Who would have thought that there is a scientific explanation behind getting the most out of your Costco membership? There is definitely a perk for being a member of these members-only warehouses, just go on a weekend and see a large number of customers pushing around shopping carts that are filled to the brim. While most of the people who are stocking up cereals for the winter may think that they got the best deals, they might be wrong about it. To make sure that you’re getting the best deals that are worth your money, continue reading to learn tips on what to buy and what to get rid of.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Laundry Detergent
Buying Kirkland laundry detergent surely is a way to save some bucks, but that is the only good thing about it. Using Kirkland detergent will only make you use the money you saved to buy new clothes since your cheap detergent destroyed your clothes. It is not only bad to use on your favorite jeans, but it can also cause allergies and reactions in addition to respiratory problems and asthma. If those are not enough reasons for you to be discouraged buying it, it is also harmful to the environment.
Buy- Maple Syrup
We all know that authentic maple syrup is a bit expensive. There’s a big chance that your favorite breakfast place uses an alternative maple syrup which is more corn syrup and tastes nothing like the real syrup. Fortunately, Kirkland made its very own Pure Maple Syrup which is a great buy because of its 1L size and price tag!
Don’t Buy- Books
It is not worth it to buy books at Costco. Their book aisle is only great for one thing, browsing. Books from Costco may be cheaper compared to other stores, but buying online like in Amazon is way better. A lot of specialized book stores also sell second-hand books at a great bargain.
Buy- Toilet Paper
The rolls may be quite large and buying a 30-roll pack consumes a lot of storage space, we can guarantee you that the ultra-soft paper Costco is offering is a must-buy! When you see the price tag, we’re sure that you’ll forget about saving up space. The same goes for the paper towels!
Buy- Olive Oil
Pretty much all cuisines use Olive oil, so this is something that you’ll always want to be available in your kitchen. We highly recommend buying the large options Costco is offering. You’ll never have to worry running out of olive oil and at the same time, you’ll be saving some bucks. Aside from the fact that it’s high-quality, organic, and extra virgin, it is also worth every dime!
Don’t Buy- Ground Coffee
Are we the only one who considers coffee a religion? I know you do too! Many people start their day with a cup of coffee, and if you’re one of them, continue reading. Buying a larger pack may help you save a couple of bucks but you’ll forgo something important, which is the taste. Once coffee beans are grounded and exposed to air it is most likely to lose its flavor and strength. So if you value freshness, you might want to skip buying the bigger jars,
Costco may have closed their warehouses and only left their gas stations, it’s still a plus to have a membership. The prices of their gas are so good so be sure to fill up your tanks here, and next time you use your credit card, be sure to present your Costco card as well for discounts!
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Light Beer
We all love beer, especially brands like Corona, Budweiser, and Guinness, even Costco agrees. But Costco’s attempt at beer is Kirkland’s Light Beer. No shade was thrown but their brewing abilities are far from being great. To avoid the hassle of returns, just skin on this one.
Buy- Frozen Fruits
Believe us when we say that Frozen Fruits from Costco is worth every dime! This may consume a big amount of space in your fridge, but we guarantee that you’ll save money. Frozen produce can be kept in your fridge for a long time which makes them the best item to buy in a huge amount. While frozen fruit is a crowd favorite, if you still have extra space on your fridge, make sure to buy some veggies too.
Don’t Buy- Fresh Fruits And Veggies
Buying your family’s favorite fruit in huge portions may seem like a great deal since it comes out cheaper, but the truth is you can find it cheaper somewhere else. When it comes to fruits and vegetables that are not in season, your local grocery store usually offers better deals.
Don’t Buy- Spices
When it comes to shelf life, spices and ground coffee are similar in that sense. They may not get expired or go bad, but they are most likely to lose their flavor over time. If you’re that type of person who cooks for just 2-4 people, just stick to the smaller jars and leave the big jars of spices to Italian restaurants!
It’s true that spices lose flavor over time, but vanilla doesn’t. Costco offers large size bottles of vanilla extract and we promise you that it is a good buy! Especially for your spontaneous cookie baking and brownie cravings!
Don’t Buy- Tissues
Having a cold requires you to have heavy-duty and good quality tissues. Buying tissues in bulk may be a great way to save money, but you’ll be sparing yourself on the quality. Kirkland tissues are actually quite thin and rough which is the total opposite of what a runny nose needs.
Costco’s Tire Center is known for its discounted rates and high quality-service that even non-members choose the warehouse to buy their new treads. This is the very reason why customers entrust all their tire needs on Costo’s Tire Center.
