6 of the best things to buy at Costco, from someone who used to hate it

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6 of the best things to buy at Costco, from someone who used to hate it

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  • I used to avoid Costco at all costs, but my husband is frugal, so he's a devotee of the bulk retailer.
  • It pains me to admit it, but he's turned me into a Costco connoisseur, too, and there are six things I won't buy anywhere else.
  • Fresh flowers, men's dress shirts, and anti-aging products are among my Costco must-haves.
  • You can use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to earn 2% back on eligible in-store and online purchases.

I used to hate Costco, like avoid-it-at-all-costs hate it. But my husband tends to err on the side of cheap - I mean frugal - so it's one of his favorite places to shop. As a result, I have found myself perusing the bulk products at our local Costco on many a Saturday.

As much as it pains me to admit it, I've now become a Costco connoisseur of sorts. I even have a few lesser-known items I purchase almost exclusively at Costco.

Furniture

Shopping for furniture can be a tough sell. Either you purchase something cheap that looks beat up in two years, or you spend a fortune on a high-end brand that isn't guaranteed to last either.

Around 16% of millennials have moved in the last year, according to the Pew Research Center. So spending a lot of cash on furniture at this stage in life probably isn't the best financial choice, since it could get damaged in the move or not work in your new living space.

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When we moved into our current home, we desperately needed more seating in our family room. Our space was bigger and we had a weird, awkward corner to fill.

I'd been scouring the internet for an affordable armchair for weeks when my husband casually suggested Costco. At first, I discounted the idea. But it actually had several affordable options that would also match our current couch and loveseat.

We ended up springing for a linen-colored armchair with stud detail for less than $200. It's been almost two years, and that chair has held up surprisingly well.

We also constantly field questions from friends on where we purchased it. Their faces when we proudly proclaim, "Costco!" are always priceless.

The Costco Anywhere Visa earns 2% cash back on in-store and online purchases and has no annual fee. See Business Insider's review of the Costco Anywhere Visa card for more »

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The exact chair we have is no longer available, but here's a similar option. Compare the $185.99 price tag to an upholstered, linen-colored chair from Crate and Barrel for $999 and I think you'll agree that the Costco chair is worth the gamble.

Fresh flower arrangements

We've all been there. You forgot your mom's/mother-in-law's/grandma's birthday and you don't have the time to order a last-minute gift. Enter Costco's online floral department.

From a classic 50 long-stemmed roses for just $39.99 (yes, really) to artsy arrangements of wildflowers, sunflowers, even event-specific arrangements, the floral department is surprisingly wide-reaching for a bulk wholesaler retailer. Another bonus? Costco even has next-day business delivery for those of us really behind the curve.

Compare the price of 50 long-stemmed roses from Costco at $39.99 to those from another online retailer, like 1-800-Flowers, and you might be in for a bit of sticker shock. Forty-eight long-stemmed roses from the latter rings in at a staggering $249.99.

Even when you consider the cost of an annual Costco membership, which starts at $60 a year, you're still coming out ahead. After all, a rose by any other name ... well, you get the idea.

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Holiday cards

I grew up watching my mom send Christmas cards to friends and family year after year, and we always loved looking through the stacks of cards we received in return. It's a tradition I've continued with my own family, and I'm not alone.

According to data from the Greeting Card Association, Americans send 1.6 billion cards each year around Christmas.

But that doesn't mean I want to spend a ton of money, especially right around the holidays when spending is already at an all-time high. Enter Costco.

Surprisingly, Costco has tons of options for holiday, Christmas, and even New Year's cards. (I've also sent birth announcements from Costco, but that's another story.)

Plus, Costco offers many of the same upgrades higher-end retailers offer, like a matte finish, embossed foil options, even return-addressed envelopes.

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Last year, I paid $75 for 75 embossed foil holiday cards with return addressed envelopes. If I had ordered a similar option from popular online stationery retailer Minted, it would have cost $160 for 75 cards, for a total savings of nearly $100.

Anti-aging products

Experts say that one of the best things you can do to combat the signs of aging is to start early using a quality product. But I'm also young and starting a family, so I don't love spending hundreds to do so.

Luckily, Costco offers various anti-aging products from respected brands like SK-II, Kate Somerville, Perricone MD, and Caudalie, at rock-bottom prices.

For example, a 4-ounce jar of Perricone MD Face Finishing and Firming Moisturizer is just $54.99 at Costco, while a 2-ounce jar of the same product retails for $69 at Ulta.

The only issue with relying on a bulk retailer like Costco for your skincare needs is that its inventory often changes, and it doesn't always offer the same products season-to-season. But, all the more reason to stock up.

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Carter's clothing for kids

If you have kids, you know how fast they grow out of things. In fact, I have several bins of only-worn-once clothing in my home. That's why I always buy my son's clothing and other gear on sale.

While I used to shop at Baby Gap and Carter's, I started to notice something on my bi-monthly trips to Costco: It sold current-season Carter's clothing in-store, usually discounted by at least a few bucks.

For example, this set of six dinosaur-themed bodysuits by Carter's is just $9.97 at Costco, while a nearly identical set (of five) retails for $14 at Carter's. Don't know why you'd need so many bodysuits for such a tiny human? Just wait.

Kirkland men's dress shirts

This one you've probably heard of. The men's dress shirts from Costco's in-house brand, Kirkland, have a great reputation - and with good reason. They're affordable, offer a variety of prints, and are available in traditional, tailored, and big and tall sizes.

Another bonus? They are wrinkle-free. Sold.

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When you compare the $18.99 price tag to a similar dress shirt from Ralph Lauren, which retails for $89.50, it's not even a contest - even if you catch the latter on sale. This is especially true if your husband or significant other doesn't care about labels, which mine doesn't.

It almost makes braving the crowds and carrying your Costco haul out in awkward, falling-apart cardboard boxes worth it, am I right?

Earn 2% back on eligible purchases: Click here to learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa »

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