Costco shoppers already know to turn to the warehouse retailer for all of their bulk food and beverage needs. Should they be adding any other items, like coats or decorations, to their shopping carts this holiday season? Let’s look at hidden holiday buys you don’t want to miss out on during your next Costco shopping trip.
Many Costco shoppers love picking up Kirkland Signature items but don’t neglect the gourmet foods for sale. Shoppers can find delicious smoked and cured meats, poultry, seafood, prosciutto, caviar, cheese, appetizers and desserts.
The great thing about these purchases is they can be gifted to the foodies on your shopping list or you can purchase them to have ready for your own holiday gatherings if you want to impress your guests, said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.
Prices for Costco gourmet foods will range by product and vendor, but overall Ramhold said they’re pretty reasonable. For example, Costco shoppers can pick up a 10-inch four-layer chocolate cake that serves 14 for around $57.
What about shopping for wine? While wine and wine gift baskets are available to purchase on the Costco website, most of these offerings are available only in California. Ramhold recommends shoppers visit their local Costco in person to shop for wine and build their own gift baskets.
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Shoppers with readers on their lists will be able to find plenty of great book sets at Costco. Options are available for babies and children, non-fiction books and young adult novels and adult series too. Currently, Costco carries popular book sets such as:
“The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis ($22.99 for an eight-book box set)
“The Babysitter’s Club” ($31.99 for an 18-book collection)
“Fun With Mouse & Friends” ($26.99 for a six picture book box set)
“The Rainbow Fish Little Library” ($22.99 an eight board book box set)
“Often the prices on these sets are much better than what you’ll find at traditional bookstores, so it’s definitely worth checking out Costco to see if they have a set you’re interested in at a good price,” Ramhold said.
While Costco may not carry the same toy selection as a traditional toy store does, shoppers can still find great deals on toys.
Ramhold uses the example of Costco selling stuffed animals called Squishmallows. Its inventory includes multiple eight-packs as well as 16-, 20- and 24-inch sizes. A 5″ mini eight pack of Squishmallows are $28.99 at Costco.
Other stuffed animals are also available for sale at Costco, including a 93-inch plush bear for around $400 this year. (For those who would like to gift extravagantly!)
Aside from stuffed animals, Ramhold said shoppers can find select Lego sets, craft activity sets, collectibles, sensory toys and more. There are also puzzles, cards and board games to shop, ride-on toys and items specifically for babies and toddlers.
Traditionally, Ramhold said it’s best to wait until winter really sets in to buy cold-weather clothing because this is when shoppers start to see the steepest discounts.
However, in the case of Costco you can shop now for coats and find reasonable prices on outerwear for the entire family before temperatures start to drop. Check out the selection available at your local warehouse. You’ll be able to find brands like 32 Degrees, Tommy Hilfiger, Eddie Bauer, Nautica and more, which can be practical gifts for others as well as yourself. An Eddie Bauer Ladies’ Chevron Quilt Down Jacket, for example, is $36.99, at Costco.
While Costco already offers discounted gift card packages to shoppers, Ramhold said these are especially great to purchase around the holidays. Shoppers can break down the packages to serve as multiple gifts, items for gift swaps or even just one really generous gift for one person.
“In general you can expect to save $15 to $50 off the face value of the entire package of gift cards and get between two and four cards, which means you can cover two to four people with one purchase,” Ramhold said.
Shoppers who need to decorate their homes for the holidays can stock up on all their décor needs including Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, ornaments and indoor and outdoor décor at Costco. You can even pick up storage containers while shopping to keep all of your holiday items safely stored for reuse.
Just keep in mind when shopping that if you see a holiday decoration you’d like to buy, do it now instead of waiting until later.
“Costco releases holiday décor kind of early compared to other stores, and once it sells out, it may be gone for good,” Ramhold said. “It’s best to jump on these items when you see them; otherwise you risk missing out altogether.”
Holiday Wrapping Paper, Cards and Packaging Materials
Buying holiday wrapping and packaging materials does mean shoppers might get more than they need in one season. However, it will be a great value for wrapping and packaging gifts now and into the future.
Ramhold said wrapping paper purchased at Costco tends to be great quality with few shoppers needing to worry about it ripping too easily. Other items shoppers can pick up at a good price include holiday greeting cards and gift packaging, like cloth gift bags and various sizes of boxes already assembled and ready for use.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Hidden Holiday Buys You’re Missing Out On at Costco