Don’t Buy- Soda
Skip on these and just buy soda at your local grocery store, we promise you that you’ll save more bucks than buying at Costco. But keep an eye out because Costco’s soft drink shelves always have sale stickers plastered on them.
Don’t Buy- Diapers
Parents know how expensive it is to have a little one. Buying diapers alone can drain out your wallet. It may be more practical to buy in bulk, but buying diapers in Costco is totally not worth it because of its quality. Instead of saving money, it’ll make you spend more since you’ll go through them pretty quickly. Just buy at amazon, they also offer great discounts when you buy in bulk and they deliver right to your doorstep.
Buy- Breakfast Cereal
Fact is, everybody loves cereal! And Costco is the best place to buy your cereals. They sell popular cereal brands like Post and Kellog’s and offer them at discounted rates. Cereals are known to have a long shelf life so there’s no need to be worried about them losing freshness. However, if you want to preserve its crunchiness, we suggest that you refrain from opening them until you plan to consume it.
Buy- Plastic Wrap
When it comes to plastic wraps, brands like Kirkland and Vitawrap are a must-buy at Costco. You’ll be able to keep these boxes for years and its enormous quantity is a plus! Aside from being the cheapest on the market, it also works on almost every surface.
Don’t Buy- Shampoo Or Soap
Just like soda, it’s not worth it to buy shampoo and soap at Costco since they’re almost always on sale at supermarkets. Why pay full price for these products when you can buy them half the price somewhere else? Buying them on sale at any other store is the right thing to do.
Costco’s 60-packet of instant oatmeal is way much better than any supermarket, buying them at Costco can save you at least $10. The only thing that you need to worry about is the space to store the big box.
Buy- Healthy Bite-Sized Snacks
We all know that healthy food can be a bit pricey which makes it not accessible to everyone. Luckily, Costco sells nutritious foods at a cheap price. One of their famous healthy snacks is their best-selling Aussie Bites which is being sold for only $12 for 35 bites. Not bad right?
We all know that everywhere you go, nuts are expensive. But buying them in bulk can help you save money in the long run. Costco’s resealable lid is a smart feature that makes sure these cashews stay fresh for a period of time.
Don’t Buy- Condiments
Did you know that condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard don’t actually have a shelf life? They practically stay fresh and tasty forever. However, once you open them, they need to be kept in the fridge.
Don’t Buy- Salsa
The salsa that are being sold at Costco are definitely a party size. The big jar is a perfect size if you were to throw a party or get together, but if you’re rare chips and salsa eater, we suggest you buy the smaller jar. The jumbo version from Costco will spoil before you consume half of it!
Pre-packaged snacks are great for kid’s lunch boxes and for on-the-go people. Costco has everything you need, from the sweet to the salty, and everything in between. The big boxes are financially profitable and very practical if you find yourself stocking up on yummy snacks often.
Buying drugs and vitamins from drugstores and pharmacies can be expensive when they work just as fine as the store brand. Kirkland brand vitamins are exactly the same as any other, imagine getting them in large bottles but pay for half the price! Isn’t that great?
Most of the gadgets we use today are being powered by batteries, but unfortunately, batteries can be expensive too. So next time you need batteries, go to the warehouse, they sell batteries for a much lower price!
If you are someone who can finish a gallon of milk before it expires, we suggest you get them at Costco. If you see articles telling you to buy somewhere else, it’s only because of the large quantity. But if you know that you can consume it, then it’s totally worth your money!
Buy- Coffee Cups
Although being advised to refrain from individual coffee portions for environmental issues, for someone who lives on their own, coffee cups are convenient and economical. Compared to other brands, Costco’s coffee cups are a lot cheaper, and taste just as good!
Buy- Rotisserie Chicken
Costco’s $5 rotisserie chicken is the company’s best-selling product, and it’s been that way for years now. The chicken is cooked and ready to eat, and its large size will be enough to feed the entire clan. If you have too much chicken and not enough mouths to feed, feel free to throw the rest in the fridge for a later date.
Don’t Buy- Toothpaste
Toothpaste is one of those products that is almost always on sale. Although Costco does offer big tubes with a few tubes in a pack, you’ll score better deals in the supermarket or pharmacy.
Buy- Peanut Butter
Every member of the family enjoys peanut butter…even the dog! The family size jar will save you money, and ensure you never run out. Peanut butter never goes bad, and the same goes for almond butter….so stock up on both!
