21 Best Kirkland Signature Products to Buy at Costco for the Holidays
What do you need to sit around that hearth on a holiday evening: Nuts? Candies? Coffee with Irish Cream? There are a ton of holiday bargains on quality products that bear the Costco Kirkland brand.
Many of us are rushing into the holidays hoping to gather with more friends and family than we could last year. This cautious optimism is still shadowed by the uncertainty, once more, brought on by the pandemic.
But if you’re feeling the vibe of the holiday spirit and your Costco membership is good to go, you’ll find the warehouse club chain is fairly undamaged by the supply chain meltdown. The clubs are offering plenty of opps to score holiday goods, from gifts to house-party food and drink, all at bargain rates. In particular, aim for Costco’s Kirkland Signature store-brand items, a wide swath of products that offer the perfect blend of quality and savings for holiday entertaining and gift giving.
After talking to shopping experts and doing our own research, here are 21 great Kirkland Signature products to stock up on for the holidays. One note: Prices may be slightly higher online vs. in-store.
Costco Kirkland Bakery Sheet Cake or Pie
We’re still going to be super-cautious about social gatherings this holiday season, as we were in 2020, but there could be carefully planned and social distancing events you may be attending — especially in warmer climates where you can more comfortably do so outdoors. If so, let Costco’s in-store Kirkland Signature Bakery do the baking for you. You’ll save time, especially if you’re not big on tooling away in the kitchen, and you’ll save money, compared to baked goods you might buy at the supermarket.
If you’re having the family or neighbors over for a holiday gathering, check out the custom-made Kirkland Signature half sheet cakes at Costco. They’re amped with two pounds of chocolate or vanilla filling and baked fresh in-store. You can have one freshly made for you for $19.99.
That’s a bargain compared to ordering a sheet cake from supermarket chain Martin’s, where a frozen-then-thawed half sheet cake starts at $30.
Oh, and those store-made Kirkland Signature pies? Splendid. Grab a giant (4.69 pounds) apple pie for $9.99, or a ginormous (3.63 pounds) pumpkin pie for $5.99.
Costco Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds
There’s no such thing as “too many” chocolates or nuts around for snacking at the holidays, and Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds are a winning twofer, says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com.
“Around the holidays, it’s always nice to have some sweet treats around,” says Bodge. “I love these chocolate-covered almonds. They are addictive, so I would suggest only putting out small bowls!”
You’ll go nuts for the price: $12.99 for a three-pound container. That’s a buck less than last year’s price.
Costco Kirkland Signature Coffee
Coffee partners right nice with those two slices of sheet cake you’re having, along with those chocolate-covered almonds as chasers. And if you know beans about coffee, you know Kirkland Signature’s line of coffees, from ground coffee to K-cups, has a legion of fans. Some of it may even be packaged by that big coffee shop chain that shall remain nameless and is, like Costco, Washington based.
Costco’s Kirkland Signature store brand K-cups for the Keurig line of coffeemakers are a bargain compared to national brands. Boxes of 120 pods of Kirkland Signature medium roast sell for $34.99, or about 29 cents per cup; if it happens to be on sale, as it was when I visited, you can get the same box for $28.99, making your cuppa 24 cents per. Compare that to a box of 100 pods of Newman’s Own organic coffee pods for $36.99, or about 37 cents per pod. Costco has other brands of coffee pods, as well.
DealNews.com consumer analyst Julie Ramhold is a fan of the Kirkland Signature K-cups.
“There are a few varieties to choose from: Pacific Bold, which is a dark roast; Breakfast Blend, which is a light roast; and Medium Roast. There’s also House Decaf, if you want to avoid caffeine,” says Ramhold. “All are organic and as long as you have a K-cup machine, these are great to have on hand, especially if you’ll have guests as they can choose their own flavor. Each box includes 120 K-cups, so you should have plenty to cater to your guests all season long, especially if you opt for a box of each variety.”
Kirkland Signature Columbia Supremo whole bean blend of coffee beans off-loads for $17.99 for three pounds.
Starbucks devotees should try Kirkland Signature House Blend whole bean coffee — “custom-roasted by Starbucks,” Costco’s proud to say — in 40-ounce bags for $12.99. Nearby, a straight-up bag of Starbucks French roast whole bean coffee was selling for $20.99 for a 40-ounce bag.
Costco Kirkland Signature Spiral-cut Ham
It’s another holiday tradition: Plattering up the store-baked (you just warm it up), spiral-cut ham.
Some companies have done well just focusing on selling spiral hams (and sides), mostly around the holidays. We’re looking at you, Honey Baked Ham Co.
