Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco (the Christmas Edition)

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One does not simply... pop into Costco during Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… because everyone was at Costco.


Yesterday, I realized there were a few things I wanted to get at Costco for my Christmas Eve party, so I decided to get there RIGHT at 10 am. In fact, I decided I’d get there a few minutes prior just to beat the crowd. Only me and 300 of my closest friends had the same idea. What was this: Magic Kingdom at rope drop?!

As you might recall, this year I started a monthly feature this year entitled “stuff I didn’t know… until I went to Costco.” My conception for this series is simple: highlight stuff in the store that catches my eye. Those shiny gadgets on the end-cap, those unusual housewares at solid prices, those delicious-sounding food items that I won’t find at my typical grocery store. Stuff that never made my Costco shopping list, but stuff I suddenly find myself unable to leave the store without. I figured I’d make this month’s episode extra spicy by visiting two days before Christmas.

Here are some highlights from today’s trip. I hope you’re extra appreciative of this post considering how many shoppers and carts that nearly bumped into me while I took all these photos. There were many near scrapes, including one particularly stress-inducing episode near the rotisserie chicken display. The things I do because I love you people!

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They were definitely ramping up the gift cards today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a display this large at my Costco before. There were even videos showing you about the gift cards. Fancy!DSCN4117 (800x617)

The Hobbit Chronicles – for $23.99.

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One of my favorite books – Unbroken – is selling for $9.99 at Costco. Have I convinced any of you to read this book yet? Yeah, yeah, I know the movie’s coming out and I will see it. But it’s one of those books that I’m already certain the book is going to be better than the movie. So, just read it.

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A huge ol’ bottle of Jelly Belly jellybeans for $15.89. I’m sure I’d pick out all the Dr. Pepper flavored ones and my husband would pick out all the buttered popcorn ones. Which ones should we save for you?

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Now I normally make my own pumpkin pies, but I took the cheater route this year and bought a Costco pumpkin pie. I like how big these are!DSCN4121 (600x800)

This year we’re doing soup and sandwiches for Christmas Eve. I’ve got a leftover turkey from the BOGO Albertsons deal around Thanksgiving, so I’m going to cook that and just slice it and serve it with these Costco croissants. They are just $5.99 for a 12-pack.DSCN4122 (800x600)

Pound cake trio for $6.99!
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Jack Daniels Pulled Chicken for $13.59. Have you tried this before? It’s really good! In fact, we had it for dinner just last night on King’s Hawaiian Rolls. I bought a smaller portion at the grocery store and it was about $9. I think this is a better deal (just off the top of my head, without comparing the price per ounce).

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Oh hey! It’s my favorite macaroni and cheese – and it’s $2 off! Anyone that’s anyone knows that Costco makes the best macaroni and cheese. And anyone that’s anyone knows you must buy a $4.99 rotisserie chicken to accompany it.

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Cinnamon iced cookies for $6.79.DSCN4126 (599x800)

Elf on the Shelf plush with puzzle and book for just $9.99. The beauty of this elf (besides the fact that it’s super cheap) is that you don’t have to worry about hiding it every day this month. You’re pretty much good this year because it’s already December 23rd.DSCN4127 (599x800)

My store had a little fitness display going. Most likely this display will ramp up on December 26th when many Americans wake up to realize they’ve put on 17 pounds since Thanksgiving and need to start writing their New Year’s Resolutions.
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An inversion table for $229. Do people still use these things?  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t particularly enjoy that feeling of the blood rushingto my head.

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Girls’ Skechers shoes for $19.99. Seems like a great deal to me!DSCN4130 (800x600)

This has got to be the fanciest tool chest I’ve ever seen. It looks more like a man’s jewelry box.DSCN4131 (800x600)

Indoor Garden for $159.99. DSCN4132 (800x648)

Don’t you love that this is called a guillotine trimmerDSCN4133 (800x793)

I always wanted a salad spinner. I think about this every time I dry my lettuce on paper towels. This pretty red one is $19.99. DSCN4134 (525x800)

Digital Kitchen Scale for $19.99. Perfect for watching those portion sizes! Vitamix at Costco

Vitamix for $349.99 after rebate. I love mine!DSCN4136 (535x800)

“The healthy way to fry.” That’s what it said on this deep fryer’s packaging. Funny, but I never thought there was ANY healthy way to fry.

