If you’re like me, you spend half of December grocery shopping, half of it present shopping and half of it cooking. Yes, I’m aware that my math is flawed, but that’s pretty much how it feels. And while shopping online has pretty much become standard, sometimes you need something now, or just need a stash of gifts ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice (like when your neighbor shows up with a Bundt cake, and you don’t want to look like a schlub).
There’s one thing we know to be true: pretty much everyone loves a thoughtful food gift—you simple can’t go wrong with giving something edible. Homemade is a great way to go, but there’s nothing wrong with a store-bought treat. And guess which of our favorite stores has a robust selection of food gifts? You guessed it: Costco. The beauty of it is that you can go grocery shopping and present shopping at the same time. Three cheers for efficiency over the holidays!
Prices may be subject to change based on your location.
Chocolate in particular. These are but some of the offerings: Godiva Masterpieces Dark Chocolate Hearts ($8.59 for 14.6 ounces), Lindt Lindor Truffles ($10.99 for 21.2 ounces), Gudrun Golden Collection ($10.00 for14.21 ounces), Truffettes de France ($10.99 for 2 boxes), Ghirardelli Gold Assortment Bag ($11.99 for 24.6 ounces), and Kirkland Peppermint Bark ($9.99 for 21 ounces).
There’s something for everyone: Kirkland Signature Chocolate Crepes ($8.99 for 20 ounces), David’s Butter Pecan Meltaways ($9.99 for 2 pounds), Kirkland Signature European cookies ($11.99 for 3 pounds), Kirkland’s Signature Walkers Shortbread in a cute tin ($19.99 for 4.6 pounds), and Shasha Gingerbread Cookies, ready to be decorated ($8.99 for 2.6 pounds).
3. Sweet Novelties
A gingerbread house is currently on offer for $9.99. Hey, if it’s all about the decorating anyway, might as well leave the architecture and construction to Costco.
The Hot Cocoa Party Gift Set contains cookie mug hangers, peppermint shards, snowflake marshmallows, and milk hot chocolate spoons—all for a mere $12.49.
4. For the Cheese Lover
The Kirkland cheese flight, with five cheeses ranging from an Italian sheep’s milk cheese with truffles to a Cabot clothbound mature cheddar, is only $19.99. Pair it with a 20-ounce jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s Pepper Jelly ($6.59)—a perfect accompaniment to cheeses of all kinds.
A 56-ounce brick of traditional fruitcake—with its medley of cherries, candied pineapple, jumbo pecan halves and walnuts—is going for $14.99. If you ever find yourself wondering who is buying and eating these, the answer must be someone, because Costco doesn’t carry anything no one wants.
How happy would you be to receive a big old pie? A 70-ounce (over 4 pounds!) pecan pie sells for $13.99. A steal if I ever saw one (I feel like the nuts alone would cost more than that!). An even heavier (75 ounces) lattice apple pie sells for just $9.99.
7. Gift Baskets
My local Costco (in Brookfield, CT) was already stocked full of gift baskets before Thanksgiving. The Vintage Treasures Basket, containing salted cashew chocolate caramels and Pirouline Crème Filled Wafers among other goodies—is going for $19.99. The Houdini Metal Basket—with Bonne Maman Preserves and Vino Formaggio Basil and Garlic Bites—is priced at $48.99. The Houdini Jute and Canvas basket, with Walkers Shortbread and Lindor Chocolates—is $39.99. Lastly, the Big Kahuna—The DesignPac Gleaming Gala Basket. It comes with a metal beverage cooler to be used after the contents are devoured, and contains Harry & David Mediterranean Herb Crackers, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider—all for $99.99.
8. Cooking Appliances
OK, so technically these aren’t edible; but, if you gift that kitchen maven in your life one of these finds, you’ll be sure to receive an edible gift later. There are lots of sales here at this time of year, so do check online and plan before you shop.
The Cuisinart Countertop Oven features 7 cooking functions—including an air fryer function—and boasts an extra-large capacity (up to a 4-pound chicken or a 12-inch pizza). It was on sale for $129.99 at the very end of November.
