The quickest way to bond with hundreds of other Bozemanites is apparently to ask, "What are your must buy items from Costco?" The copious amount of responses results in a fascinating social experiment. Jalapeño artichoke dip, anyone?

Photo by ün LIU on Unsplash
Photo by ün LIU on Unsplash
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I'll have to preface this article by saying I do not regularly shop at Costco. It's not my thing and there's only two of us so bulk-buying anything doesn't really make sense. But don't get me wrong—I've been there MANY times and I love it, like most Americans.

My dad was a big Costco fan and we used to go together often. More so for the $1.50 hotdog lunch, but he certainly enjoyed his oversized olive oil tins and 200 packs of AAA batteries. Going to Costco was a social engagement, especially as he got older and had mobility issues. Dad proudly cruised around the aisles in one of the motorized scooters. I understand the attraction.

But this is not about me—this is about a person who recently posted to the Facebook group, Secret Bozeman. (Always a gold mine of local opinions.) The question posed was this:

"We have FINALLY joined Costco, very excited about it but also a little overwhelmed by all the things they have…I am asking for go-to recommendations, your standard “must buy from Costco” versus grocery store products."

Bozeman people dig their Costco. There was no shortage of opinions, recommendations and helpful tips when it came to what to buy from Costco for a more fulfilling life. A sampling of the hundreds of responses included:

  • "The dill pickle dip is crazy good."
  • "You can buy one of their rotisserie chickens for like $4.99 and you get so much chicken off of it. And it tastes great."
  • "Toilet paper and the hot dog combo. Not necessarily in that order."
  • "They shred their rotisserie chickens that are left over and vacuum seal them. 2lbs for like $13. Of all chicken, no bones."
  • "WINE"
  • "Cream puffs and apple pie eggrolls"
  • "I belong to several fb groups that are all about Costco and are super helpful for product review and recommendations. One of them is Costco Finds."
  • "The cranberry jalapeño dip is an absolute must. So yummy."
  • "400 pack of toilet paper, of course."
  • "Their gigantic pumpkin pie (seasonal) and their rotisserie chicken."
  • "When I go to Costco, Costco tells me what I need."
  • "I think I even dress myself through Costco."
  • "They do a teriyaki stir fry that my family loves and the chicken street tacos are bomb."
  • "Three words: Hot dog meal."
  • "If that Costco has the small container of real crab meat, get the artichoke dip and mix in the crab. That is always a favorite."
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  • "Personally I love their Milton's gluten free crackers. They're so good I have to hide them from the grandkids."
  • "Muffins from the bakery and wool socks."
  • "Honestly, I love their pre-made meals. The chicken Alfredo and the enchiladas are our family’s favorites."
  • "Cranberry goat cheese. Oh SO YUMMMY"
  • "During COVID, people across the country actually raced to the Costco rotisserie chickens as if they were crucial, necessary items for life."
  • "Good deals on coats for the family and clothes in general. "
  • "The two pack of smoked salmon. I love the price."
  • "The S’mores snack mix. Your life is changed, you’re welcome."
  • "I love their ready meals. Love the tortilla swirl sandwich thingies and salmon."
  • "When you go to Costco...take the opportunity to eat out at their food court. Fantastic food and prices."
  • "Highly recommend the brazi bites and the cinnamon cranberry goat cheese roll."
  • "The wine selection is off the hook."
  • "The cranberry jalepeno dip is legit delicious. It’s only around for the holidays."
  • "Doesn't everyone own socks from Costco?"
  • "Robert Rothschild roasted pineapple & habanero glaze & finishing sauce. Put on top of cream cheese & serve with assorted crackers."
  • "The ready made antipasto platters are fab"
  • "You'll start liking a certain cashier and only going to them."
  • "For appetizers I like their cream cheese and turkey pinwheels."
  • "For parties- their goat cheese mixed with their walnuts and maple syrup and some gluten free lightly salted crackers to dip."

If you want even more advice about Costco's best items, check out the 11 Best-Quality Costco Items Worth Buying, or 60 Costco Products That Have Gained a Cult Following.

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