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Luxury shag rug for $249.99. I love these big fluffy rugs! DSCN4139 (800x600)Freezer for $179.99 – perfect if you do lots of freezer cooking and would like extra space out in the garage.

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Confession: I REALLY want a Rug Doctor! I think it would be the coolest thing ever to own, and you wouldn’t have to rent one from a grocery store again. Anyone with small kids and pets should understand my desire here.
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Recliner for $299.99. I found this in the TV section. I think Costco’s thinking here is that you’ll need a new chair to go with that new 55″ Smart HDTV. DSCN4142 (599x800)

Portable power source – for $74.99. Just in case you ever need a jump start! I found this in the automotive section.

Ready to see how I fared today?DSCN4143 (800x600)I spent a $107.68 – and about $6 of that was tax. As you may recall, my goal is to leave the store having paid $100 or less. While this is a tick over that, I’m not crying about it as I am hosting a Christmas party and had specific items to buy. The only completely frivolous item I bought was a bottle of O’Mara’s Irish Cream for $12.99. (Which if you’ve tried it, you’d understand isn’t an entirely frivolous purchase!)

Well there you have it folks. A complete year of monthly Costco visits, January through December. I couldn’t have predicted how popular and just plain fun this series would turn out to be. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be continuing it into 2015. If you have suggestions on how I could make it better, I’m all ears. Just remember – my main goal is to keep it fun. (If you really want to find the coupon deals – make sure to check out This Beautiful Frugal Life’s monthly list. She’s done that work already so I don’t have to!)

If you are hankering for more Costco love, check out the rest of the posts from this year:

Merry Christmas!

7 thoughts on “Stuff I didn’t know I needed… until I went to Costco (the Christmas Edition)”

  1. Angela, this was one of the funniest posts this year! I loved it. I am not a Costco shopper currently (used to be), but I really enjoy the series and look forward to reading it again next year. Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you! Believe it or not, I’m not much of a Costco shopper myself! I pretty much only go once per month (to do this post and a little shopping). 😉 It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve appreciated the feedback.

  2. Thanks for the post, forgot about the pumpkin pie, may have to go. I LOVED “Unbroken” and I am excited and nervous to see the movie. I feel there will be a lot of emotion through it! Merry Christmas, love your blog!

  3. Great post! I also braved Costco (Tacoma) yesterday right after work. Believe it or not it was better than my trip to Fred Meyer on Sunday. I couldn’t get a few things there because I couldn’t get down the aisles. I have to comment on a few things. 1. I have that same guillotine trimmer. I bought it at Costco about 4 years ago. It is excellent and that is a great price. I use it everyday. 2. I also own that portable power source. We had our car battery die twice and our neighbor suggested one of those babies. A little extra insurance is nice. 3. My husband read Unbroken and loved it. It’s next on my list. We bought our 10 year old son the junior edition for Christmas. 4. I was intending to get a rotisserie chicken for dinner but they were all out. I was really tempted by that Jack Daniel’s chicken but opted for salmon instead. I think we will try the chicken next time. 5. Ok, the best part of this post was that tool chest. I showed my husband your picture and he almost fell over laughing. Maybe that’s the box where guys put their “for show only” tools???

  4. You are a brave woman! I would never go to Costco that close to Christmas! But my Costco ( Bellingham ) is always crazy, the holidays just make it even more so. I think I need that paper trimmer & I have never tried the mac & cheese, I’ll have to remedy that! The tool box is a machinist toolbox. It’s for tools like micrometers & calipers that are sensitive to humidity & other things. It’s a pretty good deal, almost bought one for my husband’s gift.

  5. I made my husband on Christmas Eve for pumpkin pie (which he won’t eat) and the pound cake trio (which we finally just opened yesterday) he managed to get the last bread trio and it wasn’t even 11! And I still have frozen slices of pie (and bread) in the freezer! That and milk was all he bought. Lol

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