Y'all can thank us later.

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Fact of life: Everybody loves Costco. The free samples around every corner are reason enough to go; throw in the $1.50 hot dog-and-drink combo, and it's a veritable wonderland. Loyalists of the wholesale retailer know what to shop for (bacon, maple syrup, those 14-pack razors you can't find anywhere else) and what to avoid (4 pounds of chia seeds, which you've never liked, but talk yourself into buying because it seems like a deal). But even Costco's biggest fans may be missing out on the retailer's more under-the-radar gems, and we're here to save you from this massive misstep.

Listen up, y'all: It's all about outerwear.

In preparation for my much-anticipated (and likely premature) seasonal closet changeover, I began mentally taking inventory of my fall and winter lineup, making note of favorite sweaters, party pants, and every last stitch of outerwear I own.

And that's when it hit me, right there between my tally of vests and fleeces: A solid quarter of the outerwear in my closet was purchased at Costco.

Yep, the place that sells those addicting peanut butter-pretzel nuggets by the tub sells equally satisfying outerwear.

Over the years, I've amassed a small collection of cold-weather gear from Costco: There's a sage green Kenneth Cole vest that's served me well everywhere from oyster roasts to trips to the family farm; a 32 Degrees packable puffer that saved me from freezing to death in the Swiss Alps (dramatic, yes, but not totally untrue); a heathered purple quarter-zip that I always wear for nippy runs around the neighborhood; and a gray zip-up fleece that's my go-to for every cold-weather outdoor adventure, be it a quick trip to the grocery store or a morning hike. (People assume it's a Patagonia and compliment me on it all the time. Because I have no manners and am also on an insatiable quest for truth, I correct them every time and note that it was approximately $20 at Costco. After all, steals and deals are worth bragging about, my people!)

Now I can't promise that Costco's outerwear will become family heirlooms that you'll one day pass down to little Betty Lou or Joe Junior, but gosh darn it, it'll serve its purpose for a few winters, at least. My own collection has ventured with me near and far, and I intend to wear them all until they fall apart ... or at least until I need to replace my vat of peanut butter pretzel nuggets.

WATCH: This Costco Shopping Tip Is a Game Changer

Do you have any tricks for scoring the best finds and deals at Costco? Tell us about them in the comments.