Being a member at Costco is a wonderful thing, but you need to know the science behind it. The members-only warehouses have their perks for sure. If you haven’t already seen how full it gets on a Saturday with tons of people filling their carts to the top. However, just as all these people are thinking they have struck big on the deals and stocked up doing so- this is not always the case. We have compiled a list to ensure you are getting the very best out of your membership- what to buy and not buy below…
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Laundry Detergent
This seems like a major money saver but the truth is this detergent is not good for anything but that. The money you save will be spent on new clothing since this detergent has ruined all of your already existing ones. Not only is it bad for your clothes but the detergent has been proven to cause allergies as well as respiratory issues and asthma. To top it all off it is also bad for the environment.
Buy- Maple Syrup
Maple syrup can cost a small fortune but Costco has really nailed this one. We have no doubt your favorite brunch spots use artificial syrup filled with corn starch and truly doesn’t taste like the real deal. Kirkland was clever, they made their own pure maple syrup and the price tag is a jaw-dropper!
Don’t Buy- Books
The book aisle is just good for a little skim or browse but that is it. The prices may be lower than other book stores but Amazon prices are more competitive and are your best choice. You should also check out specialized book stores they often have great deals and prices.
Buy- Toilet Paper
The rolls are quite big and the 30-roll pack may take up some space but it is well worth the buy. The ultra-soft toilet paper will have you giving up space with no problem once you check out the pricing. Check out the paper towels the same applies there.
Buy- Olive Oil
Almost every dish requires a little olive oil, it is a must-have around the house and in any kitchen let’s be honest. The large option at Costco comes highly recommended and you certainly will not have to worry about running out anytime soon. It is extra-virgin, organic, high-quality, and affordable.
Don’t Buy- Ground Coffee
Who else is a coffee addict? Most of us I’m sure, need that first thing in the morning cup. Many people cannot begin the day without that first cup. You may be saving money by buying a larger size at Costco but you are compromising on taste, big time. Once coffee beans are ground they lose their flavor and strength. If freshness is a game-changer you should pass on this one.
Well, the gas is a game-changer. Even if all Costco’s had to liquidate and they decided to just keep the gas stations running it would be well worth having a membership. Their gas prices are unbeatable!
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Light Beer
At Costco, the brand names in the beer section are your best option- Corona, Budweiser, and Guinness are the tastiest. Kirkland’s Light Beer is the Costco version and their brewing abilities do not qualify. Pass it up.
Buy- Frozen Fruits
This item will most likely have you buying another freezer and you would still manage to save. Frozen produce can be ket for a long time and it is great to buy in bulk because of that. The frozen fruit at Costco is great and so are the veggies- we advise a stock up with these prices.
Don’t Buy- Fresh Fruits And Veggies
As much as buying your favorite foods in bulk may seem like a fabulous idea, the honest truth is that there are better prices elsewhere. This is particularly;y true when it comes to fruits and vegetables that are not in season. Even grocery stores have better deals at times.
Don’t Buy- Spices
Spices have the same composition as coffee in the sense that they are perishable and lose their flavor. It is not that they expire or go moldy but rather the longer they sit the more flavor lost. Leave the bulk spices for restaurants or when having huge events.
Vanilla certainly does not lose its flavor. The big bottle that Costco has on offer is definitely a good buy. Vanilla is great to keep around the house as it is in almost all baking recipes and can be added to oatmeal and much more for flavor.
Don’t Buy- Tissues
Most times tissue are just tissues but when you have a cold you want to be sure that the tissues are soft and silky good quality. Although, this will save you money you will be giving up quality and may end up with some unnecessary redness. Kirkland tissues are a bit on the rough side.
Besides for buying your seasonal tires at a better rate, the service provided is also top-notch. This is the main reason customers depend on Costco’s Tire center to combat all their tire needs. Even individuals who are not members choose the warehouse to purchase theirs.