Coscto offers their own brand of bagels…and they’re delicious! The 2-pack comes at a low cost and you’ll have a handful of flavors to choose from. Whatever you don’t eat within the first week of purchase can be frozen for a later date.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Almond Milk
Costco also has great options for those who can’t or choose not to drink milk. We do recommend, however, that you choose Almond Breeze almond milk as opposed to the Kirkland brand. Although Costco’s version is organic, it’s ingredient list is lacking and it doesn’t taste very good.
Tahini makes for a great salad dressing, and it’s crucial when making hummus. Like many other things, the sesame paste is pretty expensive, so it’s a good idea to buy at Costco in bulk size. Be sure to keep it in the fridge after opening.
Buy – Bacon
Costco’s Kirkland sliced bacon surprisingly has a very good rating from customers. The only negatives noted were the amount you need to buy at one time. Not to mention, it has a great price no other store can beat.
Buy – Bacon Crumbles
While bacon is great, it’s also good to have bacon crumbles. They take no effort and can go on anything, transforming any dish to something completely different – in an amazing way!
Buy: Fresh eggs
There are two benefits to buying eggs at Costco – the prices are great, and so is the variety. “They have a surprising level of choice when it comes to eggs,” a customer said. You can find anything from conventional eggs to free-range.
Buy: Hot dogs and soda at the food court
Pizza has been rated as the best item in Costco’s food court, however, there are a lot of regulars who think the hot-dog-and-soda deal is the best. The snack even has its own fansite. Not to mention, Business Insider has named it “the best hot dog in America”.
Buy: The acai bowl at the food court
Another food court item to buy at Costco for cheap is the acai bowl. It’s plant-based and only costs $5. What a bargain! People loved it so much that it made headlines in the summer all across the country.
Costco’s cheese aisle is heaven for any cheese loves. They have a large variety, and of course, it’s all fairly priced. The amount you get for under $20 can easily feed three to four dinner parties over a couple of weeks.
Skip: Signateur gas grill
If you should skip something from purchases, it has to be the gas grill that Costco sells. They could be sold for about half the price you normally pay for a Weber grill, but many customers said this grill is not so well built. Replacement parts are also difficult to find.
Buy: Organic berries
An exception to the fresh produce rule is organic berries. If they are in the season, you can find a lot of them. Of course, berries have good health benefits and they can be quite expensive.
Skip: Flour, baking powder, and dried yeast
Baking ingredients such as flour, baking powder, and dried yeast have a limited lifespan. People have been cautioned to buy these items in bulk as they can go bad rather quickly. So, avoid the large purchase and buy it in smaller amounts.
Buy: Kirkland organic coconut water
If you love drinking coconut water, you might want to consider buying a 12-pack of Kirkland organic coconut water. Aside from its great review online, it is also priced very cheap compared to other brands that are being sold.
Buy: Verka organic yogurt
For just a little more than you would pay for a 16-ounce yogurt at the grocery store, you can buy a 64-ounce tub of Verka Organic Yogurt. Surprisingly, this product has a long shelf life and a taste comparable to other products of whole milk. This yogurt was well rated by the Cornucopia Institute for Family Farming. While you have other Costco yogurt choices, this is the best one.
Skip: Las Fortunitas tortilla chips
If you see Las Fortunitas Tortilla chips while doing your grocery at Costco, you might want to skip on them. It’s not because of the price or its taste, because these chips are cheap and tastes good, but the thing is these bags of chips are too big and you most likely will never finish the whole bag. Aside from that, Fooducate rated these chips a B-minus since it contains hydrogenated oils.
Buy: Kerrygold butter
There are several brands that are being sold at Costco, and one of them is their organic Kirkland brand. But if you want a good quality butter, you might want to consider buying Kerrygold. Most foodies prefer this brand better since it is made with milk from grass-fed cows.
Buy: Kirkland vodka
All kinds of alcohol that are being sold at Costco is a good buy, however, you get the best deal when you buy their vodka. Costco’s house-brand vodka is so good that some people think that it might be Grey Goose undercover. There are even some articles on the web where they did a taste test of Costco vodkas against other brands and Kirkland’s French vodka won.
Skip: Hearing aids
We all know that hearing aids are very expensive and are sometimes not covered by insurance. In fact, Costco actually sells hearing aids and they are pretty cheap, but we don’t suggest you buy them. Some reported that some of the branches have poor services and some branches don’t have the right equipment to adjust the hearing aid. What do you expect from a cheap hearing aid, right? Definitely not worth the money!