The Ninja Foodi ($189.99) bills itself as “The Pressure Cooker That Crisps”—an air fryer meets pressure cooker.
The cult vacuum-sealing system, Food Saver, was also on sale last time I visited, reduced from $139.99 to $89.99. What is interesting about the Food Saver is that not only can you use it to seal all sorts of things—from produce, to baked goods, to meat—but you can also use the sealed bags for cooking food sous vide.
While Costco’s beverage department is a great place to find gifts year-round, during the holidays they have some extra-special offerings.
Lots of sparkling wines are available: Lunetta Prosecco is a super economical $10.99, Kirkland Signature Champagne is just $19.99, Accademia Prosecco is $27.99, and Moet & Chandon’s 150th-Anniversary Champagne is just $42.99. They also have some gift boxes pairing sparkling wines and other liquors with glasses (the Vielle Rose Champagne gift box is going for $49.99).
During my last visit to Costco, I saw the coolest dragon-shaped bottle of Napoleon Dragon XO Brandy, from France, for $119.99. The last bottle got snatched right as I was ogling it, and the salesman said that they had sold 42 in the past week alone.
For the Port lover in your life, get a bottle of Fonseca Port Bin 27 Reserve for $13.99. If looking to splurge a bit, Porto Maynard’s Vintage 2016, from Portugal, is $49.99.
And lastly, what should you do with all the money you saved on these well-priced gifts? I’ve—or, well, Costco’s—got just the thing. Pick up a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac for a cool $3036.07. Who says you can’t put a price on love?
Additional recommendations from the Food52 editors
10. Gran Panettone Italian Cake
For reasons we cannot explain, one of my friends and I each give each other a big Panettone for the holidays. For some reason, it always feels too fancy to unwrap the big cake and eat it for breakfast (I actually found last Christmas’s Panettone in the back of my pantry in May. Oops!) But if you get one of Costco’s Gran Panettone Italian Cakes ($7.99), you should definitely dive right in.
11. A Giant Jar of Reese’s Pieces
Make all the kids (and probably many adults) in your life extremely happy by gifting them a huge—seriously, it’s 48 ounces—jar of Reese’s Pieces ($9.99). If definitely won’t fit in a stocking, so wrap it like a real present and just wait to see the looks on your giftee’s face.
12. Kagi Swiss Chocolate Wafers
An international cookie makes a perfect stocking-stuffer or addition to a larger gift for food-lovers. A 1-pound bag of Swiss wafers (in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and coconut flavors) is just $6.19.
13. DIY Cookie Jars
The beauty of Costco is that you can buy large quantities of most everything on the cheap—so why not get a little crafty this year and make DIY Cookie Jars for everyone on your holiday list: Buy a palate glass jars (also available at Costco!), or to save even more money, use a washed-out plastic, screw-on lidded Costco snack containers. Fill each jar with dry ingredients like flour, sugar, oats, and chocolate chips for a batch or two of your favorite cookie recipe. Or try a cake mix if that’s more your vibe. Print out and attach cute labels with the full recipes to each jar.
14. DIY Breakfast Mixes
Help everyone have a cozy holiday breakfast with a different jarred dry mix: pancake or waffle dry mix, or include the dry ingredients for your favorite scones or biscuits.
15. DIY Flavored Salts or Sugars
For another fun (and very affordable) holiday DIY, buy a palate of small empty spice jars ($24.99 for 24) and fill with flavored salts or sugars. Here’s how: divide a large container of kosher salt (a 3-pound jar of Morton’s is $2.72), or sugar (a 10-pound bag of Imperial Granulated Sugar is $7.08) into smaller bowls and rub the salts with ingredients like dried chiles, citrus zest, dry herbs, ground mushroom powder. Rub the sugar with flavors like citrus zest, split vanilla beans, food-grade lavender, or warm spices. Jar them up and give them out tagged with how to use them (sprinkled on toast, pasta, cooked meat or fish, rimming margaritas, finishing cookies, the list goes on and on!)
What are you eyeing at Costco this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.
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