14 Best Costco Buys for Southerners This Summer

Warehouse shopping can be overwhelming. Skip the stress with our guide to saving at Costco this season.

Anna Aguillard
Costco Wholesale Entrance
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Disposable Dishware
We like Chinet Dinner Plates, Big Red Cups, and Kirkland Signature Crystal Cutlery—you’ll always want to have a quick way to serve a meal for an impromptu gathering (like when the entire summer softball league shows up to use your pool.) Want to be extra prepared? Stock up on Dixie brand’s Insulated Paper Hot Cups so you can always offer a hot cup of coffee as your guests hit the road.

Charcoal
Costco sells high quality Kingsford Competition Briquets at a much lower price than any other grocery or hardware store. Stocking up is essential for those frequent summer cookouts.

Baked Beans
No, we don’t mean the massive 117oz jugs—we mean the boxes of 8 individual cans of Bush’s Best Original Baked Beans. There’s something comforting about knowing that you have a quick and easy side for any Southern barbecue ready in your pantry.

Pimiento Cheese
Available in Original and Jalapeño flavor, Pawleys Island Specialty Foods’ Palmetto Cheese is a staple. The best news? Costco’s 24oz container is good for 4-5 months. (Bet it will be devoured in no time.)

Salsa
Most shoppers who run into Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa love the homemade taste but don’t realize that it’s actually made in Frisco, Texas. Always keep it at-hand to use as an appetizer, or in enchiladas, soups, casseroles, and tacos.

Baking Supplies
Although it may seem excessive to buy a 7 lb bag of U.S. Light Brown Pure Cane Sugar, you’ll actually end up spending less money in the long run. Especially during summer months, when you’re looking for creative ways to pass time on a rainy day with kids. Yes, baking chocolate chip cookies is always a great plan. 

Beach Chairs
You can get a Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair for about $20 less at Costco. While drugstores and supermarkets sell lower quality chairs for lower prices, Costco’s chairs last longer and are more comfortable.

Hamburger Meat
Kirkland’s Signature Ground Sirloin and Loin of Beef Patties cost nearly 40 percent less than at your local grocery store. Buy now, make a few tonight, and freeze the rest for next weekend.

Deli Side Dishes
Costco’s deli makes great cheese trays and salad trays, but our favorite is the Baby Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing. This dish has inspired countless copycat recipes for a reason. Sub it for coleslaw.

Storage Containers
The reusable kind that were built for leftovers from summertime gatherings, barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. They do have a Snapware Total Solution Plastic Food Keeper Set, which includes 38 pieces. That should do the job.

Beer and Liquor
Stock the fridge in the garage with summer beers from the South’s craft breweries, such as Atanta-based Sweet Water Brewing Company’s Tackle Box and Dos Equis Fiesta Pack. And for the low price, Kirkland Signature liquors won’t disappoint.

Cheesecake
There’s a reason that Costco's Bakery Cheesecake is one of the most popular items sold at the store—it’s rich, creamy, and delicious. For only $12.99, you can take home a cheescake with sweet sour cream topping and buttery graham cracker crust. Top it with your choice of summer berries (we love blueberries) for an added touch.

Gas
Typically, Costco gas sells for about fifteen cents per gallon less than even the cheapest gas stations around. Definitely worth mapping out a Costco stop along your road trip route.

Laundry Detergent
Sweat, grass stains, and sauces of all sorts–'tis the season for blowing through detergent. Stock up on bulk Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Laundry Detergent to save.

Items to avoid buying at Costco?

Sunscreen - You won’t finish a bulk amount before it expires.

Summer Produce - Unless your planning a gathering, stick to your local grocery store, farmers’ market, or produce stand.

Condiments - You won’t get through an entire bottle of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise in one summer.

Giant Containers of Snacks - Less you’d like a giant container of stale cheese puffs in your pantry for the next five years.

Cleaning Products - Over time, cleaning products lose their effectiveness. You’ll end up spending more in the long run.

Get our favorite homemade barbecue sauce, sunscreen tips, and summer produce hacks.