Don’t Buy- Soda
As tempting as it is to purchase soft drinks with your groceries and simply get it all out of the way- we do not recommend this at Costco. You’ll save money at your local grocery store as soft drinks are usually on sale anyways.
Don’t Buy- Diapers
Kids definitely make a dent in the wallet. Just diapers can cause bankruptcy. It makes sense to buy diapers in bulk but the box can weigh a ton. Regardless, you go through them super fast. Amazon is a better bet because they offer great deals, especially when bought in bulk. If you have Prime delivery is free too.
Buy- Breakfast Cereal
Regardless of age, we all love cereal. Costco is definitely one of the best places to get cereal and this has not changed over time, it is a staple. All the popular brands are offered at a cheaper cost. Whether it be Keelog’s or Post they have it. They also offer bigger boxes. Cereal doesn’t go stale easy so it is worth the buy.
Buy- Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is an absolute steal at Costco. Kirkland and Vitawrap are on offer and they can be stored for ages. The large amounts will last you and we all know how annoying it can be to run out of plastic wrap. It is for sure the cheapest available.
Don’t Buy- Shampoo Or Soap
Just like the soda, soap and shampoo is usually one thing on sale at the grocery store and most cosmetic stores. Costco does not actually offer much of a deal on them so it would be a better choice to purchase them at another store on sale.
The Costco 60-pack Instant Oatmeal is a great buy in comparison to any supermarket. You will most likely save up to $10 when purchasing the oatmeal at Costco instead of your local grocery store. The only thing is making space because the box is rather large.
Buy- Healthy Bite-Sized Snacks
Healthy and organic treats are not on the cheap side. This makes it less accessible. However, Costco has healthy options for a lower cost, and these are their best seller. The Aussie Bites cost $12 for 32 little bites.
It is rather unfortunate that nuts are such an expensive snack no matter where you purchase them. When you buy them in bigger quantities it will definitely save you money in the future. The great thing about the ones at Costco is that they also have a reclosable lid to keep them fresh.
Don’t Buy- Condiments
Condiments are non-perishable which is a great factor- they can stay fresh for ages and just need to be kept in the fridge. Once opened always remember to refrigerate. However, these jars are way too big to store in the fridge so buying the normal versions is a better choice.
Don’t Buy- Salsa
This salsa jar at Costco is for sure what we consider to be a party-size. However, it may be great for get-togethers but not to keep around the house. if you rarely eat chips and salsa we suggest you skip this one, it will simply go bad halfway.
Pre-packaged snacks make making those lunchboxes a lot easier, they also come in handy if you’re in a hurry. Costco offers almost everything you may desire from sweet to salty and more. These big boxes are great for saving money and are extremely easy to use.
Drugs and vitamins differ in price from plate to place. Most of the time we opt for the brand name when the product is in actual fact the same as what is in the store. Kirkland offers the same product at an extremely affordable price!
We all use battery-powered electronics almost every single day. We all know that batteries are not cheap. However, next time you are at Costco, be sure to get some Duracell batteries but Kirkland also offers batteries made by Duracell.
If you and your family can finish off a gallon of Kirkland’s milk before it spoils then go ahead. This is why we recommend along with many other websites that you purchase milk elsewhere. However, if you can finish it- it’s worth it.
Buy- Coffee Cups
Due to the impact they have on the environment it is advised to avoid individual coffee portions. They are convenient and affordable especially for those who live by themselves. The Costco coffee cups are cheap and taste delicious.
Buy- Rotisserie Chicken
Costco’s $5 rotisserie chicken is the company’s best seller and for good reason. It has been a best seller and a favorite of customers for years. The size is huge- enough to feed the entire family. The best part is if you have leftovers they can be kept for a few days.
Don’t Buy- Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another one of those items that is always on sale. Costco has larger tubes that come packaged with multiple but you can most certainly get better deals at any nearby supermarket or pharmacy.