But could you have guessed it? Kirkland Signature has its own line of spiral-sliced cooked hams as an option for your holiday dining. They sell for $1.99 a pound; you’ll fork out about $20 for a good-sized ham that could serve as many as 16 people. A Martin’s supermarket in central Virginia was selling Nature’s Promise (Martin’s store brand) spiral-cut hams for $5.99 a pound, $3 more per pound than Costco.
On the Honey Baked Ham website, a nine-pound ham costs $92.99, or about $10 per pound, five times as much as than the Kirkland Signature ham.
Costco Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup
Those hearty waffles or fluffy pancakes on Christmas morning are nothing unless they’re floating drowned in maple syrup. Think Costco Kirkland Signature organic maple syrup.
“This is the only syrup I can eat now, whether it be on pancakes, waffles, or French toast,” says Ramhold, consumer analyst at the deals website DealNews.com. “We also use it to make homemade maple whipped cream to eat with pumpkin cobbler at Thanksgiving. Basically, one of these bottles should get you through the holidays no problem, and add excellent flavor to whatever you add it to.”
A 33.8-ounce jug of Kirkland Signature organic maple syrup was selling for $11.99. Kroger was selling a 32-ounce container of NOW Real Food organic maple syrup for $24.99, more than twice the price of the Kirkland Signature brand.
Costco Kirkland Signature Wines, Irish Cream and Liquor
Costco is the biggest seller of wine in the U.S., with estimated annual wine sales of $1.8 billion, and the warehouse club’s Kirkland Signature wines are a big reason behind the booming demand. As Annette Alvarez-Peters, who heads Costco’s wine-buying team, told Wine Spectator, "The Costco consumer is very loyal to the [Kirkland Signature] brand. They will always give the item a shot.” And why not? Wine rating websites typically give Kirkland Signature wines high scores in the mid-to-upper 80s out of 100.
One hint for picking especially good Kirkland Signature wines: When you see the Costco brand on the front label, turn the bottle around. You just might find the name of the source winery on the back label. That can tell you a lot about the experience of the wine maker and the quality of the grapes. Alternatively, read reviews online. This Costco-centric wine blog, for one, reviewed plenty of Kirkland Signature wines. In my own taste-testing of whites I found a nice Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and a Kirkland Sonoma County chardonnay for $7.99 each. These are big boys, too,1.5 liter bottles, not the typical 750 milliliters for mass retailers’ house wines, including Walmart, with its private label wines called Winemakers Selection, selling for about $5 to $12.99 per bottle, or Aldi, with its Winking Owl varieties, including chardonnay, pinot grigio, shiraz, zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, selling for $2.95 a bottle.
Looking for a drinky-poo to toast the holidays? To Kirkland Signature!
Ramhold has her eye on Kirkland Signature Irish Country Cream ($9.89 for a 1.5 liter bottle). “Bailey’s who?” says Ramhold. “This is one of my personal favorites because to me it tastes richer than other Irish creams but also doesn’t have the same burn. That could be a winning or losing point, depending on how you look at it, I guess. For me, it’s a winning one. This is great on its own or for adding to boozy milkshakes for adults. I try to always keep a bottle on hand!”
Oh, and if your Costco has a full-blown liquor store attached to it, you're in luck.
"If you're looking to stock your liquor cabinet this holiday, Kirkland booze is fairly well-reviewed and the prices are excellent," says Bodge. "For example, the Kirkland Signature American vodka is about 40% less than Tito's, and 70% less than Grey Goose. Tequila can be as low as half the price as the branded competition. If you prefer beer, Kirkland Signature craft beers can be as low as half the price of a fancier brand."
Not every Costco warehouse club has a Costco liquor store attached, due to various state laws. But yeah, you can score the wines and that rockin’ Irish cream at most Costcos. I did.
Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken
You need great meals fast during the holidays, especially when guests are rolling in or the kids, back from college, have friends in tow. Costco’s got you covered.
The Costco I go to in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley must roast hundreds of chickens a day in its giant rotisserie oven, which is constantly tended by white-coated chicken changers. These Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chickens are always tasty, and what’s not sold is repurposed in other delicious Costco fresh foods made onsite, including a splendid Kirkland Signature chicken noodle soup. You can also score packages of shredded chicken, great for creating a variety of your own dishes at home (and it freezes well).
The best part: Costco has consistently kept the price of each roasted chicken at $4.99, likely looked at as a loss leader. At a nearby Walmart, a lone roast chicken was selling for $7.67 with nary a rotisserie in sight.
