough to feed a family of five.”

The couple can also attest to the quality of the hot dog ingredients, having personally visited the wholesaler’s meat processing facility while researching their book.

“If I had to have heart surgery, if it was a Costco facility, I would be comfortable with them opening my chest,” David said.

When it comes to non-food products, the couple swears by Costco’s designer glasses and hearing aids.

Designer glasses and hearing aids are sold at Costco.
Maria Nouwen/Business Insider

According to the couple, the best place to buy designer glasses at a relatively reasonable price is Costco.

“Costco has a great relationship with vendors where they can get these products very cheap,” Susan said.

They also recommend hearing aids from Costco, which they said are much less expensive than other vendors.

“My hearing aids were $1,500, and they would have been $10,000 anywhere else,” Susan said.

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