Buy- Peanut Butter
Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Even dogs do! The family-sized jar will save you money, it will also last longer than other jars and brands. Adding to the pro’s, peanut butter doesn’t spoil. Neither does almond butter so purchasing both is a great idea.
Costco makes the most delicious bagels that are genuine to their brand. The 2-packs are affordable and come in an array of flavors. The best part is whatever you do not eat within purchasing you can simply freeze them and use them at a later time.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Almond Milk
The store offers a variety of substitutes for milk which is great for those who are allergic or prefer to steer clear of dairy. Our best advice is to purchase Almond breeze rather than Kirkland’s brand as the taste is much better.
Tahini is not only good on salads but in actual fact goes well with almost anything. Just as many other things are, sesame paste is very expensive and so buying it in bulk is a good idea. Be sure to refrigerate after opening so that it stays fresh.
Buy – Bacon
Although it may be rather surprising the bacon at Costco is loved and recommended by customers. The only downside to it is the amount you have to buy in one shot hut regardless the price is unbeatable.
Buy – Bacon Crumbles
Just as great as bacon is, it is just as good of an idea to have some bacon crumbles on hand. Not only are they easy to use but they taste delicious with anything. These bits really take any dish to the next level.
Buy: Fresh eggs
There are multiple benefits to buying eggs at Costco. Not only are the prices competitive but Costco offers a large variety. They have free-range, organic, regular eggs and all different sizing just to add to the appeal.
Buy: Hot dogs and soda at the food court
Pizza is known as the best thing in the Costco food court but there are tons of people who disagree. These other regulars swear by the hot-dog and soda combo as being the best offer. The meal even has its own fan website! To add to it, Business Insider has named it “the best hot dog in America.”
Buy: The Acai Bowl At The Food Court
The next food item you have to grey is the acai bowl. It only costs $5 for the plant-based goodness. The bowl actually made headlines all across the United States this summer that’s just how good it is!
Cheese lovers openly admit that the cheese aisle at Costco is a heaven for them. The cheese is fairly priced but the variety is out of this world. Buying cheese for $20 can easily cover a few dinner parties not even just one.
Skip: Signature gas grill
This grill at Costco is on offer for half the price of the other popular name brands. However, when comparing it to a Weber grill it has been reviews that it is not built as sturdy. Additionally, if it needs fixing it can be tough to source parts for it.
Buy: Organic berries
These blueberries are an exception from our above fresh produce rule. Why? The jam-packed berry is great for your health and packed with benefits but Costco offers a much better deal than other places.
Skip: Flour, baking powder, and dried yeast
All baking ingredients are perishable and do not last long at all. Flour, baking powder, and dried yeast should not be bought in bulk because of this. Rather leave the big containers of these ingredients and get them at your local store.
Buy: Kirkland organic coconut water
The coconut water craze is never-ending and if you enjoy it you definitely need to buy this 12-pack of organic coconut water. There are plenty of great reviews online, five-star ones that will vouch for the product too.
Buy: Verka organic yogurt
Buying a 64-ounce tub of Verka organic yogurt is a huge save as the tub costs just a bit more than a 16-ounce tub from your local supermarket and store. The product also has a long shelf life for a milk-product. The yogurt promotes family farming too.
Skip: Las Fortunitas tortilla chips
These chips may come in a bag that is the same size as a garbage bag, but that is because the resemblance is real. Las Fortunitas chips may be a crazy deal but trust us when we say the bag never finished and the product truly doesn’t keep well. The chips contain hydrogenated oils and were given a B-minus by Fooducate.
Buy: Kerrygold butter
Costco has a variety of butter brands and one of them is Kirkland. If high-quality butter is what your after then it is what you’ll find. Kerrygold has been highly ranked by foodies and is even made with milk from cows that are grass-fed.
Buy: Kirkland vodka
Buying any alcohol at Costco is a great idea, they have all the brand names. However, they offer the best deal for vodka not only does it look like Grey Goose but some have the theory that it secretly is. Websites conducted taste tests and Kirkland’s French vodka came out on top!