Buy: Prescription glasses
Aside from hearing aids, prescription glasses can be expensive too. One hack that you can do is to buy your glasses online, but the problem there is getting the right fit and correct number. Fortunately, Costco’s optometry department is actually the best answer to this problem. You can have your eyes checked in the store or bring those prescription glasses you bought online and have it adjusted there. Members can also get discounts for glasses and contact lenses online.
Buy: Wedding floral arrangements
If you are someone who likes giving you partner bouquets of flowers or maybe a couple getting married looking for flower arrangement for your wedding, Costco has a great deal for them! They sell bouquets and even offer a full wedding arrangement to make your special day memorable, all while saving money.
They may not have a lot of luggage to choose from, Costco is known to have good quality luggage. Not to mention their affordable prices. Costco was also included on Clark Deals’ list of places to shop for your suitcases.
Skip: Name-brand clothing
We don’t suggest you buy designer brand clothing at Costco because there is a big chance that its quality is lower than what you’d find at the original store. Also, chances are that the manufacturer cut corners for its Costco offering. If you see something you like, no one’s gonna stop you from buying it, just don’t expect that it will have the same quality as the ones that are being offered in their original store.
Buy: Shirts and pants for work
Designer clothes may not be great but at Costco, but their regular work shirts and pants are actually a hit among customers. On an online forum a customer even shared that all her office clothes are Kirkland shirts and that Kirkland clothes are the best value on the market, and just as great as the one that you can get at mid-range stores.
Buy: Athleisure clothes
If you are looking for work out clothes or you like wearing athletic clothes just because it is your style, you might want to check out Costco. On an a blog posted online by Tough Nickel, its was mentioned there that the options at Costco are a great deal!
There may be some complaints about the elastics on Costco’s men’s briefs, but most of the customers were more than happy about the comfort and also its cheap prices of these undergarments. There’s a lot of five-star reviews on the undergarment on Costco’s site.
Buy: Flu shots
Customers have found out that Costco offers the lowest price for flu shots. So if you’re planning to get that shot and paying for it yourself, you might want to consider getting it at Costco. Aside from the flu shots, Costco also other shots like those for HPV and pneumonia
Costco offers great deals on TVs, but if you’ve been eyeing on a specific TV you might not find id at Costco. However, if you’re flexible and want to save bucks, you will surely find a TV set that will work for you. Aside from getting a TV set for a cheaper price, you can also get an extended two-year warranty when buying at Costco.
Buy: Golf balls
When you think of a place to buy all your golfing needs, Costco probably won’t come to your mind. However, ever since Costco started selling Kirkland-brand golf balls, golfers have been pretty happy about it. Golfalot has tested the balls and said that they work just as well as the premium golf balls.
Costco may be the best place to get some of your grocery needs, but we don’t suggest you buy your electronics and house appliances there. All those appliances on display may look great and eye-catching, but they’re normally not. Researchers have revealed that there are other electronic stores that offer better deals for the same products.
If you’re a fan of nuts, Costco is the best place to buy them. They have a wide array of nuts to choose from, and all of them come in big packages. Most of us know that nuts can be expensive, but at Costco, they sell them for a much cheaper price and even come in resealable packages.
Worst: Kirkland Signature Paper Towels
You might think that buying paper towels in bulk is a good idea. In some ways it is, but if we’re going to talk about Kirkland Signature Paper Towels, that might not be a great idea. Consumer Reports study revealed that out of the five paper towel brands they tested, Kirkland was at the bottom. Their paper towels were said to be too thin to wipe up tougher messes.
Costco is the best place to get yours over the counter pills. On a study done by Consumer Reports, it was revealed that compared to 150 pharmacies across the United States, Costco was obviously the best place to get your over the pill when it comes to price.
Costco may not be the best place to buy your sunscreen since they always sell them in multipack, and sunscreens are known to last only up to 3 years before losing their effectiveness. So if you were to buy a multipack from Costco, make sure to check its expiration date so you can make sure to consume them before it expires. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money.
Worst: Disposable Razors
Costco may offer big boxes of disposable razors and it may seem like a great deal, you can actually find a better deal at Walmart than Costco. While Costco offers 14 Kirkland razors for $23 dollars, you can get a 10-pack Gillette disposable razors at Walmart for only $7.97. Imagine, that’s almost half the price!
Buy: Uncooked Cookies
Only a few may know about this, but you can actually buy cookies and other uncooked pastries for a much lower price at Costco. A box of 21 cookies normally costs $7.99, but if you get a box of the uncooked ones, you can get as many as 120 pieces for only $22.99!