Costco Kirkland Signature Chicken Stock
For home chefs who do a lot of cooking, Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock is a winner in taste and price. Stock has a long shelf life, and the six quart-size boxes of organic chicken stock you’ll get at Costco cost just $9.99, or about $1.66 per quart, a half-buck less than a year ago. At Kroger, a single quart-size box of Pacific Foods organic chicken stock was selling for $3.40.
For the holidays, says Ramhold, Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock "is a must for making homemade dressing and/or stuffing, as well as soups. It’s good to keep on hand all year long, honestly."
Costco Kirkland Signature Gift Items
Say you’re that person who loves to give gifts and tips — for the mail carrier, the person who delivers your newspaper, teachers and others on your holiday list, maybe even the dog.
We came across some fine giftables bearing the Kirkland Signature mark, including small boxes of Kirkland Signature peppermint bark with Belgian chocolate ($9.99), Kirkland Signature Belgian chocolate gift boxes ($14.99 for a 1.5-pound box with 46 pieces), containers of Kirkland Signature European cookies with Belgian chocolate ($12.99 for 3.09 pounds), and Kirkland Signature Walkers Shortbread ($19.99 for 4.63 pounds).
Ramhold’s particularly smitten with the KS European cookies.
“These are only available around this time of year,” says Ramhold. “Each tin has 15 different kinds of cookies and these are such an easy dessert to set out after dinner for guests to enjoy with coffee. Each tin weighs 49.4 ounces, and the cookies are on the smaller side so they’re the perfect snack.”
For your fur baby, why not bring a little of the storied Costco food court home? In a way.
Costco Kirkland Signature Nuts
Holiday tradition demands we stock up on nuts, if only to give the nutcracker’s jaw its seasonal workout.
Costco knows nuts, and its Kirkland Signature Unsalted Cashews are a prime example. That’s not just this nut speaking.
“Costco’s nuts are always super-fresh and high-quality,” raves food and cooking website TheKitchn.com. “Unless you’re a big-time baker, two- and three-pound packages of nuts might seem like a daunting purchase, but don’t forget that they freeze beautifully.” I can also echo TheKitchn’s love of Costco’s Super Extra-Large Virginia Peanuts.
Ramhold of DealNews is a big fan of the nuttiness of Kirkland Signature.
“Walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pecans are usually available and are a great deal compared to shopping in a grocery store if you need a good amount for holiday baking or like to roast your own varieties for a holiday snack,” says Ramhold.
A 40-ounce package of Kirkland Signature whole fancy cashews goes for $14.99, cheaper than the going rate for Planters whole cashews on Amazon (excluding shipping), which was seeking $14.99 for a 33-ounce package.
Costco Kirkland Signature Batteries
Here’s one holiday tradition that hasn’t changed much over the years: Making sure you have enough batteries on hand to power all those new toys and gifts. Kirkland Signature batteries can keep electronic toys and devices charged up at bargain prices. A 48-pack of Kirkland Signature AA batteries (reportedly made by Duracell) is $13.99, or about 29 cents per battery. To get the Duracell name on your batteries, you’ll pay 13 cents more per battery via a 40-pack of Duracell AA batteries for $16.99. (Or wait until Costco puts the real Duracell batteries on sale at prices that rival the Costco Kirkland brand.)
Costco Kirkland Signature Olive Oil
Costco’s olive oil rises to the top, notes the University of California, Davis, which conducted a chemical and sensory study of olive oils. Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil was one of only a few imported oils that met international and U.S. standards for extra virgin olive oil. The many brands that fell short in the testing were diluted with cheaper oils and exhibited problems with quality and flavor.
Kirkland’s EVOO — especially the two-liter bottle for about $12 — is a must for the holidays, experts say. It’s one product to buy in bulk for the holidays. Even a big bottle shouldn’t go to waste, with all the cooking and dipping at holiday gatherings.
Costco Kirkland Signature Cheese Flights
You never know when guests will drop in for the holidays, and guess what? They’ve brought a bottle of wine. Be prepared to have some snacks, well, prepared. Pre-prepared, to be redundant, in this case, as in Kirkland Signature cheese flights.
Add your own nuts, grapes, and crackers, and this party spread is done. While ingredients may vary, the one available at the Costco I visited has Gruyere, Bellavitano, Chevre, pecorino, and fontal cheeses. It was $23.99 for almost two pounds.
Costco Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter
You want something fast and filling when all those kids come over for holiday gatherings. And Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter (just peanuts and salt) is a go-to food, for sandwiches or baking yummy peanut butter cookies.
Our favorite brand had been Smucker’s organic creamy peanut butter, we have found Kirkland Signature Organic PB is just as good (and often better) as national brands, and there’s no arguing with the price. You can get two huge 28-ounce jars of Kirkland peanut butter for around $10, or 18 cents per creamy ounce, while just one 16-ounce jar of Smucker’s costs $4.48 at Walmart, or 28 cents per ounce.
Costco Kirkland Signature Trash Bags
The holidays generate a lot of nifty-gifties, but they also generate a lot of trash. All that wrapping paper! All those food scraps! Costco has you covered with Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech scented kitchen bags. A 200-bag box of 13-gallon bags is $18.99, or 9 cents a bag (still, that’s a more than $4 increase from 2020). At Walmart, a box of 110 13-gallon Glad ForceFlex scented garbage bags is $24.50, or 22 cents a bag, twice as much as the Kirkland Signature brand.
“There are a variety of different trash bags under Kirkland’s line, but we keep our cabinets stocked with the Flex-Tech bags,” says Ramhold of DealNews.com. “We can cram a ton of trash into them. They work just as well for weekly trash as they do for broken-down cardboard boxes.”
Costco Kirkland Signature Big Red Cups
Those legendary big red cups are good for more than pickup beer pong events with your hipster grandparents. They’re also good for socially distanced small holiday gatherings where friends and family aren’t using your dishware and you’re practicing good recycling methods.
And here’s where another major manufacturer, Chinet instead of Flex-Tech, has teamed up with Kirkland Signature. Check out Kirkland Signature Chinet the Big Red Cup for packages of KS-stamped 18-ounce plastic cups, red of course. You can get a package of 240 for $10.49 (up from $8.99 a year ago), or about 4 cents per cup. By comparison, Walmart was selling a package of Solo red plastic cups for $4.12 for 50, or 8 cents per cup, double the Kirkland Signature brand.
Kirkland Signature Cutlery
We’ve often pointed you to dollar stores to pick up holiday dishware, cutlery and cups, but to step up the quality at still-bargain prices, turn to Costco. Its Kirkland Signature cutlery, along with the above-mentioned red cups, are the rave of experts.
Says Ramhold, “Get these ahead of the holiday season and you’ll likely have plenty to host at least a couple of parties. The cutlery box has 360 pieces and includes knives, spoons, and forks for around $16, which comes out to four cents per piece. Stocking up on these means not having to worry about doing dishes after the parties are over and make cleanup much easier.”
Costco Kirkland Signature Chocolate Chips
The holidays always feature a lot of baking, and many of us will need our chocolate fix in our sweets.
You can’t go wrong with Kirkland Signature semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can score a giant 72-ounce (4.5-pounds) bag for $7.99 (down $1 from a year ago), but if you can’t do without a national brand, Costco also sells Nestle’s Toll House chips, same size package, for $9.79.
Ramhold is partial to Kirkland Signature’s chips.
“These are still the superior chocolate chips in my opinion and are great to keep on hand during the holidays for all the baking projects, whether it’s cookies, brownies, muffins, or anything else that requires them,” says Ramhold. “Plus, they’re a great value.”
Costco Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread
Spread the red for the holidays. Ramhold and others just absolutely love Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread, an inexpensive and tasty topper for all sorts of things.
“It smells and tastes like fresh strawberries, and I’ve used it in so many different things,” says Ramhold. “Whether you’re making thumbprint cookies, oatmeal jam bars, or just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, this is the only spread you need. I also recommend swirling it through a no-bake cheesecake batter for an easy dessert.”
A 42-ounce jar sells for $7.49.
Kirkland Signature Meatballs
We’ve never met a meatball we haven’t loved, especially those simmering in a crockpot for easy meals or snacks around the holidays. Kirkland Signature’s cooked meatballs are tops.
You can get a 6-pound bag for about $23 “and you’ll have an easy shortcut to holiday appetizers all season long,” says Ramhold. “Alternatively, if holiday chaos has you considering takeout more often, opt for these and dried pasta for a fast dinner that takes no time at all to make.”
Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar
Kirkland Signature’s balsamic vinegar also gets a big thumbs up from deals experts, including Ramhold.
“If you order online, you can get a 2-pack of 1-liter bottles for around $37 and this balsamic is delicious whether you want to use it straight up or cook it down for a reduction,” says Ramhold. “It’s one of my favorite things to keep on hand all year long, but it’s especially handy around the holidays when we’re attending parties with charcuterie boards and things like that.”