Many shopping experts said that Costco is not the best place to buy rice, Jasmine in particular. When a frequent Costco shopper investigated, she saw that the rice sold at her in Costco was up to 35 per cent more expensive. This was compared with the same product sold on the Asian local market. There were some cases in which Costco paid $40 for rice while in a small shop it was only $14.
Worst: Dried Pasta
Buying dried pasta at Costco won’t make you lose all your money, but if you really want to get your money’s worth, you might want to buy somewhere else. There are a lot of better places to get your pasta with a much greater deal. When compared to Walmart and Trader Joe’s both have better portions of past and cost less than the ones from Costco.
Costco may not be the best place for you if you are someone who’s still into DVDs. Unsurprisingly, if we’re going to talk about prices, Amazon definitely beats Costco. Not to mention that Amazon also delivers the discs straight to your house.
Worst: Gel Dishwasher Detergent
In an article by Consumer Reports, they revealed that the Kirkland Signature Gel is one of the lowest-rated detergents. They also mentioned that it struggles with pots, dishes and pans. They also mentioned its resistance to water spots.
Worst: Canned Goods
If you’re looking for the best deals on canned goods, you might as well just skip on Costco. Other stores sell the same canned goods for a much lower price compared to ones offered by Costco, especially when they are being put on sale.
Worst: Body Lotions
Coupons are the answer if you want to save money on your go-to lotion. If you wait for the best coupons and wait up for sale, you’ll be able to buy the same lotions that are being sold at Costco at other retailers, but for a much lower price.
Worst: Protein Bars
Why would you risk buying 40 bars of protein bars that you’ve never tried before? Not to mention that Costco offers their protein bars for a dollar per piece, but if you buy a bulk of Pure Protein bars on Amazon, you buy them for less than $0.90 per piece!
Worst: Whole Grains
Whole grains contain oil just like nuts and seeds. These oils make whole grains go bad quickly, so it is not advisable for you to stock up on these. Just buy what you think is enough and what you think you will be able to consume instantly.
Since all goods at Costco are being sold in big sizes, we don’t suggest you buy jerky in bulk. With all the preservatives that are put on a jerky, once opened, it will only last about a week or two, even when placed inside the fridge. So just better stick to the smaller packages.
You won’t need as many hummus as a Costco-sized tub will give you unless you plan on throwing a house party. Just get a smaller sized jar from your nearest supermarket to prevent food wastage.
Worst: Printer Paper
If you don’t print a lot and you’re just buying for your office, a lot of office supply stores offer a better bargain on paper than Costco. You can find all the types of paper you need for a very cheap price at stores like Staples during back-to-school season.
Buy: Gift Cards
If you’re someone who loves giving out gift cards, Costco is the perfect place for you! There are a lot of gift cards to choose from at Costco, some are even retailed at a 15%-30% discount. Whether you’re just looking to buy a gift for someone or need a gift card for whatever reason, Costco is the best place to avail them to save money.
Costco has regained its reputation for selling high-quality wine over the years, but for a much lower price compared to other retailers. The store even made its own signature Kirkland label that is being produced by famous wineries.
Buy: Meat and Poultry
Compared to the supermarket’s normal price, Costco’s club price meat and poultry are way cheaper. Not to mention, the grade of the beef is higher as well. Also, if you decide to buy large portions of meat, you can always divide them into smaller portions and freeze them for later.
Buy: Kirkland Animal Crackers
If you’re looking for a tasty snack to feed for your kids, the best thing to buy is Kirkland’s Signature Organic Animal Cracker. Costco sells them at $9.99 only for a 64-ounce barrel, while other supermarkets sell the same product for the same price, but you’ll get 4 ounces less.
Buy: Kirkland Honey
At Costco, you can buy Kirkland Signature brand 100% U.S. raw, unfiltered honey in 3-pound jars and it only costs 8.99 dollars! While other places sell 2-pound jars of raw, unfiltered honey for $12.99! Big difference, right?
Buy: Kirkland Italian Sparkling Water
If you love drinking sparkling water, San Pellegrino has to be your go-to sparkling water. But this might change your mind. Did you know that a case of 24 16.9 ounce bottles of Kirkland sparkling water is sold at Costco for $12.99 only, while a smaller case of Pellegrino is priced at $16.99? It did change your mind, right?
Buy: Kirkland Vitamin Water
You might not know about this but Kirkland Signature Vita Rain Zero is just the same with Glaceau Vitamin Zero. Although both are being sold at Costco, there is actually no taste difference. However, there is a big difference between the size of the two. Kirkland’s 24-count variety pack of 20-ounce Vita Rain Zero is priced at $9.99, while a case of Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero costs $15.99.